Wheel alignment

Sunday 24 June 2012

Who reads our blogs, anyway?

I don't know whether other moto-bloggers have ever checked what their top 10 most-viewed individual posts are but I was simply curious about what interested visitors the most.  Using the numbers alongside each post in Draft Blogger, the 10 posts most-viewed were noted.  The results may not be all that surprising given that many of the topics listed have potential appeal among the broader motorcycling community, particularly when searching the internet.  The No 1 post however, has over 4 times the number of views than the next highest.  Now that is surprising!

184 individual posts since December 2009

10th place, 1228 views.  Classic racebikes and other stuff

No real idea why this short post about racebikes in NZ should have attracted so much interest.  One possibility is that internet searches for Burt Munro of "World's Fastest Indian" fame threw up some of his bikes (pictured) that still reside in a hardware shop in the southern NZ town of Invercargill.  More on Burt Munro later.

9th place, 1262 views.  Street Triple paddock stand and wheel alignment

The post covered an NZ-made Ducati/Aprilia paddock stand I'd bought for the Striple and how the laser wheel alignment rig which had been knocked together for my Blackbird was adapted to suit the Triumph.  Probably boosted by internet searches on wheel alignment methods.

8th place, 1426 views  Airhawk seat cushions

One of the major topics on any bike forum (and internet searches) is seat comfort (or more accurately, seat discomfort) of standard seats.  At least aftermarket suppliers make a living from fixing discomfort, whether it be from custom seats or the cheaper and equally effective Airhawk pneumatic cell pad range which was reviewed in this post.

7th place, 1707 views  Wheel alignment, improve your handling

The original post on how to build a cheap laser wheel alignment rig.  The post has been linked on numerous bike forums world-wide as an inexpensive means of improving your handling.  Feedback on various forums suggests that many people didn't realise that their wheels were out of line!  You shouldn't nececessarily rely on manufacturer's markings and you certainly shouldn't rely on tyre fitters to do a good job!

6th place, 1732 views Motorcycle tyre performance in the real world

There is more bullshit spoken about tyres and lubricants on bike forums than virtually any other topic (apart from riders whining about cage drivers whilst conveniently avoiding doing anything about raising their own roadcraft skills)!

This post attempts to dispassionately review what's important for road tyres with a bit of personal experience chucked in too.  The later tyre-specific evaluation posts scored well too.

5th place, 2190 views Burt Munro, Kiwi Legend 

Burt Munro has always been an icon in this part of the world but his popularity soared with the release of  "The World's Fastest Indian" movie.  It's been interesting to watch the number and location of blog hits over the last 6 months or so which from a bit of research, have a direct correlation with what countries the movie has been shown on TV at those times!  This book was an incredibly generous gift from fellow Kiwi blogger Roger Fleming  and is THE definitive book about Burt.

4th place, 2842 views  1000 miles in 21 1/4 hours on a Street Triple

The 3 international Triumph forums carry links plus a few other sites on the Internet.  Guess some people wanted answers to the question "WHY??".  In reality, there seem to be a lot of internet searches on whether the Triple is suitable for long distance riding, whether against the clock or touring.  In reality, most bikes would probably be fine - it's more likely the rider's mental horizons which lead to a successful and enjoyable long ride.

3rd place, 2879 views  Street Triple vs. Blackbird
A comparison between two quite different bikes after 8 years of Blackbird ownership and just 2000 km on the Street Triple.  People were perhaps just plain curious with respect to just how a modern "iconic" medium capacity unfaired lightweight bike would stack up against what once used to be the World's fastest road bike.  Maybe they were also curious as to why would an owner would change from a bigger "hyperbike" to a smaller, unfaired one?  The article was written principally for the author to sort out his own feelings!

2nd place, 3914 views  Motorcycle accidents, half-truths and lies

Motorcycle accidents are another favourite internet search.  This particular post highlighted the work of a prominent academic in allegedly exposing manipulation of accident statistics by the authorities in New Zealand.  Incompetence at best or at worst, clouding the real issues for political convenience?  Presumably, there is a similar potential for manipulation world-wide by various authorities.  Irrespective of the alleged implications, action taken to date does not address the root causes of accidents.

