Earlier today I read Gabe Ets-Hokin’s article “It Ain’t the Tool: Revisited” on motorcycle.com. I dropped him a note telling him I thought it was a good article. He replied, “Of course – because your bike won.”
I got thinking about it, because in a way he was right, I liked that these expert moto-journalists picked the bike that I happen to have in my garage as the one they’d own – if push came to shove. But then I got to thinking, that really wasn’t why I liked the article. I liked the article because Gabe gave a lot of ink to what really matters in choosing one bike over another – what is the best fit for the type of riding that you like to do the most. And most bike magazines today are very short on this important part of picking a new bike.
If you get your biggest kick on track days and occasionally transfer those skills to some empty backroad twisties, ultimately you won’t be happy with the V-Strom. If you happen to live in Phoenix and riding four hours to the grand canyon to explore some dirt roads with the best views before heading home is your idea of a good time, you may not find the Honda 599 all that comfortable. And there are many points in between, and even more on the other edges, e.g. those getting their thrills by how much air they get on each jump, or what their pals say when they drive up to the bar with the latest custom chopper.
One point of the article might have been “don’t buy a bike that some group of moto-journalists like best, buy a bike right for you.”