RideApart.com Is Coming

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RideApart_logo_v4.1

The coming weeks will see the launch of RideApart.com, a major new consumer portal for motorcycles. With the launch, Hell For Leather will now be part of a larger business, a larger site and a larger world. That means change. Here’s what those changes mean for you.

What’s RideApart.com going to be like?
We want to make the motorcycle shopping experience work in the same way you shop for cars or clothes or gadgets, but we also know motorcycles aren’t cars or clothes or gadgets. Edmunds.com gets thrown around a lot as a metaphor, but while we’re going to be bringing a lot of shopping tools like that to motorcycles for the first time, we know we’re dealing with bikers shopping for life partners, not transportation appliances. Hopefully we’ll be able to help you make smarter decisions, save you some money and just help you enjoy the two-wheeled life a little more.

Is Hell For Leather going away?
No. The adventures, insight and storytelling that HFL is known for will continue to grow and improve and will still live on HFL, just now within RideApart.com.

Will Hell For Leather’s voice change?
I hope so. One of the most exciting things about all this, for me at least, is that we’re adding new voices and new outlooks to what’s too often been a bit of a one-man band. I like reading what people like Sean, Daniel, Carter, Michael, Jen and all the other guys and gals write much more than I like writing it myself. But no, we’re not suddenly going to become some dry press release clearing house. Both RideApart and HFL are about you, the new generation of motorcyclist, and we think you’ll love what we’ve got cooking.

[Don Tin Foil Hat, Insert Conspiracy Theory Here]
Knock it off. You like what we do now, so you want us to expand it, right? HFL was created to help communicate what makes motorcycles exciting to a new generation. RideApart is the next step.

When’s the show back?
We’re taking this season off and finding it a new, larger home.

So what’s changing?
There will be more content created by more people about a wider range of topics. We’ll be creating much more content around product reviews (both bikes and gear), helping you keep the bike you already own on the road and help you save some money. You’ll be able to shop smarter through RideApart.

This first Beta iteration of RideApart will help you compare new bikes through the specs and reviews that actually mean something to you, then help you figure out the cost of ownership and get the best deals on finance and insurance. All while keeping you informed and entertained. You’re welcome.

I want a new bike, which one should I get?
We’ll be able to help you with that in, oh, about two weeks.

What do you want to see on RideApart.com?

  • http://twitter.com/pinkyracr Susanna Schick

    a full-time MotoGP correspondent. Ideally a female, someone I can really relate to…

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Ha! Have fun with that pass next weekend.

      • http://twitter.com/pinkyracr Susanna Schick

        I sure did! Thanks for making it my best working weekend ever!

    • KeithB

      I’m with Susanna on this.
      Break up the sausage fest with some female riders input.

  • http://twitter.com/AmericanSahara J. Brandon

    Looking forward to it. Pretty sure you won’t screw it up. If I was afraid of change I would never ride a new road.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tyler.mcavoy Tyler McAvoy

    I’m digging this. If you’re seriously doing something as comprehensive as you suggest here, it could be the start of something big.

  • Sohl

    The way TheVerge.com does product reviews and comparisons should provide some great inspiration.

  • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

    Boom goes the dynamite.

    • TheBoatDude

      Too soon.

      • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

        actually, you are right. my apologies. its a reference to an old sports announcer and I did not even make the connection, which is completely insensitive. deleting now, but hopefully this response finds its way into your email.

        • TheBoatDude

          No sweat, brother. It happens.

  • Chris Davis

    What I want to see: curated products, not everything that’s out there. Lots of signal, not much noise. HiFi-Moto. Going to TM that. Wait, Indiamart dot com says that’s already a thing… Damn.

  • Emmet

    How about some correspondence from riders from different parts of the country, or foreign countries? More crash stories, barn finds/restoration/projects (what ever happened to the dual purpose Suzuki you guys were building?).

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Carter’s in Ohio, Michael’s in Nova Scotia, Peter Guld is in Hungary, Daniel’s in Arizona, Tim is English etc etc etc.

      That DL650 project is ongoing, expect to see updates roughly monthly.

  • josh

    More ride reports, even if its just currated from of adv bike, with interviews of the riders.

    • Kevin

      Agreed 100%. I enjoy nothing more than reading a ride report, and that’s the best way to learn what bikes and gear are capable of. Not press junket day rides.

      • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

        Editing a big one today :)

    • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

      HFL used to do “Field Tests” back in the NYC days. I’d love to see stuff like this come back.

      • josh

        saddly in the web site shake up, that link got broke. As long as they dont bring back the old horizontal scrolling, I am all for it.

        • roma258

          Those reports were awesome! Horizontal scrolling and all.

          • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

            I’m a weirdo that can scroll in multiple axis, so I liked the horizontal reports.

            What I would love to see more of is more gear on riders being tested beat up, and written about. As much as I hate seeing people crash, the “crash tests” that Wes and Sean have done directly influenced the gear I have bought.

            I figure that if Sean can eat a light pole on his Gixxer and not have his arm come off, that Icon jacket did it’s damned job. Bought one the next month, as my Tourbastard textile had seen better days.

