Author Topic: 'Cycle World' Review of Himalayan  (Read 677 times)

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Bilgemaster

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on: December 27, 2020, 02:30:22 pm
I stumbled upon a nice little review from Cycle World titled, A 3,500-Mile Royal Enfield Himalayan Summer: No need to travel far to find a sense of adventure  By Peter Egan (October 16, 2020) at https://www.cycleworld.com/story/motorcycle-reviews/3500-mile-royal-enfield-himalayan-summer/

It's a good read, and a cursory search of past postings leads me to believe it hasn't already been mentioned here.
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.

(Legal enough to pass muster if they don't look too closely in Woodbridge, Virginia, where the buses don't run at night, holidays or weekends and I'm a contender for 'Village Idiot')


zimmemr

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Reply #1 on: December 27, 2020, 04:08:31 pm
That was nice story, Egan is a terrific scribe. If my memory serves me, no sure thing these days, that story ran online sometime last week. For those of you that don't know; The online basic version of Cycle World is free, and different issues will appear in your in box a few times a week. Having free access to Kevin Cameron is like having the voice of God, whispering in your ear. FWIW Cycle News is also free online and has just about every bit of info you need if you're a race fan.


AzCal Retred

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Reply #2 on: December 27, 2020, 09:24:06 pm
Amen Brother!  ;D
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Toni59

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Reply #3 on: January 05, 2021, 01:47:06 am
Thankā€˜s for the link!

Nicely written  :D

I can confirm all his findings....

Toni


Karl Fenn

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Reply #4 on: February 24, 2021, 05:06:00 pm
The only problem l find with motorcycle journalists is some have a tendency to right porkies and target their own criticisms at a particular kind of bike that in reality has no factual basis, l often wonder if it's like the real world of reporting where they take a blind mans backhander.


oldphart

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Reply #5 on: February 25, 2021, 06:25:57 am
The only problem l find with motorcycle journalists is some have a tendency to right porkies and target their own criticisms at a particular kind of bike that in reality has no factual basis, l often wonder if it's like the real world of reporting where they take a blind mans backhander.

I gave up on road tests when I got sick of 'this year's bike is perfect and addresses all the issues with last year's bike'... which was, of course, perfect itself.

The Himalayan (and possibly other Enfields) really suffers from breathy fabrication and quite often, no evidence that the 'tester' even rode the thing. Certainly most road tests are obviously reinforcing already held stereotypes.
Grandpa Slow

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Richard230

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Reply #6 on: February 25, 2021, 02:27:47 pm
I gave up on road tests when I got sick of 'this year's bike is perfect and addresses all the issues with last year's bike'... which was, of course, perfect itself.

The Himalayan (and possibly other Enfields) really suffers from breathy fabrication and quite often, no evidence that the 'tester' even rode the thing. Certainly most road tests are obviously reinforcing already held stereotypes.

I have been reading magazine road tests since the February 1962 Cycle World issue, which I still have. (Before that it was the Clymer Cycle magazine which was more of a multi-page advertisement that you had to buy yourself.) I have always found the magazine reviews interesting, although they became less so when the internet and YouTube became a thing. But you are absolutely correct with your observation regarding the magazines saying that the new version is now perfect and corrected the problems with last year's perfect model, whose problems were never mentioned.   ::)

I have a longtime friend who used to be a freelance magazine motorcycle new model reviewer. He specialized in new BMW models and during the 1990's he was flown to exotic locations where he was wined and dined by BMW and then got to ride the new model around beautiful local back roads. But then he bought a new BMW bike for himself and started noticing issues with it, including poor assembly and advertised functions that didn't work properly. He then made the mistake of writing an article regarding his problems with that new BMW model that came to the attention of BMW. He was then blackballed throughout the industry. He was no longer invited to review new BMW bikes and none of the major magazines, including Cycle World, would publish any of his articles. He finally reverted to writing user technical articles for companies that made products that did not have anything to do with motorcycles.

As I am sure you are aware, print magazines have always depended upon advertisements to stay afloat and they have always had to kiss the butt of their advertisers with good product reviews if their staff writers wanted to keep their jobs - as well as being flown to exotic locations to be wined and dined to see the latest new motorcycle models.  ::) As always, take any review, written or of the YouTube variety, with a large grain of salt.  ;)
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zimmemr

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Reply #7 on: February 25, 2021, 03:48:06 pm
I have been reading magazine road tests since the February 1962 Cycle World issue, which I still have. (Before that it was the Clymer Cycle magazine which was more of a multi-page advertisement that you had to buy yourself.) I have always found the magazine reviews interesting, although they became less so when the internet and YouTube became a thing. But you are absolutely correct with your observation regarding the magazines saying that the new version is now perfect and corrected the problems with last year's perfect model, whose problems were never mentioned.   ::)

I have a longtime friend who used to be a freelance magazine motorcycle new model reviewer. He specialized in new BMW models and during the 1990's he was flown to exotic locations where he was wined and dined by BMW and then got to ride the new model around beautiful local back roads. But then he bought a new BMW bike for himself and started noticing issues with it, including poor assembly and advertised functions that didn't work properly. He then made the mistake of writing an article regarding his problems with that new BMW model that came to the attention of BMW. He was then blackballed throughout the industry. He was no longer invited to review new BMW bikes and none of the major magazines, including Cycle World, would publish any of his articles. He finally reverted to writing user technical articles for companies that made products that did not have anything to do with motorcycles.

