Since the first misguided caveman grunted myopically on the dangers of fire, man has relished every opportunity to vent his spleen that emerging technology has provided him. Cheerleaders grab megaphones. Town criers stand on soapboxes. Demagogues construct bully pulpits. Controversy is the lifeblood that pumps through the heart of all civil discourse. What would the New York Times be without its op-ed page to incite riotous debate among pundits and politicians. Or Facebook without its "like" button?
Today social media has brought once clandestine personal opinions to the forefront of human interaction, so much so that sometimes even banal gossip between individuals can become gospel for the multitudes. Don't believe us? Over 132,000 people on Zuckerburg's behemoth like bad Hitler jokes. So much for the wisdom of crowds.
Web 2.0—or is it 3.0 already?—has made it possible for free thinkers to shape perception like no media before it. Take this humble website. "Likes," re-tweets and comments establish a pecking order for the popularity of every motorcycle featured on our home page. This dialogue has passed the power of the pen to the hand that holds the mouse. In other words, readers now wield nearly more power than writers, a fact that's got some magazine editors shaking in their Reebok joggers if recent cover lines can be believed.
To quantify the veracity of CC nation's collective claims, we culled 20 bike features from our news archive. The ten shown here are ChopCult's Greatest Hits. Each bike earned this accolade based on its total number of comments after publication. Surprisingly, "time on site" had little impact on comment volume. As a matter of fact, several of the longest-running CC features received the fewest comments, a curious outcome given the quality of each machine. Conversely, many comparatively recent bike features have stirred shitstorms of controversy. Dissent is conducive to healthy debate—that's why we're re-publishing these top-10 bike features for your enjoyment. Pile on as you see fit.
Next week: ChopCult's Greatest Misses…
#10: Leo Tancredi's Panhead (Click photos to see the original feature)
#9: Dr. Cox's Ironhead
#8: Jeff Cochran's FXS
#7: Slim's Nanook
#6: Rouserwork's TFL3
#5: Rich Knight's Evo Sporty
#4: Andy Carter's Zion Express
#3: H8TR's Outlaw Dyna
#2: Dr. Moore's Softail
#1: Lock Baker's Speed Fetus