Driven Bike of the Year: Yamaha MT-10
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When it comes to picking the Bike of the Year, I try to go by the facts -- but sometimes, just sometimes, instinct comes in and makes the final decision.
That was the case this year. With a couple of excellent contenders for the title it was a particularly difficult choice. That said, when it came to making the the final decision I threw out the pages of notes and went with my gut feeling, opting for the bike that left the biggest mark on my psyche in 2016. As such I'm giving the fictitious "Golden Handlebars Award" to Yamaha for its spectacular MT-10.
Based on the class leading YZF-R1 superbike, the MT-10 has a phenomenal engine and chassis, plus plenty of technology to keep it all under control on our often unpredictable roads.
The legendary inline four cylinder engine with its crossplane crank has been returned for a more street-friendly delivery of power and so has been brought down a little from the insane levels of performance found on the YZF-R1, now producing more low to mid-range torque and less top-end power (which on the R1 you can't get even close to using on the road anyway). This not only gives you a still slightly insane 118kW and 111Nm to play with, but by using the YZF-R1 frame you can be assured the MT-10 can handle it.
But that's not all ...
With the powers that be demanding bikes are fitted with more and more safety tech (such as ABS) as standard in markets across the world, Yamaha's king of the Monster Torque range doesn't do just the bare minimum, it sets the standard for sporty road bikes the world over with oodles of technology on hand.
Not only are there the same high quality adjustable KYB forks and shock, a great digital dash and a user friendly upright riding position; there's three stages of traction control adjustment, ABS, different rider modes and something the flagship YZF-R1 superbike will likely never have, cruise control.
The big thing that settled the MT-10 as Driven's 2016 Bike of the Year however was that all of the above is yours for less than $20,000.
Considering there is nothing out there that even comes close to offering the same specification for anywhere near that price point, it was a no-brainer to give the top honours to the MT-10.
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Driven Car of the Year Awards winners
Driven Car of the Year: Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Driven Compact Car of the Year: Holden Spark
Driven Small Car of the Year: Honda Civic
Driven Medium/Large Car of the Year: Skoda Superb
Driven Green Car of the Year: BMW 330e
Driven Luxury Car of the Year: Mercedes Benz E-Class
Driven Performance Car of the Year: BMW M2
Driven Small SUV of the Year: Kia Sportage
Driven Medium SUV of the Year: Volkswagen Tiguan
Driven Large SUV of the Year: Mazda CX-9
Driven Luxury SUV of the Year: Jaguar F-Pace
Driven Commercial Vehicle of the Year: Holden Colorado
Driven Bike of the Year: Yamaha MT-01