ATV Television's Blog

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Including Doug's "Here's what I think!" and "What were they thinking!"

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Where Are The Great ATV Writers.

I just finished reading (yet) another great article by one of my favorite motorsport writers and perhaps one of the greatest motor vehicle writers of all times. Peter Egan writes the most incredible columns for Road & Track magazine and Cycle World. His columns, titled ‘Side Glances’ and ‘Leanings’ are indeed incredible, incredible stuff.

On the day the magazines come in the mail I excitedly make my plans to set aside a ‘special time’ where I can sit comfortably, glass of wine in hand and spend some quality time with an old friend and his musings about his life’s travels, adventures, and sometimes just his thoughts on various subjects. Whatever they are about, they are always entertaining and always amusing.

I enjoy my time with Pete so much that I even buy the past collections of his writings so that I can relive the experiences he describes over and over. And every time I read them I feel like I’m sitting there visiting with an old friend. Make that an interesting old friend, as I know more than a few ‘old’ friends that I wouldn’t enjoy spending this much time with ;-)

And all this to ask the question: where are all the great ATV writers? My first thought (no make that my first wish) is that they are all too busy riding to spend any time writing. A worse thought is that it reflects on who we are as a group. My worst thought is that my worse thought is the right thought. Oh never mind, even I’m getting confused.

Is it possible that ATVing is less interesting to write about than sports cars or sport bikes? That just can’t be. I know because I’ve enjoyed them all and they all have their great adventures that are worth writing about. So we’re back to that worse thought thing – perhaps it’s that ATVers are a class of people that are less interested in reading than those people that are interested in sports cars or sport bikes?


Perhaps I’m wrong, but I doubt it. If I am please let me know where the good ATV writers are doing their writing. I want to find a friend to drink some wine with while reading about his adventures.


  1. The auto magainzes probably get a lot of the talent because the automotive world is a much larger industry as a whole - it's easier to relate to because it's infinitely more familiar to most people.

    They can relate to 0-60 times even though their Camry's take twice as long as the Nissan GT-R to get there, and that's fun to read about even if you never even get to sit in a GT-R. Yet talk about the big changes in the ATV world with EFI and power steering and CVT transmissions and most people wouldn't understand the significance and how far the industry has come over to get to where it is today. Similarly, give me another hobbyist genre to read and I'd be equally as ignorant and clueless.

    I would love to break into the automotive/ATV journalism realm (when asked it IS my dream job aside from being professionally wealthy) but I'm no writer and have no idea where I could even start. Looks like a long career as a desk-jockey is what I get to look forward to!

  2. I personally love to read Rick Pewe's opening article in every 4wheel&offroad magazine. My other new favorite is watching the British TOPGEAR and laughing till my ribs hurt listening to Jeremy Clarkson!

  3. Oh, and by the way, I wish I knew what to tell ya about ATV writers. Every time I see a new article on a machine(and especially a comparo)I'm really interested in I get all excited to read it. But sadly, every time I get to the end of the article I'm mad and throw the mag away in frustration. I am an ATV/UTV enthusiast! This means that I already know all the specs on the machine, I can read that on the Manufactures website! I want to know the real nitty/gritty on how the machine works on the trail. I want to hear how it handles every type of terrain and work load an owner can throw at it, and then compare it to the other machines. But all you ever hear is "this one is the most sporty, this one has the most power, this one has the highest rack capacity, blaa blaa blaa blaa..." I hope I'm making sense.

    Doug, of everywhere I've search, in print and online, your website and your reviews are by far the most informative and helpful to me, the consumer. And thanks for that! We'd all be lost without ya!

  4. I agree with you, Dan about depth of talent due to the bigger market, but it is still unfortunate. And since I'm looking for a new venture, I looked into 'professionally wealthy' but it seems to require too much work. I think my choice would just be novice-ally wealthy ;-)

    djd: Do you ever read Phil Howell in 4WD & Sport Utility. He and I spent a lot of time together in the earlier years. Great guy. Great sense of humor. And a great writer.... My son-in-law turned me on to Jeremy Clarkson and TopGear! WHat a blast! Hey Dan, maybe that's the job you should look into ;-)

    I can say that video is much harder and far less enjoyable than writing. Plus video has a visual recognizability factor that I seldom wear comfortably.

    And thanks for the kind words. I am so disgusted with the direction of the market and the quality (or lack thereof) of off-roaders that I can't get over it. The next blog may expand on this. The only thing that's kept me going in the industry is that I always figure that if I don't do this there will be no mature recreational rider/writer out there.

    Maybe this is where you start a website Dan - but you might need to start professionally wealthy ;-)

  5. djd - I agree that Doug here is the best that I've found for giving quality, in depth reviews that actually compare the quads to something from it's own class (as if that was a tough concept to grasp!). Specifications aren't worth much if they don't work together as a package.

    Doug - Don't leave us anytime soon, you'd be hard to replace!

    Speaking of Clarkson and Top Gear (I think I'm short enough to replace Richard Hammond!), they did a segment on "quad bikes" a few years back. I can only find a short clip of it, but it was comical as always:

  6. Thanks Dan!
    You guys are too kind - must be something wrong with you ;-)

    And speaking of wrong - I have never figured out how those other guys get the test results they get.

    That clip is great!

  7. "I used to look forward to two magazines, Off Road and ATV Magazine. ATV magazine was bi-monthly publication ATV sport/utility magazine with great travel/adventure articles and seldom if ever was there an article about a sport quad.

    I'm happy with the ATV I have and actually have very little interest in new the ones. At this point in time mine seems to take me everywhere I want to go and it brings me back home and I enjoy every minute of it.

    Off Road had GREAT travel and adventure articles written by Dick Stansfield who traveled the country in his FJ 40, he’s one of my favorites. He had a way of putting you right there in the front seat behind the wheel and I liked that. ATV Magazine also had great travel and adventure articles as well. Still never made it to a few places I read about but one day I will.

    Your series of videos on the overview of the Paiute Trail is without a doubt the best ATV adventure series I have seen to date. They have everything; adventure, they are intriguing and educational and they make you WANT to travel and experience the great Paiute Trail for yourself and I love that.

    Travel and adventure, for me is what it’s all about. I want to ride the trails that I see in magazines and in videos. The new ATVs out there don't do a whole lot for me and I really don't care to watch some yahoo rip up and down a hill or ride through some big mud puddle on some monstrous ATV.

    For me Doug it's all about the adventure and sharing it with good friends, good food and a nice cold delicious refreshing tequila/grapefruit.

    I’ve learned a lot from you my friend and I appreciate and thank you for every bit of it.

    Long live the adventure."

  8. Thanks.

    I couldn't /can't agree with you more - it is all about the adventure, the good friends, good food, and even a good beverage!

    To the adventure of exploring new trails with old friends ;-)

  9. Guys check out a writer named Jason Giacchino. He writes for just about every ATV site out there: ATV Connection, ATV Source, ATV Scene as well as Motorcycle USA and Mountain Bike Tales. Let me try to dig up some links to some of my favorite pieces he's written. I've always viewed him as the Peter Egan of ATV writing.