The McQueen/Hasselhoff conundrum

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Our old buddy JT Nesbitt got pretty upset when he heard that Motorcyclist’s Aaron Frank had used a comment he’d left on HFL without permission. He got even more upset when Aaron dismissed his criticisms of that bike’s design. So upset, in fact, that he stopped work on his CNG-powered art deco custom roadster and wrote this rant for us unsolicited. Here’s JT’s thoughts on crashing bikes, the Ducati Diavel’s design and hassling the Hoff. — Ed.

As I pulled away from the stop sign onto Elysian Fields, the R6 redlined and I was moving sideways. Before I could manage to wonder what had just happened to my rear traction, the world was spinning and then the inevitable crunch of plastic and aluminum, the sickly smacking of limbs on asphalt and the dull thud of the helmet doing its job.

Funny how every time something embarrassing like this happens there is always a crowd to admire my acrobatics. Laid out in the middle of the street, a window rolls down and the dude inside can’t help himself. Grinning ear to ear he asks, “Yo, you aiite?” I know that he saw the whole thing.

I managed to get home under the power of adrenaline, but as soon as the kickstand hit the shop floor the pain blossomed. Fuck, crashing sucks.

Four days later and I feel like I am the recipient of a jailhouse shanking everytime the muscles around the broken ribs spasm uncontrollably. The right knee throbs with a constant dull pain. I am stiff, sore and pissed off.

Because I can’t do any work to my current car project, I got my girlfriend to take me to the bookstore so I could at least get some magazines to read while I lay in bed, wincing in pain. I managed to put on clothes and hobble to the car.

Grant told me that I got quoted in Motorcyclist and I’ll admit I was curious to see how. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t even pay any attention to the motorcycle rags and head straight for the British car magazines instead, but since Grant made such a fuss about it, I bought Motorcyclist along with the usual selection of Evo, Octane, and Classic/Sports Car.

Now keep in mind, I am not in a good mood to begin with and when I get this way the only real panacea is making other people feel shitty too. Call it a character flaw, call it human nature. I don’t care cause it’s gonna make me feel better, at least in the short term.

Here goes.

Aaron Frank, you are a pussy. I understand that you post on the HFL website under some stupid pseudonym, “Salad Tosser” or some shit like that, yet you use your real name when you write for Motorcyclist. Why the secrecy? Hey fignuts, my name is JT Nesbitt. My address is 427 Esplanade Ave. New Orleans La. Wanna call me? Phone number 504-606-8847. Don’t quote me without permission again.

Next topic, your article on the Ducati Diablo, Drivel, Desperado, whatever that stupid ass motorcycle is called. There is a concept that I want you to explore here, it’s called journalistic integrity. It’s where you seek truth by asking challenging questions. Judging by the glaring omission of anything substantive in your article, I have decided to give you an unsolicited list of question that maybe you should have asked about this bike.

Why did they get a European to design an “American” motorcycle?

How about the obvious inconsistency of having a hot rod design brief and then loading the motorcycle with all kinds of electronic bric-a-brac. Do you even know what a hot rod is? First rule of hot rodding is simplicity. Mechanical elegance with less electronic complexity, not more. Did you ever consider asking them about that?

What about the me-too nature of this motorcycle? Does every motorcycle company have to offer a product for low information buyers now?

Isn’t this Diablo thing just like Honda making that stupid Fury chopper like 10 years too late to the starting grid? I mean really, the V-Rod came out over 10 years ago and it was a dumb idea even then.

What does the Diavel do that the Triumph Rocket III doesn’t already?

Does widening the Ducati market share to include people who don’t know anything about motorcycles help this brand?

Why would Ducati try to compete with Harley’s V-Rod when Harley can’t sell them? The V-Rod even has a Harley Davidson sticker on it!

And the rear tire, I mean seriously, why? I get the how, but they went to all of the trouble of having a custom rear tire made to mitigate the effects of having a beach ball out back, why? Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should. Right?

Who is actually going to buy this motorcycle? Cruiser guys? Isn’t Ducati’s whole carefully crafted identity anathema to overweight Alabamian rubes? I mean ain’t that Ducati’s raison d’etre?

How will a well-informed motorcyclist who sacrificed and stretched to buy that 848 and is finally feeling a member of an exclusive family respond to the pot-bellied, fingerless-glove-wearing moron who pulls up next to him at a stoplight, only to light his cigarette, give him the thumbs up, and say “Ducati For Life, Bro!”

How about just the sheer size of that thing? Why is it so big? Did you ask them about their target demographic being members of the small penis society?

Lastly and most importantly, the question is: How does this motorcycle move the ball down the field? Is this progress? What fresh ground does it break, in a wider context, not just for Ducati itself?

So how bout it Sassafras, you ever gonna step up to the plate or are you satisfied with that puff piece that you passed for journalism? Bet I know the answer. Goodbye Edward R Murrow, hello Regis Philbin.

Now, as for my quote, the one that you purloined without permission, and your weak rebuke of my statement. You noted that they used my work as reference material. You wrote, “Criticism was hyperbolic and largely unwarranted.” Wha? So my criticism is unwarranted?

Did they look at any of the motorcycles that you designed? Was it “Aaron Frank’s House of Proppa Choppas” that they studied while sketching this monstrosity? Hell, if anybody has the right to critique, it’s the people that they admitted had influence on the design. People like me.

Obviously my opinion contradicts the purpose of this catshit on the carpet lovefest for Ducati advertising dollars and is therefore automatically categorized as “hyperbolic”. What about telling the truth, is that “hyperbolic?” Is treating the people that you interview about motorcycles like adults and asking tough questions like an actual member of the press “hyperbolic?”

