Magazine reviews & opinions


29 replies to this topic
  • wpsnowman

Posted March 19, 2006 - 03:28 PM

#1

Ok I have now read a 3rd magazine review shootout on the 450's. I will not mention magazine names or model makes. All 3 magazines had very different reviews. One magazine took one of the bikes that ussually is #1 or #2 in ratings and made it LAST. What I'm getting at is there seems to be a very biased opinions in our American magazines. For instance I now order an English magazine for my street bike articles they seem to be more concerned with what is good and what isn't than politics and personal opinions. I mean how could you possibly have such a differance in reviews. Is it just me or does any body else notice this? I even went as far as to go online and look up all the test riders past affiliations with manufactures from one review and sure enough the bike they picked #1 happened to be what they had raced, did advertising or some affiliation with that maker.....I mean if they can't be fair on these tests how can you trust them with product reviews? I can not even go into detail about what I have researched because what I am finding is making me sick. Like I said just the fact that every review is so different should make you question WHY??? You could just pick up the magazine that said what you wanted to read and be happy, But is that what ya really want? Me personally I had 5 years in at a Yamaha dealership and 2 at a Honda dealership. I had Yamahas and Hondas and also during that time I had owned 2 Kawasaki's, Why you ask. Because they had the best 500cc 2 stroke at that time(In my opinion). :thumbsup:

  • Batmandog

Posted March 19, 2006 - 04:08 PM

#2

Ok I have now read a 3rd magazine review shootout on the 450's. I will not mention magazine names or model makes. All 3 magazines had very different reviews. One magazine took one of the bikes that ussually is #1 or #2 in ratings and made it LAST. What I'm getting at is there seems to be a very biased opinions in our American magazines. For instance I now order an English magazine for my street bike articles they seem to be more concerned with what is good and what isn't than politics and personal opinions. I mean how could you possibly have such a differance in reviews. Is it just me or does any body else notice this? I even went as far as to go online and look up all the test riders past affiliations with manufactures from one review and sure enough the bike they picked #1 happened to be what they had raced, did advertising or some affiliation with that maker.....I mean if they can't be fair on these tests how can you trust them with product reviews? I can not even go into detail about what I have researched because what I am finding is making me sick. Like I said just the fact that every review is so different should make you question WHY??? You could just pick up the magazine that said what you wanted to read and be happy, But is that what ya really want? Me personally I had 5 years in at a Yamaha dealership and 2 at a Honda dealership. I had Yamahas and Hondas and also during that time I had owned 2 Kawasaki's, Why you ask. Because they had the best 500cc 2 stroke at that time(In my opinion). :thumbsup:

I'm sure some are biased towards a certain make but I doubt it's because of some financial stake . I've found most reviews to pretty good . Different riders have different tastes and as long as you've got an idea who the guy is that's doing the evaluating and that there ARE several different riders ie. pro/novice/fast old guy I dont ...or I have not had a big problem with this ....and some guys have their favorite make , humans are human . Case in point; Ever read a magazine test of one Ricky Carmichaels bikes ? It seems that most testers find them bizarre at best yet look at the results .... This is just personal experience . I still have a personal preference for Suzuki GSXR's , years of racing them just make them feel like home .
My Yamaha YZ450 on the other hand , broke and dislocated my arm...OK , that was my fault !!

  • wpsnowman

Posted March 19, 2006 - 04:24 PM

#3

I have an R1 but always liked the GSXR. I had to accessorize just to keep up...LOL Then my buddy put a pipe on his GSXR and it was back to the drawing board for me....But there all fun! :thumbsup:

  • MotoRick

Posted March 19, 2006 - 04:32 PM

#4

The problem is that all the top bikes are really so very close in performance that a review comes down to the rider's personal experience and bias for a particular brand and/or type of riding. Look at the magazine doing the review, the test riders that commented, and how they relate to the kind of riding you do. If all the testers are advanced amateur or pro racers and you're a play rider who occasionally races, their opinions are probably not going to reflect the bike that is best for you.

  • wpsnowman

Posted March 19, 2006 - 05:00 PM

#5

I agree, But there was one of the magazines that showed HP graphs and when I looked at it there was no way it was right, But then I noticed the graph said HI horse power. And I said to myself, Self(because thats what I go by) what the hell is HI. After reading the fine print HI was human impression I have never seen this! They did not give the actual HP but instead there human impression, But it was clear they were tring to mislead the reader(In my opinion)LOL

  • Batmandog

Posted March 19, 2006 - 07:44 PM

#6

I agree, But there was one of the magazines that showed HP graphs and when I looked at it there was no way it was right, But then I noticed the graph said HI horse power. And I said to myself, Self(because thats what I go by) what the hell is HI. After reading the fine print HI was human impression I have never seen this! They did not give the actual HP but instead there human impression, But it was clear they were tring to mislead the reader(In my opinion)LOL

