IMOTY (Indian Motorcycle of the Year) is a prestigious accolade awarded annually to the motorcycle that has raised the bar in its segment that year. For the year 2021, one motorcycle stood head and shoulders above the competition.
IMOTY is India’s most sought-after award for two-wheelers and it has been that way for 14 years in a row. Since 2007, a jury comprising the most experienced automotive journalists in the country decide which motorcycle is the most deserving. They scrutinize every motorcycle launched that year across numerous parameters. Points are awarded for performance, innovation and excellence in the Indian auto sector. Of course, parameters such as price, fuel-efficiency, styling, comfort, safety, performance, practicality, technical innovation, value for money, and suitability are also taken into consideration. Above all else, the motorcycle must be a product that has become the benchmark in its segment.
IMOTY 2021 was tougher than usual because the jury had to deal with the complications brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, all activities related to IMOTY were conducted under controlled environments by exercising the strictest of safety norms and social distancing. This year’s jury was chaired by Aspi Bhathena, Editor, Bike India. The jury comprised Rahul Ghosh (Associate Editor, Auto Today), Dipayan Dutta (Senior Special Correspondent, Auto Today), Jared Solomon (Assistant Editor, autoX), Ravi Ved (Content Development Editor, autoX), Sarmad Kadiri (Executive Editor, BIKE India and CAR India), Sirish Chandran (Editorial Director, Evo India, Fast Bikes India & Motor Sport India), Aatish Mishra (Assistant Editor, Evo India), Pablo Chaterji (Executive Editor, Motoring World), Kartik Ware (Managing Editor, Motoring World), Bertrand D’souza (Editor, Overdrive), Rohit Paradkar (Assistant Editor, Overdrive), Vikrant Singh (Editor, CarWale, BikeWale and CarTrade) and Kranti Sambhav (Editor and Lead, Times Drive).
For IMOTY 2021, motorcycles that have had cosmetic facelifts or small mechanical changes do not qualify for contention. Although the country of origin does not matter, they have to be manufactured or assembled in India and should have been on sale in showrooms before November 30th of the previous year. Motorcycles imported through the CBU route are not considered for this award.
The contenders for IMOTY 2021 included the Bajaj Dominar 250, Hero Glamour 125, Hero Passion Pro, Hero Xtreme 160R, Honda Hornet 2.0, Husqvarna Svartpilen 250, KTM 390 Adventure and the Royal Enfield Meteor 350. The Honda H’ness CB350 did not make it to the list because the manufacturer was unable to make the motorcycle available for testing prior to the deadline. From this lot, the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 emerged as the winner with an unassailable 96 points. Right behind the Meteor were the KTM 390 Adventure at 81 points and the Hero Xtreme 160R with 59 points.
Story: Joshua Varghese