  • David Strakovsky

    Will you be selling gear? Or just reviewing it? That’s more or less RevZilla’s territory.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      RideApart will provide the tools to help you decide what and where to buy, but you’ll make those purchases elsewhere.

      • David Strakovsky

        Glad to hear, though if i were you guys, i wouldn’t stray away from putting together a few nice t-shirts or apparel to sell. I would definitely rock a nicely designed RideApart t-shirt. Also i’ve been looking around trying to figure out where would be a good place to post a question or two. In search for a good Sports Jacket that works well in both summer, and colder (not necessarily winter but low 40′s) temperature. Was searching the web’s and it seems to be a hard product to find, most prefer to have a mesh jacket during summer, and a leather jacket with liner during the winter, but i’d rather buy 1 jacket for both and spend extra on a good jacket, then look for cheap deals on two jackets. Just an idea.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          Look for some of the more versatile textile gear. Is there a D-Store near you? Or, check out the Aerostich Transit stuff. You really want to be in a suit for more than town work though, a nice two-piece might fit the bill.

          • David Strakovsky

            I have RevZilla a few miles away from me. Dianese is very pricey, but if i find one that fits the bill i’d be happy to pick it up. I’ll look in to the Aerostich Transit, thanks Wes!

            • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

              So drop by RevZilla and ask for Kat.

            • Filip Lewicki

              Icon Patrol line or Klim has some good 4 seasons gear. Jackets or two-piece suits.

        • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

          Check out the rev’it stuff as well. I just wore a 4 season jacket to Seattle and back and its awesome stuff (review coming shortly)

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          We’ve got some need RideApart apparel stuff in the works. I’m excited about it.

  • http://twitter.com/asorenson470 Austin Sorenson

    It would really be nice to see things on motorcycle repair, and tools people should have. Maybe how to add heated bars, or change a chain. I have to go to youtube for those things, and pray for a good video.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Good thinking, we’ll be creating stuff like that.

    • Kr Tong

      I feel lucky to have a brick and mortar place like MotoShop to learn all this. You guys did a thing on charlie’s place a while back. You should give ‘em a shoutout someday too.

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

    Excellent

  • Speedo007

    I want a job at RideApart hehe

  • roma258

    “Help you ̶s̶a̶v̶e̶ spend lots and lots of money”

    There fixed it for you.

  • http://twitter.com/GreggCoff Gregg

    I’d support the idea of a race recap section – WSBK, MotoGP, AMA, etc. I like reading your reviews/opinions on everything else so hearing your thoughts on a race or hearing rider interviews/Q&A would be great.

  • FreeFrog

    Groovy baby. I can’t wait to see how HPL and RA grow.

  • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

    Don’t get corporate. If you unexpectedly like something, say so. If you unexpectedly dislike something, say so.

    In essence, don’t let the money dull you.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Have you ever seen anything even approaching this in what we do?

      • Isambard

        Okay , I’ll bite.

        First, let me say that HfL played a major role in getting me on a bike, for which I thank you, broken bones and all. You continue to have a greater influence on my purchasing decisions and unhappy bank balance than any other publication. More power to you if you’re able to take your work to the next level without watering it down.

        That said, yes, I have detected a gradual drift towards blandness and occasional outright puffery. Perhaps it’s partly a sign of maturity on your part that you no longer pick so many pointless battles, but it’s hard to imagine you today posting as trenchantly negative a review as the one you gave the VFR1200 a couple of years ago. Or to imagine you back then deleting a funny takedown of a motorcycle trade show, as you recently did. And notwithstanding your adamant denials that it was a puff, the Suzuki truck plug and the Range Rover reviews were low points.

        I don’t doubt that you value your integrity or that you’ve earned the right to the benefit of the doubt. But it would be natural for you to think twice before taking the same risks you took with your own money and reputation now that your investors’ cash and image is also on the line. Any decent human being would. All the same, I hope you think “fuck it” and do it anyway.

        • magiced

          I strongly agree with Isambard. HfL pushed me over the edge from contemplation to getting my license and first bike. part of the reason for that was that i felt like it was dealing honestly, not pulling any punches and giving a frank opinion on riding as it actually is, not what most media outlets portray it as. Don’t lose that. Sometimes the newer reviews feel a bit too much like something i’d read in MCN, and that is not a good thing. keep the voiceand personality of the site you’ve worked so hard to build and i’ll keep trusting, reading and recommending you, everywhere i go!

          TL;DR I miss Wes being a douche…

          • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

            Mostly this last line, but a little of the Rover and Suzuki and Ridgeline plugs.

            HFL, we bought in when there was a paywall. We threw our money at you because we trusted and supported you. You, in return, made awesome, real, sometimes awkward content that we could relate to as awesome, real and sometimes awkward riders.

            Just don’t get Hollywood on us, and we’re fine. Keep it real, like you most often do, and I think all is well.

        • http://twitter.com/pinkyracr Susanna Schick

          you know, I’ve heard this from other people. It’s a hard line to walk when you’re trying to make a living.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          Again, absolutely nothing is a “plug.” We produce objective content for our readers.

          The same person that created all of HFL’s content is now in charge of content for RideApart. Me.

