In April I passed my eighth year working as Ed-in-Chief of the online moto publication you’re perusing, and I’d like to thank you for your attention to the thousands of articles MO has published since then. Lots of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to deliver all the latest news and reviews of motorcycles at a level of quality that puts us ahead of anything that can be found on the web. Hell, with the current roster of amazingly versatile and talented editors, I’d rank us up there with the best moto content to be found anywhere, let alone the internet. I’m blessed with my exceptional crew. So are you.

Looked at from afar, motojournalism might seem to be a cushy gig, but it requires a unique set of aptitudes and talents that few people have. Being a skilled rider is a prerequisite, as manufacturers tend to dislike people crashing their bikes, but it gets more complicated from there. Having a journalism or English degree sorts the wheat from the chaff, as does having experience on a vast variety of motorcycles and riding environments. An understanding of mechanical systems is important, as is comprehension of chassis geometry. A good candidate will be a decent photographer, and also good with video, both behind and in front of the camera. It will be an advantage to be able to stay up all night while racing to be first to complete a review of a hot new bike, and there will be times when work will cut into weekends. Finally, a candidate should be prepared to be paid less than journalism for non-enthusiast media outlets.

Duke and Roderick think

Journalists of every stripe need to take copious notes, even when a 300-hp turbocharged ZX-14 just puked its guts out at the dragstrip. That’s Tom Roderick and myself in 2007 before we became co-workers at MO.

A set of diverse and wide-ranging qualities like those listed above isn’t easy to find, so motojournalism tends to be an incestuous business. As such, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that MO’s staff editors have had a deep background of experience at other moto pubs, and I had gotten to know them all quite well during various media events before I was in a position to hire them. 

Allow me to also give shout-outs to a couple of former MO staffers that were integral to the Duke era of Alfonse Palaima spent many years as MO’s chief image guy long before I joined the masthead, plus several years working alongside me bagging millions of photos and shooting/producing videos. Fonzie has since gone on to a successful freelance career. Another huge part of MO, both before and after my arrival, was Pete Brissette, who for several years was my go-to editor for almost everything. He eventually moved out of the journalism business to a career better suited to his family life.


Of the editors on staff, it’s Dennis Chung who’s been with me longest. Dennis was hired by MO’s parent company, VerticalScope, in August 2007, and by 2008 he was filling important roles on MO’s back end by laying out our articles and posting news stories. DC has posted more news than anyone else ever on MO, and he does hundreds of other necessary tasks that, unfortunately for him, don’t get a byline – for example, take a look at the bespoke dyno charts that accompany every comparison test so you readers have graphic representation of how different engines compare in their power production.

Dennis says the work he’s most proud of is when he discovers unannounced patent and design filings and then sees other sites posting about them days after we did. I’m also proud of DC’s series about becoming a new motorcycle rider, which can be found in his story about becoming a motorcycle owner. DC is also responsible for scouring the web in search of the most entertaining motorcycle videos in our Weekend Awesome feature on Saturdays.

Dennis strikes a pose.

Our ever-vigilant newshound Dennis Chung gets few on-camera opportunities, but he’s an essential part of our team.



Tom Roderick was the first editor I was able to bring into the MO fold, assigning freelance work stretching back to 2008. I first met T-Rod back in 2004 when he was Senior Editor for Dealer News, an industry trade magazine, and we had several things in common besides an intense interest in motorcycles. We both had owned Honda CB400Fs (Tom still does), we both smoked Camel Light cigs (Tom still sorta does), and we share a similar sense of humor and enjoy making each other laugh.

Tom has developed into an indispensable asset for MO since he joined us full time in 2011. There is no one else on staff who is as adept at such a wide variety of riding: He’s quick and predictable on a racetrack, he’s well versed in cruiser testing, and he’s better than the rest of us at manhandling a big adventure bike off-road. And, critically for the videos necessary for contemporary motorcycle reviews, Tom is excellent on camera. Less obvious but no less important is T-Rod’s organizational skills that help keep our tasks sorted and on schedule.

Duke and Roderick astride bikes

Nowadays, Roderick and I get to share laughs even while we’re working.



Troy Siahaan was the next editor to become indoctrinated into the MO fold under my wing, freelancing first in 2010 before becoming a full-time staffer early in 2011. The man we call Trizzle has an oddly divergent motojourno background. The former racer spent time at the touring-oriented Rider magazine before his tenure at Sport Rider. Trizzle gets to ride every kind of bike as a MO staffer and has an appreciation for each genre.