Now, moving on to some real hyperbole and rancor, since you didn’t ask. I laid awake last night in too much pain to sleep, rolling this whole thing around in my head. Trying to put words to my disdain for the Drivel just wasn’t happening, the pain was forcing me to think in images, not text. Sort of an “Altered States” moment of regression and enlightenment. In my moment of yogi-like meditation I devised the ultimate taxonomic classification system. It’s more like a pass/fail metric than a graded one and I want to proselytize to the whole world the revelation that I alone was granted. Behold, the dawn of a new era! Gentlemen, I give to you the McQueen/Hassellhoff conundrum.

I can almost hear the collective gasps as y’all realize the breadth of possible applications for the McQueen/Hassellhoff formula, everything from making a fortune on the stock market to predicting weather patterns. But, let’s collectively agree only to use this awesome power for good, OK?

Now to be honest, when I was 14, I would definitely be drawn to the Hassellhoff side of the conundrum and, to a point, I still find kitsch funny. Hell I almost bought a Ferrari Testarossa this spring. Just ask Grant, he talked me back off the ledge.

So I put it to you, the newly formed McQueen/Hassellhoff Cabal, where does the new Ducati Diavel belong? Is it McQueen or is it Hassellhoff?

This article represents the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the position of or any of its parent companies, subsidiaries, or affiliated organizations.


    I’d say the Diavel falls squarely in the McHoffleQueen category.

    • pinkyracer

      are you kidding? McQueen would crash that thing into the side of a cliff at 90 (probably it’s top speed) just to kill it and put it out of it’s freakish misery. Then he’d saunter out of the flames, lighting a cigarette off one as he walks away to get on the first real bike he sees.

  • Steve

    Mr. Nesbitt – I’ve never been so attracted to another man than I am to you at this moment…

    • Wes Siler

      I’d watch yourself there…

    • Kyle

      I’d also note that I’d make love to that triumph as well

  • Mark D

    Since you’re based in NOLA, I’ll use a regionally appropriate metaphor: buying a Diavel is like going to NOLA, eating at Bubba Gump’s shrimp company, and drinking Bud Light on Bourbon St.

    Sure, its still in NOLA, so the bars and parties will be crazier than a random club in your hometown, just like a Diavel will be faster than a V-rod, but still…dude. McQueen would hang out on Frenchmen and drink Abita. The Diavel is straight-up ‘Hoff.

  • Glenngineer

    If your bikes looked as good as this article reads, I’d like them.

  • BeastIncarnate

    My god, this completely made my day. The first thing I thought on reading the Motorcyclist article was, “Holy shit, that was arrogant.” Thank you. Thank you universe for allowing me to be here at just this moment in time.

  • Jon

    Hasslehoff does not have the motor skills necessary to operate nunchucks correctly, so I find your formula flawed. That being said, the Diavel, on principle, is Hasslehoff.

  • Eric

    I have to give the Diavel to…..

    the Hoff!

  • ike6116

    /slow clap

    Is there any question left in anyone’s mind why we subscribe to this?

  • JonB

    Haselhoff vs. McQueen—mods vs. rockers for the new millennia?

  • overunder

    Thank you JT, you just changed my life.

    • pavinguire


  • george

    I don’t get the bigness of the dia…

  • Case

    Rad. Apparently I misunderstood Mr. Nesbitt when he referred to this website as ‘fagolicious’, and for that I apologize.

    The Diavel is Hoff all the way. The new 848 evo is McQueen.

    • Your_Mom

      Actually, I believe it was “fagorific.”

  • andehans

    The Diavel will probably be big in Germany just like The Hoff. Agree with everything except Daft Punk vs Stone Roses. They’re both McQueen.

    • ike6116

      Yeah Daft Punk is alright, why not shit on someone trying to emulate rock and failing…

      Nickelback, you’re in!

    • Wes Siler

      I believe that’s daft punk cover art vs a pollack painting…

      • andehans

        Well, John Squire’s paintings were heavily inspired by Pollock..

  • Denzel

    “Its complicated” … ANY current, mass marketed Duc would probably be a bit on the pretty side for McQueen.

    Please sign JT up as a regular contributor…

  • Kirill

    This is pure genius

  • Ben

    Man, I would subscribe again just to get this article.

  • Ed

    Gads … I need to UNSEE the pic of the Hoff with the puppies. Nightmares!!!!

  • DoctorNine

    It is inexplicable that this rant should be the first thing on HFL that I read in the Year of the Bunny . I just don’t know about that Chinese astrology stuff…

  • Deep6Dive

    I’m now selling my Cannon DLSR for a M9, thank you.

    • Deep6Dive

      also, where the hell is there a good place to ride in Louisiana. I work in the GOM and have to try really hard to have a fun weekend of riding.

    • seanslides

      You might need a little more cash than you’ll be able to get from the sale of your Canon…

      • Deep6Dive


    • ontheroad

      Man, nothing against the M9, but film is damn expensive to process these days. I think Leica’s are now most often used as accessories, worn to the bar by guys in womens pants in the hopes of picking up hipster girls… which might make them a bit Hoff-ish. Sad stuff.

      • Wes Siler

        The M9′s digital.

        • ontheroad

          Christ, am I behind the times. Disregard.

          • JaHo

            Film is cheap if you develop it yourself. Darkroom equipment is now incredibly affordable, if not free. Film cameras are getting cheaper every year. You can put together a decent medium format rig for less than a grand easily [Heck, I've seen Konica Rapids going for less than $100 at camera shows] Wanna talk image quality? Scan a 6×7 negative at 2400dpi. Want to think about the pictures you’re taking, rather than spray-and-pray at 7fps/I’ll fix it in photoshop later? Shoot film.

