Common Tread

The biggest turkeys of 2017

Nov 20, 2017

Happy Thanksgivin’, y’all.

I’m all up in this bitch today makin’ the turkey, but this year we got a few sous chefs cooking alongside me. Today, we’re featuring a prix fixe menu, featuring only our pièce de résistance: dry, chalky-ass breast meat, way overdone — we’ve been saving up 2017’s mototurkeys for nearly a year. I polled a few of my colleagues, and collectively we present to you the Stupidest of Seventeen. Tuck in that napkin and grab a drink while we shove a little Stove Top up these birds’ asses. Dinner will be out momentarily.

'Zuk 150
Each headlight comes with a free motorcycle. Suzuki photo.

Andy Greaser: Sidestand Spotter-in-Training

Suzuki Intruder 150, you need gravy. Americans didn’t get squat on our shores for 2018 save a few styling updates, but the folks at Suzuki put time and effort into the world market. I can accept that. But the Intruder 150… this is uglier than the east end of a westbound horse. I have some real trouble believing some dude running around Ladakh or Bombay really wants to be seen on this illegitimate offspring of an M109R and a Burgman. Turkey!

Oh, it's an Intrusion, alright. Suzuki photo.

Tony Costanzo: ZLA Complaint Factory Second Shift Supervisor

You know what’s some real festive holiday protein? Speed & Strength Comin’ In Hot Yoga Moto Pants. First off, I’m a dude. The phenomenon of yoga pants is not something I understand; perhaps they are the greatest garments on this earth. (Editor Lem note: I understand the yoga pants phenomenon quite well. They are the greatest garments on earth.) Even if that is the case, and Speed and Strength wanted to provide riders with that style coupled with protection, this product fails.

Yoga pants
There is a totally separate reason Lem loves yoga pants, but this interpretation is much funnier. RevZilla photo.

Yoga pants don’t have pockets. Also, nobody wears a belt with yoga pants. (Isn’t that, like, the point of yoga pants?) The functionality is a failure, but so is the style. What’s next? Kevlar pajama getups? CE2 bath robes? Icon Allen Iverson-style elbow sleeves to pair with the Stryker vest? Actually, Icon might actually do that because they have a lovely sense of humor. But the yoga pants? #leftswipe.

"Oh, my, isn't that a lovely shade of gray!" — Nobody. Yamaha photo.

Lancy-pants: Mangling Editor

BMW R nineT Scrambler and Pure. Kawasaki Z900 and Ninja 650. Yamaha FZ-10, Star Eluder and the first XSR900. Honda Gold Wing, Rebel 300, NM4 and CTX700N. When did the motorcycle industry decide that “Fifty Shades of Gray” was a styling guide? Just as more riders are using hi-viz gear, additional lighting and other techniques to be seen on the street, manufacturers are painting motorcycles in non-colors that are better suited to battleships and the walls of the county pen. Bird meat, all of you.

Spurg: Video Show Pony

Motorcyclists, the industry, all of us (yes, RevZilla too): You are arid breast meat. Tides rise and fall in any sector. The last couple years have seen a lot of volatility due to waning sales and registrations across numerous segments. While there are pockets of growth, for the most part the slump has been experienced across the board (dealers, manufacturers, retailers, etc.).

But how many of us have encouraged a friend to get a motorcycle license? When was the last motorcycle race or event you paid to attend? Have you bought a new bike recently? What about a part, accessory, or gear down at the local indie shop? How about a track day or a riding school? Do you actually pay for a subscription for a motorcycle magazine?

Learning to ride. Sort of.
"Here's the throttle, and this over is the front brake, kid. Don't touch it, or it'll toss ya right over the bars." Photo by Lemmy.

Those are good questions we must all answer. If we want our passion to thrive, we have to be active and take a part in contributing to the growth. That could be as simple as lending your old dirt bike to a friend down the street. For those of us in the industry, it’s more. We need to take a page from Harley’s playbook and help folks get licensed and confident to hit the road or trail.

Bottom line, motorcycling is struggling. Maybe it's time we use those bootstraps, huh? Until we pump some proactive effort, money and time into this sinkin’ ship, we're all on 2017’s platter.

Lem-lem: Vidiot

Jayson is one of my favorite CT commenters, simply due to his persistent, prolific nature. His comment threads always fire people up, and require moderation, which is part of my job, and he’s also one of the bullet points that got brought up in my annual review this year.  I demanded a ridiculous raise for putting up with his persistent, prolific nature.