          I took down the IMS article because it didin’t turn out the way I wanted it to. Period. I’m a little busy these days, as I’m sure you can imagine, so just re-writing it didn’t make sense.

          We are expanding into auto coverage and will be bringing you motorcycle-focussed reviews around trucks and SUVs that can tow and haul. Know how many dirt bikes will fit in the back of an F-150? Can a Subaru Forester tow your two track bikes? We’ll show you how. That’s not confusing or ill-intended in the least.

          We produce an enormous amount of content. Some of our reviews will be positive, some will be negative. It depends absolutely on the bike and its individual merits.

          Fuck it, we’re making motorcycles relevant to a new generation.

          • Isambard

            I’m all for truck and tow rig reviews if they’re biker-relevant and done to the same standard as your motorcycle reviews.

            FWIW I highly recommend you check out and review “tyredown” rear wheel tie-downs, which, when used with Canyon Carvers and a front wheel chock, make loading and safely strapping down a sports bike an easy one-man job. I’m also a big fan of Tuff Rails, which are a much better product than any factory truck rail system I’ve seen. And I love my Ready Ramp, which functions as a bed extender and divider as well as a ramp.

  • Sjef

    ” HFL was created to help communicate what makes motorcycles exciting to a new generation.” Just here to say that is excactly what you did to me, got interested in bikes through BikeExif, but got a licence and a legit bike through HFL. Thanks for making motorcycling fun and enjoyable through the media instead of the dull traditional paper press ( there exceptions obviously)
    Greetings from the Netherlands

    • Jeremy Blanchard

      graag gedaan

  • Stephen Mears

    Keep on keepin’ on. You’ve done nothing but get better since the NYC days. I do miss Grant though. Hope he is doing well!

  • http://www.facebook.com/SashaPave Sasha Pave

    Awesome news! Whatever you do, just keep “going hard” like you do on HFL and it’s bound to be a success!

  • Jeromy

    Maybe it’s just me, but I have really valued HFL for teaching me things. I got into motorcycles by myself. I don’t have anyone to show me the ropes. FHL has been a cornerstone of my motorcycle education. Articles on how to corner, brake hard and line split were real highlights for me. Explaining how inverted forks improve handling, or how motorcycle companies measure horsepower were questions I couldn’t find the answer to until HFL posted something about it. You want to help a new generation? Help new riders get some of the basic technical information that I need to make informed decisions and hold up a conversation without looking like an idiot.

    There is so much bad and misleading information on forums, and motorcycle news organizations seem to assume that you already know about what they are discussing. This hurts new riders. It creates confusion, and stunts my growth as a rider.

    Please give us a place for good complete information!

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Thanks, and that’s exactly the direction we’re going in. Well, one of the directions…

  • Multi Madness

    Wes, you’re awkward on camera. Please keep it that way! Dont take any weird hollywood BS actors training thing. I really like the feeling of watching a “real” person on the vids. Oh, and +1 on the DIY stuff

  • Dan

    I wanted to share an idea for a feature. What about a guide for getting plugged into the riding scene in a few major cities around the country? Not a list of MSF classes, just a hit list of roads/tracks/organizations/garages/shops/rentals so if you’re moving or just in town for the weekend you can hit the ground running.

    When I moved from LA (back) to New York, I reached out to you guys for advice on roads to try and ways to keep riding. Aside from mocking my choice of the wrong coast (not my fault!), you put me in touch with some organizations that were really great and helped me to stay engaged. I bet lots of others would benefit from similar advice.

    Best of luck on the new venture!

    Cheers,
    Dan

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      I like that idea. It goes on the list.

    • http://twitter.com/pinkyracr Susanna Schick

      a friend of mine is working on an app…I’ll definitely write about it once it’s time. I’m a beta tester but it’s still not ready for testing yet.

  • sospeedy

    Your reviews and info brings a practical, real world perspective. This contrasts with the techno-focus of other sites. It’s great to hear about leading edge tech and related specs of a bike or product…but what does it mean for us, the riders, when put into use in the real world. I find that HFL does this well! Looking forward to great, new content in the future. Keep it up Wes, and congrats on your success!

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.prichinello.7 Michael Prichinello

    Great news! Watching HFL grow over the past few years has been a great treat. I won’t suggest what I’d like to see or not see in the next iteration, as I don’t want to suggest I can get inside the mind of Wes. I’m sure it will be an adventure.

    Hey Wes, I arrive in Austin on Thursday. Can I get the first round?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      I’m actually skipping the GP so we can get the site launched. Had passes and everything, but this is more important.

  • http://twitter.com/chicoktc Francisco Gomes

    So no RideApart videos this season?

  • Porter

    Side by side comparo’s.

    • Porter

      Right. Because why would we want comparo’s on bikes, gear, or anything pertaining to motorcycles?

  • Mason Apostol

    I see you are going to cover how to get the best deals on finance and insurance. I hope you also cover how to buy a bike — how to deal with a dealer or dealers. Also, what to look for on used bikes.

  • Charlie

    Vintage bike pieces, and news about future modern bikes (spy shots and videos). Keep the critical attitude – looking forward to the next phase