            Playing around with semi toxic chemicals in your basement darkroom and watching the images appear on your print is magical. Then, when you’re done, you have something you made by hand, yourself. No software involved. There’s something to that.

            Film isn’t dead. It just smells funny.

            • ontheroad

              I totally agree with you about the image quality of film and the thoughtfulness shooting it necessitates: I grew up on film and still love using my old Nikon SLR. I dreamed of having a medium/large format rig as a kid (and now thanks to you I’ll probably start obsessing over one again…).

              I’ve always wanted to learn how to process and print myself but I’ve never had darkroom access and I couldn’t possibly set one up in my tiny apartment, so every time I take 20 rolls in to the last decent film-friendly shop in town it’s painful. If I knew someone with a darkroom I could play around in, I’d shoot a lot more film.

  • ontheroad

    Off with the gloves, eh? Clever, surly, and just the right amount of pissed off: well done. I’ll stop short of fawning over JT (think that’s been covered above), but I will say this: I’m always grateful to be reminded there are still men among us that are not only excellent craftsmen but also handy with a pen.

  • markbvt

    I thought JT Nesbitt was pretty smart before. Now I think he’s a fucking genius.

    And I am totally going to use the Hasselhoff/McQueen comparison.

  • jonoabq

    the address/phone # bit was a jaw dropping kick to the nuts. I am in awe…and grinning my ass off, thank you JT for making my day.

  • Gregory

    Not even the wanker-on-weekends-only Ducati owners would ride this. It is anathema to the image/ feel that is Ducati. It’s a marketer’s nightmare. How do you sell this? In short, this is the anti-Ducati.

    So, my conclusion: this model lies entirely within the Hasselhoff Realm, wholely & completely. Keep away, True Riders, keep away.

    As for my KLR, well… heh, heh, heh… I make vroom-vroom noises inside my helmet as I jump over the fence into Switzerland… as I accelerate up to ~60mph.

    Portland, OR
    2008 KLR 650 w. milkcrate

  • Aaron

    JT, you talk like we’ve never met. Remember ’06 or whatever, when those nut-swinging sycophants at Motorcyclist showcased your glorious Wraith in their booth at Dealer Expo in Indianapolis? Right after they put it on the magazine cover, and published some big, fully illustrated, 2500-word thumbsucker story all about your own bad visionary self inside? The good old days, I guess, before we sold out and became just that many more worthless corporate blow-jobbers.

    Regarding the Diavel: get back to me after you’ve actually ridden the bike. Or at least seen it in person. Then you can tell me everything I got wrong, and why. I’m sure its some worthless, unrideable piece of shit, just like the Multistrada, and 1198, and every other Ducati we so undeservedly praise.

    I’ve ridden your Wraith, too, by the way. Click and page down: Apparently someone’s dick was too far down my throat for me to inquire about the target demographic for that 120-cubic-inch, $92,500 exercise in extroversion, re: small-penis membership society. My apologies for that oversight.

    Aaron Frank

    • Richard

      I’m not sure your bosses at Motorcyclist would approve of this post champ. Just sayin…

      • dux

        Haha. PR at it’s finest.

    • Wilbur

      Dude, really? Thats your response? Fuck man, get it straight. You fucked up. Oh well life goes on, if you just admit that.

    • fasterfaster

      You wrote a puff piece for Confederate and now expect Nesbitt to scratch your back in return? The assumption that you earned a favor from him by blowing smoke up his ass, and expect that favor to be returned as a pass on another puff piece is an interesting take on journalistic integrity. Thank you for so perfectly demonstrating the pervading cronyism in American motorcycle print press.

  • Aaron

    Also: what happened to my Salad Shooter tag?

    • Wes Siler

      Hit “profile” up top next to your name and you can change your display name to anything you fancy.

  • Richard

    Im going to refrain from the superlatives on this one but everything about that rant was pretty damn cool. Can I please give you guys more money for my subscription?

    As a side note, Here’s Aaron Frank’s bio from the Motorcyclist website. Its funny.

    Motorcyclist magazine would like to welcome and introduce you to the newest edition of our staff, Aaron Frank, Editor-at-Large.

    Aaron worked for Motorcyclist magazine from 2001-2002, quickly proving himself as both a fine writer and rider. In 2003 he ended his stint with Motorcyclist to help launch Primedia publication Super Streetbike, a lifestyle magazine focusing on freestyle riding and “stuntin’,” as we like to call it. There he served as Editor-in-Chief.

    Aaron was invited back to Motorcyclist at the end of 2006 and, fortunately for us, he accepted. Aaron’s young perspective and adventurous nature is going to give Motorcyclist a fresh new zest with his goal of assisting the other editors in producing “the smartest, savviest—and coolest—motorcycle magazine you’ve ever read.”

    Look for Aaron’s work in future issues. As an expert roadracer, he’ll be Motorcyclist’s “fast guy” at future sportbike press intros. Like he says, “It’s always better to ride a fast bike fast than it is to do anything on a slow bike.”

    Don’t miss Aaron’s first editorial in the March 2007 issue of Motorcyclist.

    Wait, is that a violation of copyright? Can they sue me for posting that?

    • dux

      “Stuntin’”? That’s so cool, hip and fresh, bro!

    • Wilbur

      Bullshit. Riding a slow bike fast as fuck is a ton of fun.

      • Philip


      • Richard

        Agreed! Show me any club racers that have more fun than the: A) Vintage guys (even if they are a bit odd) B) Ninja 250 racers.

  • Matt

    Haha glad to see Hammarhead Jack Pine in the McQueen category.

  • dux

    Does this mean you can get the Diavel with Official Ducati oscillating red LED’s?

