October 2017 issue - Bike of the Year
Bike of the Year? What, already? But it really is 12 months since we did this last time. That was well over 100,000 road test miles, 2400 gallons of petrol and 107 road test bikes ago (we’ve not got any exact figures – this is being conservative, small ‘c’).
Bike magazine’s Bike of the Year issue isn’t an especially scientific event. We ask motorcycle testers, racers, designers and engineers to vote for their top bikes among the new models introduced for 2017. These are bikes that they’ve ridden, admired and envied. But they can’t vote for brands they represent.
There are a few anomalies, but we left them in anyway. The Yamaha T7 is still a prototype, CCM haven’t started making production Spitfires yet and Vespa’s electric scooter is only a concept too.
Most of the new bikes fit into an existing genre and many are updates of an existing model. They justify a vote on the grounds of improved performance, increased sophistication and better value. Some offer a uniquely different approach; who knew that adventure scooters would be a thing?
Trends this year? Retros got better with more authentic detailing and improved dynamics, sportsbikes got ever more intelligent with electronics packages that allow mortals to control 190bhp, and three electric bikes made it to the top 50. With the government’s new commitment to a 2040 cut-off for petrol power there will be more in future and we’re looking forward to the first alternative fuel Bike of the Year.
My personal choices? The Suzuki GSX-R 1000RR because it represents the pinnacle of sportsbike technology, the Energica Eva because it’s the best of the electric bikes, and the Ducati Desert Sled because it turns every ride into an event. Plus it allowed me to ride the length of the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Ambition fulfilled.
Enjoy the issue, and feel free to email us and tell us what you think about the countdown.
Hugo Wilson, editor.
What's inside this issue of Bike magazine
Bike of the Year
We countdown the top 50 bikes that were launched this year and give our verdict on the best of the bunch.
Used bike of the Year
What if you want the self-satisfaction of a blistering used bargain? That's why we've put together our choices for used bike of the year.
It's even better dirty
A seven day trail ride from Atlantic to Mediterranean along the Pyrenees is the perfect antidote to 21st century life, and a perfect opportunity to test the new Ducati Desert Sled.