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Breaking: Ducati Panigale V4S wins Pirelli SA Bike of the Year 2018


Ducati Panigale V4 PANIGALE V4 STATIC 22

The Ducati Panigale V4S has won this year’s Pirelli SA Bike of the Year competition, beating 12 other candidates that made this year’s final. In second place was the Triumph Street Triple 765 RS and in third came the Kawasaki Ninja 400.

The judging took place last week where 15 of SA’s top motorcycle journalists took part in the judging process with a road ride to and from Gerotek motoring testing facility near Hartbeespoort Dam in the Northwest Province, plus many hours riding around their dynamic handling track.

5853.2935 Triumph Street Triple RS

The rules of Pirelli Bike of the Year work in such a way that each contender is not necessarily judged against the other bikes in the final, but rather against its rivals in its class. In other words, the judges do not say “which of these 12 bikes would I most like to won” but rather they imagine that each bike was among its rivals in its own class, and then judged according to that, with the bikes moving the goalposts in their respective classes scoring higher than those that don’t. This is why the Kawasaki Ninja 400 finished ahead of the likes of the Kawasaki H2SX, because the 400 created a clearer new benchmark in its class, outdoing the likes of the KTM RC390, the Yamaha R3 and the CBR300RR.

For this reason motorcycle journalists were chosen as judges, as they know the market, the classes and have experience with each of the finalist’s rivals. In total, the judges had 419 years of motorcycling experience between them, so it’s fair to say that they know what they were talking about.

Kawasaki Ninja 400 Zoe Bosch Red Star 1866 Feature

The main reason given for the Panigale’s triumph in this year’s Pirelli SA Bike of the Year is that it moved the goalposts in a particularly competitive class, one that requires advanced engineering and sophistication, and for the Panigale to have moved the goalposts the distance it has is truly remarkable.

Below is the top six placed motorcycles in this year’s Pirelli Sa Bike of the Year:

  1. Ducati Panigale V4S
  2. Triumph Street Triple RS
  3. Kawasaki Ninja 400
  4. Triumph Tiger 1200
  5. Joint fifth place between the Honda Goldwing and the KTM 790 Duke.