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From the Editor

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Apparently my editorial in the February issue entitled “No Joke,” stirred the emotions of many of you readers, as my email inbox has been flooded with feedback and responses. In that editorial I mentioned the importance the role a passenger plays when riding and that they need to be an active participant in the experience. I also touched on a distasteful joke Jay Leno made to a crowd of motorcyclists when he was kicking off the start of the annual Love Ride. Many of you had a lot to say about my editorial, some agreed and others disagreed or felt that I was being too critical of Jay Leno. If you missed that editorial you can find it on hotbikeweb.com. Below are some of the more interesting comments and responses sent to me from fellow readers. Until next time,

Eric

Eric,

Here is my response to From the Editor’s “No Joke” column:

- Texting while on the back of a bike: My wife and I travel long distances on our 2004 Road Glide. She sends and receives text message while we’re under power. It’s got to get boring at times sitting on the back end of a bike because she’s not doing what I’m doing—driving.

- Jay Leno’s comments: Jay’s a bozo, even if he was joking. I don’t want anyone to wreck. You end up seriously banged up, dead, or your passenger ends up dead, and then you feel so so much guilt you wish you were dead. I guess it’s a case of some people talking until they run out of things to say, and then keep on talking.

GTurlingto

Eric,

I am a 48-year-old motorcycle enthusiast. I read your editorial as I usually do in HOT BIKE magazine. I find that I take your side on this no joking matter 100 percent. I am a rider who lives in Virginia and just had a serious accident back on October 7, 2011. After 17 surgeries and six weeks in the hospital, I finally got to return home in a wheel chair. I have progressed on to a walker at this point but have a long ways to go before I will be back on my two feet again let alone riding. I totaled my 2011 FLHTK trying to dodge a deer. I had put 10,000 miles on it already but it was still new. Riding takes every bit of the attention a rider and their passenger can muster and still sometimes that’s not enough. No need to list my injuries here but I really screwed up my right leg. I am just thankful to be alive and still have the opportunity to walk again. Hopefully with some physical therapy, I will get back to walking normal and be able to take my 2001 Triumph Speed Triple out for a spin. I also hope to be able to handle a touring bike again, especially since my girlfriend loves to ride so much. Leno should be more sensitive to what can happen, especially after what happened on that particular ride you talked about. I find it hard to believe that he joked about crashes and irresponsible riding. He should be a champion for safe riding. It is no joking matter!

Brian E Jones

Eric,

I agree 100 percent with your take on motorcycle passengers texting, but I also believe it’s the responsibility of the rider to enlighten the wife or girlfriend about the importance of staying alert. I bet there’s lots of riders out there that don’t even think about those “extra set” of eyeballs and how much help they can be. Jay Leno is an idiot. I know he’s good for advertising Harley, Ford, Chevy, and other various manufacturers and their products, but there’s absolutely no excuse for him to joke about someone going down on a motorcycle. Most of my friends think I kid around too much, but I would never say what Jay said. There’s no excuse for that. He may be the big “car guy” in town, but he’s no motorcyclist.

Thanks for listening,

Mark Khitikian

Good day Eric,

First let me set the tone of my comments on your most recent editorial in the February issue. I read your page first before I get deeper into the magazine since it is the first thing I come to, and I truly do look forward to it. Your articles are always interesting, often thought provoking, and sometimes entertaining so I look forward to what you have to say. Second, a brief profile of myself, I started on a mini-bike in the woods behind my parent’s house over 40 years ago. I graduated to dirt bikes soon after and got my first street bike as soon as I legally could. I have been on the road on a bike (H-D) for the last 33 years, non-stop and loved every moment of it, even the cold, wet, or scary times. Your most recent article was no different and I 100 percent agreed with exactly 50 percent of what you were saying. Texting and riding is not a very good idea, not something I would recommend, and I was as surprised as you seemed to be. I, for one, can’t even imagine why anyone would want to text with the myriad of sights and sounds available to them from the back of a bike. However, your chastising of Mr. Leno’s comments really struck a sour note with me. Is there no end to the political correctness being crammed down our throats? Has it really come to the time when a bike magazine, like HOT BIKE, criticizes a man whose livelihood it is to be a somewhat irreverent, humorous comedian for making a joke while giving his time to a charitable event? Because after all, that is exactly what this is about, a joke, by a comedian to a group of people out to have a good time. Should Mr. Leno apologize for making a joke? Do you really think his joke was, or could ever be, the reason for an accident? Lighten up Eric! My God, he makes a living making us laugh and he is very good at it. We don’t all have to like every joke that every comedian tells but we don’t have to criticize them for the ones we don’t like either. That’s all I have to say. Ride safe, maybe I’ll see you in the wind some day.

With Respect,

Ironman

Every month I look forward to HOT BIKE coming in the mail, thanks for sending out a great read. This month was no different until I read your editorial about Jay Leno’s comments in the Feb 2012 edition. First and foremost, our thoughts (my wife and I) go out to the family of the two riders killed and also to the injured riders. It is always sad and heartbreaking to hear of a fellow rider, known or not, that has been injured or killed doing what they enjoy.

Now for the Leno comments. Being a grand marshal of an event should be a privilege and not taken lightly. I know that he is a comic, and jokes are expected of him. Hell, he is a funny person, but there is a line not to be crossed. It’s just one of those things that you just don’t joke about. It’s like racecar drivers of any class. You don’t make cracks about someone crashing their car just to be funny. Or like a musician. You don’t make jokes about their instruments along the lines of them being damaged or destroyed.

I really don’t care for Leno to begin with, he’s funny but just not my kind of comic. I did have respect for him though being a car and bike enthusiast. After hearing the stupid and unfunny comments he made, I have absolutely no respect for him anymore. I am really trying to keep this a clean email, but it’s hard because of that jackass. I mean, how stupid do you have to be to make jokes like that?

There is a lot more that I would like to say on this issue, but I better end it here before you have to sensor the rest.

Thanks for letting me vent,

Tim in OKC

I am not usually a commentator but you asked for it so here is my opinion of the “No Joke” article. Did you really waste a whole page of an otherwise great mag just to say you thought that a joke was distasteful? You have a promising career as a politician, wasting time with petty stuff like that. We were brought together to talk about all things motorcycle, and I am a fan of yours, but really, a whole page? I am sure that the majority of people who shared your point of view simply didn’t laugh. Let’s get back to the bikes.

Alan Archuletta

“Did you really waste a whole page of an otherwise great mag just to say you thought that a joke was distasteful? You have a promising career as a politician, wasting time with petty stuff like that.”