The Hidden Costs of Motorcycling

How much does a modern motorcycle cost? As with perennial questions regarding the length of string, the answer is always “it depends”. But it’s easy to forget that the showroom price tag is just the tip of the iceberg. Every year you pay for your share of the potholes with the road fund license, shield…

Does Suzuki have a future?

With the global economy about to swan-dive into depths not seen for more than a century and many European governments piling on the pressure to speed up the transition to zero-tailpipe-emissions motoring, many are arguing that motorcycling faces an uncertain future. Some manufacturers are well-positioned and making positive steps to prepare for difficult times ahead,…

Unusual & Infrequent Maintenance

How many of you have ever actually looked at the section of your bike’s owner’s manual titled “Service schedule”? At best, you’ve maybe glanced at the long list, noted the intervals, and made a note to drop your bike off with your dealer or independent mechanic at the specified mileages. The problem with this hands-off…

Is Motorcycle Journalism Broken?

A family relative recently advised me that they would be cancelling their subscription to a mainstream motorcycle magazine, commenting that they found my own reviews more useful and interesting than those written by apparently more experienced and certainly more professional motorcycle journalists. He complained that the reviews were all overly positive, with no real-world detail…

The End of an Era?

As we reach the end of the decade and another season packed with motorcycle shows has wrapped up it’s worth reflecting once more on where the last ten years have brought us, and where we might be going. The age of the superbike is over, and the age of the hyperbike has begun. But so,…

One Bike to Rule them all?

Motorcyclists, on average, own more than one motorcycle. Only truly hardcore automotive enthusiasts own more than one car, the financial and logistical constraints of the format conspiring to ensure that even most performance-oriented cars need to be able to function as someone’s only mode of practical transport. Motorcycles don’t have that problem.

Motorcycles

State of the Industry, Part 3: Bikes

Originally published in Slipstream magazine, April 2017. Welcome to the third and final part of our series examining the state and future of the motorcycle industry. Congratulations if you’ve made it this far, and hopefully some of the facts, figures and arguments put forward in the first two-part have resonated somewhat, or at last made you…

Suzuki Booth

State of the Industry, Part 2: Dealerships

Originally published in Slipstream magazine, March 2016. Welcome back for the second part in our three-part series analysing the State of the Motorcycling Industry. Some of you let us know last month that you were surprised at how opinionated the piece was, and you know what – you’re absolutely right. It’s my opinion that the motorcycle…

Suzuki Advert

State of the Industry, Part 1: Marketing

Originally published in Slipstream magazine, February 2018. It’s been another year of launches, announcements and behind-the-scenes news from the global Motorcycle Industry. Some of it is business as usual, still more represents continuing trends, but beneath it all lies evidence of growing bewilderment and panic amongst the world’s top manufacturers that evidences itself in almost everything…