Motorcycling’s April Fools Round-Up for 2020

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Another year, and another April Fools Day is done and dusted. Normally, I would say that April 1st is better than Christmas for motorcycle journalists, but literally as billions of people sheltered in their houses because of the coronavirus outbreak, this year’s affair had a much more somber tone, with some outlets choosing to refrain from the chicanery.

My colleague David Emmett was one of those who thought the day warranted a different approach, and he offered his readers the entertainment of Simon Crafar’s MotoVudu channel, which is superb. You should definitely take his advice, and give it a watch.

Our Brap Talk podcast tried something a little different as well, where we did an episode that was appropriately titled “Not About Motorcycles” as we tried to offer a more general interest show. Maybe we will spin this idea into its own podcast, but don’t worry, there will be more moto-content from now on. Look for another episode on Monday.

For my own part, well…I’m simpler creature than David, and have more base instincts when it comes to April 1st.  As such, I took the lazy approach and picked on the folks in Milwaukee for my April Fools kicks.

While I would say that Harley-Davidson is usually a pretty sport about things, I did wake up to a phone call from the Bar & Shield brand today, and I am pretty sure that Asphalt & Rubber is now on double-secret probation with the American motorcycle manufacturer. Trade that against being able to use half-naked Miley Cyrus photo in an article, and I would say it is an even exchange. Mea culpa, and sorry for partying.

How about from the rest of the industry though? In case you missed them, the highlights of April Fools Day are after the jump.

OPINION: Ontario’s Helmet Law Reversal – Canada Moto Guide

Our Friends of the North (said in a Game of Thrones voice) never disappoint when it comes to April Fools, and this year they had an appropriately provincial offering that riffed on the all-to-real possibility that Ontario might one day do away with its helmet law.

You probably have to be a moose-herder to fully appreciate the political satire that is in this story, but fathead jokes translate to any nation-state, when you think about, eh.

FIM Announces Inaugural MotoGP of Nations – Ultimate Motorcycling

Taking a page from the havoc that the coronavirus is having on the MotoGP racing calendar, our friends at Ultimate Motorcycling have actually a pretty good idea hidden in their April Fools posting.

The concept is to take the Motocross of Nations racing format, and applying it to the MotoGP Championship. We wouldn’t mind seeing something like this, to be honest. It would total work. But, the rider lineups might need some reworking…

RevZilla Launches New Line of Common Tread Brand Motorcycle Care Products – RevZilla

Team Zilla never disappoints when it comes to April Fools stories, and this year was no exception. Spurgoen + jean shorts + bike wash = shut up and take my money!

You have to appreciate the self-awareness that RevZilla has too when it comes to hocking their financial best interests to their readers

I’m not sure about the Borg collective that is growing in Philadelphia, but if they are to be our future overlords, at least it looks like assimilation will be a kick in the pants. ZackQuartz timing? Oh, it slays me.

Expander Adventure Tent – Giant Loop

Oregonian motorcycle outfitter Giant Loop is always good for some April Fools goodness, and they once again hit it out of the park with their Expander Adventure Tent.

This might be a concept that doesn’t translate everywhere, but here in the Pacific North West, you are not a real “adventurer” unless you have a tent permanently attached to your Subaru or 4×4 vehicle.

Nevermind that one could fit a two person tent in a much smaller space inside the vehicle, and use the roof rack for actual bulky luggage, this is all about letting people know that you adventure, and you adventure hard.

It only makes sense then that the farkle-loving ADV riders should be able to tout the same status symbol, and Giant Loop is filling that need with aplomb. It’s almost too real, though.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving – Druid Motorcycles

I got not one, but two emails from Druid Motorcycles on April Fools Day. The first one had the following opening line: “After a staggering success in 2019, DRUID MOTORCYCLES has closed it’s (sic) doors due to external pressures including low sales, Covid-19, fraud, and cannibalism.”

The whole thing got weirder from there, which is really something to say. I’ll spare you the details, because I don’t want to give this too much oxygen.

But for a little backstory, in February 2019, a startup named Druid Motorcycles sent out a mass email to many publications in the motorcycle world (Asphalt & Rubber included) touting their upcoming hybrid motorcycle. 

The problem though – it was all bullshit.

If anyone dived into the information they provided, or even took five minutes perusing their Weebly-powered corporate website, it was pretty obvious that something wasn’t right. It was a scam.

The scam wasn’t to catch unsuspecting buyers though (like some startups we can think of), but instead it was levied at the moto-publishing realm, checking to see who the real journalists were in the room. Sadly, too many failed the test.

I don’t need to do a full exposé on the topic, as Mark Gardiner does an excellent and exhaustive job in his story on Common Tread. Give it a read, please. It’s so good.

What I love about this story though is the number of publications that got caught blindly following Druid’s game – names like MCN, ADV Rider, and RideApart.

Most of the titles have removed their stories on Druid, but RideApart doubled-down on their mistake, saying their own story was satire, which everyone just apparently failed to realize. Mmmmhmm…doth protest too much, we say. You can read their story and make your own judgments, however.

You have to love Druid’s attempt again this year though…and the thing is, they’re not wrong.

What passes for journalism in the motorcycle industry is often very disheartening. Because everyone has to make a buck, here’s where I plug you to buy an A&R Pro membership, to help fuel our mission here as Asphalt & Rubber.

Did you see any good motorcycle-related April Fools jokes this weekend that we may have missed? If so, be sure to post them in the comments.