That said, there are a few riders who’ll be ignoring that and heading into Le Mans looking to depose the new ruler. Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3) arrives closest on the chase thanks to his consistency – and a Doha podium – followed by Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team), who has one 0 but two fourths and a third. Their ability to stay out of trouble, in terms of either causing it or getting tangled in it, has paid dividends and they’ve both been quick to boot. Migno also took a top five in France last season, and the year before, prefaced by a podium in 2018. On both past and current form, the Italian has arguably the best CV at Le Mans.
Zaccone will definitely be on everyone’s radar after his impressive weekend at Jerez, but Le Mans could be a tougher one. Looking ahead to the round in the post-race Press Conference, the Italian explained that the Cup’s 2020 visit had been challenging with the mixed conditions really hampering those who, like him, had never ridden Le Mans before. With only six or seven laps in the bag before E-Pole and then the race, it was a tall order. So he’ll be pushing to keep that consistency, but who else will come out swinging?
We all fight a battle between our opposites selves, between good and evil, between our inner demon and our inner angel. No one is all good or all bad. It’s the vast area in the middle where things get interesting.
When it came to reviewing Peter Jones’ new book, “The Bad Editor: Collected Columns and Untold Tales of Bad Behavior,” I knew I would be biased. I know Peter. I like Peter. We’ve shared lots of laughs and drinks over the years at motorcycle press launches. When I took over as editor-in-chief of Rider, Peter reached out to me and offered to help. Now he writes a monthly column in Rider called “The Moto Life.”
So I asked Denis Rouse, Rider’s founding publisher and a guy who loves reading as much as he loves riding, to review Peter’s book. Denis doesn’t know Peter. Denis is unfiltered and likes controversy. He’s also been in the trenches of the motorcycle industry. Who better to review a book called “The Bad Editor”?
But after reading the review Denis sent me, I knew we needed to zoom out, to take a wider view.
We need interesting people in this world to save us from the khaki-slacks and white-Camry dullness that will swallow us whole if we don’t pry open its jaws and kick out its teeth. Interesting people are complicated. As Whitman would say, they contradict themselves, they are vast and contain multitudes.
Peter is interesting. He has a degree in fine arts and used to work in a museum. He started road racing in his 30s. He had a engine throw a rod between his legs at 199 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats, just missing his chance to join the 200 MPH Club (and luckily escaping without grievous bodily harm). But he later joined the club, clocking 202.247 mph from a standing start on a naturally aspirated production motorcycle at Maxton AFB. Peter has written for every major motorcycle magazine and worked for Pirelli, Öhlins, Kymco and Nitron. He’s written academic papers on philosophy and an as-yet-unpublished book about risk. He’s working on a graphic novel. He’s restoring a 1962 Benelli Sprite 200. Peter also an eclectic taste in shoes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him wear the same pair twice.
You get the idea.
Peter’s new book has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde quality to it. The first 150 pages are devoted to 30 columns he wrote between 1996 and 2002 for Sport Rider, Motorcyclist, American Roadracing and Motorcycle Street & Strip. Many of the columns are about road racing — the mindset of racers, crashing, backmarkers, G-forces and so on.
As Denis puts it: The chapters on road racing are excellent, in particular the one in which our man describes riders of unworldly skill who walk a track before a race and engrave the geometry in their minds to achieve a subconscious sense, some say even a spiritual sense, to negotiate the course at terrifying speeds and lean angles and braking forces that bend the science of physics. Then there’s this painful chapter on expiating guilt that deals with the time Jones crashed his bike in a road race, causing the rider just behind him to do a career-ending crash, that rider being Stewart Goddard, who despite being paralyzed from the chest down as a result of an early moped accident, was doing well enough on the circuits to be an icon at the time. I’m human. I know guilt. How does Jones handle it? I remember how Graham Greene defined its opposite, innocence, as “a blind leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.”
There are also columns about lane-splitting in Los Angeles traffic, being mesmerized by a Supercross race in Las Vegas (a city he fears and loathes), “The Art of the Motorcycle” exhibit at the Guggenheim, owning a clapped-out CB350 and why you should never try to ride a motorcycle with 15 pounds’ worth of brake rotors in a bag slung over your arm, all of which are well-written, thoughtful and entertaining.
Dr. Jekyll is the good guy, the responsible one. He’s not the interesting part of the story. It’s Mr. Hyde’s 19 “Untold Tales of Bad Behavior” that people really want to read.
