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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-01-2008, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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Magazines opinions, good or bad??

I'm just curious, when a magazine does a article on a product or series of products do you guys pay much attention to them?

Where or who do you get your information for purchases?

I get the feeling that most magazines won't say anything bad about a product they review due to risking losing advertising dollars.

Do you feel you get a honest opinion from the two main UTV magazines?

Todd



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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-01-2008, 07:36 AM
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In my opinion most magazines have went the way of the advertiser, Years ago, when Dirt Bike magazine was run by a man called Rick Seimans ( Super Hunky ) you could believe what he told you, if a bike was a pig, thats what they called it. and this did'nt go over too good with the advertisers . For several years you could get the thruth, and then he either quit or was fired, my hazy memory fails me.I Read some of the mags out there, but take it with a grain of salt what they say.

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-01-2008, 09:14 AM
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I agree...most magazines, whether it's ATV/UTV, guns, cars or whatever the subject, tend to refrain from calling a spade a spade especially when advertising $ are involved. There are exceptions, of course, like GUN TESTS, CONSUMER REPORTS, etc. They aren't, as a rule, very interesting reading. They lack the full color pics & interesting language of the major magazines & therefore aren't the most popular reads for the average person. It's like watching news on TV. There are more factual sources available, but most people would rather have it "sugar coated" & presented by a pretty anchorwoman (nothing wrong with that). Hence the popularity of the mainstream media.

But, back to Todd's question.....Yes, I got a lot of good info on Rhino's, Prowlers, Rangers, RZR, & of course, the Teryx. Last fall (no pun intended) when I was off work with a broken hip, I read everything I could get my hands on. I learned from reports that all of them have many great features. I also learned about a few weaknesses of each. Did they really tell me about every problem (real or potential)? Probably not, but at least I could make a reasonably intelligent decision & decided the Teryx probably would be the best choice of what was available then. So, now you're stuck with me on this forum!

This forum & it's many informed members provides me with more in depth coverage. And yes, Todd you are a major source of that info, plus you won't sell it or recommend it if doesn't work. And that's why we like this site & your posts. I'm off the soap box now & no, I"m not fishing for a discount, Todd.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-01-2008, 09:25 AM
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I typically look to the various forums for comments by people, other then obvious vendors, when it comes to product or service reviews. It doesn't take long before a poor product or shady service gets slammed.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-01-2008, 11:52 AM
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I could potentially be naive, however, I have thought that UTV Off-Road Magazine has had some really good information. They are in the process of doing a shoot out of all the different side x sides and have outsiders driving them and giving their comments. There have been positives and negatives given.

I am not really too familiar with how that industry works, therefore, I do not know if the products are given to the editors or if they are purchased and tested and then reviewed. I see the point though that you are all making.




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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-01-2008, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram04 View Post
In my opinion most magazines have went the way of the advertiser, Years ago, when Dirt Bike magazine was run by a man called Rick Seimans ( Super Hunky ) you could believe what he told you, if a bike was a pig, thats what they called it. and this did'nt go over too good with the advertisers . For several years you could get the thruth, and then he either quit or was fired, my hazy memory fails me.I Read some of the mags out there, but take it with a grain of salt what they say.
Wow that brings back memories. I grew up reading articles by Super Hunky and Ketchup Cox and articles on bikes and races like the Blackwater. I still think Ketchup is still in the magazine business though.

I wish the magazines and tv shows on off highway stuff weren't so so influenced by the almighty $ and could call a spade a spade. I think the internet is hurting the magazine business. Forums, You tube and web pages are getting information to the consumer for free and getting them a lot more information at the same time. I still buy some magazines but find it harder to find what I want to read about. Shootouts only have some of the UTVs, or compare unlike products where the heavy advertizer of the magazine usually wins. I wish they would do a shootout and allow $X to be used on the UTV eg CDI and tires. So when a $10,500 machine (+$2,500 in accessories) is compared to a $14,000 machine (eg BRP or KTM) the playing field is levelled a bit.

One of the other problems of the internet is anyone can post anything on the internet and it doesn't have to be factual. The magazines are somewaht accountable for what they write.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-01-2008, 01:28 PM
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Yeah, it would be great, if someone could start a mag., that did not depend on sponsers advertising dollars to support them, I think its great that we do have a few vendors that are not afraid to tell you about a product, and really don't care if you buy from them or not, I guess, Todd from Hunterworks comes to mind, I have'nt bought any thing from him yet, but he continues to supply everyone with creidible information no charge.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-01-2008, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunterworks View Post
I'm just curious, when a magazine does a article on a product or series of products do you guys pay much attention to them?

Where or who do you get your information for purchases?

I get the feeling that most magazines won't say anything bad about a product they review due to risking losing advertising dollars.

Do you feel you get a honest opinion from the two main UTV magazines?

Todd
While I haven't read the UTV magazine stuff much I have 2 thought based on years & years of motocross and other hobbies with reviews.

1) The magazines are definately very cautious about their comments. I don't think that they make it very clear what they think. Instead, they seem to search out and highlight the postives and sugarcoat the negatives. In the end, if you read between the lines, you'll find out what you want to know perhaps. Just realize that they will not state that a product has real problems. Still a good source of info and my preferred source if the magazine is good. I've been looking to see if there's a good utv magazine.

