Motorcycle Consumer News - The Number One Source for Accurate Information about Motorcycles and Riding 

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I've been riding for more than 30 years and 165,000 miles. Almost as much as I enjoy riding cross-country, I telling stories and listening to others tell theirs about places we've seen, people we've met, and experiences we've had, from fun to terrifying. Long-time riders tend to have some interesting encounters on their bikes, and with the years, the stories of these encounters sometimes grow to legendary proportions. Even discussions of more mundane topics, such as which tires or motor oils are best, often become distorted by anecdotal evidence, rather than supported by hard data. For those of us who seek factual information about all aspects of motorcycling and a forum for discussion with other experienced and educated riders, including motorcycle engineers, designers, mechanics, riding instructors, medical doctors, world-class adventurers, and even a psychologist, I recommend a subscription to Motorcycle Consumer News (MCN).

Since 2001, I've been reading this excellent monthly source of information and it never gets old. In fact, it's actually quite a mental challenge absorbing so much information. David Searle, the editor, starts off each issue with a one-page discussion on some technical issue, such as spring steel and why the metallurgy of springs is so important, or a discussion of rake & trail and how it affects the handling of a motorcycle. Next come the letters, which are often as informative as the articles because the audience is so knowledgeable and experienced. You will often see letters from business executives, small business owners, law enforcement officers, and even a politician now and then. (Noise ordinances are a common topic.) Oh, and bike owners write in too.

John Alevizos, M.D. took over the "Medical Motorcycling" column last year and has been preaching some major self-help healthcare. Dr. Mark Barnes--the psychologist--writes the "Mental Motorcycling" column each month and finds interesting ways to come up with new ideas on linking our state of mind to the riding experience. Ken Condon the instructor/safety article each month, called "Proficient Motorcycling."  And, because safety is so important, Ken contributes a second article each month called "Street Strategy," in which he provides a very specific riding scenario and a lesson learned from a fictional near miss or wreck.

A lawyer provides legal commentary in a column each month in which he answers a question from a reader. Fred Rau finishes each issue off with a fun column called "Contact Patch" in which he describes his observations from the road. He's ridden well over a million miles in his career. He rode more than 50,000 miles in 2011 alone! And finally, "Innovation of the Month" appears on the back cover of each issue. I have to admit, most of these clever products are beyond my needs; but they are usually fascinating to read about.

In addition to all of these great regular columns, there are feature articles in which the staff systematically evaluates new motorcycle models off all kinds--including the new Zero electric motorcycle--and evaluates related products from helmets to camping gear. MCN also publishes recall notices from manufacturers and press releases from motorcycle companies from around the world each month. MCN uses a format similar to Consumer Reports in the way it grades products, which makes comparing different models much more straightforward.

One more thing: there are no advertisements in Motorcycle Consumer News. You pay more than the typical magazine, but it's so worth it to avoid the noise of ads.


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