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Peter Thoeming- just go away, please

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Heinz_Guderian, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. This thread is an unapologetic rant against Australia's worst motorcycle 'journalist', Peter 'The Bear' Thoeming.

    It is inspired by his latest attack on the Japanese in yesterday's Rural Press newspapers, where he is part of a syndicated Auto Section package that is printed in all Rural Press's Saturday classified lift-outs. This means he can't be got rid of, because the papers buy the whole package of stories cheap, and it can't be cut up. I have spoken to motoring editors at several Rural Press titles over the years, and they agree that Thoeming is rubbish but they can't pay for other reviews, can't have them done free (paid journos would object), and thus it's Thoeming or no motorcycle content at all. I even went to several shops in Canberra (Thoeming appears in the Canberra Times) and asked them to help me bring this to the attention of the ditors: after all, Thoeming's reviews were onyl ever positive for BMW and Harley-Davidson, and thus basically did nothing for the motorcycle business sector in that town (BMW are sold through the car dealers in Canberra). Even the shop owners told me they'd been through this before and it was hopeless.

    Thoeming is a tourer. I would even go so far as to say he is capable of doing a thoughtful review of a BMW K100, but beyond that, his racist, stuck-in-the-70s attitudes and utter inability to push a bike to its limits becomes obvious and inhibiting. Because he can't ride even fast-ish, he is incapable of appreciating technical excellence. He constantly refers to Japanese bikes in patronising tones as though they're all the same, and his references to 'Japanese this..' and that are incessant as they are sickening. He benchmarks everything against BMW as though they are the unquestioned leaders of the touring segment, not just one of several competing manufacturers.

    Another stock-in Thoeming-trade, and the reason I got pissed off this week, is his review of the Yamaha Scorpio (commuter 225)... firstly, why even review this bike, it's just a standard market segment-filler, an honest unpretentious bike just like 250 commuters have always been, but no, for Thoeming its another opportunity to quote gleefully the Yamaha press blurb, because in Thoeming land only the Japanese are guilty of laughably over the top sales rhetoric. He NEVER finds fault with the Europeans for this.

    Thoeming, your time came and went at least ten years ago. Please leave and let real riders and real writers review bikes. Hell, it might even help the industry.

    • Like Like x 1
  2. Interesting. I quite like Thoeming and his whimsical storytelling. But there ya go.
  3. people of netrider

    do not mock yamaha to pants [hienz]

    such action will hit sore spot

    you have been warned

    oh pants! i agree, that's awful, how dare he! :LOL:

    sure, the mags aren't able to fire him, but what about the people who make the 'package' thing you speak of?

    surely you can tell them how unimpressed you are or suggest a new guy/girl for sports bikes.

    1 person complaining wont change anything, but many people over many years will make a difference and its getting close, i can feel it.

    so when the shop keeper says 'been there, tried that', it doesnt mean it's a lost cause. the editors will talk to the package people if the consumers are not happy with the product.
  4. As a subscriber to Roadrider magazine, and therefore a long-time reader of the Bear, I'm sorry to have to say that your complaint is full of glaring generalisations and irrelevant bile, heinz. Roadrider tests all sorts of bikes, not just Harleys and BMWs, and the Bear has an opinion on them all. The magazine is currently creating a cafe-racer custom project, based on a Hyosung 650!

    And the fact that his writings are syndicated so widely puts you in the extreme minority, I fear :p.
  5. There's nothing irrelevant about my bile. Irreverent maybe... also I specifically avoided generalising by detailing my complaints... quotes to follow in coming weeks.

    I have to admit I haven't looked inside a Road Rider mag for many years... something about the re-print of distributor-released photos on the front, rather than paying a real photographer to produce original work. Good luck to you if you are into his touring advice- as I said he knows this stuff. But that's a small percentage of the market and Thoeming is out of his depth on 90% of bikes.

    Syndicated means nothing. Ewan Kennedy's car reviews are what sells the package, and it won't change because the package is an oligarchy... your argument proves Thoeming's popularity and genius the same way Woolworths and Coles own all the supermarkets because of their incredibly fresh fruit and veges.

    There is no question he did NOTHING for the bike industry in Canberra, and that his 'reviews' were ignored by and irrelevant to the vast majority of riders.

    Will his GT650 be track tested/dynoed against a standard bike? Or will readers be left with a styling exercise and a bunch of hot air? Maybe I'm slamming a soft target, but the fact is to build up rubbish is to diminish those who do motorcycle journalism properly.
  6. honestly i'm in the same opinion as loz, and how is he biased to harleys and bmws, his rides are a gsx1300r busa, and a vulkarie, and he also has a little scooter, all of which are japanese?

    If you don't like his opinion don't read the reveiws in the paper, or motorcycle trader

    just because his reveiw doesn't favour your opinion on a motorcycle doesn't mean it's incorrect, everyone has their own likes and dis-likes, difference is, his opinion is being published
  7. *deep breath*

    The issue is that you can't 'just not read his opinion' because it's in every motoring section in Australia because it's part of the syndicated package bought by News Limited and Rural Press (now Fairfax). So for instance this weekend his Scorpio review is in the Launceston Examiner and his Triumph Tiger review is in the Hobart Mercury. They are the only newspapers available down here... and that goes for most Australian cities. And those cities have bike shops and potential bike riders who are being disadvantaged.

    Incidentally, his Tiger review is a masterpiece of the guy's shambling style, anyone who can read it and work out what he means by an 'Old Tiger' is a better man than I (he calls it 'the first model' but it can't be the 1946 version because he then says 'they always retained that bit of a dual-purpose edge that made them different from most other bikes on the market before such newcomers as the Multistrada arrived'. Note the implication that the Multistrada was the seminal and representative dual-purpose bike, not a marginal niche-filler).

