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Is it just me? or are all bike reviews positive?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by GreenNinja, May 6, 2007.

  1. Is it just me? or are all bike reviews positive 99 % of the time, they'll say one or two things wrong with it such as ride position and thats it.

    Are all bikes really that good?

    I find that the comparisons are way more useful.
  2. Being such a competitive market, most bikes these days are bloody good.

    Look up virtually any modern or even older bike and their are hoards of owners that love their machine.

    Most reviews take into consideration the price range of the bike. They're not gonna say for example the hornet 600 is poor compared to the gixxer 1000....they're in a totally different price range.

    Reviews do mention fuel injection, brakes, suspension, engine, quality etc which is really useful.
  3. I think livingstonest is right - they just don't build 'bad' bikes like they used to!

    Also, it's not good form to dish out an overly negative review. I imagine it'd be harder to secure test bikes if you're brutally honest.
  4. EDIT : Nice post cb250
  5. Bikes are a lot better these days, that's for sure. All the same, I can think of a few reasons why reviews tend to be so overwhelmingly positive:

    The biggest one is simply that magazines and websites are dependent on advertising, largely from the same manufacturers whose products they are reviewing. It is not a healthy relationship as far as I am concerned. Just the other day I was reading how the editor-in-chief at PC World magazine told his staff that product reviews were too critical of vendors, especially ones who advertise in the magazine, and that they had to start being nicer to advertisers. PC World is a computer magazine - but the forces at play are the same.

    The second reason is that some problems, faults and quirks only show with time and with wide use. But most reviews are rushed, because the readers are waiting for information on the new products - there is no time for in-depth long term evaluation. Also, reviews are often based on the sample of one, especially in a small country like Australia, there might be only one bike available to the entire press in the country. Painting a general picture based on a sample of one is a risky business, statistically speaking.

    (This is even more of an issue when it comes to riding gear, because the only way to find out how it will stand out to prolonged use is to subject it to prolonged use, and the only way to find out how it will protect you in the crash is to crash it - and even there can be a lot of variation. Take two seemingly identical RJays rain suits, for example - one will leak, the other might not... I know something about that...)

    The third reason is the matter of perspective. I think most motoring journos are first and foremost enthusiasts and sport riders. They love their bikes, they love having fun with them and that's great - but that causes them to overlook some everyday details that matter to people who use their bikes everyday, on the street. You'd see a lot more critical reviews if I were writing them, because I would immediately fail any bike that has trouble finding neutral or showing clear view in the mirrors, for example. Zero points - back to the starting line, thank you! I don't care how great it handles on the track (where only 5% of sports bikes ever go, according to Honda) - if it can't get the basics right, it's a fail, end of story. Reviewers on the other hand can easily gloss over such details as long as they have fun on the track. But having fun for a day then giving the bike back is one thing, living with it day to day is quite another.

    All of the above is not meant as a great criticism - reviews are fun to read, as long as we are aware of their limitations. Luckily, we now have the net and various forums, where 'real' people post their impressions and experiences. I think if you're serious about getting information you have to pay them at least as much attention as you pay to the stuff written by professional reviewers. And finally, you have to try for yourself and form your own opinion - the only right one :)
  6. Yes! The net is great for that kind of stuff.
  7. I would like to see more in depth reviews,

    In particular, putting the bikes in the different roles that many riders subject their bikes too, eg commuting, touring, sports riding and track work. A score out of 10 in each category could be given

    Magazines tend to test bikes in the environment it was designed for (in other words, sports bikes on racetracks, tourers on highways, etc)

    In reality, while owners may use their bikes in that way, they will probabaly also use it for other forms of rding as well.

    Someone who commutes and does track days, may buy a CBR1000 over a GSXR1000 if they know that the Honda while not good at commuting is better at it than the GSXR1000. Others may just buy the bike that is the best in the category they value the most.

    This style of testing would cater for both types of riders

    Disclaimer: the eg about the CBR1000 and GSXR1000 is for illustrative purposes only, I have no idea which one is better at commuting!
  8. Haven't you noticed that each year the latest 600 or 1000 race-rep is the absolute dog's bollocks, and pisses all over last year's model?

    And a year later it's comprehensively trounced by the latest version?

    Sorry, but I'm very cynical about the reliance of bike journos on press packs. And they seem very willing to regurgitate whatever the manufacturers tell them about their new models, without questioning their claims.

    Of course, if you get too critical you might not get that all-expenses-paid trip to the next model launch in South Africa/California/Spain/wherever. And that would never do, would it?

    Take a huge pinch of salt before reading any bike test. Then ride the bike yourself and make up your own mind!
  9. You're right,

    and the new bike always seems to cure all these faults with the previous model,

    faults the tester never mentioned in their original test of the old bike!
  10. BIKE magazine in England do a fair job of reporting without fear or favour. When the FZ1 came out they absolutely panned it for its terrible fuelling, even comparing it with an old Fazer and saying they preferred the older bike.

    The market here is so small and so incestuous that no-one dares write a bad report. So we become the testers (those of us with enough money to buy a new bike, that is :LOL:).
  11. This is always especially funny when the new model is a sticker upgrade and somedifferent indicator stalks to the previous year.

    To be honest. The average punter (and the average motorbike magazine writer) can barely go close to using the performance envelope of most of said race reps so can't really tell much difference between them.

    Are you going to be able to tell the instrument panel has been made using a new manufacturing process that saves 26 grams? Didnt think so.
  12. Yeah. Lose some weight instead! (Or hang a turd before going for a blat)