Friday, 29 August 2008

There are times when lables just aren't helpful.

Anybody who has ever realised that their hierarchical document folders now go fifteen deep, total about 200 folders and have duplicated several of them, will realise that sometimes it's best to be a bit vague about things.

This is why I like tagged organising systems - you can get at the same information several different ways which, as any halfway-competent website designer will tell you, is a Good Thing.

Could we, I wonder, stop fucking about with motorcycle categories? Adventure bikes are also Road-Trail, Dual-Sport, All-Road and Big Trailies. We now have Sports Tourers, Garnd Tourers, Tourers and, apparently, Hyper Tourers. Every time something new and interesting comes out it get its own category, probably in an attempt to convince people that it's innovative (which it invariably isn't - "Hey, if we stuck an even bigger engine in that, we'd invent a whole new category of bike!" Hello Suzuki B-King), and WTF is a "muscle-cruiser" anyway? Things have gotten so out of hand that when somebody builds a bike that's just a bike that works and does bike stuff, Americans saddle it with the name "Standard".

Go to some manufacturer's websites and you have to second-guess your way through too many menus to find what you're looking for. Moto Guzzi Australia do this well: One page, a little picture of everything, all properly hyperlinked and even with pop-up information giving price. Of course, if Honda tried that you'd still be waiting for all the images to load.

And now I find out that not only is the Yamaha TDM900 the most underrated bike in existence (every journalist to ever test it comes to that conclusion - and then wanders back to their R1), but it's so poorly understood that although technically it's a Dual-Sport (or Adventure, or...) and regularly gets Sports Tourer thrown at it (which is fair enough) at least one website has thrown it in with the Naked's which, clearly, it technically isn't.

I advocate an independent body coming up with a maximum of about ten categories for road bikes, and if manufacturers try and sneak their own fancy names in they get egged at the next trade show.

P.S.: Should customers be worried when Italian motorcycle companies sell own-name-branded battery chargers?

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