Yamaha MT-03 Concept
Yamaha MT-03 Concept

Motorcycle Design Awards 2003

|Two years ago, the Motorcycle Design Association was established in Paris to recognise this extremely specialised profession, and to celebrate its achievements. One of the MDA’s major functions is the presentation of annual awards for the best designs in four categories:

Motorcycle – Supersport Motorcycle – Open Category Scooters and Commuters Concept Bike

The first ever presentation of the Motorcycle Design Awards was made at the Mondial du Deux Roues in September 2001. The event returned to Paris for 2003, where the four top designs in their individual categories were elected, plus one overall winner, which received the coveted Motorcycle Design Trophy.

It is the designers themselves that vote for these awards – the members of the Motorcycle Design Association, which represents in-house and freelance designers working in four continents. President and co-founder Glynn Kerr explains:

Good design is no longer just a selling point within the motorcycle industry – it is a necessity. Yet it remains a highly specialised business, with few individuals who are sufficiently qualified and experienced to offer a truly professional service. The MDA was established to recognise those proficient in the trade, and to promote motorcycle design in general, by acting as the central contact point between designers and their clients, and as a public database.

The focus of the MDA’s activities is the website, www.motorcycledesign.com which features contact data and work samples for all its members, plus links to major design consultancies and supporting manufacturers, such as Ducati, Buell, MV Agusta, Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki. There is a growing section of images showing concept bikes over the years, plus an area for design education. This includes links to colleges, which offer courses in transport design, and a Students’ Forum which features the most interesting college projects.

Another function of the MDA is to recognise outstanding individual contributions to motorcycle design by awarding an annual Honorary Membership. This year, the award goes to Mitsuyoshi Kohama, head of Honda’s design centre in Japan. Kohama-san follows Massimo Tamburini of Ducati, Bimota and MV-Agusta fame, and Willie G. Davidson, pioneer of the current custom and cruiser markets as recipients of the 2001 and 2002 awards respectively.

To commemorate the event, Kohama-san was presented with an engraved plaque during the Designers Night on the evening of press day, Thursday 25 September, at the Mondial du Deux Roues.

During the Designers’ Night, Kohama-san also gave a presentation of his work with Honda RD, including sketches and prototypes of many landmark models such as the oval-pistoned NR750 and the RC211V. The original prototypes of both these machines were shipped over especially from Japan, and are on display through the show on the mezzanine level of the Honda stand.

The Winners

Supersport Category

1st – Yamaha YZF 1000 R1 2nd – Aprilia RSV Mille 3rd – Kawasaki ZX-10

Motorcycle – Open Category

Yamaha MT-03 Concept
Yamaha MT-03 Concept

Scooters Commuters Category

1st – Gilera Nexus 2nd – Peugeot Ludix 3rd – Aprilia Leonardo DITECH

Concept Bike Category

1st – Yamaha MT-03 2nd – Dodge Tomahawk 3rd – Voxan Black Magic / Melly Blue Rag

Overall winner of the 2003 Motorcycle Design Trophy

Yamaha YZF 1000 R1

Commenting on the winning design, MDA President Glynn Kerr says:

Winner for the second time in three years, the R1 well deserves to be awarded the 2003 Motorcycle Design Trophy.

Yamaha MT-03 Concept
Yamaha MT-03 Concept
Yamaha MT-03 Concept
Yamaha MT-03 Concept
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