An "Alternative" Alternative Take on Our 2015 Motorcycle of the Year Awards

The Best According To Gresh

2015 motorcycle of the year awards, 2015 moty
Joe doesn’t know it yet, but this column is being paid for entirely in hamburgers. Not very good ones either.©Motorcyclist

It's both an honor and a personal-branding opportunity to be asked for my votes in Motorcyclist magazine's ultra-prestigious, 2015 Motorcycle of the Year selections. Without further adieu, here are my picks for the best bikes on the market this year:

Motorcycle of the Year: The only 2015 bike I've actually ridden any distance is the Indian Scout, so it wins this category by default. There are many legitimate reasons for the Scout to be selected as MOTY, but I'm not choosing the Scout based on its merits. I'm picking the Scout because Polaris, the parent company of Indian Motorcycles, has done the best job fluffing my fragile motojourno ego. They've loaned me a Victory Vision to tour New Zealand and let me swan a decked-out Indian Chief around Daytona Bike Week. Then they loaned me a Scout for the long ride to Daytona and bought me a hamburger too. Casting my vote for Indian's Scout is a clear signal to all the other manufacturers. This is not brain surgery. Buy me a hamburger.

Best Sportbike: My wife shows absolutely no interest in motorcycles. She can't tell the difference between a Harley bagger and Honda 2,000-watt generator stuffed inside a bag, so it's telling that the few times she has deigned to point out a motorcycle and say, "That bike is really pretty," it was always a blood-red Ducati she was admiring. This fairer-sex appeal alone makes the Ducati Quadro-Pizzeria-Desmo-RR the Best Sportbike. Runner-up? The Indian Scout.

Best ADV: This category is a case of "least-worst" for me. I should probably vote for a KTM Super Adventure because people I trust tell me big KTMs are not entirely horrible… I think I'll pick the Suzuki Wee-strom 650, instead. Long-time readers know why. Honorable mention for Best ADV? The Indian Scout.

Best Touring Bike: If I was buying a new touring bike I'd buy the Ducati Scrambler, strap a bright-yellow stuff-sack on the rear fender, and go see the world. It would be just like Then Came Bronson, except Bronson's iron-head Sportster didn't ever need its valves adjusted. Remove the Morlock-style fairing and a 2015 Harley-Davidson Road Glide would objectively be a fine choice, but I haven't ridden one of those either. For some reason I don't get invited to H-D events anymore. Your next best option? An Indian Scout fitted with the optional saddlebags and windshield.

Best Naked Bike: The 1999 Kawasaki ZRX1100. Not only are ZRXs the best naked bikes, with classic styling and an inline-brick-that-cannot-be-broken engine, but they have the best Internet owner's group as well. If you can't find a clean, used ZRX, just go for an Indian Scout instead.

Best Dual Sport: I guess that voting up "Godzilla," my 1971 Yamaha RT1B, would look too much like our presidential election cycle. Time for new blood then: the Husqvarna FE 501 S, a real dirt bike with tons of power, a historic name, and no orange bodywork. I bet if I rode one I'd love it. Should the FE 501 S not be able to complete its duties as Best Dual Sport, the Indian Scout with knobby tires would be a fine runner-up.

Best Dreambike: Technically a 2016 model but too important to ignore, Yamaha's new, two-stroke YZ250X. Add lights, an Autolube system, and make it smog legal and it would be the old DT1 concept perfected for modern use. Trust me, Yamaha would sell a million of them. Honorable mention: You know this answer already.

Best Cruiser: Do you even have to ask?

Best New Technology: Self-driving cars shouldn't turn left in front of motorcyclists. If they do, rewinding the hard drive will convince the jury to award damages on your Indian Scout.

(Editor's note: Joe doesn't know it yet, but this column is being paid for entirely in hamburgers. Not very good ones either.)