September 22, 2018
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Motorcycle Magazines Continue To Cut Back, Fold

It’s a tough time to be in the print business of any kind. Circulation of newspapers and magazines are dropping, and advertisers are going elsewhere to spend their clients’ money. This is especially true in the motorcycle arena where numerous mags have disappeared, while others have been merged or seen their output slashed of late.

Among the best known titles is “Cycle World,” which revealed last week that it is cutting back to only four issues per year. The announcement stated that the magazine “is moving to a captivating, quarterly, coffee table-sized journal focusing on the art of the motorcycle.”

“Cycle World” is owned by California-based Bonnier Corp., which is also cutting back “Motorcyclist” magazine to six issues a year and melding “Hot Bike” into “Baggers.” The survivor will also come out six times a year. The company has folded print versions of “DIRT RIDER” and “Sport Rider.”

In other words, Bonnier has shed half of its bike portfolio and downsized the rest.

Meanwhile, Paisano Publications, also in CA, has gone from five motorcycle magazines to one – “Easyriders.” That mag has absorbed “V-Twin,” “In The Wind,” “Wrench” and “Road Iron.”

Closer to home, Stamford, CT-based TAM Communications is maintaining a 13-issues-a-year schedule for “American Iron Magazine.” But it no longer publishes “Motorcycle Rides & Culture” magazine, which shut down in spring 2016 having succeeded “RoadBike,” or “Motorcycle Bagger.” The latter was absorbed by “American Iron Magazine.”

So that’s at least nine motorcycle magazines that once existed that have now disappeared. Add “Motorcycle Cruiser” and the count rises to 10.

Blame it on a shift of consumers to digital. Blame it on declining ridership. Blame it on whatever, but motorcycle magazines are turning into roadkill, and it’s a trend that isn’t about to abate.

Perhaps the last mags standing will survive, but the list keeps getting shorter. How many other current titles can you name? “Motorcycle Consumer News” is a stalwart. There’s also “Rider,” “RoadRUNNER” and “Motorcycle Classics.”

But what other nationally publications immediately come to mind? The number keeps shrinking. And what other defunct titles are missing from the list of the deceased?

– By Bud Wilkinson

About Admin

RIDE-CT & RIDE-NewEngland is a regional website devoted to motorcycle news in the Northeast. It is based in Harwinton, CT. Questions and comments may be sent to budw@ride-ct.com.

One comment

  1. HOG – membership based
    American Motorcyclist – membership based
    Cycle News – now digital only
    SSB – another Bonnier casualty
    Roadracing World – still going
    Racer X – still going
    Quick Throttle – still going
    Transworld Motocross – still going
    MotorcycleUSA.com – digital only and shuttered

    Certainly there are others.

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