According to Denis: Jones stirred memories of my own from years as Rider’s publisher of which I’m not particularly proud. Like the time we drove a rental car on the beach in and out of the salt of the surf wash during Daytona Speed Week. Like when I was drinking Lone Stars with tequila shooters at the bar in Gilley’s during the Houston Motorcycle Show and became convinced by colleagues and Harley execs that I could ride the mechanical bull at gringo level without a serious get-off. And the time we were seated at an entertainment club featuring female impersonators, and one of the entertainers came to our table and, well, I won’t go on here, it’s Jones’ book not mine, but there’s related dubiousness in it that’s plenty familiar to me.
What enthusiasts often want to know is, “What really happens at motorcycle press launches?” They don’t care about the 48 hours of travel to spend 36 hours on the ground in Spain to ride a motorcycle for 100 miles. They aren’t interested in how many photo passes you had to do to get the shot, or that you had to ride a motorcycle with DOT tires on a track in the rain. They want the trench coat opened and the naked truth revealed.
Because Peter has a solid moral core, is not out to settle scores and doesn’t name names, his tales of bad behavior feel restrained. The tales lack the prurience we all crave. Peter is self-effacing, humorously pointing out his own foibles and errors in judgment, but the veil of anonymity that protects the not-so innocent left me hungry for more details, for the who, what, when, where and why of what transpired.
Where Peter is more open, though again without pointing fingers at a particular person or brand, is about the delicate balance motojournalists maintain to serve different masters: editors, publishers, readers, advertisers, manufacturers and themselves.
Back to Denis: What rings especially true in the book, and it’s a subject Jones deals with eloquently on several levels as an insider, is the pressure advertisers put to bear on the shoulders of a motorcycle journalist to retain integrity (read: honesty) in the test reporting of machines and related accessories and riding equipment. Advertising is important. The ship goes down without it. But Jones knows it sinks faster when readers no longer trust it.
Motorcycle magazines (and websites) are enthusiast publications. There is a symbiotic relationship between all parties involved, yet the rules of that relationship are not written down or set in stone. As Peter told me in our recent podcast interview, when journalists are reviewing the advertisers’ products, there’s an inherent conflict of interest. Readers want motojournalists to be honest, but only when that honesty aligns with their own biases. When a reader’s favorite motorcycle doesn’t win a comparison test, the reader will sometimes accuse the editors of the magazine of being “in the pocket” of the winning manufacturer, rather than accepting the conclusion that the motorcycle in their garage isn’t the best/fastest/coolest.
As I know from personal experience, no staff editor at a motorcycle magazine gets rich doing their job. It’s a labor of love. Sure, free helmets are involved, but try paying rent or buying groceries with a used helmet and let me know how it turns out for you.
Peter isn’t a bad guy, not in a moral sense, but he has found himself in bad situations.
Denis: The ironic capper comes in the last chapter of the book in which Jones leads several police officers in a life-threatening chase on the Blue Ridge Parkway. He was speeding way over the posted 45, in a national park no less, when he caught the pursuant attention of the law. The deal ends at a dead end, and Jones is promptly arrested, ordered to lie prone on the ground with his hands cuffed behind him, with an officer’s knee planted on his back. Off he goes to the Graybar Hotel. End of book.
Was a felony conviction added to his resume? He says no but more detail to come in Volume II of “The Bad Editor.”
I’m just jonesing for it.
We need people like Peter Jones in the motorcycle industry. We don’t pay him enough to write his monthly column. So buy his book. Buy two and send one to a friend.
“The Bad Editor: Collected Columns and Untold Tales of Bad Behavior” is 250 pages, and is available in paperback for $18.55 or as a Kindle e-book for $7.99 on Amazon. To read sample chapters and find out more about Peter Jones, visit TheBadEditor.com.
The post ‘The Bad Editor: Collected Columns and Untold Tales of Bad Behavior’ | A Biased Book Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Marc Márquez identifies 2021 Honda MotoGP bike weakness.
Marc Marquez says he was better able to understand the weak points of the 2021 Honda MotoGP bike compared to its predecessor during last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The six-time MotoGP world champion rode to eighth in last Sunday’s Jerez race, the second of his comeback from a nine-month injury layoff.
Though he is still not at his physical peak yet, he admitted his condition was better on the bike than it was in Portugal, and this allowed him for the first time this year to understand more about the 2021 RC213V.
