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Fascinating article - makes me sad, and angry.

Leaked docs show Motorcyclist caved to advertiser pressure, fired editor - Hell For Leather

The short version - Dexter Ford fired from Motorcyclist magazine because helmet manufacturers didn't like what he wrote *in another publication* about how to decide on the safest helmet for your head.

What this boils down to is that the helmet distributors/makers with the advertising dollars can and will squash discussion about how to best protect yourself.

My first reaction is "F those guys." Hey wait, now I sound like that crooked bitch of an editor at Motorcyclist. I'm canceling my subscription and writing to Arai and Shoei to let them know I don't trust them.
 

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After an accident in 2006 wearing a Shoei X11 I stopped wearing SNELL rated helmets. yes it save my life but the guy behind me said my head bounced a number of times off the pavement like a ping pong ball. Now I wear ECE/BSI or JSP rated buckets.
 

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Panigaliscious
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I responded on HFL, but the short version of what I said was that basically today all print media sucks. I'm actually surprised Sport Rider has lasted as long as it has, and RRW has dropped off massively in the last couple of years. Cycle World is merely OK where it used to be great, and Motorcyclist jumped the shark with the e-bike issue this year.

WGAF about electric bikes!
 

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Can Afford To Be Critical
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I thought Motorcyclist was the magazine that did the big expose on Snell versus DOT rating systems?

I'll agree that the e-bike issue did absolutely nothing for me but Dexter Ford getting fired? He's a great writer who has been around for years. Disappointing if this is factual.
 

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Media has been that way for a looong time. Either you kiss the ass of advertisers or you die a financial death.

A few years ago a neighbor gave me a box of old car mags. Leafing through these I noticed Motor Trend back in I think ~1975 gave the VW Thing the car of the year award. Then the next year they crushed it with some malpractice of the year award for making such a POS. Sounded like sour grapes perhaps as VW didn't advertise in their rag.
 

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I actually think RoadRacingWorld is a worthwhile read. The shootouts and tire comparisons appear to be thorogh and objective. The editorials and articles freely take shots at the industry , manuf and racing orgs.

RoadRacingWorld is a family owned and operated publication. John Ulrich is the owner and editor. He is also a 250 racer. John is regularly on the WERA board engaged in discussions about our sport. His son, Chris, is an AMA Racer. He also writes for the magazine. The members of the Ulrich family are often found at trackdays and races throughout Southern California. They also do alot for the AirFenceFund- which provides protection to racers.

RoadRacingWorld is written by racers for racers/sport bike enthusiasts.
 

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I was wearing a Shark RSR2 helmet when my big crash happened. It still has a deep gash in it from where my head hit the armco. No concussion, no head trauma, nothing.

Shark RSR2 saved my head for sure.
 

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Panigaliscious
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I actually think RoadRacingWorld is a worthwhile read. The shootouts and tire comparisons appear to be thorogh and objective. The editorials and articles freely take shots at the industry , manuf and racing orgs.

RoadRacingWorld is a family owned and operated publication. John Ulrich is the owner and editor. He is also a 250 racer. John is regularly on the WERA board engaged in discussions about our sport. His son, Chris, is an AMA Racer. He also writes for the magazine. The members of the Ulrich family are often found at trackdays and races throughout Southern California. They also do alot for the AirFenceFund- which provides protection to racers.

RoadRacingWorld is written by racers for racers/sport bike enthusiasts.
RRW was better four or five years ago, content has dried up since then. I agree that for shootouts they remain the best as long as pure track performance is your goal, not surprising given the name of the magazine. They remain the closest to the old Cycle with regard to in-depth articles on new models, they are not afraid to explain technical details other mags gloss over. But they have went from 3-4 shootouts per year to 2 (600 & 1000), and 1-2 bike tests each issue to maybe 1 or less.

The elder Ulrich can be a bit off-putting at times as he seems to have personal issues with industry insiders, I don't think he remains completely objective at times. Without a doubt he has contributed to safety at the track and mentored some successful racers. But I do get tired of seeing articles about those same riders he promotes (ie Elena Myers).

Chris Ulrich often comes across as an entitled tool who has been propped up with constant sponsorship from his dad. Not a bad racer, I'll give him that, but if we raced since diapers and constantly had the best a privateer could buy, how good would any of us be? I get very tired of his "tests" on production bikes: whining about needing another 2mm of ride height or really wanting a half-click on the high-speed rebound to be able to really tell what the bike is capable of. Earth to Toolrich, it is not all about you, you write these articles to tell the reader how the bike would work for an average trackday rider or sportbike enthusiast.
 

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But I do get tired of seeing articles about those same riders he promotes (ie Elena Myers).
What's there to get tired of? She gets mention in the news sections about as much as any other rider. And she has her own column. As does Hayes, and a few other racers. Is this going to end up as another rant against too much publicity for woman riders? Might as well take a strike at Melissa while your at it.

Earth to Toolrich, it is not all about you, you write these articles to tell the reader how the bike would work for an average trackday rider or sportbike enthusiast.
I believe he is writing to his intended audience. Racers. It's been my impression that "average" trackday riders and sportbike enthusiasts are not really RRW's target audience. John has made that clear when he stopped taking the Daytona 675 into account in the middle weight comparisions.
 

