Even the hastiest of exchanges can make a difference.
It’s a sad fact that here at Motofire we don’t get out enough on motorcycles. We ride when we can, when we have to on our commute, or when we have actual bikes in the garage to play with, but more often than not we don’t get invites to special launches or asked to test the latest machines by the manufacturers. In fact – and especially here within the UK – we don’t get much contact from manufacturers at all.
All of which is a shame, because if we’re to help evangelise and up-sell the message of motorcycles being amazingly, brilliant things that can genuinely change your life for the better, then we’re going to need to – you know – actually ride the things!
In a rare case from last year when we did get offered a bike from one of the press departments here within the UK, we spent a good weekend with Honda’s VFR 1200X Crosstourer Highlander DCT, and Steve genuinely loved it, ending his review with the following words, “The Honda Crosstourer VFR1200X is a silky-smooth, sporty machine that feels utterly at home destroying the miles like the touring bike in adventure clothes it’s always purported itself to be.”
You can read his full review here… And, because it was a last minute offer and he hadn’t any decent video equipment to hand, he rounded of his review with a hastily shot and edited, phone video too.
But when a review is up and online, it’s so hard to know for sure how it affects and/or effects the sales figures. Sure, being rewarded 5 stars from a well-known publication can lend itself nicely to a company’s marketing brochure, but what difference can a hastily shot, ram-shakily written review actually make?
We’ll let this email we received from a reader take up that story…
“Looking around t’internet, as you do, I recently came across your Motofire review of a 2015 Honda VFR 1200X Crosstourer Highlander DCT in September 2016. I have a particular interest in this model as I took a test ride on one at Craig Honda earlier this year, and fell in love with the machine,” said an email sent to us over the festive period,
“So the time came when I went down to Craig’s [Honda dealer] to see a CT they had advertised. Being the top of the range DCT model with 19 months of a three year Honda warranty remaining. I was told that the bike had previously been owned by Honda UK (which was true) and that the bike had been ridden only by Honda employees for the 6060 miles on the odometer (which was probable not true – never trust a used bike salesman!). We did a deal and I collected it in the middle of October.
I like the bike for all the reasons you put forward in your article on the bike. I’m a big Honda fan. I’ve never liked the horizontal GS engines or the costs of ownership, even though Allan Jefferies was then only a few miles from my home. My Deauville had been the model of reliability and the CT is effectively a big sister to the Deau. The DCT sold the bike to me and, as I say, I love it.
Imagine my surprise and pleasure when I watched your video of the bike. The bike is in the same paint finish as my CT and I was enjoying the walk-round. Suddenly there is a brief moment when the rear number plate is shown. Perhaps unintentional, but enough to confirm that you were talking about MY bike!
I agree with all your comments on the CT. Thanks for putting the report on line.”.
Now, this isn’t the first email to come across our servers of course, but sometimes – especially during the dark, cold months of winter – it’s nice to know that you’re still not just shouting out into the void, and – perhaps more importantly – it’s good to know that even the smallest of influences can help to provide somebody with what we hope will be years worth of practical transport but also enjoyment and fun.
So go out and tell your friends, sing the praises of motorcycling to your family. Maybe encourage your 16 year old to pick up a scooter for a year to see how much difference it can make to their life? Or what about swapping all of that car parking money at your local train station for an old 125cc and £50 a month or so back into your pocket?
Spread the word.
Let’s take the time to look at ourselves and to focus on passing our passion for two wheels onto others. It’s time for us all to be more inclusive and understanding towards the changing landscape that we now ride within.
Here’s to a 2018 full of motorcycles, motors and excitement. Maybe we’ll actually get out on some bikes this year too!