    • miles_prower

      LOL!!!! And will it talk to you in the voice of William Daniels?

  • mugget

    Haah – awesome!

  • JT Nesbitt

    Wow!! looks like I just got Hassellhoffed by the salad tosser himself! So your argument for the lazy journalism that you perpetrated of late is similar to story that Motorcyclist ran on my shit SIX years ago? Hey at least you are using your actual name now – guess that’s progress. As for the story that you reference- Was it a thumbsucker? YES IT WAS. Alan Cathcart wrote that piece about a tiny company struggling like hell to CHANGE the way motorcycles were constructed – using a “no welding” philosophy, a rejection of flawed telescopic front end architecture, a new take on what an American motorcycle could be. Are you asserting that the Diavel is a revolutionary motorcycle on par with the Wraith?
    I will freely admit that I have been the victim of sympathetic journalism. In fact I find it EMBARRASSING in hindsight, that’s the whole point here. It is a new era, and places like HFL no longer have to compromise the truth for advertising dollars. Your desperation is directly linked to your paycheck. You are a dinosaur.
    As for motorcycles, and your right to lambaste me, for the motorcycles that I have built, sir, I ask you frankly, where is yours? — JT

    • Mauricio

      Right, that’s why you stuffed a pushrod, two valve Harley clone engine in the thing. Because that is CHANGE. I mean, shit, who’s ever seen a 100K custom with a Harley engine. Then there are all those less than functional concessions to style on the Wraith. Like the tractor seat. I bet that really helps with correct body positioning for turning, not to mention comfort for long distance riding. As for “revolutionary”… jury is out JT. Revolutions are points of inflection. You know one happened because everything afterwards is influenced by, and follows the ideas put forth, by the revolutionary design. Massimo Tamburini and Ducati 916: revolutionary. Can you honestly say that the motorcycle industry changed one iota because of the Wraith? So really it is more of a curiosity, a footnote, yes?

      The arrogance dripping from everything you’ve posted is just a bit much. Quit blowing your own horn so much Nesbitt, and learn to be gracious. How old are we, again?

    • Jeffery

      The Wraith as “revolutionary” in motorcycle design? HAHAHAHAHA. Just the product of some ego driven lawyer and trust fund designer who has not done anything since. I have been around cars and motorcycles a long time and its pretty funny when the only person saying things like that about a bike is the person who designed it. As others have pointed out the engine was an HD clone, the loom looked like a homebrew special and the one I rode did not do do anything remarkably well except make noise and drag parts around corners while vibrating itself to death. Lucky for me I did not buy it and even the owner admitted it was more of an art exercise than a rideable bike. Last time I saw one was at an auction and it did not sell due to lack of interest, Viva the Revolution! So for a guy who has built the bike and it was according to you a revolution in design maybe you ought to look at some truly revolutionary designs and come up with some truly original ideas. Funny many people I know seemed to think your front end was a cheap copy of Britten’s design, the tractor seat off any old vintage HD so what if you made it out of carbon fiber I fully expected a “buddy” version complete with white fringe as an option to carry two. I know for a fact the swing arm was lifted
      from Ducati since one afternoon your staff was at Bogarts Ducati in Birmingham buying brake disc bolts as they were needed specifically to fit the Ducati swingarm and addmitted the fact. So now we have both ends and the engine covered. The frame a single spine tube over the top of the HD clone motor hmmm nothing original there either. It also seems to use just off the shelf bits from the HD bin like the oil cooler and voltage regulator just name a couple. So really was your first design of a motorcycle revolutionary? I do not recall every having read that anywhere. Did it look cool? Maybe to some, and I always thought it was pretty cool to look at but others thought it laughable and cartoonish. So I guess it comes to taste.

      As for your criticism of Ducati and you not liking the design claiming it “violates trust and integrity of the brand” or what ever the clever little phrase you feel you trademarked in a comment section that seems to have sparked this little tirade. Get over it. Ducati has always had a history of standards and UJM type bikes Broncos, 860GTs, Indiana, and the Monster which by the way when was first unveiled caused about the same level of polarization among Ducati owners and wannabe designers alike. It went on to be Ducati’s best selling model with the longest production run in Co. history. So maybe if you looked into history of the goals of the company you would of seen this. Maybe, maybe not, self obsession tends to blind the self obsessed to those kind of pertinent details.

      As for you being the “victim”,you were taken advantage of good intentions from media and people who wanted to see Confederate succeed? It rings hollow and hypocritical. Only now that you are outside the industry and back to the mental and literal masturbation of trust fund life you do you bark the bark of the wounded dog. So how do you repay the kindness? Calling out people in a public forum like a burned out past relevant has been looking to draw attention to yourself. So who is manipulating the media now? Wes(Wannabe) Siler made sure he played his part to facilitate this in his media against those he feels do not meet his level of pseudo journalism however low or high. Maybe he sees himself doing a public service like Wiki Leaks? Julian Assange Wes is not. It is up to the readers to determine ultimately. Instead of maybe picking up the phone and talking to Aaron personally you both perpetuated name calling and personal attacks. I know Aaron, I have met JT on my visits to Confederate in Birmingham when they were sucking the City enticed tits of relocation to stay in business. Having said that I got a stronger sense of integrity from Aaron the first time I met him at Blackhawk farms than JT after two prolonged visits at Confederate. I have not met Wes nor do I feel like I need to. I grew up riding and working in moto shops in San Francisco and feel like I have a pretty good grasp of the “urban” mindset I had it too, I grew up and moved on from that. Its a great feeling to feel the smugness that comes with surrounding yourself with your own personal cheer leading squad. If not for the fact that I felt compelled to follow up on what I saw as a personal attack on a very good friend I would not of spent the 1.99 or any other amount to join the Wes Siler cheer leading squad. Ultimately I hope Wes grows up and joins the real world maybe he can bring JT along for the ride, maybe its time to design that buddy seat for the Wraith.
      I visit the site occasionally as it truly reminds me of how I do not want to end up sounding bitter and cynical by looking at everyone else who does not think like me as the enemy. I am cynical enough on my own but thats another story. I have worked in the motorcycle industry over 20 years as it is something I truly love and think more people should do it. If manufacturers are making bikes for people to ride and want to grow their business then I am all for it. Look at Can-Am success with the Spyder, would I own one? No but they were sold through the first two years before they were even released. So it hit on something. If nobody likes it then no one will buy it regardless of what media here on HFL or any other type says. People that buy bikes based on what others say exclusively are not in this for the long term. Buy what you like and ride it.

