October 2000 Soapbox 
Home / Features / Editorial
  Parts and People
  By Moen

Two things come to mind when I look at the finished magazine this time.

There's an awful lot of material from Kiwi Indian Parts (well, not awful...), and the second is how many people are actually involved in putting together the VI.

Kiwi first. How come there's two or three big pages with new parts from Riverside and only a few brief mentions of new parts from elsewhere? Is the VI becoming an extension of the Kiwi marketing department?? 

No. Personally, I really admire the way the KI team cranks out new parts, keeps quality up and works hard at lowering prices through modern manufacturing techniques and bigger production runs, but there are other manufacturers, whose parts I also admire but rarely write about in VI, so that isn't the reason.

Click blue links for more info, and use your 'Back' button to get back here.

 Your humble VI editor,
or coordinator or whatever; 
executive janitor?

It's much simpler than that. KI makes an effort to tell us what they are up to. Not many other Indian parts manufacturers do. Amazing, really, when you consider that most of them either have no website of their own or, as is also the case with Kiwi, are too busy making parts to update their site. So, for Kiwi, the VI is becoming the main venue for getting the word out (to the wired Indian enthusiast population, at least) on their new stuff.

But don't make the mistake of thinking that this is reserved for my 'pet manufacturers'. I have repeatedly stated that pretty much all it takes to get a mention of new Indian parts in the VI is that we are told about them. The size of the mention depends on how much we are told. Simple as that, so if you make Indian parts and want to see them in the VI, just tell us... 

Next month, I hope to be able to expand the Dealer Network with a couple of less known shops, and I also hope to get information about new parts from a couple of manufacturers, not seen in these pages before.

Making Indian parts? 
Want to see them here?


Here's how. 

Send an email message to moen@get2net.dk, attach .jpeg photos of the parts to the message. No more than 5 per message, as real big attachments sometimes go wrong. 

If in doubt about what to do, or how, just ask.

I had been thinking (or someone gave me the idea? I'm afraid I forget) of making a brief 'who's who' page with each issue. The basic idea being that it might enhance the articles with a little background on the writers. The 'ulterior motive' being that it could be a start on (as Stan Jessup suggested) a database of VI Test Pilots, standing by to test new parts as we have already seen with new parts like the Moto Valves and King clutch kits. This is a pretty neat way of speeding up production for smaller manufacturers, who can dramatically shorten the testing phase when they have 5 or 10 VI'ers running the prototype part in their bikes and feeding back their experiences. More about this next time. For a few thoughts on the cooperative nature of the whole VI Thing, click here.
The really interesting thing about the Who's Who page is the actual number of people on it. While I have tried making a point of the fact that the VI isn't 'my' magazine but a cooperative effort, I hadn't really counted the contributors to any of the earlier issues, and when making the page I figured I'd make room for around ten entries or so... It turns out that for the October 2000 VI, by no means the biggest, there are 22 people who each drew their straw to the stack!

Somewhat connected to this, I have also been trying to figure out a way of better connecting the VI Mailing List to the magazine. The List is where things really happen, but there is no way all the mail can just be printed in the mag, and so far initiatives to 'digest' it into something manageable haven't come to much. As a small beginning there will be a page with one or a few of the more technical threads off the list in future issues, as well as a selection of the interesting letters arriving in the VI Editorial Inbox all the time (thanks!), and a selection of the cries for help we also frequently get (please write these people if you can help with their problems). If you want to know more about the VI Mailing List, there's info and a sign-up link here

Oh, and another reason you might want to sign onto the List (and as a little example of how things usually work both ways, so to speak) is that both Liberty Motorcycle Specialties and Kiwi Indian Parts, the two entries on the VI Dealer Pages so far, offer discounts to VI Listers...

There's 293 people on the VI Mailing List.

They write between 700 and 1500 messages per month (much of it tech talk, but there's also a fair amount of lighter stuff, as well as a great sense of community -that you are welcome to be part of!)

You can get the VI List mail as either individual messages, a daily digest or read it on the VI Mailing List website.

More info here.

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