Back in the June 2014 issue, we asked you to visit our website and vote for your favorite 2014 bike in Rider’s People’s Choice Motorcycle of the Year contest. We kept the survey open for more than six weeks, and now the votes have been tallied and we have a winner! Our three leaders—a BMW, an Indian and a KTM—ran a tight race, and together only garnered about 21 percent of the votes because the voting was so widely spread among the nearly 50 contenders. Lots of great new bikes this year!
Congratulations to BMW for winning our 2014 PCMOTY award for the R 1200 RT, and to Indian and KTM for their very close second and third place finishes. A big thanks to those who voted, and to the industry for giving us lots of choices for 2014. Every bike is a winner!
The Winner (7.67% of the vote), BMW R 1200 RT
• It’s brilliant…a better sportbike than most STs, and a better touring bike than far heavier, less nimble, more expensive bikes. The “no ride” rear shock recall was a black eye, but it doesn’t take away from what the bike is.
• Fast enough? Yes! Can you bring stuff with you? Yes! Comfortable? Yes! Long-distance capable? Yes! Handles around corners? Yes! All around greatness? Yes, yes and YES!
• Yes, it has 20 percent less horsepower than the GTL, but it is also 20 percent lighter…plus, the ergos and wind protection are best in class. Simply a fantastic machine!
• More efficient, more powerful liquid-cooled motor, improved styling, traction control, electronic suspension and a host of BMW’s standard convenience farkles make this ultimate distance tourer even better.
• BMW has taken one of the best bikes of all time and dropped in a great new engine, bumped the horsepower up to 125, improved the ergos, surprised everyone with clutchless shifting, and put more fun into the ride. What is not to like?
• Outstanding balance. Not too big…not too small. Not too sporty…not too focused on touring. Not too heavy. Perfect balance of performance. If you can only have one bike (like most of us), this one is it.
• A supreme tourer and a very good sportbike and canyon carver.
• Styling, handling, lower center of gravity, new dynamic features like hill start control, gear shift assist, auto stability control, Dynamic ESA.
2nd Place (7.61%), Indian Chieftain
• Style, power, coolness factor. Rode one at Americade and loved the comfort and power of that new engine.
• I like the fact that the Indian name lives on through this new and exciting machine. A nice combination of old-school styling and new technology.
• American company, American jobs. New design, not some updated antique.
• New Thunder Stroke 111 provides incredibly smooth power. Amenities such as power windshield, standard cruise control, ABS and keyless start. Modern engineering with classic American styling.
• America’s first motorcycle company brought back to life with a ground-up, clean sheet design with modern engineering and traditional styling.
• The Indian Chieftain is a well executed, new from the ground-up American classic that blends current technology and tradition into a gorgeous package. The engine is a work of functional art while the overall look remains unmistakably Indian.
• Polaris has brought back Indian the right way, from the 111-inch powerhouse to the sweet styling, and all at an unbelievable price point. Here’s hoping I can vote for a Scout in this poll next year!
3rd Place (5.64%), KTM 1190 Adventure/R
• Never before has the BMW R 1200 GS had such a formidable competitor on dirt and pavement. The KTM 1190 Adventure/R is an all-around workhorse, racking up miles on any surface with style, comfort and competency.
• The ability to do everything—touring, commuting, off-road riding. It’s a beautifully complex yet astonishingly well-rounded motorcycle.
• Significantly different and improved over previous model. Much more capable of multiple roles, a newfound ability for comfortable roadwork. An exceptional motor, tractable yet entertaining if required. Brilliant suspension and cutting-edge safety features. All incredibly well integrated into a distinctive package that sets it apart from its rivals. Magnificent!
• Introduction of Motorcycle Stability Control with ABS that works while leaned over has to be a serious step forward in safety design for motorcycles. New bikes/features are great, new features that can save your life are better.
• Game-changing improvements to ABS and traction control systems. If only they’d make a version for short riders, it’d be perfect!
Those who voted for the MOTY and told us a little about why they voted for that bike were entered in a random drawing to win one of two grand prizes: a Men’s Ranger Vent Tech Motorcycle Jacket from Olympia Moto Sports or a RPHA10 Jorge Lorenzo Replica motorcycle helmet from HJC! Winning the motorcycle jacket was Paul Clark of Akron, Ohio. The helmet went to David Troncoso of Costa Mesa, California.
The bikes that were eligible for Rider’s People’s Choice Motorcycle of the Year award were those that are new or significantly changed for the 2014 model year. Early release 2015 motorcycles were not eligible, nor were models that have returned for 2014 with only minor model changes. The deadline to vote was June 30, 2014.
Voting for the 2015 People’s Choice Motorcycle of the Year will take place in May and June 2015. Check back then for your opportunity to vote!
Past Motorcycles of the Year
2013: Honda F6B
2012: BMW K 1600 GT/GTL
2011: Triumph Tiger 800