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2023 Motorcycle of the Year Countdown

2023 Rider Magazine Motorcycle of the Year

Starting Friday, Sept. 8, and resuming Monday, Sept. 11, we’ll be announcing two MOTY finalists per day, with the big reveal of Rider‘s 2023 Motorcycle of the Year winner on Friday, Sept. 15. So bookmark this page and keep checking back. –Ed.

If Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year, now in its 34th year, were a person, it would have graduated from college or completed military service, launched a career, got married, bought a house, and started a family. It would have a couple motorcycles in the garage, perhaps a cruiser or sport-tourer for the open road and a dual-sport or adventure bike for exploring the backcountry.

In other words, it would be like the rest of us: a dedicated motorcycle enthusiast.


Rider has been bringing you “Motorcycling at Its Best” for almost 50 years. We’ve tested nearly every street-legal motorcycle on the market, with an emphasis on real-world bikes that are within reach for most of us. For every $100,000 Arch 1s we review, we test dozens if not hundreds of motorcycles you’ll find in dealerships and garages across America, from sea to shining sea.

Related: 2022 Motorcycle of the Year

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
Rider’s 2022 Motorcycle of the Year: The 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ (Photo by Kevin Wing)

Unlike car dealers, most motorcycle dealers don’t offer test rides. Demo rides are great, but they are few and far between and often involve parade-pace conga lines that don’t allow riders to experience a motorcycle’s true capabilities. We know you count on us to provide honest, in-depth reviews to help you make informed purchase decisions – or to just keep you up to date on the latest and greatest bikes on the market.

Every year, we ride as many new or significantly updated motorcycles as we can and evaluate them within the context of their intended use. Then we put our collective heads together and identify those that best fulfill their intended purpose and advance the state of motorcycle design, performance, and function.

For 2023, there were more than 80 eligible contenders. We narrowed them down to 10 finalists and one winner. Starting Friday, Sept 8, and resuming Monday, Sept. 11, we’ll be updating this post with two finalists per day, with the big reveal of this year’s 2023 Motorcycle of the Year winner on Friday, Sept. 15. So bookmark this page and keep checking back.

Without further ado…

2023 Motorcycle of the Year Finalists:

1. BMW R 18 Roctane

2024 BMW R 18 Roctane
BMW R 18 Roctane (Photo by Jörg Künstle, Markus Jahn)

The fifth member of the R 18 family is a unique alternative to the ubiquitous American V-Twin. It’s powered by the BMW 1,802cc “Big Boxer” Twin and features blacked-out styling, a midrise handlebar, a 21-inch front wheel, and hard saddlebags. The Roctane has admirable curb appeal, good comfort and handling, and high-tech features including Rock, Roll, and Rain ride modes.

Related: 2024 BMW R 18 Roctane | First Ride Review  

2. CFMOTO Ibex 800 T

2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 T
CFMOTO Ibex 800 T (Photo by Aaron Crane)

CFMOTO has been on the gas lately, expanding its motorcycle lineup from seven to 10 models, including two versions of the Ibex 800 adventure-tourer powered by a 790cc parallel-Twin adapted from the KTM 790 Adventure. The top-of-the-line Ibex 800 T is comfortable, capable, and packed with useful features yet retails for an accessible $10,499.

Related: 2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 T | Road Test Review 

Check back Monday, Sept. 11, for the next two finalists!


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