      • JT Nesbitt

        Ugh oh – Bullshit Alert!! Seeing as how I have never been to the Confederate facility in Birmingham, I find it miraculous that you met me there! Hey Mr. passive/aggressive- Running me and Wes down about the work that I have done in the past, and the HFL site, is pretty weak, considering the venue. I am sure that your motorcycles, AND your Motorcycle blog are VASTLY superior to the the amateurish attempts presented here- so let’s see them -produce them now and shut us up. — JT
        P.S. Back to the question, is the Diavel McQueen or Hasselhoff – in your Sage and Salubrious opinion?

        • Mauricio

          Another opportunity to take the high road gone to waste. You have real difficulty with this, don’t you? THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR PUBLIC HUMILIATION. Ambushing someone the way you did for quoting you verbatim on something you said in a public space doesn’t make you cool. It is petty and infantile. Also, you are completely deluded as to the place the Wraith occupies in motorcycledom. You seem to think it is the answer to the age old question “What Would Jesus Ride?” when in reality it is something Tom Cruise rides. So there ya have it… it is not “Diavel: McQueen or Hasselhoff?”, but rather “Wraith: Jesus or Tom Cruise?” And the answer is not Jesus.

          • JT Nesbitt

            Yah you’re right. I am being mean, and should stop hating on folks. I’ll play nice from now on…The ribs are feeling better now anyway and it’s back to work on the car –JT

        • Jeffery

          I really don’t need a blog now I am paid up here and can use Wes’s,well till my 1.99 runs out. As for B-ham maybe you were there or not who knows for sure. I have worked at just about every major motorcycle event in the US with the exception of motocross. I have met you twice with the bike nearby so you could talk about it and how cool you think it is. Over the past 25 years I have owned about 25 bikes and been fortunate enough to have friends trust me enough to swap bikes at track days and Sunday rides. Anyway the Diavel question I will wait till I ride it and see it in person. Who knows it could be the next monster or it could be the next Indiana.

      • Matt the sperglord


  • Ken D

    Brilliant. And so true about English car mags. CAR is a monthly masterpiece.

    Easy on the Canon though. A Leica these days is just a Panasonic in an Armani suit for people who don’t mind paying 50% more for the same thing.

    • overunder

      While most of Leica’s range are rebadged Panasonic, The M8, M9 and S2 are all Leica’s own design and built. And they sure as hell better be, considering how the M9 is $7000 body only.

      • Ken D

        Jesus. That’ll buy you a 5D Mk2 with a warehouse full of lenses. Or a motorcycle. I wonder who buys them? Surely not actual photographers.

  • tom

    i am sure glad i am rich and smart enough to pay for the HFL onlince subscription

  • CalamariKid

    This article just pushed me over the edge. Pure awesomeness. Now a HFL subscriber.

  • Chris

    This is the best thing since Joe Rogan dug Carlos Mencia out for stealing material.

    Aaron, potentially you could just own your journalistic error, change for the better, and move on. The person who had their words stolen has a claim. You have an apology to make.

    • dux

      I wish Carlos Mencia stole more material. He might start being funny. How many Mexican jokes can you make?

  • Ian

    The pic comparison/analogy/whatever is brilliant. It says something that I just can’t find the words for. Genius, dude.

  • Ian

    New section: Best of HFL. First nomination: this.

  • Ducky

    JT Nesbitt, this whole McQueen/Hoff comparison is a literal revelation for me- now I see the world in a whole new way. Mind=blown…

    Oh yeah, the Diavel. That’s definite Hoff.

  • Corey

    Wes, I’m fascinated by the virtual vs. paper publishing industry hair pulling here. I have no means to evaluate this, but through the comments section I get the impression that your readership is on par with Motorcyclist’s in terms of sheer numbers. Do you publicly release this data? I have an honest-to-god academic research project that I would love to ask you about along these lines…

  • miles_prower

    I read HFL on a near-daily basis (and sometimes more if I’ve got moments of waiting for some person/process/event/thing). But personally, I think there are still reasons for print mags to exist.

    I like reading long-format articles in print, especially if their topics are timeless.

    Also, whenever I’m flying (at least once a month, sometimes more), I pick up print mags so I’ve got something to read during takeoff and landing when electronic devices must remain off. In the US, I look for Motorcyclist first and Cycle World next. In UK/EU, I always buy Ride and Bike. The latter two (British) mags are fantastic reading — great examples of the kind of journalism that hasn’t yet been successfully translated to digital.

    One place where print mags once ruled over digital — but no longer do — is the bathroom at home. The iPad iPood has changed that.

    BTW, I think JTN’s article is brilliant, colorful, and hilarious! But after reading through all the comments, I feel that the continued lambasting (from both sides) is neither productive nor interesting in itself. On the other hand, I do hope that JTN does more writing for HFL.

