Hey Gen-Xers, want another sign you’re growing old? If you didn’t already get the creeps from hearing Nirvana/Ace of Base/Matchbox Twenty suddenly appear on classic rock radio, here’s another indication you’re aging: The latest highbrow moto-mag to pop up, titled Retro-RR, is focused on ’80s and ’90s motorcycles.
In the past few years, even as publishing mega-corporations kill off or cut back on the motorcycle industry’s most respected titles, we’ve seen a new breed of bike mags pop up. Instead of covering all the industry, they narrowly focus on a specific segment, often with an emphasis on strong production values and artsy photography. Some detractors may pan them as hipster mags, particularly due to their frequent team-ups with lifestyle brands, but in reality, there is often an emphasis on proper storytelling that the motojournalism industry has lost as a whole.
But, those mags typically tell stories about scramblers, choppers, cafe racers, or other motorcycle scenes and themes that are associated with DIY ethics and individualism. Not so with Retro-RR, which deals with motorcycles from the 1980s and 1990s.
The mag’s website says it’s a “new, independent high-quality quarterly 132-page magazine that celebrates the golden age of the superbike. If it was ridden or raced in the 80s or 90s then you’ll find it here: behind-the-scenes stories, epic races, the best bikes and the legends.” So, it certainly sounds like there’s an emphasis on machines like the early Gixxers and Ninjas, not so much the adventure scene, but who knows? Give them a few issues, and maybe we’ll see some classic Dakar machinery, plastered with cigarette ads …
Anyway, in an age when established print mags are running fewer stories or just plain shutting down, it’s good to see a new title pop up with decent page count and interesting topics. Alas, as it’s based in the UK, it’s a bit pricey, with one issue priced at £8.50 and a full four-issue, one-year subscription at £35. Having the mag posted to North America would only drive that price up, so hopefully there’s a web version available soon for overseas readers.