Design Association Updates Awards Format

The Motorcycle Design Association (MDA), an organization made up of more than 100 independent and in-house motorcycle designers spread over four continents, has presented awards for the best new two-wheeler designs at major international bike shows for the past four years – Paris in 2001 and 2003, Birmingham in 2002, and Munich in 2004.
Glynn Kerr, MDA co-founder and president, says interest in the Motorcycle Design Awards has grown considerably since the inaugural ceremony. For 2005, he said, the MDA has reviewed the awards process to ensure that all new models introduced during the calendar year are represented.
As previously, the awards will be divided into five categories: Supersport; Junior Open Category (sub 200cc); Motorcycle Open Category (200cc and up); Scooter & Commuters; and Concept Bikes. However, instead of voting at an event, MDA member votes will be tallied at the end of the year following an internal ballot of MDA members. Members also will be asked to select one overall winner, which will receive the 2005 Motorcycle Design Trophy.
In addition to the annual awards, the MDA also plans to organize events at the Mondial du Deux Roues, October 1-9 in Paris, and at EICMA, November 15-20 in Milan. Already scheduled is a “Best of Show” award to be given to the top design at each venue.
Based in Villefranche de Lonchat, France, the MDA was created in 2001 by Kerr and Francois-Marie Dumas. The aims of the association are to bring together cycle designers of all nationalities to promote their activities and to ease communication between designers and potential clients. The organization also promotes design education.
An independent consultant to many of the world’s major motorcycle manufacturers, Kerr says a designer’s task is to make all the pieces of a motorcycle harmonize – look as though they belong together – and to pull the whole jigsaw into one coherent mass with its own identity.
“Motorcycle design is not a question of line,” he says. “You can change the body lines on most bikes without altering the basic visual impression they give. Motorcycle styling is primarily about proportion, and that alone dictates whether a particular design is perceived as being a sports model, a trail bike or a custom.
“Get the line or the form wrong, and you’ve got an ugly bike. Get the proportions wrong, and no-one will even understand what the bike is trying to be … no stylistic creativity is ever going to repair the damage.”
In 2004, Motorcycle Design Award winners included the Bimota DB5, first place in the Supersport category; the Rieju RS2 Matrix in the Junior (sub 200cc) category; the KTM RC8/Venom in the Open (200cc and above) category; Derbi GP1 in the Scooter & Commuter category; and the Honda Griffon in the Concept Bike category.
Atsushi Ishiyama, President of design house GK Dynamics, accepted the 2004 Motorcycle Design Trophy for the Yamaha MT-01. It was Yamaha’s second Motorcycle Design Trophy in two years – Yamaha YZF 1000 R1 designer Kazumasa Sasanami of GK Design Europe received the 2003 Motorcycle Design Trophy.
For more information about the MDA, including how to become a member, visit www.motorcycledesign.com.

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