    • ontheroad

      I think print has it’s place but, unfortunately for us here stateside, I can’t help but notice that the quality of moto-journalism available in print has been steadily declining over the course of my (admittedly brief) readership.

      I believe, as many here seem to, that our motorcycle magazines are too much obliged to the industry that funds them through advertising and too little to the riding public. I come to HFL for the honest-to-goodness motorcycle press. Is it digital? Yes. Is that irrelevant? Yes. I don’t have an aversion to print, only what’s in print. I’d be just as happy with my subscription if the postman delivered it quarterly. The digital medium affords a wholly different and more dynamic experience for the consumer but, no matter the form, good journalism is just that and that’s why I’m here.

      These guys are apparently blogging in the basement and they’re getting it right, so why can’t Motorcyclist? Why do they need to crib HFL for content, particularly in this context as a source to refute in singing the praises of some new model?

      Had this all happened in print, it would likely have been sorted out in some backroom editorial correspondence; instead, it plays out here in real-time. Welcome to our present world: it’s unavoidable. While I would love to see nothing but great articles and banter here, I respect Wes & Grant’s right and duty to protect their content and raise hell when it’s been usurped. Is this dialogue productive or as interesting as other content? Likely not, but I believe it inevitable given the circumstance and I will support such incendiary pieces time and again so long as this sort of response is merited.

      • miles_prower

        Great commentary, and I don’t disagree.

        • ontheroad

          Hooray for agreement! Thanks, I respect your views as well. This civility has been too easy, maybe we should bicker about something.

      • Richard

        The comments are half the fun. Hell, the stupid innane responses are sometimes better than the well thought out, coherent ones. Exhibit ‘A’ would be Aaron Frank’s response above. Dumbest thing I’ve ever read (from a professional journalist none the less) and it entertained the hell out of me.

  • GuyP


  • Terry

    I love coming here. I wish you guys sold shirts or something.

    “Is it McQueen, or is it Hasselhoff?” is now part of my critical vocabulary. An instant classic.

  • Ted

    Hold on, if we’re going to have a dick measuring competition I’m going to need the yard stick.

    I am a big fan of the attitudes and outlooks of the HFL staff and contributors. I like the advocacy and input on the present and future state of the motorcycle culture/industry.

    This suddenly frequent bashing of other industry rags, blogs, and personalities though borders extremely closely to unprofessionalism. In my industry there are plenty of folks that are too big for their britches, dip from the hypocrisy trough regularly, and try to take credit for work that isn’t theirs. We deal with them by stepping up our game and delivering a better result. Bashing the competition is a cheap, heavy handed attempt to make yourself look more appealing that in the end only makes you look desperate.

    If you are better and you want people to know it, be better. HFL IS better. I don’t like articles like this for the same reason I don’t watch reality TV. If I wanted to see people fight over Cheerios I’d hang out at a daycare center. If I want quality cutting edge motorcycle journalism I go to HFL. Let’s keep the two separate.

    Dragging your dirty laundry into public is very Hoff-ish.

    • Gregory


    • Mauricio


    • Paul

      I agree with this comment. Wes and Grant, I think it’s possible that you care more about these feuds than your readers do. We already know Motorcyclist sucks–that’s why we bought subscriptions for HFL.

      • Devin

        I sort of disagree. I like it when they show us who is sourcing their pics from HFL, and I liked it when they showed a HFL reader’s comments get used without permission in a print magazine.

        This article was a little unnecessary, but it amused me greatly so I will give it a pass. It should stop here though.

        • Ted

          I prefer the “lol look at these tools” approach of the ‘Where is HFL?’ segments to the bashing nature of articles like this. A good heckling is far more entertaining than a slam piece.

          Just seems to divide the already tumultuous world of motorcycling to pit two factions against each other. There is enough divisive content out there. Same team guys.

          • slowtire


    • DAVID


      if I want to read flame wars, I can do that for free elsewhere.

    • Restless Lip Syndrome


      • Peter

        I enjoy a good flame war as much as anyone, but this one has gone on long enough.

        It’s about as cool as truck nuts now.

        • Denzel

          The impression the article leaves me with is about 1/3 unfortunate factional in-fighting, 1/3 talented effortless writing and 1/3 creative brilliance…So hats off to HFL for the last 2/3.

    • Wes Siler

      I like your outlook on things, but it doesn’t necessarily match up with the environment we exist in.

      If it was just a case of competing for readers using quality, original, interesting content, we’d have won a long time ago. Unfortunately we also compete for access with companies who would rather we went under than wrote about their products. Within that world a fair amount of shit talking takes place behind closed doors.

      We publish articles like this for two reasons:

      1. I believe in talking shit to people’s faces and in public because we stand behind what we say.

      2. This hopefully resolves the issues without resorting to legal measures. I grew up in Europe and that culture rubbed off on me enough that lawsuits feel dirty to me.

      • Eric

        I’m honestly enjoying myself a lot watching this exchange.(is beatdown the right word?) So, keep on keeping on.

      • Ted

        And with your ‘Where is HFL?’ articles and the original call-out, you accomplish those things. THAT is is ‘fuck-all’ attitude I like reading on here. I like calling people on their bullshit and seeing their reaction/rebuttal as much as the next guy.

        Where I think it crosses the line is when it resorts to name-calling and bashing. You want to make a journalist look like an ass, expose that he lifted “his” content from your work. Want to make yourself look like an ass? Call him a pussy on the internet.

        Let the bullshit journalism stand as that, bullshit journalism. Then let us decide if the guy’s a pussy or not. A good writer doesn’t tell the whole story in a neat package, they give the readers what they need to draw their own conclusions, take away their own message. Telling me that a rival is lifting content is enough to say to me that they’re an asshat. End of story, call the Academy you’ve got a hit.