2) The forums are a good source of info too, but in a different way... guys will post on and on about what they hate. You're searches will locate the problems determined with a product. However, the other side of things is that many many folks will post that they love whatever they have. It's very difficult for many people to be crtical of something that they just decided to spend a lot of money on. Obviously, if they decided to buy it, they think it's the best much of the time. Most importantly, the folks that post (including me) don't have experience with multiple items to make a comparison. So while the forums are good, I actually think that they are more biased than the magazines unless it's a test posted by someone like Hunterworks.

The biggest issue with all of this in the UTV market is that there are a lot of differences between various UTVs, products and their best applications. For instance, a shoot out on MX bikes are all purpose built with the same objectives. Therefore, the mags can rate performance of suspension, motors, low end, top end etc on a scale of 1 to 10 and it was more impartial which would be less likely to pi$$ off the manufactures.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-01-2008, 01:57 PM
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Only thing magazines are for are event coverage, and features on different machines. When they do shoot outs or they test a certain machine, they won't say what they absolutely hate about it. Its definately like this in the diesel magazines. They always take a tuner that has 3 pages worth of advertising and use it. Its all about the almighty dollar, even if it is a POS.

I would rather get my info from the forums. Its free, and you hear it from the actual people out using the stuff, not just somebody who used it for a weekend. Not to mention, its all up to date, and not 5-6 months old. lol
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-01-2008, 02:21 PM
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Hey guys,

As the Senior Editor of UTV Off-Road Magazine, I guarantee we're not skewed by our advertisers $ when writing editorial about whatever the product is. In fact, if you look at our last 2 shootout articles and compare results to our advertisers, you'll quickly find that all but one of the OEM's are currently advertising in our magazine.

Now, with that in mind, we're not going to write this: "This product is worthless." Instead, we'll point out what the product does well, and point out what the product does poorly at. To me, it's a lot easier to write an article and rave about it or throw it under the bus blanketly, but it takes a lot more work and digging in to identify it's positive and negative points and then spell them out in a professional manner. And, it's much more beneficial for the reader to know that the the suspension might work great, it steers perfectly, but for model year 2009 it could benefit from more power, better ergonomics, and a seat belt that may not lock at every possible moment to relieve your neck.

To me, all the OEM's and manufacturers of products know what their vehicle or product is good at internally, and they don't expect to get raving reviews all the time. What they do expect though, and deserve in my opinion, is an honest well rounded and detailed overview of how the product performs for it's intended purpose. If it does great at some things, we'll note it. If it does poorly at other things, we'll note that too, but we're not going to throw them under the bus just because of a few bad things.

Now, on this same note, I definitely can't speak for other publications, but on a rare ocassion, we'll test a product that does really poorly overall. And, instead of slandering the company and product publicly, we'll call the manufacturer to find out if something is wrong with the product, did we install it incorrectly, or what's up with why it did so poorly? This honestly hasn't happened, but a handful of times maybe and when it does we'll ask the manufacturer if they'd like us to write it in the magazine or perfect their product and give it another shot on a future date?

Now, some of you might say, well that's stupid the consumer should know about these blatently obvious crappy products out there. Well, I agree somewhat with this and it has absolutely nothing to do with advertising dollars whatsoever. To me, I like to see companies flurish, especially in such a small market. If a company has a bad run as have many well established companies have had in the past, we get a bad batch of that product, test it, then find out it was a fluke, yet we've killed the product in written permanent format of a magazine, we don't do anyone favors. In fact, this happened with Gorilla Axle somewhat recently. They had a bad run of axles get shipped out to quite a few folks, they broke, of course a ton of people were pissed off, especially after spending big bucks on a long-travel kit. Of course Gorilla fixed all the problems, identified what the problem was, and fixed it. But, word spreads quickly both on the net, and in magazines. If by chance our race RZR axles had been in this batch of axles, I wouldn't have written a bad review of them if they had broke. I would have called them up and asked if something had gone wrong. They would have researched it, fixed it, and sent out another set, I'm sure of it. I wouldn't have done this, because as far as I know personally and from what I read everywhere else, they've always been a reuptable company to work with that stands behind their products and services their customer. I've had them on other machines with no problems, so I would have figured somethign had been wrong with this particular set before slamming them in the magazine or the internet.

In conclusion guys, you can obviously make your own assumptions about our magazine and any of the other ones, as well. If there's a product that you're interested in buying, by all means feel free to contact me [email protected] and see if we've reviewed it and maybe never wrote about it in the magazine, because it was crap, or maybe it hasn't made it in yet. Also, keep in mind that if it's in a buyer's guide, or new products section, those are items written by the manufacturer, not us. They're free advertisements, not reviews of the product. I like to pride ourselves on providing our readers the most accurate information we can, but also show them what feel are the best products in the industry, as well.

I hope this helps clarify at least our viewpoints on this subject, which is a very valid one. There's definitely skewed remarks in other publications that I read all time, and if you ever feel this way about us, please don't hesitate to email me and find out why a particular comment was said or not. Last, but not least, we're all entitled to make some mistakes, as well, so if we missed something that you might think is a valid point to clarify for our readers, I'm all ears.

Chris
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