Reader's Letters & Mail - Rumblings

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We welcome your comments and criticisms. Send them to Motorcycle Cruiser, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515, or All materials sent to the editors will become the property of Motorcycle Cruiser and cannot be returned.

Okay, I'm The A-Hole...
First, let me preface my reason for writing you by saying that I personally own each and every issue of Motorcycle Cruiser ever published.

I find your choice of expletives especially disheartening. Case in point; your treatment of the text in the "Baby Bagger" article referring to someone who might change out the stock pipes on the V Star 950 as an "asshole". In this day and age we certainly don't need any more of this type of childish and immature journalism than is already printed in other less worthy moto mags.

Please don't take this fine magazine down the road that so many others have gone. This is a very personal and individualistic choice, and should be one that can be made without feeling like people think you are an "asshole" for doing such.
Michael Dost
Via email

Every editor puts their stamp on the magazine and that's the way it should be. But I don't like it when an Editor calls a reader an asshole if he changes pipes on a bike. Right or wrong, it's their choice and if you think it unwise to do so, as Editor you should be able to do it without sounding like some smartass punk.

I also didn't care for your digs at Zimmerman. I read every issue cover-to-cover and I've never seen Zimmer in a 35 year old Bell helmet, nor has he ever plugged out-dated events either. Mark would have more smarts than to wear a piece of equipment that old, but that was the point wasn't it?
Jason Lautar
Boca Raton, Fl

Re: "Baby Bagger Beatdown" pg.44 comment of editor/writer on V-star 950 exhaust-"if you change them you're an asshole". Really? Your readers are bikers, each with their own opinion of which exhaust note sounds good, but apparently if we don't agree with you we are "assholes". I hope that attitude expressed in this comment comes back to bite you in the appropriate place.
Rae Robinson
Quesnel B.C. Canada

There were more letters like this than we'd care to mention. I admit it, I stepped over an invisible boundary line somewhere in the sands that are the Motorcycle Cruiser landscape. Really, what I was trying to emphasize, was that I felt really strongly that these pipes sounded unbelievably good for both a) a stock bike and b) a 950. In any case, as far as editorial integrity goes, a comment like this should have gone in my Riding Position, not the body of an article, so mea maxima culpa.

PS: I'm pretty sure Mark Zimmerman took the ribbing like the grown-up that he is. And there's really nothing I can do about being a smartass punk.

...But Some People Like A-Holes
As a long time subscriber, and rider I just had to write after reading the crap you caught about the new VMAX. I was lucky enough to be able to ride a new VMAX when they came out in 1985, and what a machine it was. As a motorcycle racer of many years it was a blast to ride. I can't believe the grief you caught about featuring the New VMAX in the past issue.

What you guys don't realize it that the VMAX is a cruiser as well as the H-D V-rod, Kawasaki Mean Streak, and many others. It is not a sportbike and it doesn't look, or handle like one. It's a hotrod cruiser that I would be proud to own, and scare the hell out of some of them youngsters on their sportbikes.

You guys have a great magazine that I love. By far you guys do an excellent job of comparing all kinds of bikes, and keeping us that ride informed on all aspects of this class of motorcycle. Thanks for such a great magazine, and keep up the good work that you all have always done.
Reggie Holgate
Via email

Boulevard Blues
As a former Goldwing owner in search of a mid-sized tourer, your April 09 article "Baby Bagger Beatdown" was the perfect article at the perfect time. Having ridden both the Vulcan 900 and the V-Star 950 back-to-back at the Long Beach, CA International Motorcycle Show I am basically in complete agreement with your rankings. I did prefer the Vulcan for the automatic neutral finder while I thought the V-Star had a tad more vibration, but either bike would be a great choice.

Shame on Suzuki for trying to pull a fast one. First they offer a 08, C50T then send you a M90? Are they afraid their C50T would not able to keep up with the larger bikes?? I was seriously considering a C50T, but I was not able to ride one at the show (Suzuki chooses not to offer any test rides). This article was the perfect chance to see how it would stack up against the competition. If Suzuki is unwilling to have their bike tested against the competition, then I will have to eliminate them from my list.
Dan Sweitzer
Moreno Valley, Ca

As a long time subscriber to your magazine I have olny one thing to say; BRAVO! It's nice to see a magazine that is willing to explore the limits of what a true "cruiser" is. I have been riding for most of my 46 years and have owned several bikes (I have 3 at the moment) and I have one question. Having built my own trike using a 2006 Honda, Do you consider trikes as cruisers? I know that there are several companies that make trike conversion kits for cruisers and people have said to me that they are two different things even though I can cruise in complete comfort on mine. Either way, keep up the great work.
Robert Schels
Fond du Lac, WI