"HI horse power" huh ?! Dyno's are another area where I have some experience ....lots actually and this goes to rider "subjectiveness"-if that's a word . Anyway , I once did some pipe (2 stroke,2000 RM125 I believe) testing with a top 5 Arenacross racer . He had used each of the pipes at one time or another while testing - one of them was a sponser and obviously that was his raceday pipe . Long story short , the pipe that I would have chosen for him (best power with broadest torque) wasn't even close to his favorite real world pipe which produced the least power but was the "peakiest" and felt the fastest . This would be why guys like Keith McCarty and Erv Kanemoto are worth their weight in gold . Dyno's are awesome in the right hands but the bike still has to ridden by a man and if the man aint happy with the machine , the man aint winnin' the race !

  • RoughR1der

Posted March 19, 2006 - 09:23 PM

#7

i think its bs too. a bike shouldnt be 1st in one and 4th in another. can someone in the industry shed some light on this please?

  • MUSTANGCOBRA1353

Posted March 20, 2006 - 08:30 AM

#8

I saw one mag list the lap times by average on a 2006 shootout. That is the real world test results. Give the average lap per rider broken down (young old slow fast). The KTM scored very low but was fastest around the track????? The lap time is a great feature that should be in every shootout. Hope the mag guy's read this. Or would this shake up Honda's grip on the shootouts?

  • wpsnowman

Posted March 20, 2006 - 09:22 AM

#9

Refering to above, Thats what I'm asking. Theres nothing wrong with us as a consumer sticking to what brand we prefer for what ever reasons. But there are also some consumers that are NOT brand sensitive and want to know what bike did turn in the best lap time average, or had the most HP on a dyno. Why because that might be what there going to but that year.

  • chiaj144

Posted March 20, 2006 - 09:44 AM

#10

You also have to take into consideration bike set up. Some mags run the bikes stock with just setting the sag. Other mags test to find the best sag clickers settings fork height and some even messed with fork oil height. Another mag uses the same tires on all bikes to eliminate some of the variables. I have also ridden several bikes that were exactly the same yet felt totally different in every aspect. These bikes are all so good now it only takes one small missed detail in setup to move it from the top of the shoot-out to the bottom.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • MotoRick

Posted March 20, 2006 - 10:48 AM

#11

i think its bs too. a bike shouldnt be 1st in one and 4th in another. can someone in the industry shed some light on this please?

Someone already did.

  • MotoGoalie

Posted March 20, 2006 - 10:59 AM

#12

Someone already did.


n()()bs :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  • DRH

Posted March 20, 2006 - 05:42 PM

#13

I have a different take on your observations. In case of the 450's they are all good and very close to each other. If all the magizines read alike, would you still need to buy all of them? They each offered a different conclusion for the sake of sales. You really can't argue that Honda is better than Yamaha or Kawa, or Suz etc. So you choose the bike you like. I have been buying these mags for many many years and from time to time I have found some of them to biased. Many years ago I was viewing a test on a Maico 250 and a Ossa 250. The mag rated the Maico a point or two higher than the Ossa. (I am not sure of how the points were calculated) One of the categories that was given a point score was kick stand? Swear to GOD! But heres the gripe. The Maico was sitting on a milk crate as it came with no stand, while the Ossa also w/o a kick stand, was leaning on a supplied foot peg stand. The Maico received a higher point total in this category. Even if the milk crate was better than the foot peg rest, Ossa should have gotten the nod because they at least supplied the kick stand...

  • mikekay

Posted March 20, 2006 - 06:15 PM

#14

My take is that the west coast magazines are very biased.
Some more than others--but for sure there is some funny business going on...

Out of frustration i let my subscription to Dirt Rider lapse this month--and instead got a new subscription to Trailbike and Enduro Magazine - its out of the UK.

SO far i am really digging it.

This month has a huge article on the new Aprilia enduro twins--last month a shoot out on the best 250's (Husqvarna won).

Other articles this month include a look at the TM 250, Trail riding in Utah, and a week in the life of the worlds best off roader--David Knight. Its a bit UK biased--but also surprisingly international. Most of the usual USA suspects are in the mag....

While not for everyone--if you are passionate and prefer to get beyond 17 articles about how to trick out the CRF---consider signing up to TBM. Seems to be sort of the thinking guys dirt bike magazine.

