Our Most Controversial Stories of 2013

RideApart launched in May of 2013 with the goal of revolutionizing the way you interact with the motorcycle world online. We’re well on the way to reaching that goal, but we’ve definitely ruffled a few feathers in the process. As the year winds to a close, here’s a look back at our most controversial stories.

2013 Honda NC700X Review 2013 Honda NC700X Review

1) 2013 Honda NC700X Review

The Story: We’re not the biggest fans of the really heavy, really expensive ADV bikes. You know the ones. So, we headed out to Nevada to do a two-day, off-road rally with AltRider and Jimmy Lewis and we decided to prove a point by fitting the humble NC700X with off-road tires.

Why It Was Controversial: It went against conventional wisdom and marketing-driven groupthink. If magazines and ads and TV shows tell us enormously heavy touring bikes are good off-road, then they must be. Right?

Our Take: Point proven. The Honda’s relatively light 470lbs curb weight combined with its diesel-like torque and very low center of gravity to delivered a far easier ride than any big ADV bike at the event. That ease of use more than made up for the limitations brought by the 17-inch, non-spoked wheels and the relative lack of suspension travel.
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Why This Harley Will Be My Last Why This Harley Will Be My Last

2) Why This Harley Will Be My Last

The Story: Harley-owner and RideApart Editor-at-Large Tim Watson has had enough of Harley-Davidson’s poor customer service and lackadaisical dealerships. Those factors combined with unprofessional actions from the company’s PR department have made him so frustrated that he has decided to swear off the brand for life.

Why It Was Controversial: It’s a rule of motorcycle journalism that mentioning the word “Harley” in an article ups its controversy quotient by a factor of 10. (May actually be a factor of 12 - Ed) There, just by typing that, we’ve already lured several dozen (insert political affiliation of choice here - Ed) members into the comments section (several of whom will even figure out how their computers work and will manage to make a comment), who are ready to crank out vitriol-filled screeds once they are done talking about top-secret Chinese naval maneuvers.

Our Take: What any of the above has to do with calling a spade a spade (or an outdated, uncompetitive, overpriced motorcycle sold by (insert word of choice here - Ed) an outdated, uncompetitive, overpriced motorcycle sold by (again, insert word of choice here - Ed) we have no clue. Read It Now >>

Biker: Amber Arbucci Biker: Amber Arbucci

3) Biker: Amber Arbucci

The Story: We profile a Victoria’s Secret model who rides around LA on an R6. A famous skater shot the photos.

Why It Was Controversial: As you might guess, Amber is quite pretty. We figured a little profile piece on someone you wouldn’t expect to ride a motorcycle, and actually riding one for real, would be interesting, but a lot of people found it to be sexist.

Our Take: Lighten up. You see pretty people on TV, in magazines and on websites because you, dear reader, want to see them whether you admit it or not. (Bet you are clicking through to read the full story right now.)
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10 Things I’ve Learned From 10 Motorcycle Crashes 10 Things I’ve Learned From 10 Motorcycle Crashes

4) 10 Things I’ve Learned From 10 Motorcycle Crashes

The Story: Riding unfamiliar bikes day in, day out, for work, often in less than ideal conditions and under pressure to perform means that you’ll fall off once or twice. In doing so, we’ve accumulated a little wisdom, shared here.

Why It Was Controversial: For some reason, other motorcycle publications have never really discussed all the crashing that’s just a natural part of the biz, so our honesty is, surprisingly, novel. It also seems as if many riders would prefer to think such events will never happen to them or that the fallout will somehow be different.

Our Take: This is as real as it gets. As riders, we’ve all chosen to do something incredibly dangerous, so we’ve chosen to accept the consequences. The sooner you accept that, and prepare for it, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with getting hurt. So wear your safety gear and practice your technique kids. Read It Now >>

The Range Rover-Attackign Squidiots In New York The Range Rover-Attackign Squidiots In New York

5) The Range Rover-Attackign Squidiots In New York

The Story: You know the story. A bunch of poseurs in New York attacked a family in a Range Rover. Only novel thing was that we were the first motorcycle publication to categorically denounce their actions.

Why It Was Controversial: If you look really, really hard at this precise 10th of a second segment of the YouTube video and blow it up real big you can see that Zombie Elvis actually beamed down from space and caused the whole thing. Plus, the mob mentality temporarily made these guys go insane. (Not really.)

Our Take: We’ve all been aggressed upon by an automotive driver and know how bad it can be. Whether or not that occurred here doesn’t matter. These jerks set out on that ride in order to cause trouble and some of that trouble blew back on them. In no situation is it OK to intimidate and harm a family with a small child, period. Read It Now >>

Continue Reading: Our Most Controversial Stories of 2013 >>

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