Yamaha R1

What a year to be a sports bike fan with new releases from Aprilia, Ducati, Kawasaki and Yamaha. The R1 is the bike that triumphs in 2015 for its blend of speed, composure, its suite of electronic rider aids and affordable running costs. It’s staggering to understand how Yamaha has built a race bike for the road that only needs servicing every 6,000 miles, and valve checks every 24,000 miles.

“This bike won’t just win your heart, it will blow your mind.”

David Burton

Runner-up: Kawasaki Ninja H2

Easily the maddest, baddest, craziest piece of exotica we’ve experienced in the last decade. The H2 is an intoxicating motorcycle, though brutal, supercharged power delivery makes it harder to ride than rivals, which is hilarious, terrifying and life affirming all in one.

Runner-up: BMW S 1000 RR

BMW's world class sports bike was revamped in 2015 with new chassis geometry, new rider modes and 198bhp. Unsurprisingly, it is devastatingly quick and supremely agile. Surprisingly, it has a very comfortable riding position and optional heated grips.

Category winners

Meet our panel of expert judges

Jon Quirk
Editor-in-Chief of Auto Trader, road rider, customiser and committed to helping everybody find their dream bike.
Rob Morphet
Launched Auto Trader Bikes in 1996, a key protagonist in its successful shift to digital and a passionate supermoto rider.
David Burton
Founding editor of independent motorcycle magazine Esses, road rider, prolific designer, tea drinker.
Phil West
One of the UK’s most authoritative, respected and long established motorcycling journalists. Now a senior road tester for Auto Trader Bikes.

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