        Keep up the good work guys, let the competition hang themselves on their own indiscretions. Plus, what the hell do I know, I’m just a jag-off in a creative industry. Take my opinion with an entire shaker of salt.

  • Chris

    So I’m surprised no one asked this question. Is the Wraith Hasselhoff or McQueen? I can’t afford either that or the Diavel, and maybe I’m better off that way.

    • gregorbean

      The Wraith is Gibson. Mel Gibson, a la Mad Max…wait, nevermind, it’s Brad Pitt.

      • Mark D

        Nonsense, the Wraith is clearly Gary Busey.

        • Terry

          I think it’s more “Piet Mondrian toting a .44 Magnum”, but that’s just my brain.

  • Steve

    Yeah..what they said. And keep the comparisons similar. Like if Hoff’s poking wrinkle puppies, Steve should be doin’ a good ol’ sheep with its’ hind legs stuck in his motorcycle boots. :)

  • Michael

    Talk will only bring this debate so far. I say HLF First Annual Backyard Wrestling Throwdown.

    • Kirill

      The only proper way to end this feud is a sportbike duel. It worked in Torque!

  • CafeDucati

    Kick his ass Sea Bass.

    Bravo on the new scale.

    No other words required.

    • ike6116

      Oooh. How about for Hockey?

      Hasselhoff/McQueen could be

      Sean Avery / Cam Neely

      • Richard


  • moby grape

    O GOD! They are puppies! At first i thought they were pillows.

  • noone1569

    The internet is serious business.

  • pavinguire

    Diavel ist Hasselhoff, Hasselhof ist Diavel!

  • Kurt

    For me, the Wraith, along with all other Confederates, are pose-mobiles of the highest order. About as usable as a rigid chopper. Ducati’s superbikes are as well. I used to laugh at the “lifestyle” riders on their cruisers riding 100 at a time through the canyons at 25mph until I realized that many sportbike riders also ride their bikes because of what they think it says about them, rarely using even 20% of the performance capability designed into the bike. But that’s ok. Given the state of the current motorcycle market, I’ll take every fat Alabamian on a Diavel I can get. Since I’m in the industry, I too can afford neither a Diavel nor a Confederate, but the level of vitriol toward Ducati for building this bike surprises me. If it subsidises more rational bikes like the Multi, I’m in.

  • John

    Talk is cheap, written insults are easy. Get in a ring or on a track and settle any differences if they still dare to reveal themselves in the face of the person they are directed at. Finally, the winner should then show some humility and squash the feud.

  • Peter88

    There’s alot of BS on both sides of the fence. But this article, and the responses, are a microcosm of what’s happening right now in many areas, not just bikes. The “old” ways are dieing, and the powers that be don’t like it. They are struggling to maintain their relevance and power. The organizations that figure this out will thrive.

  • Ryan

    I’m a little more partial to those combat boots.

  • HammSammich

    Am I the only one who really wants a laminated “Pocket Reference” copy of the McQueen/Hasselhoff conundrum? Actually, I need two, so I can send one to Triumph’s HQ and ask them to go through their lineup.

  • isambard

    The diavel IS tacky, but if this is how you react when someone lifts your quotes from a comment on a web story, I’d hate to see how you’d react when someone did something to you that actually matters.

  • TreMoto_Eddie

    I still want a Testarossa….

  • miles_prower

    I thought I’d bring this thread back down to earth by plugging Aaron and JT’s comments above into The Dialectizer set for “Jive”:

    Aaron | February 3, 2011 9:07 PM

    JT, ya’ rap likes we’ve neva’ met. Man! Rememba’ ’06 o’ whutever, when dose nut-swin’in’ sycophants at Moto’cyclist showcased yo’ glo’ious Wraid in deir bood at Deala’ Expo in Nap-town? Right afta’ dey put it on de issue of GQ cover, and published some big, fully illustrated, 2500-wo’d dumbsucka’ sto’y all about yo’ own baaaad visionary self inside? De baaaad old days, ah’ guess, befo’e we sold out and became plum dat many mo’e wo’dless co’po’ate blow-jobbers.

    Regardin’ de Diavel, dig dis: get back t’me afta’ ya’’ve actually ridden de bike. Or at least seen it in sucka’. Den ya’ kin tell me everydin’ ah’ gots wrong, and why. Slap mah fro! I’m sho’ man its some wo’dless, unrideable piece uh shit, plum likes de Multistrada, and 1198, and every oda’ Ducati we so’s undeservedly praise.

    I’ve ridden yo’ Wraid, too, by de way. Slap mah fro! Click and page waaay down, dig dis: Apparently some sucka’s dick wuz too far waaay down mah’ droat fo’ me t’inquire about da damn target demographic fo’ dat 120-cubic-inch, $92,500 ‘esercise in ‘estroversion, re, dig dis: small-penis membership society. Slap mah fro! Mah’ apologies fo’ dat oversight. Man!

    Aaron Frank

    JT Nesbitt | February 3, 2011 9:49 PM

    Wow! Preach it loud, bruddah! looks likes ah’ plum gots Hassellhoffed by de salad tossa’ himself! Right on! So’s yo’ argument fo’ de lazy journalism dat ya’ puh’petrated uh late be similar t’sto’y dat Moto’cyclist ran on mah’ shit SIX years ago? Hey Jollyman at least ya’ is usin’ yo’ actual dojigger now – guess dat’s progress. As fo’ de sto’y dat ya’ reference- Wuz it some dumbsucker? YES IT WAS. Alan Cadcart wrote dat piece about some tiny company strugglin’ likes hell t’CHANGE de way moto’cycles wuz constructed – usin’ some “no weldin’” philosophy, some rejecshun uh flawed telescopic front end architecture, some new snatch on whut an American moto’cycle could be. Is you assertin’ dat da damn Diavel be a revolushunary moto’cycle on par wid de Wraid?

