FROM THE FRONT
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.