The Motorcycle Obsession celebrated its one-year anniversary last month* and what an interesting year it’s been, with a fair few ups and downs.
KEEP THE GOOD TIMES ROLLING
Show Some Love for The Motorcycle Obsession
I think I have finally settled on the sort of thing I want TMO to be – conversational, storytelling, informative but not lecturing or wonky, welcoming, encouraging, and unafraid to acknowledge that motorcycles exist as one part of life (rather than all of it**) – but a key aspect of TMO is that I want it to be adaptable, so, you know, everything could change next week. I hope you’re liking TMO, and I’m hopeful about building something that’s ever bigger and better, but I’m wholly aware that I don’t exist in a vacuum. There are a lot of moto sites out there.
Lately I’ve been a little disappointed in some of the sites I check on a regular basis. Many are overloaded with advertising, some are falling into the trap of trying to chase viral stories, and others are just… not great. I’m not trying to do that thing of pooping on everyone else to big myself up. Hell, TMO has only published one story in the past two weeks (Sorry about that; I’ve been struggling with illness). But I’m eager to find some new stuff and I’m wondering what you’re reading and enjoying.
On my end, I think my favorite site that isn’t TMO is Common Tread. They’re good dudes over there and I’m not just saying that because they occasionally pay me to write stuff. I can’t think of a time when CT has done a story poorly or been lazy in coverage. I see effort in everything they do. And when it comes to bike reviews, I tend to trust them most – If not simply because they’re less tied to the machine. In Ye Olden Days, magazines risked pulled advertising and lost revenue as punishment for “bad” reviews; CT doesn’t have advertising, so it inherently suffers less temptation to soften opinions.
Speaking of publications that have paid me, I like a lot of what Motorcyclist does, especially its “On Two Wheels” video series, though I’ll admit I don’t have a lot of time to sit and watch videos online (Oh, the irony). I prefer the written word, if not simply because it’s easier for me to check it out at work. Meanwhile, I’ll be honest that I struggle to identify the difference between Motorcyclist and Cycle World, since the two publications’ writers appear to be interchangeable. They are good writers, though.
Equally solid is Jensen Beeler, who runs Asphalt & Rubber. A lot of his focus is on sportbikes, track riding and racing, which aren’t usually my thing, but he also does a great job of spotting trends and breaking down subjects in an intelligent and well-researched way. An off-the-top-of-my-head example of this was his breakdown a month ago of the implications of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire.
Beyond that, though… uhm… I’m not sure. There are any number of sites I check regularly because I’m an insatiable moto nerd, but I can’t think of too many that I’d hold up as the paragon of moto-related writing. So, I’d be interested to know what you’re into. What’s inspiring you?
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* Somewhere along the way I arbitrarily decided that TMO officially launched on 2 March. This is untrue in a number of ways – I had actually overhauled the site in January 2018, then for many months had claimed 1 March as the official launch date – but why let truth get in the way of a good story? To have TMO celebrate its birthday on 2 March means it shares the date with Texas Independence Day. I hold to the (unrealistic?) dream that TMO will help this particular Texan one day be financially independent, so there’s synergy in that narrative.
** By that I mean that I think it’s possible to steer into other subjects and not have it be a disconnect from the site’s feel/theme. I often wish I hadn’t chosen the name ‘The Motorcycle Obsession,’ so random articles about, say, professional wrestling, or discussions on why anthropomorphic bears (Yogi, Paddington, Pooh, et. al) seem to have such a strong aversion to wearing pants, would fit a little more obviously within the framework.