Women Riders Wanted
We need more girls! I was reading an issue a few months ago and there was some women's gear actually reviewed by a woman. I think its the first time I've seen that in this magazine. Thank you! The only reviews I've noticed have always been from guys for guys gear. Then I got the current issue with the Only the Best story and you had a woman's favorites. That's great, I love that you are paying some attention to all the ladies riding cruisers.
Kate Taylor
Via email

Just read your opening page in the latest Cruiser. I've subscribed for the last 10 yrs or so and really like the magazine; the format; the articles; and especially the tech articles from Mark Zimmerman. I'm a "classic" cruiser person since I've been riding a 2001 Kawi Nomad for the last 8 yrs and a 750 Vulcan for 6 yrs before that

I'd suggest you folks keep up the same basic subject matter and would offer one suggestion: I'd like to read an article every now and then from Jamie Elvidge. I'm a 60 yr old male, but I like to read subject matter from a female perspective. She writes very well and wrote an article years ago when she was the Editor offering advice to male motorcycle drivers from the perspective of a female passenger which I found very useful since my wife rides on the back most of the time. She also would appeal, I think, to the growing ranks of female cruiser drivers in the country with her experience and knowledge.
Kerry Quick
Colorado Springs, CO

Steel Vs. Plastic, Lovers and Haters
The recent article by John Kovach, "Steel vs. Plastic" hit a nerve. Being 65 and having ridden competitively and for pleasure for a long time, I have a similar dilemma. I now own a 2004 ST1300, and as John states, it is a great bike, no complaints. But that is the problem I believe. No complaints or maybe better stated, no personality.

My point here is not to suggest any bike for anyone but to reinforce for myself and others what John Kovach has so eloquently expressed. Motorcycling is a highly personalized sport. It involves a man/machine relationship that goes beyond the obvious. This brings back the thoughts expressed in the classic "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". Buy the bike that moves you both physically and, dare I say, spiritually. Thanks John for the motorcycle sanity check.
Ken Murphy
Loveland, CO

I thoroughly enjoyed the John Kovach piece on his ST1300 purchase and the emotions that he felt with bike as he rode it. I am getting ready to make my next bike purchase. I spend a lot of time sitting on bikes and reading articles and talking to shop mechanics trying to narrow down my choices.

I can tell right off the bat by sitting on a bike if I could live with it for longer than a few months. Sometimes it's good to step outside your comfort zone and try something new. However with motorcycles now running over 10 grand in most cases, I think I would rather stay with what I know than stray far from my comfort zone in this regard. I sat on a ST1300 and it's not for me, if I can't have both feet firmly planted flat on the ground at a standstill I would not consider that bike. Hey I am almost 60 I just shake my head at the younglings going 90 miles per hour down the freeway on their sport bikes. I am close enough to death's door and I see no need to speed up to get there.
Robert Simon
Southern California

Just finished reading John Kovach's article "Steel vs. Plastic". His cavalier attitude concerning how easy it was to reach speeds in excess of 130 mph on public roads was appalling. ?Not only did he put his own life at risk, but those of his fellow motorists. At the very least ?he scared the crap out of those cagers. In one fell swoop Mr. Kovach reinforced every negative ?emotion and attitude of those who don't ride about ?those of us who do. Thanks John!
New Jersey**

Read with interest the article from John regarding his ordeal between his Ultra and the new ST from Honda. Between chuckles and out right belly rolls I have one small piece of advice: Dear John, enjoy them both. That is the one endearing benefit of bikes over wives, you can only have one of the one (except in Utah, I hear), whereas your only bound by resources and desire to have multiples of the other. We are taught that a man will leave his father and mother to cling to his wife, however we can play the field with the bikes forever! John, ride hard, ride often and ride as many as you can.
Norm Spafard
Woodstock, GA

Steel vs. Plastic? Here you have a guy who, though entitled to his own yearnations (sic), comes from 4 Harleys (and some Guzzis) to what he keeps admitting is the better bike, the 1300. Then predictably goes back to the heavy metal. Big deal! Sounds like to me he has an affinity to masochism at high cost, low payoff like all the other upside down Hardley-Dividendson owners!
Randall William Renshaw
Alapaha, GA