Nothing beats opening up my work computer and moderating a few dozen of these bad boys.

Dude, I get it. You don’t think lanesplitting is safe. Maybe you could be OK with other people doing it, but not do it yourself. You know, kind of how like most people in this country treat riding a motorcycle. And if you can’t, maybe you could oppose lanesplitting in fewer comments. I’m thankful for you (and my resultant raise) this year, ya turkey. Have a good holiday, friend-o.

Bert: Chief Cat Herder

Motorcycle media ain’t even turkey. It’s been reduced to mere giblets. The dramatic shift to digital media has left many a once grand publisher in rubble. The traditional media business model is all but shot at this point, but “slash and burn” is not the solution. At the other end of the spectrum, cheesy “click-based-revenue” ain’t what passionate motorcyclists clamor for, either.

Unfortunately, if any of the content cross-pollination, staff consolidation and frenetic strategy shifts are a sign of how business will continue for some unnamed (but adored) mastheads, it looks like dudes in suits are once again going to be responsible for driving another ship into the ground. There’s a balance of income production and content production, and paper and digital outlets alike seem to be screwing up. (I know I’m gonna get some heat from this. Sometimes cooks get burned!)

More Greaser whining

Stealing bikes is a turkey move, no matter how great your wheelies are. Two-wheeler-stealing creeps in the United Kindgom have found a way to be even crime-ier than bike thieves! These English yobs steal the bike, and then they use ripped-off rides to burglarize victims, mug pedestrians, and disfigure people by tossing acid at them. (WTF?) When they’re done, they ride like assholes to evade the coppers, putting even more people at risk.

That’s off the turkey charts. These jamokes commit a crime within a crime within a crime. That’s like a turducken. Good riddance.

Lem again

I prefer to drink my Turkey on Thanksgiving. Despite being an alcohol enthusiast, one bottle has not made it to my shelf just yet: Archaeologist Gin. This, friends, could be the most egregious of 2017’s tur(d)keys.

Thirteen hundred bucks or so will buy you a bottle of this hooch. The “special” part is that there’s a Harley part in each bottle, and a tag on the bottle saying where in the world the part was found along with its H-D part number. Supposedly, parts are cleaned and sealed with a tin alloy to make it safe for them to be food-grade or some shit. Thirteen hundred dollars.

I think I'll stick with MD 20/20. Archaeologist photo.

I ain’t even mad. I usually get fired up over this shit. I’m jealous. This shitbag found a way to subsidize a hobby we both enjoy: hunting down survivors in sheds. I stick to the United States, but apparently this clown searches worldwide. (Joke’s on him, I live in the place where they sold most of these things and normal people can afford them.) He takes all the junk parts that are too far gone to reuse or resell, dunks ‘em in the parts cleaner, slaps them in a bottle, prints a fancy tag, and pickles them in gin. Thirteen hundred of your dollars. Say it out loud.

Directions: Remove top and pour approximately one-half bottle into blow-filled strippers. (Caution: Contents extremely flammable, just like your money.) Self-administer remainder as needed. May agitate existing pretentiousness. Not safe for painted surfaces.

I’m straight-up envious of this cat. Good job, butterball.

Bert back for seconds

Nike, I’m not even sure I can call you turkey. You are the errant dish of potato salad someone thought was appropriate to bring to Thanksgiving dinner that ain’t nobody gonna eat. What the hell are you doing here? Are you here to fulfill your mission, “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world?” For those of you who don't know why Nike's here, check out their attempt at associating themselves with the 12 O’Clock Boys just to turn a buck. reported, “The SFAF1 Mid, designed by Ben Kirschner of Nike, features bold can’t-miss NIKE AIR branding on the upper, “RAISE IT UP” on the ankle straps, and miniature Swoosh logos at the fore-foot, but the true prize is behind the durable materials that can withstand the blazing heat given off by the dirt-bike motors and the shifting of the toes.”

This is Nike’s grand entrance into moto apparel? I can’t figure out what’s more ridiculous — that Nike thought this was anything other than completely transparent, or that they were trying to pawn off a sneaker as appropriate for motorcycle use. Stack ‘em on the platter.

Grab your fork and plenty of this here lumpy-ass gravy. As is our annual custom, feel free to take a plate home with you… or leave us some of your turkey(s) in the fridge.