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I am sick and tired hearing Arai, Shoei, AGV, Nolan, Premier etc sell overpriced and dangerous junk! :banghead
These are ALL great manufacturers and you can be sure any product you buy from them will be as safe as technically possible.
I had a big off in a Shoei Interceptor: hit the back of my head very hard and not even the mildest concussion. I had another big off in an Arai Quantum and landed right on my chin: not even a bruise. And you will find many other people that will tell similar tales about AGV, Shark, Suomi, Schuberth etc.

But if you tell me motorcycle magazines are biased... that's ancient history. When the TL1000R with its "lively" chassis came out most magazines went on the usual sycophantic spread. When Triumph tried to beat Honda at their own game by releasing the TT600 before it was ready the only magazines which pointed out fuel delivery was "full of glitches" to say the least were Motorrad and Performance Bikes. I haven't bought a motorcycle magazine in at least five years (classified only excluded). Do I miss them? no.
 

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I regard print as I do TV , entertainment . Anyone who bases his/her buying decisions solely on what a scribe thinks is naive and perhaps stupid . Almost all bikes from established companies are so refined these days that mag road tests inevitably conclude positively to some extent . About the only bikes targeted with criticism recently are the Chinese models flooding the market . Nevertheless , MC's (DOT/SNELL) helmet comparo a few years back was as objective an evaluation as I've seen . Lately though , MC is falling behind even CW b/c they're trying to attract squids and women with a watered down , politically correct approach which has rendered them BORING . Meh , for $1 per issue , who cares ? I just look at the pretty pics .
 

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lidzduc.blogspot.com
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Motorcycle Consumer News:rockon
Cycle World for Kevin Cameron and Peter Egan only.:notworthy
 

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Discussion Starter #15
These are ALL great manufacturers and you can be sure any product you buy from them will be as safe as technically possible.
Uh, no you can't. Maybe read the article.

The problem is with the Snell standards. The 2005 standard didn't take into account the fact that smaller heads weigh less. The helmets for small heads had to pass a test for too heavy a test form - meaning the helmets would transmit more force to a small head than they should. This was corrected by the 2010 standard (yay), but here's the problem: The manufacturers are free to continue manufacturing and selling helmets designed to the old standard for the next couple of years, and the sticker on the outside of the helmet doesn't tell you which standard the helmet meets.

So the manufacturers, who fund the Snell foundation, understand that the old standard helmets aren't good for small heads - they know this, because they corrected the standard. But they are furious when someone in the press points out how to tell a "good" Snell helmet from a "not so good" Snell helmet. That doesn't sound like "providing the safest helmets possible." That sounds like aggressively selling substandard helmets and working hard to keep the public from telling the difference.

The article indicates that helmet manufacturers are willing to beat up on print publications who would point out that half (or more) of the premium helmets on the shelves today have a dangerous flaw, and there's a way the buying public can avoid those flawed helmets. They don't want you to know. They want you to buy those helmets. And it appears that if you're in the industry, and you cross them, they will roll over you.
 

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V4 CyclePath...
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Nice read but I still believe Arai cares about their customers head... and I'm
keeping my Motorcyclist subscription... one advertisement can not make or
break a magazine... more harm would be done to the manufacture if they
pulled an add... if Dexter Ford believes he was wrongfully fired then
take it to the court of law instead the court of public opinion...
 

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Yes everyone, Arai wants you (and all the racers who wear their helmets) to DIE! That way they can NEVER sell you another helmet again. Buwahahahahaha!

What kind of moron would actually believe this shit?:wacky
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes everyone, Arai wants you (and all the racers who wear their helmets) to DIE! That way they can NEVER sell you another helmet again. Buwahahahahaha!

What kind of moron would actually believe this shit?:wacky
I have theories about morons that you have no doubt read before - it has to do with reading comprehension and attempting to alter the argument either purposely or through stupidity.

I think Arai and Shoei engineers do a fine job. They make a product to a standard.

I think, based on what I've read, that helmet marketers and distributors will gloss over known problems to protect their bottom line. Actually not just gloss over, but exert their influence to stifle conversation on the topic.

It's like this:

"Hey the standard has a problem"
"Oh wow - let's get that standard changed"
"Ok - now the standard's changed, should we tell our customers?"
"What, are you stupid? We still have a pile of helmets made to the old standard we need to move..."
 

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I have theories about morons that you have no doubt read before - it has to do with reading comprehension and attempting to alter the argument either purposely or through stupidity.

I think Arai and Shoei engineers do a fine job. They make a product to a standard.

I think, based on what I've read, that helmet marketers and distributors will gloss over known problems to protect their bottom line. Actually not just gloss over, but exert their influence to stifle conversation on the topic.

It's like this:

"Hey the standard has a problem"
"Oh wow - let's get that st

standard changed"
"Ok - now the standard's changed, should we tell our customers?"
"What, are you stupid? We still have a pile of helmets made to the old standard we need to move..."

i now see that pic of a dumpster with hundreds of buells in it except with helmets:clapper good point and i agree 100%
 

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Nice read but I still believe Arai cares about their customers head... and I'm
keeping my Motorcyclist subscription... one advertisement can not make or
break a magazine... more harm would be done to the manufacture if they
pulled an add... if Dexter Ford believes he was wrongfully fired then
take it to the court of law instead the court of public opinion...
My God, I am agreeing with Larry once more... before I know I'll be on the market for a V4! :eek:

Nothing personal Banda, I know you are trying to point out a vital issue but there's something that doesn't seem quite right in the whole story. And the more I read that story the more I am convinced we are not hearing it all.
 
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