Having followed teammate Pol Espargaro, HRC test rider Stefan Bradl and Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco in the Spanish GP, Marquez noted the 2021 RC213V is weak mid-exit of corners.
“I had the opportunity to follow Stefan, to follow Pol and also to follow Johann for a few laps,” Marquez said when asked by Motorsport.com where he found the bike to be weaker compared to the last Honda he rode.
“And where we are losing more is mid-exit corner.
“So, it’s where normally if you want to ride fast and consistent, it’s where you need to be strong and it’s where we are losing more.
“So, we need to understand why. Now we are trying to analyse all the thing.
“I mean, for me the key of this weekend is that I improved a lot my physical condition compared to Portimao.”
Marquez had hoped to further evaluate the bike in Monday’s post-race test at Jerez, but pulled out after just seven laps owing to pain in his neck from his big FP3 crash – which he admitted left him “destroyed” after the grand prix.
“So, we didn’t test. We just did one run and the second run I already felt something,” he said on Monday.
“My body was locked, especially the neck and also the right shoulder.
“It’s something similar but in a better way to Portimao. In Portimao I rode and I suffered a lot, and then on Monday I was completely locked. But here in Jerez I felt better.
“It’s true the crash I had on Saturday didn’t help the situation, but anyway I tried because I thought that maybe when the body got warm it would be ok.
“But immediately I saw I was not in a good level to ride the bike and try things.”
Honda riders had a busy test on Monday, with all of them trying various new parts – with the marque bringing five different aerodynamic fairings to evaluate.
After declaring his RC213V “a mess” in the Jerez race, Espargaro expressed frustration at the fact all Honda riders during the Spanish GP weekend were working with different packages and felt this is holding back development.
Source: Marc Márquez on Facebook
Family weekend up the North Coast. Taking time to take time. Have a great weekend ✌️
Source: Jonathan Rea On Facebook
Riders Share, the largest motorcycle sharing marketplace, has announced that bikers can now pay a monthly subscription for discounted rides across the motorcycle rental marketplace. The Rider Pass subscription pricing plan is an industry-first service for peer-to-peer rentals designed to spur growth and motorcycle ridership as the economy rebounds.
- Rider Pass subscription service provides 35% discount for rides booked on Riders Share marketplace for a $24 monthly fee
- Service includes free motorcycle rental delivery up to $50
- Perfect for trying multiple bikes, for frequent travelers and for riders who can’t commit to a single motorcycle
Launched in 2018 by CEO and avid motorcyclist Guillermo Cornejo, Riders Share has powered over 100,000 registered users in its motorcycle rental community, and over 15,000 people have shared their motorcycle on the platform. The company was part of Techstars Los Angeles ’19, and is backed by Texas-based LiveOak Venture Partners and other institutional investors.
The average price for renting a motorcycle on Riders Share is set by the owners of the bike and is typically around $100 a day including insurance — much more affordable than other motorcycle rental alternatives. Now, with the Rider Pass subscription, users will receive an additional 35% off the total price in exchange for a monthly rate of $24.
“We believe subscriptions are key to continued growth in peer-to-peer rentals,” said Cornejo. “There’s an entire market of twenty million plus riders who are bikeless; our goal with subscription services is to provide an economic re-entry point to stimulate responsible ridership across the country.”
Motorcycles are notoriously underutilized in the U.S. On average, motorcycles are used four times less often than cars, which has a significant effect on the total cost of a motorcycle trip. In fact, for the large number of motorcyclists that ride under 40 days per year, each trip requires an average of $190 in ownership costs.
“Peer-to-peer rentals typically cost up to 70% less than brick-and-mortar motorcycle rentals. With our new subscription offering, we’re now able to further reduce this cost, giving people that can’t commit to motorcycle ownership a viable alternative,” said Cornejo.
Riders Share has been recognized as an industry-leader in terms of vehicle selection, marketplace members and low cost. While COVID made a significant impact on travel in general, Riders Share is beginning to see new records in transactions.
“Our mission is to encourage safe motorcycling by making it more affordable,” said Cornejo. “We felt the time was right to further diversify our pricing model and help people create new mobility habits as our cities start moving again.”
The Rider Pass subscription model is only available for riders over the age of 25 and with a FICO score over 700. Free delivery is included up to $50. The base monthly subscription price is $24 with a 12-month term, or $22 per month if prepaid in advance.
For more information, visit riders-share.com.
