HFL’s 10 most popular stories of 2012

Dailies -



Believe it or not, but convincing a supermodel to review a new leather suit for us wasn’t nearly good enough to join the list of Hell For leather’s 10 most popular stories this year. Who’d a thunk? Here’s the 10 that did make the cut, as determined by the number of times you clicked on them.

10. Brammo Empulse Review

Back in August, I got what will probably be the most significant world exclusive first ride of my career. Why? Because the Brammo Empulse is going to be the bike to put electric motorcycles on the map. No ifs, no ands, no buts, this is absolutely the one. 105mph and 121 miles is all well and good, what’s more significant is that this is the first product to fully realize the advantages electric motivation brings to handling, feel and outright speed. Oh, and it was the first time Eric Bostrom had ever gotten his knee down on the road. Finally in dealers and on-sale, look for one passing you on a mountain road in the very near future. You’ll be able to tell it’s coming by the tell tale sound of TIE Fighter.

9. A Biker’s Guide to Christmas

Turns out you guys like to shop. An easy little gift guide full of tents, helmets, gloves, knives and assorted radness turned into one of our most popular stories. Look for more like this as we move towards the launch of RideApart.com.

8. Epic Icon Hoonery

Eight minutes of utter madness from Nick, Ernie, two Speed Triples and a cop car. It’s over 13 million views on YouTube and it debuted right here on HFL, complete with the full back story.

7. MANigale

Our friends at Portland’s MotoCorsa are pretty awesome. So awesome in fact that they agree to pose for Alicia’s camera in drag. A great, light hearted send up of all the horrendously trashy, misogynistic motorcycle marketing out there.

6. Honda NC700X Review

Another surprise. I wrote a fairly lame article from the airport and, because the CD they handed me at the launch wouldn’t read, used canned press photos, but you guys read it anyways. Maybe that’s a testament to what a great bike the NC700X is, every single person I know who’s ridden it just loves this practical, affordable, fuel-efficient all-rounder.

5. CCW Misfit Review

Turns out there’s something to this affordable motorcycle trend after all. The $3,200 CCW Misfit is wonderful, totally recapturing the classic bike experience in a new machine you can own for $0 down and $85 a month. I repeat those numbers not to shill, but to emphasize just how affordable this thing is. A lot of people who couldn’t have afforded a motorcycle otherwise are going to start riding on this thing and they’ll be rewarded with a great little bike when they do.

4. Honda’s new 500s

We were the first outlet to bring you undisguised spy photos and complete specs on the new CBR500R, CB500 and CB500x. Mark my words, these three bikes — starting at just $5,500 — are going to be huge in 2013. Massive practicality and fun in a very affordable package, this is what motorcycling is all about.

3. Oops

Back in October I had a silly little crash that resulted in more injury than it should have. Why? I was wearing jeans. Not afraid to admit those are a bad idea, or to show the embarrassing results, hopefully the rest of you can learn from my mistakes. This one was probably more popular than our numbers suggest, the article was syndicated by both Jalopnik and Deadspin.

2. Justin Bieber is a Squid

Some little kid became a billionaire by singing bad pop music on YouTube. With that money, he bought an 848 Evo, but no safety gear. Where do we start. Oh right, by mocking him.

1. Motorcycles Translated to the Common Man

It wasn’t boobs, it wasn’t leaked photos, it wasn’t sensationalism or sarcasm or even cute kitties. Instead, HFL’s most read story of the year was written by an architect in Ohio who moonlights as a college lecturer on motorcycle culture. You’ll see much more from Carter in 2013.

  • Tommy Erst

    Just a comment on your remark that the 500′s are going to be huge. I couldnt agree more. I am strictly basing this off the number of cbr250′s I’ve seen on the road lately. It’s blowing my mind. I’m also willing to bet a lot of those owners wish they would have waited for these 500′s to come out. Who would have thought people actually want practical cheap bikes.

    • taba

      I’ve a CBR250R in the US I haven’t touched yet. Maybe I should swap it for the 500 before I do?

      I am really liking the 250 I have overseas, but half my riding in the US might be of some distance (Austin to Key West or Vegas).

      • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

        Distance will be a bit of an adventure on the 250. I bet that CB500X is going to be a great budget tourer. But, you’ve already got a 250, so ride the 250!

  • Charlie

    I think there is one surprise in the rankings. Not the lead story, which captures the brand, but that you have commercial potential with folks who shop.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      18-35yo men who live in cities like to buy shit? Who knew.

      • Charlie

        Maybe none of it makes any sense with the supermodel not in the top 10. I was curious when you said there would be more stories like the bikers guide to xmas gifts with RideApart. More reviews?

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          RideApart’s a consumer portal, so it’ll focus on buyer’s guides, how tos, reviews, research, data and stuff like that.

          • Charlie

            Thanks, sounds good. Looking forward to seeing the evolution

  • Case

    Ms. Montenegro is stunning but, to be fair, those were 10 great stories (Biebs excepted – he’s just a tool on a bike and I see that 50x a week).

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      A few stories went a bent wonky in the migration to the new site. Those images worked originally and will again as we make our way back through them. Thanks for bearing with us.

  • http://twitter.com/threefour Victor Lombardi

    Happy to see an antidote to the misogynistic motorcycle marketing.

    That said, the supermodel article might have been more popular if the inline images were working.