Last year saw some good new entrants on the motorcycle scene, including the Aprilia 660 twins (RS and Tuono), Triumph’s new entry level LAMS bike, the Trident 660, along with its big sib, the Speed Triple 1200 RS, and Suzuki’s Hayabusa was renewed. But which was best overall?
According to 10 top European publications, voting on a shortlist of 13 newcomers considered worthy last year, Ducati’s Multistrada V4 S was at the head of the pack.
Take a superbike’s V4 and tech, roll several bikes into one (touring, urban, off-road) and the latest Multistrada rises to the top. It was praised for both its on- and off-road chops, along with its radar-controlled adaptive cruise control.
That said, Harley-Davidson’s first adventure bike, the Pan America, missed out on being the top dog by just a single point. It too was praised for its performance both on and off road, and for its punchy new 1250cc V-twin engine.
Yamaha’s Tracer 9 rounded out the podium spots, demonstrating how important adventure and sport touring models are in the global marketplace currently. It gained points for its value and quality.
In fourth position was another Ducati, this time the new lightweight Monster, while Aprilia’s RS 660 took fifth spot, and the fine-selling Triumph Trident 660 was in sixth. Another Yamaha took the lucky number seven, in the form of the revised MT-09. Then there was a three-way points tie for eighth place between the Speed Triple 1200 RS, Honda Africa Twin 1100, and the Tuono 660. In eleventh place was Suzuki’s new Hayabusa, while two BMWs, the M 1000 RR and S 1000 R rounded out the award winners.
The oddest thing about Ducati winning the title is that a month before it had opened a store in Paris dedicated to the MS V4 model, almost as though the firm knew it was onto a very good thing.