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Australian bike journalists

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Tack, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. I've got a bit of an issue with Motorcycle journalisim in Australia at the moment. I just don't reckon these guys are telling us how it is or giving us real informed unbiased opinion so that we can choose our next bike or even get a real idea of what's what in the bike stakes.

    I just bought AMCN. I was interested in the Master bike article. It seems a whole lot of journalists from motorcycle mags all over the world ride a heap of bikes and then choose the best bike in each category and then the overall Masterbike for 2005. I think thats how it works anyway.

    The journalists names are listed, which country they are from, which mag they represent and their bike experience. There are quite a number of ex 125cc racers, superbike and supersport racers as well as very experienced long time riders. The Australian journalist from AMCN was Sam Maclachlan.

    This months edition was for a class they call the maxisport masterbike. Three bikes were compared were the GSX-R750, Aprilia RSV-R Factory and the Ducati 999s.

    They picked the Ducati as the class winner for Maxisport masterbike, which is fine, it might be a good bike, I dunno but here's the thing that bugged me about this test. This journalist Sam Maclachlan reckons that the Ducati was visiably the fastest:

    Quote: "He was burying the front wheel into the turns as hard as any racebike, and the corner speed he held was actually visibly faster than the other two bikes in the class."

    Well you know what....the fastest time for the Ducati was a 1:43.559. The second placed Aprilia fastest time was a 1:43.810 and the third placed bike was the suzuki on a 1:43.945. We're talking fractions of seconds here so I don't believe that you would be able to see any visible difference. Maybe top speeds would give you an idicator of performance? Well the lowely Suzuki's top speed was 246km/h, the Aprilia was 254km/h and the Ducati was 247km/h. :?:

    Then to top it off this is coming from a journalist who's fastest time on the suzuki was 6.2 sec slower than the fastest rider on the Suzuki, 8.8sec slower on the Aprilia and 6.4 sec slower on the Ducati. I dunno what you guys think but from where I come from thats as slow as a wet week. He might be a good journalist and not a bad bloke but he certainly not a real quick rider. How can he judge a bikes real performance if he is so much slower than some other guy at the same track, on the same day, on the same bike.
  2. Sam Maclachlan has competed in many classes of road racing in Australia and is pretty damn good rider.
    The guys you are comparing him to are racers in the world 125cc GP, supersport and superbike classes. Does that answer your question as to why he is 6 or 8 seconds slower than them??? I'd like to see you try and come within 30 seconds of these guys...
  3. Journos, what do they know.

    Give the bikes to the "Average Joe" to test.
    One that isnt looking at riding it at 10/10ths because bugger me if 90% of bike owners get anywhere near any bikes limits.
  4. Exactly.

    If bikes were that easy to ride fast, then we'd all be chasing Rossi for the title....

    Or as Allan Moffatt was fond of saying, "if racing was easy, anyone would be doing it.."
  5. Most of the bike tests seem to be uncritical "write-ups", and you have to wonder how much has been cribbed from press releases.

    I think bike testing in Oz is a nice cosy little club, one that's well overdue for a shake-up.
  6. Bike testing thou is very subjective at the best of times, add in teh other variables such as time of day, weather, bike set up etc, etc, etc and so many things can cloud things, not to mention if there were any incentives to write in a particular way. With that many bikes and that many journos riding around you can imagine how busy the day would be. I would not be surprised if some journos get confused about which bike their comments are based on. Bottom line thou is to really make your own choice based on you. Another opinion can be a guide and perhaps highlight some aspects that you may not have considered. But still just because one person thinks "it has better brakes" doesnt mean you will feel the same.

  7. If he were a pretty damn good rider he would be closer to the best times. 1 or 2 secs is a pretty damn good rider, 6 or 8 is a pretty average rider. After all we are not comparing him to Rossi, Doohan or any person of that calibre. These guys may have raced in World superbike, but who are they? They're not champions.

    Do you have to be world champion to comment on another persons riding? Your saying that I cannot look at an article and make a subjective judgement on something because , in your opinion, I would not be able to get within 30secs of that time.
  8. I dunno what you guys think... but I have a real problem with this guy Tack's bike journo commentary.

