Real Classic - - News - Frank West­worth Frank@realclas­

First things should al­most al­ways come first. So – a big thank-you to all who com­pleted our re­cent on­line survey. I’m no great fan of the things, but in this case they re­ally do help us get an idea of what you want, what you like and what you don’t. It’s too easy to be blink­ered, to con­sider only the opin­ions of those who we meet in per­son out there in clas­si­cland.

And yes in­deed, an on­line survey is al­ways go­ing to be skewed a lit­tle, be­cause by its very na­ture it’s re­stricted to those who are both net­ted to­gether and are also happy to com­plete sur­veys. That aside, it was a re­mark­ably use­ful ex­er­cise, which is not al­ways the case. And as usual, I’m per­son­ally (ie. with­out my ‘pro­fes­sional’ hat on) most in­ter­ested in the mar­ques and types of bikes you ride. It’s a fas­ci­nat­ing ar­ray, and ev­ery bit as var­ied as you’d prob­a­bly ex­pect from read­ing the magazine. Ev­ery­thing from very an­cient (very few of those), peak­ing around 1960 to 1980, but then de­clin­ing only grace­fully up to the mod­ern day, where we dis­cov­ered that a re­mark­able pro­por­tion of RC read­ers ride new mo­tor­cy­cles.

Do not fret: this does not mean that we’re likely to al­ter the mix of mo­tor­cy­cles in these smudgy pages to in­clude 50% new bikes. Prob­a­bly!

More en­ter­tain­ment was pro­vided by a mul­ti­ple-choice ques­tion ask­ing what you would like to see more or less of in these pages. One of the cat­e­gories in­cluded mod­ern ret­ros or clas­sic-styled new bikes. The great ma­jor­ity of re­spon­dents were per­fectly happy with the cur­rent level (which is pretty small, de­lib­er­ately so) while a small pro­por­tion wanted to see a lot more, and al­most ex­actly the same pro­por­tion wanted to see none at all! In­ter­pret­ing these things pro­vides hours of harm­less fun, although ev­ery­thing is open to in­ter­pre­ta­tion – even the re­sults of the orig­i­nal in­ter­pre­ta­tion. I’ll stop now while I’m ahead.

Any­way. You have a 70% chance of be­ing de­lighted to learn that RC will con­tinue as it is, just as you’ve asked. If you’re one of the other 30%, I can re­veal that although it’ll look the same, the New! Im­proved! RC will con­tain ex­tra fea­tures on the bikes you want to know more about, and less of those you want to read less about. Which will be a strug­gle, as they ap­pear to be the same…

Which is why I al­ways, but al­ways, pre­fer to chat at events so RealPeo­ple can ex­press RealViews face to face, prefer­ably over a sooth­ing li­ba­tion. And in turn, I can also share with you that the views ex­pressed at events like shows and jum­bles are of­ten wildly dif­fer­ent from those I lis­tened to while meet­ing folk at OK Din­ers, and on other chal­leng­ing rides. While on our ever-lively Face­book group, the views are dif­fer­ent again – although Rowena and I were de­lighted that that group was sin­gled out for a lot of praise in the ‘com­ments’ sec­tion of the survey.

All of which proves to me that the best fea­tures are those writ­ten by you, by The Reader, about the bikes you own, ride, build, ruin and re­build again. Which is ex­actly as it should be.

Ride safely

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