I was reading this great interview with George Takei recently, and laughed out loud when I got to this question: “”What is the lowest depth of misery?” George answered, “Internet forums.” Ain’t it the truth? What used to be an amazing source of great information, several electric motorcycle internet forums, has slid into the slough of the idiocracy, with a disarming mix of owners groups who think dropping $15K on a product makes them an expert of every aspect of it’s design and use, confused delusional Brammo owners who don’t seem to understand that their brand is gone, sleazy manufacturers and sales people who have no qualms about misrepresenting their product consistently and pretty much completely, and, predictably of course, the general numbnuts biker community that is now slowly adopting electric.
The best, and most recent on the Electric Motorcycle Forum was the guy who dropped his bike twice within the last 6 months because he locked up the front wheel, on the street, with no other vehicle involved.
Instantly there were calls for ABS braking, crash bars, everything but what the guy needed. Some training.
I say this because of a number of things, but primarily my own experience. I’ve crashed a few times on the street, but never, ever because I locked up my front wheel. I’ve been riding on the street for 45 years. I ride in all weather, even snow and ice. I learned to ride on the dirt, when I was around 12, and learned what happens when you muckle on to the front binders too hard, and gee. Guess what? I didn’t do it much anymore.
I’ve gotten into it before, and on ElMoto met some severe resistance to rider safety training suggestions mixed with several riders who supported the idea wholeheartedly. This time, the suggestion that the guy might benefit from polishing his skills was met with hostility and insults. Apparently, 11 years of riding and 100k miles lends a guy the impression that he has skills. I just hope that in the next 11 years he learns how to use the front brake.
So, I quit the third forum I’ve been a contributor to for more than 5 years… it’s simply a thankless waste of time. That leaves only Endless Sphere – still a great resource, remarkably. …which leaves more time for working on the book, anyway.
It’s a totally predictable trajectory, but it’s still kind of sad. What started as a hard core of a small community helping each other get a leg up on learning all about this new stuff started getting infiltrated by guys trying to somehow profit off any and every aspect of the tech. A few guys got on who felt they knew more than anyone else in spite of little or no actual experience. Racing entered, and the keyboard racers lent their own special brand of trolling, then a whole bunch of guys with tens of thousands of dollars to spend on a developing product felt entitled to take over as “the community of enthusiasts”, with no understanding of what and who-all made their precious little trinket possible. They bought it, dammit, now they know everything about it, even how to build it.
Ironically, it’s what we all worked so hard to get to – electric motorcycles getting widespread acceptance.