“Motorcycle accident claims life of rider.” “Motorcycle group raises money for children.” Well, that about sums it up. Those two topics make up about, oh, I don’t know, maybe 90 percent or more of motorcycle news in the main stream press. Throw in the occasional, “Local man builds custom choppers.” and the press is pretty well finished. Job done, let’s move on.
The Kneeslider does a lot of digging and sometimes you have to find the connection between stories about technical advances elsewhere and how it affects motorcycles, but not always. If reporters looked at motorcycles the same way they look at cars we might have more coverage of motorcycle racing in the sports section instead of endless NASCAR. We might have stories about all of the motorcycles built in America (or elsewhere) and how those companies and their manufacturing plants are faring in the world economy instead of non-stop reporting about troubles at GM and Ford. Auto shows get plenty of TV, why not motorcycle shows in Tokyo or Milan? SEMA gets covered, why not Indy? With fuel efficient transportation on a lot of minds you would think motorcycles would be a natural for Roger Reporter.
I can hear it now … “Nicky Hayden, some young guy from Kentucky races the Europeans in that exotic MotoGP or something, maybe we should put someone on that.” “They make Honda motorcycles in America? Get a reporter over there.” “I heard about some hybrid motorcycles at some Tokyo show, do we have anybody in Japan?”
If your idea of motorcycles is not born of personal experience you fall back on stereotypes of what everyone “knows” about motorcycles. Everyone drives, not everyone rides so what can we expect? Leather clad Harley riders and a sportbike crash at high speed, what more do reporters know … or need to? I’m not complaining about any of this because when you know how poorly researched and limited most press coverage is on the subject of motorcycles, it’s a lot easier to notice how quickly that coverage becomes almost comical on anything more complex.