New ADV/Touring mag - what do you want?

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by JamieElvidge, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. JamieElvidge

    JamieElvidge n00b

    Nov 14, 2006
    The World
    I'm Jamie Elvidge, a long-time motojournalist. Have written and tested for a bunch of mags over the last 20+ years, and started the original Motorcycle Escape Magazine for Motorcyclist. I currently work for Cycle World and will be recreating their title, MC Travel & Adventure. This time around, we are going for 75%ADV/25%street touring. So, here I am asking the coolest community of ADV riders what they'd like to see in the ultimate magazine. What kind of product info, products, bike tests, skills development stories, travel stories and travel information would you like to see. If you could help us make the perfect magazine for YOU, what would it look like?

    Thanks in advance! Jamie
  2. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

    Jul 20, 2011

    The perfect magazine would look like ADVrider and
    Horizons Unlimited and Expedition Portal, along with
    the excellent Enduro 360 blog and whatever other sites
    are of interest to the individual reader. For BMW owners that
    might include the BMWMOA web site, for KTM owners there is
    the KTM Talk website, and so on. The end result in todays world
    is that each individual gets to design his or her own personal perfect
    "magazine" already, by surfing to the websites of his or her choice.

    The internet has changed the world. There was a time
    when we waited with anticipation for the latest issue of
    Cycle, Cycle World, Bike, etc. but that was then and this
    is now.

    The "model" which works best these days doesn't involve selling
    subscriptions to readers, it involves selling ad space to advertisers
    while readers get to read the "magazine" ( or web site ) for free. If
    you can show a potential advertiser your site has enough traffic of the
    sort they would like to communicate with ( people who would buy what they
    are selling ) you can make money selling ad space.

    However, the opening I see which no one has yet filled is a site which
    gives thorough unbiased reviews of motorcycles and associated gear.
    A sort of Consumer Reports for motorcycle riders, or a motorcycle
    version of Practical Sailor is what I am thinking of here. I would pay for
    really well done gear reviews, which were accurate and brutally honest.
    Such reviews would have to involve testing which used the scientific method
    rather than just a bunch of opinions, in order to have value to me. Most
    existing magazines don't offer this sort of testing, though the German magazines
    do a better job than most.

  3. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    May 29, 2002
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    pitch this:

    showcase a sweet ride to a hot spring destination to spend that night or sleep real close to. show which roads to ride, where to stay, where the spring is and where to eat. give some suggestion where to ride the next day (or the next spring to visit the next night).

    some destination springs are orvis, saratoga, strawberry, ojo caliente, saline, maple grove & the list goes on (see Butler Maps)

    beyond hot springs POIs you can use: old historical hotels, incredible landmarks to see, natural wonders/national parks, historic railroads to ride, epic restaurants each night, motorcycle museums and so on.

    the ride and the daily final destination are equally important.
    make people feel like they are local!

    picture heavy, ride guide, map and .gpx file plus a special pricing deal package for magazine readers.

    i've yet to see a mag write about a hot spring destination ride, but I've talked to plenty of riders who do in fact seek out hot springs for that night's soak.
  4. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    May 29, 2002
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    i agree with the unbiased reviews done with non-identified testers.
    no interaction between to taint reviews.

    no attachments to companies what so ever. they are thanked for their valuable time with some nice restaurant comps or such, but no swag.
    do as much as you can, so they are comfortable giving a brutally honest rating anonymously.

    pure numerical rating on different aspects and develop a final score # like google does for everything.

  5. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

    Apr 8, 2008
    Merrickville, Canada
    Hot chicks :D

    Hot chicks that can actually ride would be even better :D:D
  6. OneZero

    OneZero TGT of Opportunity

    Jul 13, 2011
    +1 :nod
  7. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Farto Motograffer

    Jul 23, 2010
    Twin Cities, Minnesota USA
    Ride tests seem quite pointless.

    We all know how the KLR beats all bikes including the new Super Tenere in all tests conducted thus-far.

    Motorcycle USA:

    "At a glance the KLR 650 is about as far from sexy as a motorcycle can get. A pretty bike it ain't. Nor is it particularly impressive in its performance output. But when the zombie apocalypse ravages the globe (and you know that it will), the KLR is the ultimate head for the hills machine. "

    I post this in jest, of course, just to pee people off. :evil

    And I ride a KLR. Yes, I actually enjoy the "Thailand Caddillac".
    A bike so foul that they cant even ride it in Thailand where it's assembled, because it does not meet local emissions. That's wack.

    Kawasucker does not spend hardly a thin dime in "innovation" in 25 years, yet clearly they are greasing someone's palms to consistently get articles like those.

