Motorcyclist, the longest continually-published US motorcycle magazine, is going out of print.
Bonnier, the publishing house which owns Motorcyclist, made the announcement of the upcoming change last weekend.
Motorcyclist has been in print ever since 1912, when it got its start under the name of Pacific Motorcycling. For years, it was one of the most-respected US print moto-mags, serving as official print publication of the AMA for a while. More recently, it rivaled Cycle World for pre-eminence as the country’s foremost all-encompassing motorcycle rag. Other publications might have had a better focus on cruisers, or adventure riding, or touring, or dirt biking, but no other mags had as strong a coverage of the industry as a whole.
But in 2013, we saw the first indications of major changes, when Bonnier bought Motorcyclist from Source Interlink; Bonnier already owned Cycle World, and eventually the two former rival mags were based in the same building and sharing staff. The mags got thinner and thinner, key staff were shuffled around, and eventually in 2017, Motorcyclist was re-launched to a six-issue annual schedule, instead of the previous monthly publication run. The mag was different, more artistic and focused on specific themes per issue, with less news.
Then, late in 2018, Ari Henning and Zack Courts, the two guys responsible for most of Motorcyclist’s flavour in recent years, left the company to go work with Motor Trend, and readers reckoned the end was near. Turns out they were right, sort of, as Motorcyclist’s July/August edition will be its final print run, Bonnier says.
Bonnier’s been swinging a wild ax lately, having also canceled the print runs for Hot Bike, Sport Rider and Baggers. Supposedly, Motorcyclist will follow the patterns of all those mags and go to online-only publication.
Bonnier says the editorial staff is going to be shifted from print to filling the online mag instead.
No word yet on what the changes at Motorcyclist might mean for Cycle World; in theory, a more regular print run might make sense now, but we’d be surprised to see that happen.