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From the Author:

Apparently there are some misconceptions out threre about free-lance writers, and this one in particular. Free-lancers are not shills for the motorcycle manufacturers, nor do they pander to them to get invites to press launches. And no manufacturer EVER tries to overtly influence what we write. THey know that if they did, that writer would have a negative attitude to all future test rides and reviews. I've written that the Harley Sportster is an AWFUL motorcycle, and the worst one one the market. Months later, I was one of the first 9 journalists to get to test their 06 Screamin' Eagle Bikes.

I get invited to some press launches, and get shut out of others. They can't invite every journalist they'd like to because of time, expense, and logistics. They'd like to be able to invite 50 rather than 15, as it would get the word out to a wider audience.

I own a Yamaha Virago, and a Kawasaki Ninja 650R, but I'm not a "Yamaha Guy" or a "Kawasaki Guy." I'm a MOTORCYCLE GUY. And while I enjoyed the press launch of the Ninja 650 enough to go buy one, I still really like the Suzuki SV650, and Honda 599 competitive products, and wrote very positive and objective reviews of those bikes for my readers.

The M-109 may have read like ad copy to you, but in my objective opinion, it is an OUTSTANDING motorcycle. And since, unlike you and most other folks, I get to ride dozens of different motorcycles, I can be objective in writing about them. I suspect if I'd written a glowing review of the bike you own, and you saw that I was a free-lancer, you wouldn't have thought it read like a sales brochure, you'd have thought I was a genious.

And MO has a reputation as a first-class website, with a knowlegable staff, and wouldn't have done a disservice to their members by publishing my story if they thought I was in the back pocket of Suzuki or any other manufacturer, rather than a qualified and respected writer.

And by the way, I am the regular motorcycle columnist for the Daily Herald Newspaper, in Chicago, and we are the only newspaper in the country with a separate 6 to 8 page Motorcycling Section running every week during the riding season. So I've earned my stripes.
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