  8. JamieElvidge

    JamieElvidge n00b

    Nov 14, 2006
    The World
    Thanks guys. Keep the ideas coming. I love the idea of a Hot Springs tour and the KLR thread (I've owned one and long-termed tested another for MCist) reminds me there is such a huge following for that bike...even if it isn't exactly news. I will make sure we celebrate it. The unbiased part? I have worked for Moto, auto and marine magazines, and I can honestly say that the moto mag reviews are (sadly) as close as it comes to unbiased reporting. I don't know if any of you have read my tests over the years, but I've had plenty of advertisers pull ads over my statements re: their products/bikes. It ain't perfect, I agree, and I hear you and want the same.
  9. bomber60015

    bomber60015 tikkun olam

    Sep 11, 2008
    Congratulations on a third (fourth?) incarnation is what appears to be a very changeable industry . . . . . . .

    Take this with a grain of salt (I am much closer to the end of my riding career than the beginning, so my interests may not be a majority view) but my interests tend to be more about the ride, and riding, than the next game-changing motorcycle . . . . more software than hardware, if you will.

    I know that hardware is much easier to write about (the models is very well understood, thank you Joe Parkhurst), and certainly that kind of thing can attract advertisers, but it has become more about the ride than the bike, for me.

    Accessories to support ADV riding would be of insterst, of course . . . . camping/cooking/living out of doors supported by a motorcycle . . . . home performed modifications to the hardware we've got to extend it's usefulness . . ..

    Keep in mind that the country is larger than the view from most motorcycle magazine's offices . . . California is a wonderful place to ride, but there are equally engaging places all over the country . . . .

    Weeklong, monthlong, life long rides are epic, no doubt . . . . .help a working stiff plan a microadventure over a weekend (or inspire said stiff with teh tools and mindset to do it him/herself).

    With the aging of the entire country taking place, some attention to issues specific to silverback riders might be a good idea . . . adjusting ergos, stretching excersizes, ibuprohin BEFORE the ride, and like that ;-}

    Overland Journal without some of the, er, pretention, would be a good target to aim for, I'm thinkin . . . . . . .

    Lastly, though the net HAS changed the world, ther is still a place for a good quality printed publication in my life, and, from the looks of the local bookstore's news rack, in that of others, as well . . . . . . .

    Best of luck, though -- looking forward to seeing what results . . . .
  10. PhoenixGirl63

    PhoenixGirl63 Adventurer

    Jun 10, 2011
    NW 'burbs of Chicago

    What Bomber said. And, don't forget some focus on the women riders. We go on adventures, too! And, EVERY woman is 'hot' in her own way, simply for the confidence of riding her own ride in the first place.
  11. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    May 29, 2002
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    :thumb add to that good bikes and mods for women.
    seems all the mags focus on huge adv bikes and the macho effect.
    plenty ride 200-250cc dual sports.
    give some space to keeping the older dual sports alive and what to do to freshen one.
  12. dhally

    dhally Hammerhead

    Feb 18, 2006
    Kennewick, WA
    I remember when I was 15 I would wait breathlessly for the next issue of Cycle World. If you can make me feel 15 again, I will subscribe...
  13. CordR

    CordR Been here awhile

    Mar 23, 2010
    Vancouver, BC
    Sounds like a good initiative. Hope it gets off the ground!

    Since you are targeting primarily the ADV crowd, I think anything that falls within adventure/travel/camping/maintenance/gear etc is bang on.

    Every mag seems to have their main feature articles and it may or may not be something that interests me. If it does, great. If not, I like the individual departments/themes where there is a two (or more) page spread on the various topics.

    So each month would consistently have the blurb on:

    - general trail maintenance/fixes
    - camping gear - moto specific items that are tested and rated
    - travel tips - borders, currency, logistics, shipping
    - bike builds - actual bikes featured that have actually traveled a substantial distance. I don't want what every manufacturer says you need, I want to know what Colebatch did to get across Russia and the like. (though I do understand the need to sell advertising to these same good luck with that)
    - preparing for the journey, but beyond the bike. Physical, mental etc.

    Basically, I would take the hottest, most viewed topics on this site and others and make sure that there are a couple pages each issue for each topic.

    One other thing I think I would add is some sort of 'how to' noobie section where basic items from our secret language or learned skills is spelled out. Not a comparison of 5 helmets where they don't yet understand what the features are, but how to walk into a store and buy a helmet....or clothing....or a bike......."what to look for in your first bike" etc. I haven't been at this very long, but trying to share all I've learned with a friend that is a new rider and thought the 1200 GS would be a good bike, well, it reminds me of how much I've learned in these last few years.

    Lastly, I don't know exactly how to word it, but while I like formula, I also want to be surprised. I don't want to feel like I've already read it once I've flipped through the first two pages. How that is solved is a question mark, but I do know that sometimes I lose interest if it's the same stuff every time.