    Well okay, you say, he's talking about the first Hinkley Triumph Tiger, which would indeed gel with his description of a 'top-heavy and brutal' bike. But why say this 1993, second-generation Hinkley bike was 'released in the 80s as a competitor for BMW R80G/S'. Still, research, basic knowledge... I'm just being mean, right?

    These are merely specifics- I am more irked by his lazy style and well... I'm accused of generalisations? "Goes like the proverbial cut cat" (why coin a phrase when a cliche will do?), "secure, nimble handling", "suspension was great", "front brakes aren't quite what they might be". None of this would be acceptable for the car reviews, but they are more than enough to be space fillers of marginal interest... and 'marginal' is the only interest bikes will get in these sections.

    The second issue is that I don't care that he disagrees with me (though I feel I'll be wasting my time trying to get this point across...)... the point is that his opinions are based on nothing- he collects no data, provides few insights from his unquestioned millions of years in the industry. I ma happy for anyone to disagree with me- and of course thousands of journos and other do- but I have to have some respect for the opinion. I have to hear some supporting statements, see some evidence, suspect the person knows what they're talking about...

    ... but if others are happy to pay respect to any idiot as long as they're out there trying with a smile on their face, then please by all means.
  8. i would think that he would have been talking about the original 955 tiger opposed to the 1050
  9. Thoeming is an excellent rider who appeals to most mature riders who enjoy touring.
    his Australian roadrider magazine is excellent and having met the man personally he took onboard critiques of his magazine in the early days and did change things around.
  10. Sorry to be another that likes Peter but as I have a fair bit to do with him I enjoy the way he writes and what he writes about. But then I am a tourer and not really interested in how fast the latest jhjdu will go. If you have not read ARR for some years as you say than I suggest you try that first. The mag covers quite a bit or range.

    But I buy AMCN also and sometimes even TW.
  11. Okay, I can see he has his army.

    Personally, I'll just slink back to the magazines that book dyno time and race tracks, collect comparative data to illustrate their impressions, make specific comments in precise terms that the manufacturers can perhaps even use to improve the breed, that test the latest and most exciting bikes that best showcase what the industry can do, while also occasionally picking up the odd basic bike . . . perhaps the fact they these mags often have technically-savvy staff is why their appeal is so very, very narrow.

    Next week: what Alan Cathcart never finds any serious fault with bikes that have put their manufacturers out of business....
    • Like Like x 1
  12. *... my bitching whine refers only to the syndicated column ... folks buying Road Rider know what they're getting and I can understand Thoeming's appeal to this market for the reasons Davo stated ... but that's all the more reason he should not be writing a syndicated column for the general press, any more than Alex Gobert or the Fast Bikes (UK) bovver boys should be. If his journalistic style was able to be stretched, then sure... but it can't so someone better should be promoting our sport to the lay audience.
  13. Heinz no offence intended but you openly trashed Peter and just because the rest of us (so far) do not agree with you this is posted.

    Its a discussion board, you posted your thoughts as you see it and we ours.

    Carry on as you like...
  14. slow down davo!

    his comment

    is witty and funny
  15. hmmm, i dont read any of these mags or articles :p but i suppose this is a good thing in this case, so im unbiased. i do tend to agree with Davo here, as Heinz has put forward a fairly strong opinion, and just because it seems a large majority (so far) has disagreed, he has cracked it so to speak.

    after walking away and getting distracted by a chocolate Drumstick :grin: ive forgot what else i was gonna say, so ill leave it at that :?
  16. I think I was reading one of his sections in the paper the other day. When he started writing about how the HD he was reviewing was a good bike I knew he must be an old fuddy out of his league ;)
  17. From what I've read of Thoeming he tests bikes on public roads, on short and long trips, in all weather conditions and in "real life" situations, rather than on race tracks and dynos. These reviews seem to me to be what the majority of riders would be more interested in. You may be interested in the comparative piston weights of the latest litre sports bikes and are drawn to articles that discuss this in detail. Others may find Peter's style of more interest. Who's to say either is the better medium? You??? Go and start your own magazine like Peter did and we'll see how you go. :wink:
  18. Heinz, you are asking for the sort of reviews I wouldn't bother reading (and that most of the people I ride with wouldn't bother reading).

    I don't care about track performance with road bikes (that is what track bikes are for) with road bikes I want to know how they work on the road, in summer, in winter, loaded with luggage riding for a week or on a sunday arvo up through the twisties.

    The Bear is _good_ at providing that real life everyday use summary.

    And Road Rider is easily the most readable magazine in Australia (which is why I have a subscription).

    So... pull your head in, the Leader motorcycle section is the best bit in the local paper :p
  19. Pete isn't perfect - even though he's my evil twin (my daughter once asked what my picture was doing in ARR :LOL: ) I've disagreed with him by email before. I've also agreed with him.


    Evil Twin

    ARR is a magazine aimed at a very specific market and it does it very well. What Heinz is saying is that due to the syndicated nature of the writing it's all that goes out to the newspapers.

    That's just what 99% of readers don't want in a syndicated automotive column in a newspaper. If you want to go technical then you can always buy AMCN. I want to know more about the "feel" of a bike than about the precise KW or how it handles at 250km/h on the track. Pete Thoeming conveys that very well. I don't find him overly BMW or Harley biased. He makes comments about Japanese bikes - but then there is sometimes a certain "follow-the-leader" attitude among Japanese manufacturers. He is however more likely to praise them than damn them.
  20. aaarrrgghhh, the resemblance is un-bear-able :LOL:.