An Important Factor in Your Buying Decision
Motorcycle gear can be expensive. Because of this, you need to do your due diligence and do your research to be sure that the product you’re buying is exactly what you want, and that it will totally fulfill your needs as a rider.
Where do you find this information? Well, some of it will be found on the manufacturer’s website, but there’s another great source of information out there, and that’s product reviews.
Now, as most of you know, we do plenty of reviews each year on helmets, jackets, boots, and pretty much every other type of motorcycle gear out there. We pride ourselves on crafting some of the most comprehensive and honest reviews out there.
But what about owner reviews? You know, the ones from folks at the bottom of the online store listing? What about owner reviews on Amazon? What about owner reviews on all of the other platforms out there? Are these good sources of info? I wanted to take a closer look.
Are Owner Reviews Reliable?
So, my gut reaction when people ask me about owners’ reviews and if they’re a good source of information, is to say yes.
I have told folks that many times. I still think that’s good advice. Owner reviews are often good first-hand accounts of what it’s like to live with and use a piece of gear every ride. It’s why plenty of sites across the Web use owner reviews to help explain and clarify if a piece of gear is worth buying.
However, the story isn’t quite that simple. There are a couple of major caveats. Most of the reviews you see out there on Amazon and other marketplaces aren’t very good reviews. They’ll provide little actual information to you and are vague at best. They aren’t the comprehensive reviews that you’ll find done by professionals.
Worse, plenty of these reviews are fake, meaning they’re posted by an employee of the company that’s selling the piece of gear, a paid individual, or someone else with some kind of vested interest. Obviously, these reviews are worthless, and often actively lead you astray.
That doesn’t mean you should throw out owner reviews altogether, just know that some reviews can’t be trusted. In general, you should look for reviews that say both good and bad things. That’s often the sign of a truly good, honest review.
Be wary of reviews that are completely positive. Also, I usually tell people to take negative reviews with a grain of salt. Still read them, but just as there are fake reviews designed to make a product look good, there are reviews that are designed to make products look bad, too.
Also, make sure to take note of the length of the review in general. Too often you’ll see reviews on Revzilla, Two Wheel, and Amazon that are only a couple of sentences. That’s almost always not enough room to impart any real knowledge. Look for reviews that are multiple paragraphs. These will provide you with the best overall information.
Are Professional Reviews Better?
While owner reviews can be good sources of information, there’s always the professional review to consider when it comes to gear. Web Bike World is a perfect resource for finding reviews on the gear that you’re most interested in. We take pride in providing you with the best reviews possible. If you’re interested in how we do our reviews, click here.
There are plenty of other websites out there, from Speedy Moto to Return of the Cafe Racers to Bad Ass Helmet Store to Best Beginner Motorcycles to Motorbike Writer, and many others that all provide good and honest professionally written reviews of motorcycle gear.
Professional review writers will have tested plenty of gear and be able to provide you with a nuanced look at a piece of gear and discuss exactly how it fits into the market and compares to competition that’s out there. In many cases, this can be helpful information if you’re trying to decide between a couple of similar products.
The professional insight these reviews provide will help give you a better understanding of the gear you’re interested in beyond what a typical owner can provide you. Still, as I mentioned above, owner reviews can be a very useful tool for finding out about pain points from riders who have owned the products for a long period of time. This depth of product knowledge can sometimes be lacking from some professional reviews. Not all publications are the same, so find one or a few different publications that you trust.
What’s the Best Solution?
To put it simply, both. You want to look for excellent reviews from owners who have had the gear for long periods of time and are thrilled with it, but you also want to find professional journalists who test and review motorcycle gear regularly.
Looking for both professionally written reviews and those from owners will give you the best possible understanding of the piece of gear and its high points and low points.
It’s doubtful that you’ll ever find a truly perfect piece of gear, but you should certainly be able to find the gear that is satisfying on several levels by utilizing the information out there on the Web but make sure to use every tool and every bit of information afforded to you. Don’t be a lazy researcher when it comes to buying motorcycle gear. If you research well, you should be happy with each and every one of your purchases.