This year, Rider magazine decided to put its Motorcycle of the Year title in our reader’s hands by allowing you to pick the winner through an online poll. The options were numerous (11 manufacturers stepped up for 2013 with nearly 40 new motorcycles) and every single one received votes. Bikes in the running had to be all-new or significantly changed for the 2013 model year.
In Third Place…
Taking third in our People’s Choice poll was the 2013 BMW R 1200 GS, with 11.7 percent of the votes. This completely new bike includes a more compact and powerful air/liquid-cooled boxer engine and was featured in the April 2013 issue of Rider. Watch for our follow-up story with more test results in the September 2013 issue and online.
Those taking part in our poll called the R 1200 GS, “The perfect motorcycle. Two up or single, touring, sport riding and dirt—it can do it all, and well! Despite its size and power, it still returns good mpg.” Another fan said, “It is still the best all-around motorcycle and the improvements keep it there.”
This year, our readers pushed Honda to the top, as the Japanese manufacturer claimed the top two spots in our poll. Honda’s CB1100 was a close second with 12.6 percent of the overall vote. This runner-up was featured in the July 2013 issue of Rider magazine as a “Modern Classic” that pays homage to line of Honda CBs starting with the original CB750.
Many voters commented about how the bike brought back memories from the past. “It takes us back to what made riding a motorcycle enjoyable prior to specialization. And it is beautiful to look at, unlike many of today’s machines.” Another said, “Honda has recognized a trend and addressed what people want. We want modern-day performance and reliability, but we also want to be transported back to our youth. This bike accomplishes those goals well, so thank you Honda.”
Readers also liked the simplicity of the machine. “Just a plain old basic standard old-school motorcycle. It’s about time. Now maybe more will follow.”
The 2013 Honda CB1100 is powered by an 1,140cc, air/oil-cooled in-line four.
And Taking the Title…
The 2013 Honda F6B was the overall winner with 13.1 percent of the votes. This blacked-out version of the Gold Wing has a shorty windscreen, gunfighter-style seat and no trunk. “It’s a mean-looking bike that takes the Gold Wing into the cruiser market,” said one voter in our poll. “It’s an updated non-entry-level classic with a lot to offer a wide range of motorcycle riders and enthusiasts. Bravo to Honda for bringing it to the American market,” added another.
We featured the F6B on the cover of our May 2013 issue, declaring it the “Big Bad F6B.” Others agreed, with one voter writing in, “Handling + Agility + Comfort + Smooth Shifting + Power + Fuel efficiency = Best ride I’ve ever experienced!”
The F6B’s reduced weight makes what is essentially a really big sportbike even more responsive. With the F6B, Honda has built a performance machine that may just give the GL a whole new audience.
“The Wing’s magnificent motor gets to grace a bike with a healthy dose of attitude. Coolest Honda since the Valkyrie,” commented one voter.
Congratulations to Honda for the F6B, winner of Rider’s 2013 People’s Choice Motorcycle of the Year award!
Those who left comments about their favorite motorcycle of 2013 were entered into a drawing to win a Nolan N104 motorcycle helmet. The winner is Jan Nois. Congratulations Jan! Please check your email for a message from us about how to claim your prize.