    I gots’ta freely admit dat ah’ have been de victim uh sympadetic journalism. WORD! In fact ah’ find it EMBARRASSING in hindsight, dat’s de whole point here. It be a new era, and places likes HFL no longa’ have t’compromise da damn trud fo’ advertisin’ dollars. Yo’ despuh’shun be directly linked t’yo’ paycheck. Ya’ know? You’s is a dinosaur. Ah be baaad…

    As fo’ moto’cycles, and yo’ right t’lambaste me, fo’ de moto’cycles dat ah’ have built, sir, ah’ ax’ ya’ frankly, where be yo’s? — JT

    • miles_prower

      Oh, I guess we shouldn’t leave Wes out of this fun:

      Wes Siler | February 4, 2011 2:52 PM

      I likes yo’ outlook on doodads, but it duzn’t necessarily match down wid de environment we ‘esist in. ‘S coo’, bro.

      If it wuz plum a case uh competin’ fo’ eyeballers usin’ quality, o’iginal, interestin’ content, we’d gots won some long time ago. ‘S coo’, bro. Unfo’tunately we also compete fo’ access wid companies who would rada’ we went unda’ dan wrote about deir products. Widin dat wo’ld some fair amount uh shit rappin’ snatch’d place behind closed doo’s.

      We publish articles likes dis fo’ two reasons:

      1. ah’ recon’ in rappin’ shit t’sucka’s’s faces and in public cuz’ we stand behind whut we say. Slap mah fro!

      2. Dis hopefully resolves de issues widout reso’tin’ t’legal measho’ mans. ah’ grew down in Europe and dat culture rubbed off on me enough dat lawsuits feel dirty t’me.

    • miles_prower

      I considered using The Pornolizer, but figured I should keep it in good taste. ;)

      • JT Nesbitt

        Yo homeez, Dis shit off da chain dog!!! Woop Woop!! Dees Suckas be Mad Fronti’n wit dey wikked wack jouralizm. Gotta call em on dat shit, oferwize, dey roll it back on you!!–TJ

    • Dain

      That my friend is the funniest thing yet.. BRAVO! ohh and the diabolical is totally hoff.

  • Jonathan

    Brutal, unflinching, and accurate. My take away is that I wouldn’t want to pissed off JT, cause I’d have a hard time recovering from the verbal bitchslappin’ .

    RE the Drivel, I believe it was Chekhov that considered pretense to be a deadly sin.


  • Robert

    Good God Wes, you need to hire JT as a regular contributer (citing Denzel as the original source for this comment). I could not tear myself away from JT’s reply and all the comments. My wife says if I use the word “fagorific” one more time, she is going to cut the Internet off. JT is THE MAN.
    IMO – Diavel is Hasselwhatever – McQueen would center punch it off a cliff and then piss on it.

  • Jonathan

    Man- I left my comment before reading the whole string of replies. I have to say that the exchange was heated, but good reading. I also did not know that JT designed the Wraith when i first read this. Man, that sure changes things. Fer cryin’ out loud man, if you’re standing in a glass house, put down the rocks. I certainly don’t see McQueen getting near one of those things. Spoiled Saudi princes riding Wraiths? Yeah, that sounds just about right.

    Aaron seems to have acquitted himself well, and the comments by Mauricio can’t be ignored. BTW, I’m a nobody, my opinion means crap, and i don’t have a drop of experience compared to these people who have years in the moto industry. However, it’s a basic rule of logic that you don’t slide into ad hominem attacks unless you just feel like getting a bloody nose.

    JT- you have a genuine flair for writing and the Hassel/McQueen idea is great fun. However, you didn’t do yourself any favors by sinking into the personal attacks. The line about, “at least I’ve designed a motorcycle, where’s yours” is a classic lame counter attack. That’s the same as saying that i cannot condemn Kobe Bryant for being an arrogant twat (albiet a phenomenally talented twat) just because I throw a basketball like a girl. Kobe has to live and answer for his twatness on his own. You have to live and answer for the con-Fed-uh-rut Wraith. Maybe history will eventually deem you a visionary.


  • Robert

    Thanks HFL for the freedom of sharing personal opinions about motorcyles and reminding us to keep pressing forward through our differences celebrating life and working for the good of the human spirit.

  • Emmet

    flame wars > lawsuits

    and the Diavel is perfectly Hasselhoff.

    Wes/Grant, the one thing motorcycle magazines do better than internet publications is bathroom reading. I can’t quite wipe my ass and balance a laptop at the same time (at least not yet).

    • ike6116


      • Emmet

        I don’t use tampons

  • zato1414

    This is great, better than cage fighting. The crap that comes from the mouth of a rag writer. I would not use “Salad Shooter” as my handle around any convicts… they might misunderstand.

  • clickeye

    What? JT just paid me big bucks to fly to New Orleans and install a red horizontal light on the front of his latest project! Hypocrite!

  • Peter.C.

    You made my day with this. Such a good article.

    and I’m still tearing from this line, “Goodbye Edward R Murrow, hello Regis Philbin.” wow

  • Harald Lautner

    This article is a piece of (spitting) art. So well put, what I was thinking but did not dare to say.

  • Kevin Kretz

    I like the writing but all the comparisons of the Diavel to V-Rods, V-Max, etc? Really? Have you ridden one?

    “What does the Diavel do that the Triumph Rocket III doesn’t already”

    Uh, handle really well and weigh less than 550 pounds?

    • Ben Incarnate

      Check the date on the original post, Kevin.