Leading automobile magazines in India, who constitute the jury of Indian Motorcycle of the Year (IMOTY), along with JK Tyre came together for the eighth consecutive year to present the most prestigious award of the Indian motorcycle industry, the Indian Motorcycle of the Year (IMOTY) 2016, at a glittering gala in Delhi on 18 December.
Dr Raghupati Singhania, chairman and managing director, JK Tyre & Industries Limited, and Aspi Bhathena, editor, Bike India, and chairman, IMOTY 2016, along with other members of the IMOTY jury presented the Indian Motorcycle of the Year trophy to the Yamaha YZF-R3 on behalf of the esteemed jury.
The award ceremony witnessed the presence of eminent guests, including scions of the corporate world, senior officials from the automobile industry and representatives of industrial bodies.
From left to right: Aspi Bhathena (chairman, IMOTY), Roy Kurian (VP, sales and marketing, Yamaha Motor India), Dr Raghupati Singhania (chairman and MD, JK Tyre & Industries Limited) and Vijay Kaul (assistant GM of marketing and communication, Yamaha Motor India)
IMOTY is the most credible and coveted motorcycle award in the country. This award is an expert and independent judgement on the best new motorcycle sold in India and is aimed at recognising focused, consistent and rigorous efforts made by motorcycle manufacturers in the areas of design excellence, innovation and R&D. The award has been gaining prominence with each passing year and JK Tyre has been associated with it since its inception.
This year the final short-list of contenders saw a dozen motorcycles battling it out for the highest honour. The chosen ones were then put through a further round of assessment by the jury members at Lonavala on 4 December. After a session of evaluation followed by voting, the top three contenders for the IMOTY 2016 turned out to be the Yamaha YZF-R3, Honda CBR 650F and Benelli TnT 300. The nominated motorcycles were judged on various parameters such as price, fuel economy, styling, comfort, safety, performance, practicality, technical innovation, value for money and suitability for Indian riding conditions.
This year's jury for IMOTY comprised Rahul Ghosh (Auto Today), Arup Das and Jared Solomon (AutoX), Aspi Bhathena and Aninda Sardar (Bike India), Abhinav Mishra (BBC TopGear), Sirish Chandran and Ouseph Chacko (Evo), Pablo Chatterji (Man's World), Kartik Ware (Motoring World), and Shubhabrata Marmar and Halley Prabhakar (Overdrive). This specialist jury consists of experienced Indian automotive journalists from the best titles on sale in India. The jury members are known for their analytical skills and competence in evaluating and testing motorcycles as a part of their profession. The experienced jury members are responsible for selecting a single decisive winner and the voting process has been designed to be very fair and unbiased. In the best traditions of IMOTY, this year the expert jury ensured that the evaluation for the IMOTY 2016 remained transparent, fair and based solely on the merit of the product.
Congratulating the winning motorcycle, Aspi Bhathena said, This year has been particularly tough for all of us. Apart from the fact that there were more than 15 contenders, members of the jury felt there were some exceptional motorcycles that had been priced higher than they should have been and that cost them valuable points. While the second and the third spots were fairly closely contested, there was one motorcycle that stood head and shoulders above the rest. In the end the IMOTY jury must congratulate Yamaha, for the YZF-R3 is a worthy winner and delivers more than the others on most evaluation counts. It is compact, easy to ride, has a great chassis and a superb engine."
Indian Motorcycle of the Year 2016 jury members pose with all the bikes launched in 2015 that were in contention for the IMOTY. The jury was led by Aspi Bhathena, editor, Bike India. From left to right: Halley Prabhakar (road test editor, OVERDRIVE), Abhinav Mishra (BBC Top Gear), Kartik Ware (Motoring World), Shumi (executive editor, OVERDRIVE), Dr Raghupati Singhania (chairman and MD, JK Tyre & Industries Limited), Aspi Bhathena (chairman, IMOTY), Roy Kurian ( VP, sales and marketing, Yamaha Motor India), Jared Solomon (AutoX), Vijay Kaul (assistant GM, marketing and communication, Yamaha Motor India), Aninda Sardar (Bike India), Arup Das (AutoX), Rahul Ghosh (Auto Today) and Sirish Chandran (Evo)
Congratulating the winners, Dr Raghupati Singhania, chairman and managing director, JK Tyre & Industries Limited said, The automobile and auto-ancillary sector in India is growing at a fast pace. The consumer is ever-discerning and automakers seek to outperform each other. In such a competitive environment, JK Tyre and ICOTY & IMOTY Awards endeavour to recognise those who break the clutter with their innovation and deep understanding of the Indian consumer. Congratulations to Yamaha and their YZF-R3 for sailing through the rigorous judging process and emerging victorious."
The IMOTY is selected after considering various parameters. These include the price, mileage, looks, comfort, safety, performance, practicality and technical innovation, to name a few. The Harley-Davidson Street 750 clinched the title last year. Other bikes winning the award previously include the Royal Enfield Continental GT (2014) KTM 200 Duke (2013) and the Honda CBR 250R (2012).