    He might be a good guy and not a bad journalist, but he's certainly not a real quick rider. How can he judge a blokes real performance if he rides a GPX250... (is so much slower than some other guy) ;)

    Seriously tack... when you can join us slow guys down in the 1:50's around phillip island and look at the times of people like the people you are bagging with witfulness... then maybe you'll be able to call someone slow *grin*

    Don't forget... if you call someone slow you have to be prepared to back it up!
  9. wooohoooo unruley mob unruley mob unruley mob,

    i disagree with both of you, you can watch a race of any kind and call someone slow without haveing to beat them, although if someone gave me a go i wouldn't complain, 6-8 seconds on a track really isn't drastic at all, maybe a couple of positions in an actually race. However if a journalist is saying a bike is visably faster without adding anything to it (line or lean), put me down for 100k a year... if you call you mate slow you better be goin down the next hill fairly quick, or you might catch a case of foot in mouth or generally known as foot up @ss

    oranges smell like peaches... mmmm
  10. I think one thing that you have to remember that most of the bike journalism is subjective. It is still opinion of the writer. While in the Masterbike shootout they try and eliminate some of that subjectiveness by giving points for the fastest bike overall around the track as well as individual riders fastest times. Therefore rider X might ride bike A around the track in the fastest time of the day. Bike A therefore gets points for being the fastest overall and points because it was rider X's fastest time.
    Handling is all about the feel of the bike. Again the opinion of someone. I might like the feel of Bike A but not Bike B someone might have that opinion reversed. A lot of these riders may not be able to ride the bike to within 80% of the bikes capabilities but they are still able to formulate an opinion of how the bikes handle, although they might not show up quirks that appear in the final 20%.
    I'm not an experienced rider, in fact I'm a learner and could probably only ride most 250's to 20% of their capability but I would still be able to formulate an opinion of what the bikes feel like to me. I might not be able to ride the lastest RS250 while scraping my knees along the ground but I would still be able to form an opinion of how it compares with my lowly CB250.
    There are the dyno, facts and figures that can determine which bike is the most powerful, fastest etc (which in the Masterbike the bikes get awarded points for) but things like handling, comfort and grin factor that are subjective opinion. It could be argued that the faster a person can take a bike round the track then the better it handles but this is not necessarily the case. The rider might be more comfortable on that bike and therefore be able to push it further, this would show up then in the timing and the bike gets points because it was a rider's fastest time, even though it was not the bike's fastest time.
    Sam Mac was asked by the Kawasaki to ride in the Aust SBKs and he came 17th, that in my opinion is someone that can ride a bike. But again a lot of what he writes is his opinion.
  11. Must admit to not reading any of the Aussie mags anymore. I have bought one or two in the past, but never found them particularly interesting or informative and yes, the journalism is shabby.

    What we really need is an Australian version of MCN & Ride.
  12. We have an Australian version of MCN it's called AMCN.
  13. But it's crap... & ... er, different.
  14. ... just my opinion you understand ...

    Don't want to offend anyone ;-)
  15. For all the poms on this site, the best pommy mag on sale at the moment is TWO (Two wheels only). Its not that hard to find if you go into any big newsagents. It blows away the old stuff like perforance bikes and MCN.

  16. I guess, in the end, personally testriding the machines will make up your mind. :)
  17. from the few magazines ive read lately, it does seem that a lot of the journos are more concerned with haw fast the bike canget from 0-Mach3 than how it handles or comfort.

    perhaps the need to include joe average on these panels too...just to give an average riders perspective.
  18. I personally don't place much faith in bike reviews. While some journo may love the bike I may hate it. People want different things from thier bike and what suits one person won't suit everyone else. Thats the reason there is so much choice in todays market and we are all better for it.

    I say ride them yourself and buy the one that feels right to you and puts the biggest grin on your face :D
  19. And perhaps in the end if the type of bike you like comes in a number of makes and are similar in performance, then base the choice on colour. :)
  20. I think that is 6-8 seconds per lap not_sane, not per race distance, which over a 27 lap race would work out to between 2minutes 42 seconds @ 6 seconds per lap to 3 minutes and 36 seconds @ 8 seconds per lap :eek: :LOL:
    Your foot might need some deodorant me thinks.