With a smaller displacement than the R1200GS, the 2010 BMW F800GS is much easier to maneuver and took top honors in our adventure category.
Best Adventure Motorcycle: F800GS
When it comes to adventure riding, the available motorcycle options vary as widely as the people who ride them. When it comes to picking the best machine available there are a few that come to mind. BMW has long been a dominant force in the various ADV markets. Most renowned is the big R1200GS, and while that motorcycle is certainly impressive, we just can’t get enough of the F800GS. While smaller in displacement, the Parallel Twin makes plenty of smooth, usable power and the narrow engine configuration and lighter weight make the 800 much more manageable, particularly off-road. This isn’t a bike that you can hammer through rough terrain, but it is much more capable than the larger GS thanks to its trellis chassis and standard suspension arrangement.
Not only does the 800 offer more options for off-road exploration, but it still has the comfort needed to log extended pavement sessions. Also, the engine has enough muscle to pack a full load, whether it’s human cargo or just extra camping gear. We’d like for the fork to offer some adjustability or be a little stiffer, but there really isn’t much to complain about on the 800. The 800GS won this category in 2009 and hasn’t changed for 2010, but nothing has emerged that can challenge its wonderful blend of manageability and capacity. This is going to be a hot one next year where the 800 will have to defend its title against newcomers from Triumph and Yamaha. – JC Hilderbrand
Motorcycle of the Year: BMW S1000RR
Hitting all the right notes in its first try, BMW created a stellar machine with the BMW S1000RR. For both its performance and ingenuity the S1000RR capped off our list as the 2010 Motorcycle of the Year.
Entering the hotly contested Superbike class is a daunting engineering challenge. Brimming with technology, speed and performance, the liter-class sportbikes represent the apogee of motorcycle development. So expectations for a machine that is competitive, much less superior in multiple categories, on the first try is unrealistic. Unless you’re BMW.
The class-leading S1000RR sportbike lived up to virtually every piece of PR propaganda we came across—a feat in itself considering the marketing muscle of the propeller company (though we admit, we didn’t attempt to replicate the tablecloth gag!). 200 mph-plus top speed. Check. 180-plus rear wheel horsepower. Check. Traction Control and ABS that actually work. Check and mate.
Not only did it decimate the competition in two of our biggest, most competitive motorcycle shootouts (2010 Superbike Smackdown VII Track and 2010 Superbike Smackdown Street) the S1000RR ushered in a number of new technologies that improve outright performance as well as the ability to utilize said performance.
Similar to when Yamaha released its original 1998 R1, BMW is forcing sportbike development into the next generation whether others like or not. For its class-leading performance and game-changing developments, we credit the BMW S1000RR as 2010 Motorcycle of the Year. – Adam Waheed
Motorcycle USA Best of 2010 Awards
Best of 2010: Manufacturer and Innovation
Best of 2010: Sportbike and Cruiser
Best Streetbike of 2010: Ducati Multistrada 1200
Best Touring Bike of 2010: BMW R1200GS
Best of 2010: Off-Road, Dual-Sport & Motocross
Best of ’10: Adventure Model & Bike of the Year