  • RoughR1der

Posted March 20, 2006 - 06:29 PM

#15

Someone already did.


damn...my psychic abilites have misfired once again :thumbsup:

  • MotoRick

Posted March 20, 2006 - 08:20 PM

#16

I keep reading about all these conspiracies and dirty dealings in the magazine business and I have to wonder where some people get this shit from? I've worked for motorcycle magazines for the past 13 years and in the industry even longer, and not one dime of payola has ever crossed my palm or even been offered. As for getting together with other mags to boost sales, yeah, right. Magazines generally have a 2-4 month lead time to produce. When new models come out each magazine gets a test bike around the same time. There's no way for them to "share" test info in order to make sure that each comes out with a different result. There is tremendous rivalry between mags and no editor or staff editor would engage in such nonsense. Credibility is everything and such shenanigans diminish credibility. Yeah there's some swag and free dinners thrown around, but any journalist that can be bought off will have a short career, I guarantee you. It's a small industry and people move around a lot. Having a rep as a manufacturer's shill doesn't get you many call backs.

Reviews differ mainly because the editorial focus and philosophy of magazines and their staffs differ. Do you really expect the reviews from Transworld MX or MXA to be similar to what Dirt Rider or Dirt Bike have to say? They each have their focus right in their name. TWMX and MXA are motocross magazines. Their sensibilities are geared towards motocross and racing. Dirt Rider and Dirt Bike have broader sensibilities and their reviews often reflect that. Look at the guys at the top, the editors. MXA's Jody Weasel is a track guy. He lives to race on tracks. TWMX's Donn Maeda is also a track guy, but he has freestyle tendencies. DR's Jimmy Lewis is an avid off-road guy that races enduros and Dakar rallies. And the Dirt Bike guys, well they're a bunch of old desert riders.

Bottom line, each magazine's reviews are different because the criterion of the people behind the testing and writing are different. If you really need to read another rider's opinion to make up your mind, then do as I said earlier and find the magazine whose style and test riders match your own level of ability and riding style and go with that. But as for this nonsense that we motojournalists are a bunch of unscrupulous whores with nefarious ties to anyone willing to slip us some cash, that's just ridiculous, unfounded banter on the internet. It's only true of everyone that doesn't work for Dirt Rider.


That last part was a joke, of course. :thumbsup:

  • RoughR1der

Posted March 20, 2006 - 10:35 PM

#17

i guess bikes are usually so close every year that how they are finally ranked depends on the things you mentioned. what does make me question the mags, specifically, after mxa test rode the yz450. they opened the article with claims like "if you are a fan of world changing events" and "the yz450 is the equv. of the fall of the berlin wall". they go on to say: q. is the yz better than all the others? a: "Yes. Unequvocally better." finally they say "This is without a doubt the best 450cc mx bike sold.".

These are some really bold statements IMO. Maybe sensationalism is used more in mags these days, I dont have any subscriptions so I dont know. Or, they really beleive this since this bike suites their "style". All I know is, I would assume after reading their article (and appearantly wrong), that other mags would also be so stoked on the bike that it would finish no worse than 2nd. especially since it has the more diverse 5 speed compared to the kawi.

i suppose it all comes down to what you stated above, but i still find it .questionable

  • wpsnowman

Posted March 21, 2006 - 09:23 AM

#18

Thats pretty much what I am refering too. The statement above hits the nail on the head. Just such a drastic differance. I really wasn't refering to pay out or bribes, Just major differances which seems to be explained above.
I will say though that HI horse power(Human Impression) I found a little off beat and if they did have that there should have also been the actual HP graph.

  • wpsnowman

Posted March 21, 2006 - 09:27 AM

#19

Oh yeah! Forgot love the site. Great info and fourms very informational. Plus I don't need to goto bar any more and discuss politics and religon to get a good debate going...LOL :thumbsup:

  • MotoRick

Posted March 21, 2006 - 09:47 AM

#20

Rough, I understand your hesitation. Just remember one thing: magazines are about entertainment and commerce. They aren't bibles, they aren't manuals. They are put together by humans with preconceived notions, experiential biases, and all the other personality traits we humans have and develop over time. Try as we might to be objective, objectivity can be a moving target. Not because we're dishonest, but because some biases and personal outlook are ingrained in us from years of living. And the commerce side does have some impact, although not in the corrupt way some people think. Despite how hard we work to write good articles, the reality is they'll probably end up as fish wrap or bird cage liner long before anyone considers them for a Pulitzer. :thumbsup:





Related Content

Forums
Photo

Megabomb Fitment by 288yz450


Dirt Bike   Make / Model Specific   Yamaha   YZ 400/426/450
  • 1 reply
Reviews

Yamaha YZ450F 2017 by Chris.GVS


Yamaha YZ450F 2017
  • - - - - -
  • 0 reviews
Forums
Photo
Motocross

Thinking about Yamaha 250... by Arctic Pride


Dirt Bike   Special Interest Forums   Pro Racing
  • Hot  491 replies
Forums
Photo

2016 YZ450 by CaptainKnobby


Dirt Bike   Dirt Bike Technical Forums   Suspension
  • Hot  59 replies
Forums
Photo

Michigan Motocross Tires by 288yz450


Dirt Bike   Dirt Bike Regional Discussion   North
  • 1 reply
 
x

Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.