    Best of luck with the new venture.

  14. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

    Oct 10, 2008
    I would ask that you get a better mix of fantasy trips and reality trips. I like reading about RTW trips or trips to places I will never go. But, like 99+% of your readers, those trips will never happen for me.Anf that's OK because I also like to read about domestic day trips, overnighters and long weekends. And as posted earlier, supply maps/gps files, places to room/camp. Heck, what are good places to drop off and store a trailer? Spots to get gas in remote places. Help me make that trip! In fact, wander over to the "ride reports" section and see which threads have the most views and posts. That will show you what we like. Trust me, some of the most popular ones are very simple trips.

    Tell me what went wrong on your trip so I can avoid it on mine ("I would have liked more/less aggressive tires", "I wish the tent had a bigger vestibule to keep my stinky boots out of the rain").

    Also, don't commit to any one style of bike. Not every trip needs to be a Super Tenere and GS. How about a more aggressive off road trip on bikes under 650cc's? How about an all asphalt trip - lots of people here still like those too?

    I guess what I'm saying is people seem to write about stereotypical or ideal trips, not actual trips. Sure, cater to our fantasies but feed our practical side too.

    Good luck!
    Alexander B likes this.
  15. JamieElvidge

    JamieElvidge n00b

    Nov 14, 2006
    The World
    This is really helpful stuff - keep it coming, I am listening! Is there some way to get this post in the deeper forums? I'm new to posting, but am really picking up what you real-world riders are laying down! Thanks much. Jamie
  16. MrSandman818

    MrSandman818 INaVANdownBYtheRIVER

    Dec 29, 2009
    Raeford, North Carolina
    Yes! Rokon already beat us to it though:deal

  17. lvscrvs

    lvscrvs Long timer

    Jan 5, 2010
    Hardcopy magazines are great for bathroom reading (which is a necessity of course.... :D...) but they are somewhat limited compared to the potential inherent in opening a topic up on the internet. The hardcopy is a great way to introduce a topic, whether it is a bike or gear review, or a route or place review, but it is a limited format, and there is so much more that can be expanded upon online (of course, part of the beauty of 'professional' journalism is that you guys have to be succinct and you have editors who help to keep you on course, whereas the online community can be unruly and difficult to manage).

    For example.... many of the current crop of bikes arrive at the dealer with very lean fueling. Magazine reviewers don't get to modify the bikes to address this type of issue when they review them, but savvy owners will do these mods and by sharing their knowledge they can help other new owners sort out a poorly running machine. There are so many mods that we do to our bikes, it would be helpful to have access to 'intelligent' and 'useful' information that helps us with decisions we need to make when there are so many choices out there. This is the interface where you can potentially add value for the individual who wants the highest quality information.

    The internet expands potential greatly, but it is something that must be managed (if it didn't we wouldn't need moderators on this site and others). You could create some really groundbreaking innovations by marrying the two formats to get the best out of both.

    For the record, I find Motorcycle Consumer News to be head and shoulders above all other printed publications, not only because they have no advertising, but because they do excellent in-depth reviews of bikes and gear, and they do excellent 'how-to' articles as well.

    Good luck!
  18. Duckworth

    Duckworth Taking the high road

    Apr 15, 2009
    The Ride Reports here are the biggest hook and the crown jewel of this site. I think that would translate pretty well to print.
  19. traveltoad

    traveltoad Aaron S

    May 8, 2002
    San Fernando Valley
    Head to head product reviews have become the norm... and for sure have lots of value.

    Why not add an element of product review to the ride report (whatever you decide to call it) part of the mag.

    "We chose the XYZ luggage sytem for this ride. It work well in these respects.... we found these features lacking..."

    We all have a different idea of moto camping, so we all bring different amounts of crap with us for different reasons. Give us something to think about as to why you brought a chair or didn't bring a chair... how did that work?

    Also, I am sure lots of people would like a look into how a trip is planned (something longer than a weekend). Topo maps... google maps... route exchange sites.... etc. Do you even need to plan a trip that exactly? Pros and Cons.
  20. JWnWyoming

    JWnWyoming Adventurer

    Aug 18, 2008
    Casper, Wyoming
    Hi Jamie, Been a fan of your writing for some time. My twist is, Bikes, gear and trips we can all afford.
    Only about 10% of can afford Beemers and the trick gear they advertise. Most of us fall in the KLR, Wee-strom category. Trip articles that give us options like free (or cheap) camping, low cost meals and gas availability.
    If I have a finite riding budget, I would try to ride some where most every weekend as opposed to one blowout trip a season.
    It's easy to spend more but more fun and inventive to spend less.
    Good luck and keep us informed!