The Yamaha Niken leaning three-wheeler and the Ducati Diavel 1260 power cruiser have won the Best of the Best title at the Red Dot Awards.
First shown on the 2017 fall motorcycle show circuit, the Yamaha Niken has been a very polarizing machine from the start. There are some parts that most motorcyclists agree are good—mostly the parts that are derived from the Yamaha FJ-09. There are some parts that some motorcyclists very much dislike, however. The Niken’s two-wheeled front end has some riders mocking it, or asking why there’s a need for the added complexity. Other riders don’t mind the idea of a leaning three-wheeler, but wonder why Yamaha put four inverted forks on the front of the bike, instead of a two-fork setup.
The Diavel is a much more conventional machine than the Niken. Built along power cruiser lines, the current 1260 model has an engine with variable valve timing, all-round LED lighting, and many other modern touches for a bike that’s in a class often stuck in the past.
The committee behind the Red Dot Awards were big fans of both machines’ move forward, which is what earned Yamaha and Ducati the recognition. It’s not the first time for either company; Ducati has won before, for its superbikes, and Yamaha has won the award for vehicle design, as well as other products designed by the extremely multi-faceted company. Last year, the Niken had won Red Dot’s Good Design Award.
While the Red Dot Award doesn’t come with a huge cash prize, it’s certainly notable, as it’s a sign of a cleverly-designed product. The usual winners are companies like Apple, Bosch, Ferrari, Porsche and the like. According to its website, “Red Dot stands for belonging to the best in design and business. Our international design competition, the “Red Dot Design Award”, is aimed at all those who would like to distinguish their business activities through design.” Read more about it here.