CMG Life: ‘Arris in Mojo

Who’s that fat bastard then? Yes, that’s me, and on the front cover of Motorcycle Mojo. But why would the editor of the Canada Moto Guide be in a competing motorcycle magazine you ask? Good question.

This Canadian motorcycle industry of ours is an interesting place to make your living. By global standards we’re small fry. As amazing as Canada is, it gets pretty cold for pretty much half the year and there’s not a whole load of Canucks to occupy its vastness and precious few of us actually ride thanks to said climate.

But what does this have to do with me being in Mojo? Well, it’s all to do with the few invitations that are made available to Canada for international product launches. These are the launches when a manufacturer wheels out their next big thing, hoping to get as much (positive) press as possible.

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Who’s that fat bastard then?

This means that it’s inevitably in some exotic locale, hosted in some fancy hotel and by a staff of expensive greeters, usually joined by a selection of the bigwigs behind the project. It’s an expensive operation and one that could make or break years of hard work behind every motorcycle produced.

Invitations are limited and divvied up around the world according to target riders. For Canada that means one, maybe two invitations go to the local distributor who then has the unenviable task of deciding which publication to hand them off too.

It’s a bit like being back in the school yard where teams are being picked in turn, the best and most popular going first, the gimpy legged and badly styled begrudgingly taken at the end. Press launch invitations are the industry barometer of schoolyard popularity.

However, unlike the old school yard, clever publishers can nominate a champion and that is essentially what myself and Glenn (editor and publisher of Motorcycle Mojo) have done in the form of one Costa Mouzouris.

Costa’s the one you want to pick first in the school yard. Photo: Don Empey

Costa is a freelancer (a nicer word for hired gun) and although technically untethered to a single magazine, between Mojo and CMG we offer him enough sustenance to keep him interested.

When you combine the readership of Mojo and CMG we by far outstrip any other single publication, which, combined with Costa’s skill, knowledge and big nosed charm, makes him a shoe-in for at least one of those two invitations. Great, quids-in, happy times. But why am I in Mojo?

Well, it all goes back to the freelance thing. In the mean and harsh world of automotive journalism, the days of making a living writing for a single publication are pretty much done and dusted. You have to be either independently wealthy, have a real job on the side, or write for many magazines and hope that the collection of small cheques add up to one big bank deposit.

This is Costa’s world, and being the talented chap that he is, he makes a pretty good automotive journalist too and so gets to go on the altogether plusher car launches to boot. BTW, if you thought motorcycle launches were the dogs bollocks (they’re not really, you spend 70% of your time in transit, the air and waiting in airports) then you should see a car launch; airport limos, business class flights, five-star hotels. It’s also why I generally don’t trust car launch reports, but that’s a whole other topic.

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The press launch is a bit of an odd world really. Part amazing experience, part hard slog, part of the job.

But why am I in Mojo? Yes, yes, I’m almost there.

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Sitting on a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean at sunset is not a bad way to end a day.

So Costa was supposed to go to the Suzuki GSX-S1000 launch earlier this year, but then the date got shifted by a day and clashed with a car launch he’d previously agreed to go on.

Ergo no Costa and one Suzuki Canada asking who else? Being a team player, I immediately offered myself up. But the deal was for two publications, so I offered Mojo a write-up too and bam, I was in southern Spain snorting cocaine through an ivory rhino horn while riding a Dodo. Oh hang on, that’s for the car journalists. Let’s just leave it at Spain.

And that, dear reader is why I am in the latest issue of Motorcycle Mojo too. Any other questions?


GALLERY

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4 thoughts on “CMG Life: ‘Arris in Mojo”

    1. Apologies Steve, it wasn’t meant to be a big brush on all automotive journalists. I’ve heard some horror stories, but I’ve also found that those with a motorcycle journalism background tend to be able cut through the dazzle (thanks to our less glamorous treatment in the industry), which is why I named Mark and Costa. Of course, that should include you and Larry Tate and likely another few that I have forgotten to mention.

      My point was to question some car journalists, not all. I (hope) I’ve made that clearer now and have adjusted to copy to suit.

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