Bad Editor, Great Writer

May 14, 2021 | By Mike Seate


A good two decades past, my wife worked in a high-end motorcycle dealership. The shop, located in a suburb of Pittsburgh, was also home to the U.S. Bimota importer and just visiting her at work exposed me to all sorts of exotic European motorcycles I’d never heard of before. These sleek, high-tech roardacers attracted an equally interesting audience, riders who were quite different from the crew you’d meet at your local custom cruiser hangout. One of them was a funny, fascinating writer who had some awesome stories to share about his years in some of the fastest saddles on two-wheels. Peter Jones was the only person I knew at the time whose riding exploits had been recorded in books. I was gobsmacked to read of his experiences as a Bimota test rider during the 1990s in the book “Bimota: 25 Years of Excellence” where he piloted a screaming, Suzuki-powered Bimota SB6R to over 200 MPH. I remember not knowing whether to laugh or cringe as Peter regaled me and a few of my fellow sportbike riders with his description of the record-breaking ride: “200 feels a whole lot different from 180 which feels a lot different from 190, believe it or not,” he said with his characteristic sense of humor. In the ensuring years, I read plenty of Peter’s columns in magazines from “Motorcycle Street and Strip” to “Sport Rider” to “Cycle World” and others, and always enjoyed the way he cut through the corporate-speak and technical jargon to interpret motorcycling for what it really is: a thrill-ride unequaled by any other. We lost touch eventually so I was thrilled to hear from Peter again recently as he’d just published a collection of his funny, insightful columns in a new book. “The Bad Editor: Collected Columns and Untold Tales of Bad Behavior.” Ata time when reading long-form journalism is becoming frightfully un-hip (and rare) it’s reassuring to see experienced motorsports scribes like Peter keeping pen to paper, chronicling their experiences for posterity. Well, that and just plain fun as the guy is a blast to read. Check out the book on and better yet, turn up at this year’s Reader’s Ride-In Custom Show in Sewickley on Sunday, August 15, and meet Peter Jones in person and listen as he regales us with tales from his many years on fast, crazy motorcycles. See you there.