As I am sure you are aware, print magazines have always depended upon advertisements to stay afloat and they have always had to kiss the butt of their advertisers with good product reviews if their staff writers wanted to keep their jobs - as well as being flown to exotic locations to be wined and dined to see the latest new motorcycle models.  ::) As always, take any review, written or of the YouTube variety, with a large grain of salt.  ;)

Full disclosure: I was technical editor at a major motorcycle magazine, which I'd prefer not to name for 15 years, and did freelance and on staff work for several others prior to that. Everything you say is 100% accurate. I can tell you that the OEM's would routinely ask for "clarification" whenever something they didn't like was printed. I also know of several instances when they demanded a sit down with the editors and publishers where they made it perfectly clear that they'd pull their advertising if we ever ran something like that again. I once commented that it was a good thing a particular bike's rear brake turned on the brake light, because other than that it served no purpose, and spent the next week defending my statement to the editor, who'd never ridden the bike and the OEM. Who's main argument was that it was a price point issue.

 At one time I worked for Rick "Super Hunky" Seiman, Editor in Chief of Dirt Bike Magazine, by turns he lost the Suzuki, Husqvarna, and Maico accounts and eventually his job, because he refused to gloss over problems with their bikes.

I can also tell you that during press intros the companies would go out of their way to keep us entertained, I know of one instance when hookers were supplied during a sport bike intro. And we always found gifts from the OEM in our motel rooms on arrival. At a metric cruiser intro, one of the sales managers handed me a box of premium Macanudo cigars, and said "We hope you enjoy these as much as we expect you to enjoy the new XYZ. "

During my time in the industry I found the majority of journos to be honest and ethical guys, some more so than others, but as a rule there was a decent level of integrity there. Unfortunately there was also a dark underbelly, everyone knew they needed to keep the advertisers happy, because without them they couldn't stay in business, which in turn led to a lot of cynicism at least in private. To bad few of the "bold new graphics" jokes ever made it into print.

So yeah, always take any press review no matter where you see or read it with a very large grain of salt.


9fingers

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Reply #8 on: March 04, 2021, 05:05:47 pm
I remember Super Hunky well! Very entertaining guy and I loved Dirt Bike when I was in Highschool. On the subject of magazine reviews......I spent many years in the high end Audio industry and it was well known that most magazine reviews of audio equipment were unreliable at best. Stereo Review, for one, would send a PRE review to the device manufacturer for approval. Some units they tested could not meet spec and their reviews never saw print. And I was once interviewed for a piece in Stereo Review and I was to recommend a system upgrade for audiophiles that wanted to become videophiles. Some of the equipment I recommended was not widely available through the USA, so they would not let me recommend it and I had to substitute other more widely available equipment. Like recommending a Royal Enfield and them not letting you because there weren't enough dealers.
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zimmemr

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Reply #9 on: March 04, 2021, 06:57:58 pm
I remember Super Hunky well! Very entertaining guy and I loved Dirt Bike when I was in Highschool. On the subject of magazine reviews......I spent many years in the high end Audio industry and it was well known that most magazine reviews of audio equipment were unreliable at best. Stereo Review, for one, would send a PRE review to the device manufacturer for approval. Some units they tested could not meet spec and their reviews never saw print. And I was once interviewed for a piece in Stereo Review and I was to recommend a system upgrade for audiophiles that wanted to become videophiles. Some of the equipment I recommended was not widely available through the USA, so they would not let me recommend it and I had to substitute other more widely available equipment. Like recommending a Royal Enfield and them not letting you because there weren't enough dealers.
9fingers

9Fingers: Given your background I was wondering if you ever ran across a fellow named John Taylor? He was the original importer of Bultaco and OSSA motorcycles and went on to design high end audio equipment. His claim to fame was a system he designed for Sony Theaters, at least that's what I'm told, I only met him a few times and we never discussed his post motorcycle life.

BTW Rick was piece of work, I once got a panicky call from one of the secretaries, Rick had come back from lunch falling down drunk and was chasing her and the art director around the office. Rick was a very tough guy, he won a bronze medal as an Olympic weight lifter, but the art directors husband was an Olympic level boxer, so I think it might have been a fairly even match. Fortunately I got him out of there before any harm was done.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2021, 07:03:05 pm by zimmemr »