MO Version 2.0

story by Kevin Duke New Editor-in-Chief, Created Jun. 09, 2007
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Dear MO subscribers,

We understand that many of you have been curious about what's been going on behind the scenes at Motorcycle.com. Some have wondered why they haven't seen much new at MO even though it's under new ownership. Some others have yet to see the influence of adding a new Ed-in-Chief, questioning if this new position is actually affecting anything at your favorite e-zine.

But most worryingly, and the primary reason for this article, is that many of you have been justifiably peeved that MO hasn't taken the time to explain fully about what's been going on behind the scenes and how it affects what you read on these illustrious pages. Most hurtful to us is hearing our readers complaining that MO's value is sinking.

With those barbs stinging my backside, I felt it time to come clean and elaborate on what's been going on at MO and about what to expect in the coming weeks.

Want a lick? Psych!First off, as many of you already know, Motorcycle.com will be boasting a fresh new face in the near future. MO's current design was born during Bill Clinton's first term as president, and as such, our 13-year-old web format isn't going to cut it anymore. Even though it may be loved like a hand-shift Indian or a leaky Norton, its hoary old architecture needs a 21st-century infusion.

So, simply transfer all the thousands of old articles into a new format, press enter, and bingo!, it's done, right? Yeah, we wish! In actuality, thousands of man hours have been invested to migrate MO's old content into our clean new design, and it's taking many more weeks to work out all the bugs so MO:2 works seamlessly.

This "New Concept Crocker" was shown at the recent Legend of the Motorcycle concours event in NorCal. It's the work of the Toronto-based Crocker Motorcycle Company, which also makes parts and kits to support the original Crockers of the past. So, while all that's going on, I was brought in to help pilot the good ship MO in late April, plucked from a competing web-zine down the Internet Superhighway. "Okay," I thought, "give me a couple of weeks and I'll have this place running like a turbo Gixxer Thou!" Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men, and that applies also to the plans of bikes and men. It turns out that there's as many small details to iron out as there are revolutions per minute in a ZX-6R at its rev limiter.

But fear not, dear readers! We want you to know that we're running on redline here as we prepare the next generation of motorcycle websites.

We truly do have some great things coming in the weeks and months ahead. In addition to the new-fangled site design, which will drastically improve the appearance and navigation ability of New MO, we also have plenty of killer content on tap. Moreover, those with broadband connections are going to love our greater emphasis on video production. In conjunction with burning an hour of your work day reading our irreverent prose, you will have the option of just sitting back and watching cool motorcycles and events - just make sure to use headphones so your boss isn't tipped off!

It's been a tremendous challenge bringing MO out of the past and into the present. But rest assured, the editorial staff and the tech department have been working extremely hard behind the scenes to bring a new and improved Motorcycle.com to its loyal readers.
To whet your appetite, here's a glimpse at what to expect in the coming weeks:

We forced Pete to ride Kawi's new Z1000, marauding the vineyards in California's Sonoma County. He didn't object. - Many readers have been asking where the Ducati 1098 was in our recent literbike test. Some were clever enough to find out that the limited press fleet was basically smashed up by a number of the motorcycle press (thankfully it wasn't MO this time!). Although we were unable to procure a standard 1098 for our shootout, Ducati stepped in and offered one if its high-spec 1098Ss for our speed-loving amusement. We put the dreamy Duc through its paces on the street track for a fun stand-alone evaluation.

- Our "Million-Mile Man" Pete was on hand to get the details on all the changes to Kawasaki's completely revamped Z1000, spending a full day riding it in and around the undulating countryside of Sonoma County, California. Is this the streetfighter from Japan we've been waiting for?

- In a short while, we'll get a firsthand look at the much-talked about luxury-touring machine from Victory, called the Vision. Will any of the reader comments from the Vision's December unveiling story be accurate? Or will we report something about the bike beyond what anyone would have ever expected? Stay tuned in the coming months to find out.

What could be better than thrashing a new BMW? Doing it on the Big Island of Hawaii! Fonz says "Aloha!" - Our man in Italy, Yossef Schvetz, returned from a jaunt through Eastern Europe, taking in the sights and sounds of former communist countries. Instead of finding the expected bland, steely-gray blocks dominating the countryside, he discovered sprawling green views, stunning architecture, good food, and nations that embrace the motorcycling lifestyle. And he did all this from the seat of a BMW K1200GT.

- We'll be taking a ride/drive on the controversial and outlandish Bombardier Spyder three-wheeler, finding out if it's more of a motorcycle than a car and wondering which market it will pull buyers from.

- Did you know that Kawasaki also builds giant ships and bullet trains? Or did you know that Kawasaki's Autopolis racetrack in Japan is one of the most entertaining circuits in the world? You will after you read about our seven-day romp around Japan.

- Contributor Bob Stokstad graces us with a tour through the Pyrenees told from the perspective of his lens in a well-written assessment of life in the little-known towns tucked away in that fabled mountain range.

A trip to Japan gave MO a look at an incredible culture. We reduce the ethereal experience to word gags. - We'll bring you a ride report on Kawi's new uber sport-tourer, the ZX-14-based Concours 14. Will it have the polished moxie to keep pace with the FJR1300s and K1200GTs of the world?

- BMW releases its F800 as a way to entice younger, sportier riders into its loving fold. Fonzie rides the sporty S and its touring-accented brother, the ST, around the Big Island of Hawaii. We'll let you know whether this bike is a smart marketing move or if it's priced itself out of the market.

- Through a special arrangement with an OEM, we'll bring you a sneak peek and riding impression of a new bike that will be coming to our shores later this year.

- Stay tuned later this summer for an oddball sport-tourer comparo in which we'll thrash them on the way to and from the MotoGP extravaganza at Laguna Seca.

Additionally, we'll be offering up plenty of relevant product reviews, interesting lifestyle pieces and lots of memorable rides - all with a regularity you can depend on.

MO:2 is gonna be good. Please trust us when we tell you with complete sincerity that you'll be glad you've been a member of MO, whether it's only been a couple of weeks or what must seem like an eternity.

Stay tuned as we bring you the best in motorcycling, delivered to you in the inimitable MO style. It's going to be an exciting ride, and we'll be thrilled to have you tag along.

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