Troy often helms our sportbike shootouts, and he’s also become our e-bike specialist. In addition, he’s kept busy posting the latest moto news, and he’s also the editor behind our Sunday feature, Church of MO, in which we take a look back in time to some of the best pieces in MO’s 20-plus-year archive. The last of our testing crew yet to enter his 40s, Troy helps us maintain a connection with a younger demographic.

Duke and Siahaan smile

Troy is sandwiched here in 2007 by his eventual boss and BMW’s Roy Oliemuller at the iconic Nordschleife circuit in Germany. Trizzle’s interpersonal skills and knowledge impressed me enough to make him an official MOron in 2011.


Sean Alexander was at MO in the dark ages of the internet, beginning in 2002, and that put he and I in competition with each other to see who would be more successful at building the best motorcycle e-zine in the country. When he left MO in 2006 in favor of more lucrative work in the PR field, I lied to myself and said it was because I had broken him down.

New Additions At Top And Bottom For – Editorial

Then a funny little thing happened in 2013, when Verticalscope hired Sean as Editorial Director for all of VerticalScope’s powersports publications, including Dirty and I had joined forces, and, with his leadership and assistance, MO has become, in my opinion, the leading motorcycle publication on the web. The lead photo of this article shows us debating editorial directions.


Sean did his best at MO to try to trip me up when I was with another e-zine. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.


I’ve known Evans Brasfield since my first gig at a California motorcycle publication in 1997 when I was Ass. Ed. at Motorcyclist and was enlisted by Sport Rider to be a guest tester, as was Evans, in a sport-touring shootout. We had run into each other at various media functions over the years when the former racer was on staff at Motorcycle Cruiser and SR, and I was proud to see him author a couple of books while exploring a freelance career. I used him a few times as a photographer when I worked at a competitor’s website.

MO’s review of Evans Brasfield’s book, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects 

Evans and I bumped into each other again in 2013 at another media event. While catching up about our families and careers, Evans wondered if his skills might fit in nicely at MO. Hmm, an expert on cruisers who also knows the ins and outs of sportbikes and their mechanical elements would be a real asset. And when that person is also a nice family man and a pro-level shooter, Evans proved to be an ideal addition to the MO masthead in 2014.

Fireball and Duke

When not being used for his expert commentary on motorcycles, Evans gets enlisted as our in-house photographer. Our relationship stretches back almost 18 years. Photo by Andy Vu.


Anyone who’s been a moto enthusiast is familiar with John Burns, who I believe is one of the best scribes to ever write about motorcycles. I first read JB’s articles in the early 1990s, and he quickly became my favorite motojourno. When I was given an office in the Petersen Publishing building next to John, it was like moving in next to the journalism equivalent of Kenny Roberts. Burnsie easily outlasted me at Motorcyclist but had a multi-year falling out with the same editor who turfed me.

In a strange-but-true tale, JB has had a long association with MO, freelancing as far back as 2001 before moving on a long stint at Cycle World. Then, in 2014, Burnsie was no longer a good fit at the old print publication and became a free agent. Although there wasn’t really any room in MO’s budget for another editor, the lure of JB’s greatness made him irresistible. I consider it a privilege to be his editor even if he sometimes makes it challenging.

Duke and Burns share a smoke

Yep, that’s me and Burns (right) smoking rubber with each other almost two decades ago. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Sometimes with the stress of new challenges and always-looming deadlines, praise for my crew isn’t as effusive as they deserve. A name will be misspelled or a feature might be misstated. A due date will be missed or a detail might be overlooked. These things make my blood boil, often to the point where I can’t see the forest for the trees.

This missive is an attempt to acknowledge the multitudinous benefits each member of the MO crew delivers to create the best place to read about – and see and hear – motorcycles. It’s like Thanksgiving in June. Thanks, guys, for all that you do to make MO as indispensable to our readers as you are to me!

  • ADB

    Well said Kevin. (And you guys do have the best jobs in the world…).

  • Buzz

    There was also a collection of oddballs (myself included) who have rolled in and out of various tests. Gabe is still floating around out there and Eric Bass was working for a print mag. Martin was also a reliable tester as well.

    Working for burritos allowed me to ride dozens of bikes with the MO team and we created some great and not-so-great (Sean’s brother getting the front end of his Ducati sheared off by Sean) in the process.

    • Old MOron

      Speaking of Eric Bass, I think this was his debut review on MO. I loved it then. Loved it just now as I reread it.

    • It was a GSX-R, the Ducati went cliff diving after sheearing-off the GSX-R’s front-end. P.S. It wasn’t my fault.

      • Old MOron

        Hilarious: Ed (RIP) at the Rock Store wouldn’t let you guys use his phone unless you first helped him dig out his sewer line. Hilarious!

      • Buzz

        No it wasn’t. You hit so hard you broke your hand and knocked off Dale’s tin foil hat. Those were the days!

