To win this most prestigious and coveted of awards, the game the manufacturers have to play is one of pushing boundaries and exceeding expectations. With a firm emphasis on credibility and integrity, a fool proof evaluation process had been crafted for the jury members of the Times Auto Awards in association with evo India and Fast Bikes. Two full days had been set aside for the jury to put the four-wheelers and two-wheelers through intensive testing and evaluation on the 3.7km long Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) in Chennai. To keep the playing field level and to remove any ambiguity, vehicles that were not sent for evaluation were summarily disqualified. In effect, this ensured that all jury members evaluated the same vehicles.
In each category, the jury members ranked the contenders in descending order with the winner of each category becoming the contender for the Two-Wheeler of the Year awards, which would be decided on the basis of points allotted to each contender by the jury members. Needless to say, the winner of the Two Wheeler of the Year award would be the one with the maximum points.
Two-wheeler winners are –
Motorcycle of the year upto 160cc
A class of bike which was for years the entry level sporty segment is now fast becoming the preserve for an emerging breed of executive commuters and in this category the winner with an avant garde style and configuration of motorcycle is the Suzuki Intruder!
Motorcycle of the year upto 250cc
This is the new sporty performance class that exemplifies an emerging India and given its maker’s Ready to Race tag line, the KTM 250 Duke is the winner in this very exciting class.
Motorcycle of the year upto 500cc
One of the most important categories of motorcycle in the country with many new and established brands fighting for a slice of the pie, this class in 2017 was again jam packed with great bikes from Benelli and Bajaj Auto but in a close finish it was the India-made KTM 390 Duke that bested all to win the class.
Scooter of the year
Commanding a near 40% chunk of the Indian two-wheeler market, scooters are the most affordable and convenient form of personal mobility for our masses. Not content with dominating the mind with its Activa which is now the best-selling two-wheeler brand in the country, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India continues to innovate and deliver different options in this category and one of the newest and also very welcome yet different applications seen on our roads for a very long time is the Honda Cliq, our Scooter of the Year!
Neo-retro motorcycle of the year
Classic styled motorcycles with modern mechanicals and impeccable handling and dynamics determines this category of motorcycle and making its presence felt for the first year with its legendary boxer-twin cylinder engines is BMW which walks away with honours for its awesome R NineT!
Cruiser of the year
This is a category of the heavyweights and also one which emanated from the USA so fittingly this year an American motorcycle emerges from the fray to carry away this award. Put your hands together to welcome our Cruiser of the Year, the all new and very exciting Harley-Davidson Fat Bob.
Sport naked bike of the year
The title might seem to be a misnomer but this is the large sized equivalent of the small compact performance sports category and one which is now getting filled with every OEM entering new offerings to grab a sizeable chunk of the pie. In such a rarefied class of motorcycle the bike which walks away as the winner this year is the Triumph Street Triple RS.
Adventure bike of the year
This is a category that is gaining traction with each passing year and this year the winner in this category reflecting its global leadership is none other than the BMW R 1200 GS, the machine with which every adventure bike in the world is measured.
Superbike of the year
Always one of the hottest categories of the year with many a brand unleashing their horses for outright performance glory, this year’s deserved winner in class is the awesomely supreme Suzuki GSX-R 1100R.
Bikesport award of the year
This is one category that highlights an emerging trend of major Indian bike makers, nearly all of them home-grown taking their creative and technological strengths to compete on the global stage against the world’s best. In recent years we saw Mahindra Racing fly the tricolour with aplomb on the Moto3 Grand Prix circuits while in recent years we have had Hero MotoSports and Sherco-TVS do it on the tough dirt tracks the world over. Not unnaturally this year’s winner comes from the latter two and our winner is none other than Team Hero MotoSports for its outstanding performance and showing in desert rally raids.
Bikemaker of the year
We have been monitoring the performance of all our bike makers now for well over the last three and a half decades and in this aspect we once again looked at some of the best performing two-wheeler OEMs but our winner was decided on the basis of having:
The right balance of product and passion.
The right balance of scooters and motorcycles.
The right balance of global quality standards and home-grown ingenuity.
The right balance of sales and service experiences.
The right balance of physical and digital interfaces.
The right balance of ambition and ethics.
We are delighted to announce that TVS Motor Company has won our Bike Maker of the Year for 2017!
Bike of the year
From all our class winners put into the final mix, what emerged this year was an overwhelming bias and thrust towards performance. In a field that had some of the best vying for outright honours the Times Auto Awards Bike of the Year is the KTM 390 Duke!