And in 1st place with a staggering 13,618 views........

Street Triple Review Revisited
It stands head and shoulders in terms of viewing above every other post.  That's probably not surprising as the Triple is a bike which is currently in production and has won a lot of international "bike of the year" awards.  It's inevitable that potential buyers and owners alike will conduct an internet search... just like I did in fact as the first step to buying a Street Triple!

Now here's something to ponder......................

NONE of the 10 posts listed above have anywhere near the biggest number of comments at the bottom of each post!  The biggest number of comments posted are where there is either a human interest or scenic/travel aspect as opposed to what might be called "technical" motorcycle posts.  It seems that what people do or where they go evokes the greatest responses.  The biggest number of comments on this blog came after 8 months of posts detailing the often stressful journey of continuously trying to raise my riding skills sufficiently to pass the Institute of Advanced Motorists full membership exam, culminating in: Pain and Extreme Pride .  I guess that people could empathise with both the stress and elation of passing a 4 hour, 220 km practical test whilst being observed by a police rider/IAM examiner who was among the best of the best!

I guess there's a place for both technical and human interest posts on a blog but despite the technical articles being tops in terms of number of views, it's human interest and travel which I enjoy writing most, perhaps because humour and irreverence can be liberally used!

Have any other moto-bloggers pondered about their blogs?  Would be really interested to hear as I personally enjoy the blogging aspect of learning about other's lives and where they go.


  1. Geoff, an interesting exercise. I don't know how to do that on Word Press but will look into it when I get a chance.

    Again, my congratulations on your site. You bring wit and intelligent analysis to all of your writing.

    I don't get too fussed about hits as I'm not commercializing my site. Having said that - when one puts a lot of time and effort into doing a trip report, resizing pics, posting them on a host site etc, it is pleasing to know that a few people have actually thought that your post was worthwhile.

    I see folk who place ride reports on 3 different forums and I often wonder about their motives.

    Cheers Jules.

  2. Hi Jules and thanks for the kind words. It was simply curiosity with no real purpose in mind. I'll never commercialise the site either. I've had a little burst of activity whilst waiting for a few IAM things to fall in place, but I'll be struggling to do much in a while. David Hough's new book is imminent and I've promised to review that as soon as the publisher sends a copy. I've seen some draft chapters and it's an absolute cracker.


  3. Hi Geoff, that's a shame that you wont be round much, but not too bad for me, will give me a chance to catch up with some of the older stuff :)

    Yeah tis interesting which posts are more read, I put that "Top 10 Posts' thingy on my sidebar thingy (i'm good at the technical terms :) and found it interesting and also wondered why those particular posts are looked at so much.

    I can see why your top ones are though when you think about what people might do searches for.

  4. Hi Brenda,
    After breakfast, I must look at your "Top 10 posts" thingy. So technical, that I don't know what it is, haha! There's always something new to be discovered! Well, why they're the top 10 is only my supposition based on Google Analytics search history, but the reasons probably stack up. Some of the searches that get directed to the blog are enough to make me blush. Perhaps I shouldn't have used the phrase "bike porn" to describe some fantastic-looking bikes!! Must be a lesson in there somewhere not to use slang.

    1. Brenda,
      Have just looked at your "popular posts" thingy - I've never noticed that on anyone's blogs before!! Mus be getting blind as well as daft as I get older!

      Thanks for that!

  5. I often chuckle at what the most popular posts have been or the keywords that people search to find the blog or a particular post. Thanks for the idea. Maybe I'll have to do a follow-up post on what is most popular on my blog. I don't much care for what my stats are, but I do find it funny which ones are popular for viewing as opposed to popular for comments.

    I always enjoy your posts no matter the subject. I think partly due to your writing style and partly because of the personality behind the writing. We miss you when you don't post.