About Riders Share
Riders Share, is the world’s largest peer-to-peer motorcycle marketplace platform, matching underutilized motorcycles with vetted riders that want to rent them. Riders Share leverages machine learning to vet riders, provides an insurance policy for owners and offers roadside assistance. With over 100,000 registered users, Riders Share offers the largest variety of motorcycles available to rent in the world, all while providing a superior experience for renters and an extra source of income for owners.
About LiveOak Venture Partners
LiveOak Venture Partners is a venture capital fund based in Austin, Texas. With 20 years of successful venture investing in Texas, the founders of LiveOak have helped create nearly $2 billion of enterprise value. While almost all of LiveOak’s investments begin at the Seed and Series A stages, LiveOak is a full life cycle investor focused on helping create category-leading technology and technology-enabled service companies headquartered in Texas. LiveOak Venture Partners has been the lead investor in over 30 exciting high-growth Texas-based companies in the last seven years including ones such as CS Disco, Digital Pharmacist, OJO Labs, Opcity and TrustRadius.
The post Riders Share Launches Rider Pass Subscription for Peer-to-Peer Motorcycle Rentals first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Happy birthday, pandemic! It’s been a long, strange year since the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading like wildfire and the world went into lockdown. With vaccinations rolling out, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. But this time last year? Not so much.
Days before the initial lockdown in California, Honda had delivered a couple of new motorcycles to us. One was a Monkey in a new color, Pearl Glittering Blue. My original plans for it were nebulous at best. Honestly, I just loved the color, and I figured the story would come to me when it was ready. As it turned out, I was right, in an unexpected way.
The streets in my neighborhood were eerily empty. Shops and restaurants were closed, so there was nowhere to go even if you wanted to. Even the beach was off-limits. There wasn’t a lot of smiling going on, as we all tried to find our footing in this suddenly off-balance world. When I looked at the Monkey it brought back fond memories of the press launch event, held what felt like a millennium ago on Catalina Island. Wherever we rode, people mirrored our smiles. The cute little Monkey bike is impossible to frown at.
“That’s what we really need now,” I remember thinking one day last April. “A reason to smile.”
So I grabbed my open-face helmet and headed out for a ride. You’ll never ride far on a Monkey, but around town, topping out around 35 or 40, it’s the bees’ knees. I stuck to residential streets, many of them with people in the front yard, grilling or gardening. Mothers walked with kids in tow. No one was smiling. And there I was, putt-putting by on a miniature motorcycle with 12-inch balloon tires, ponytail giving a 25-mph wave, enjoying the rare sensation of the breeze on my face and grinning the grin that the little Honda Monkey provokes. And people smiled back.
COVID-19 might be contagious, but so is happiness.
Small businesses everywhere were struggling, including the karate dojo where I trained three times a week B.C. (Before COVID). Like many others, the Sensei (head instructor) was scrambling to adapt to the “new normal,” transitioning to online Zoom classes even as he lost students to their own economic struggles. We wanted to show our support for him and for the dojo, so we organized another new normal activity: the drive-by party. Minivans and pickups filled with kids in their white karate uniforms lined up for the parade, festooned with signs that read, “We love you Sensei Shawn.”
When I rode up to join the line, wearing my white karate gi and my blue belt matching the Monkey’s paint perfectly, it was decided that I’d lead the parade. It’s Monkey magic.
We motorcyclists are often seen as part of some dangerous societal fringe, but I like to remind the Average Jane or Joe that we’re just like them. We ride because it brings joy to our hearts and cleanses the mind and soul. It’s exactly what we needed in those early days of the lockdown, and what we will continue to need in the days ahead. The little Honda Monkey, as it turns out, tells that story very well. In the face of despair and darkness, it induces smiles and connection. It’s a super-spreader of happiness.
Guilty 🍩 @guilttripcoffee
Source: Jonathan Rea On Facebook
☀️ #primavera #spring
Source: Marc Márquez on Facebook
Her degree thesis on motorcycle trajectories then allowed her to win a place in the racing department of the Noale house by focusing more and more on dynamic simulation, development optimisations and strategies. Elena soon became a point of reference, not only in the company but also on the track, in the paddock: “With the introduction of the unique Magneti Marelli software, I changed scope by moving on to strategies and analysis. So I started attending the Grands Prix, discovering, once again, a new and different way of doing my job. Being in the department that represents the arrival point of all data and information, I have the opportunity to relate to motorists, electronic, dynamic and vehicle drivers, being able to learn more about every aspect of the bike.”