  • Chris Kallfelz

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. This place has a deep bench, and some damn good editors, and leaders. And what everybody brings to the table is a little bit different. Differences in age, differences in various experiences, all of it good. The different ways of looking at things is good.

    I’d put that starting lineup up against anybody, and there is no personal bias reflected in that statement, none. This bunch is good.

  • Kenneth

    With quality writing, both technical and expressive, and seemingly-consistent integrity, I always value what the all-star staff here has to say. ‘Wouldn’t have guessed it had been that long since reading Kevin’s reviews elsewhere.

  • JMDonald

    Moto journalists walk a fine line. Getting the truth out there without pissing off the manufacturers can be difficult in the best of times. Maintaining the integrity needed to honestly inform the readership is one of the hardest things to do consistently. The MO team from my perspective has done an excellent job with both over the years. I remember the old MO. I have been able to see the new MO develop and I agree it is the best online site available. The content is huge compared to the competition. I have bought motorcycles based on evaluations written here and have appreciated the many articles you guys make available. Keep up the good work. Integrity once lost can never be found again.

  • John B.

    Robert Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance writes on and on about quality, and how to define it. Though I don’t fully comprehend Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality, I have learned quality is evidence someone cared. MO consistently produces high quality content; and that’s no accident.

    It’s a challenge for any individual consistently to produce great work product and to maintain a steadfast attention to detail, but an exponentially greater challenge to motivate an entire organization to do the same over an eight (8) year period.

    I don’t know whether you have the greatest job in the world; that’s for you to decide. I am certain, however, you don’t have an easy job. I am glad you took time to recognize your talented staff. An individual working alone, no matter how talented or motivated, seldom accomplishes anything significant.

    I visit MO every day because I know I will find great content created with enthusiasm and passion. That’s the highest praise I can give. Congratulations to you and the MO staff for a job well done!

  • john burns

    Actually it was a pretty short stint at Cycle Whirld. How am i challenging goddammit?

    • Chris Kallfelz

      You drink those tiny coffee things, John, and do weird continental facial hair stuff…

      It makes many folks question your planet of origin.

      • john burns

        what galaxy is Maryland in, speaking of which?

    • Old MOron

      Maybe it’s because you INSIST on wearing that neckerchief.

      • john burns

        it’s a bandana!

        • Kevin Duke

          A short scarf…

        • Chris Kallfelz

          It’s a hanky you obviously stole from a Dunkin’ Donuts, John, just stop it…

  • kenneth_moore

    Congrats on ten great years Mr. Duke. That’s almost exactly my tenure as a reader; I stumbled across the site just as you were trasnsitioning from a older text format to a new look; right around 05. Thanks for back stories on the other editors, its cool to know a bit more about the guys I’ve been reading for so long. To me MO has always been the bar I compare other bike sites to. I hope y’all have another great decade.

  • Craig Hoffman

    Have been coming to MO since the beginning and have always enjoyed the mix of underdog attitude and irreverence, solid technical writing and the general sense of hilarity and fun that lives and breathes at this site. You guys are obviously serious, but you don’t take yourselves too seriously. Well done!

  • MrBlenderson

    This truly is the best site out there, no competition. The quality of the writing, the breadth of the content, and the sense of humor are second to none.

    I check this site multiple times a day. Thanks everyone for keeping me informed and

  • Bruce Steever

    What an ‘orrible bunch of misfits and ne’do’wells…

    i miss you guys already…

  • Old MOron

    Okay, does anyone here remember a 1978 film called “FM”?

    The movie is about a radio station that builds a large, loyal audience by being true to the music. Meanwhile the station owners just want to make a lot of money by selling a lot of advertisements, specifically for the US Army.

    Sometimes I think that’s exactly what goes on at MO. The MOronic editors are passionate about motorcycles, and it really resonates with the MOronic readers. Meanwhile Verticalscope just wants to whore out the website to Harley Davidson.

    Keep fighting the good fight, Your Dukeness.

  • Ted

    Kevin Duke is EIC? I was only reading this e-rag because I thought John Burns was. Didn’t he say he was the real EIC in one of his articles? This Kevin Duke story is just a joke, right John?

  • Daniel Benjamin

    Watching you guys work together is always fun, regardless of the bike or genre you’re covering. Working with a crew like yours would be a dream! Let me know if you need a French language editor for that multi-cultural contingent 😉

  • Old MOron

    I come back to this story because I have been remiss. I have been grossly remiss in not offering props to Dennis Chung for his sleuthing of unannounced patent and design filings. In addition to all his cool web tech, his spy ops patent sleuthing is way cool. Really distinguishes MO. Keep up the good work, Dennis.