  6. Hi Brandy,
    Got to agree with you - it provides endless amusement with respect to what people search for! Would love to know what the most popular posts on your blog are. Yep, it is a bit head-scratching regarding number of views vs. comments.

    That's very kind, thank you. I simply enjoy writing about everyday stuff as a change from years of writing boring technical reports and procedures etc at work. Maybe that's why a lot of us do it!

  7. Its very interesting when you look at the stats. Some of what I think were my best blogs have no comments and then some of them that I don't put much thought into get the most comments. My post with the most hits came from one of the blog challenges put out by Trobairitz with her Seven Days Seven Bikes blog challenge. It is streets ahead of any of the others, so I wonder what her stats for that one are?

    1. Steve,
      I had some decent numbers looking at that challenge too. I think that people are using search engines to look fo popular bikes. Hope that Brandy lets us know.

  8. SonjaM has left a new comment on your post "Who reads our blogs, anyway?":

    I am guilty of having read everything remotely Striple related, no matter if the posting was about farkling or traveling, so several of the clicks for #1 are on my account ;-)

    If you actually google 2009 & Street Triple & review your posting shows up on page 3 of about 1,390,000,000 results, how about that?

    And Geoff, my friend, if it weren't for your wonderful blog about motorcycles and travel adventures spiced up with your British trademark humor, and sprinkled with old age, uhm make that best ager experience I would have never met you and Jennie.

    So, yes I am reading your blog, and I will continue to do so.


    Have had to copy and paste your reply as I've just bought an iPad and it doesn't seem to be liking approving a post - will figure it out in due course :-). Thanks very much for that info! I Googled everything too when looking to buy one. We share a common approach to analysing EVERYTHING before committing to buy!

    Hahaha - I should be offended with your age wisecracks :-). The same applies to both you and the other great bloggers though. It's the quality of your posts which finally lead to meeting up. Can't be a bad thing, can it?

    Safe riding on your trip!

  9. Geoff,

    I check the stats on my blog from time to time just to see where people are located. It blows my mind that a tiny little scooter/motorcycle blog about every day ramblings has people from different parts of the world reading. I may not get tons of comments, but that isn't why I put my thoughts to blog. I find it amusing when I look at the search results and have posted about those from time to time. One of my top blog posts was a entitled Riders For Safety, the event that 9 motorcyclists put together after another rider was killed in October 2011 and 300 riders came out to honor him and to call our government to action on safety issues.

    Sometimes my posts are whacky off the wall and other times they are serious or about safety & motorcycle skills/gear. I get emails from time to time asking to permission to advertise on my blog and I am not there with that and don't think I will be any time soon. I love reading other moto bloggers stories about their journey and it inspires me to try to be a better rider every time I go out. If there is one thing that I could accomplish with my blog it would be that people actually get the point that motorcycling is about good skills and wearing gear.

  10. Hi Dar,
    Yours is an interesting and well-written blog and there are so many 2 wheel enthusiasts in the world that you're bound to get hits from some weird places. Got to agree that some of them have to be looked up to find out where they are and you marvel that they have Internet!

    Hey, congrats on that fantastic turn-out, absolutely magnificent. Safety must be the no1 concern for any serious rider.

    Yep, I hate blogs with advertising and will continue to turn down requests too.

  11. Hi Geoff, this was an interesting post for me and I am moved to go through my posts to see what has attracted visitors as well. I have a pageview counter which is now at over 77000 and a visitors counter which shows more than 27000 from 157 countries but I get painfully few comments, my last post had one comment (from my son) and the previous five had none at all.
    After your email I have initiated comment moderation to eliminate spam - I used to get loads of spam comments, but if it wasn't for my pageview and visitors counters I might have given up long ago, comments from readers let you know if you are doing it right don't they?

  12. Hi Andrew!
    That's some big numbers you've been getting. Pleased to hear that you've got rid of the spam issue. It certainly turned me off making posts because I'd then get spam replies! Maybe that's been at the heart of it.


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