Motorcyclist Retro, the popular vintage/classic magazine that debuted with a bang in early 2008 but was shelved by publisher Source Interlink in December ’08 due to the economy, has been resurrected privately – as Motorcycle Retro.
“Despite selling 20,000-plus copies of its first and second issues, and generating a serious buzz in the classic/vintage market,” says long-time Motorcyclist and Motorcyclist Retro editor Mitch Boehm, “the publisher wanted to focus on its core titles in these tough economic times. Which is understandable.
According to Boehm, Motorcycle Retro will be basically the same type of magazine with a different name. “We’ll offer high quality paper and printing, superb photography, in-depth reporting and quality writing,” he says, “with dirt, street and mini coverage of the two-decade era between ’65 and ’85.”
The difference is that subscriptions are available right now on the magazine’s new website – www.motorcycleretro.com. While the main site won’t debut until early March, a home page with basic subscription info has been posted so folks can see what we’re about and, hopefully, subscribe.
“Our business model is wholly different than the big-magazine industry standard,” says Boehm. “Instead of going newsstand-only at the beginning we’re offering subscriptions right away, which is what our readers want. Driving or riding around looking for an issue isn’t something they enjoyed, so we’re offering subscriptions asap and mailing every issue in a protective polybag so they arrive on doorsteps and in mailboxes in pristine shape – just the way folks want it.”
Frequency will be quarterly (4x/year), and yearly subs will cost $39.99. Canadian subs are more due to the increased postage, though prices will drop once the magazine qualifies for the USPS’s ‘periodical rate.’
“I’m betting a decent portion of my retirement on this venture,” Boehm says, “and it’s definitely scary. But after seeing how well the original Retro sold, talking with enthusiastic readers and speaking with advertisers who told me their phones rang off the hook (Race Tech’s Paul Thede, for one), I know the market for this magazine is strong. And from the thousands of notes I’ve gotten over the last year or so, I know the enthusiast base is solid, excited and loyal.”
Boehm says issues will also be available at select motorcycle dealers and shops across the country. “They’re the sort of newsstands retro/classic enthusiasts don’t mind visiting,” he says.
“The time couldn’t be more right for a retro-themed bike magazine covering dirt, street and minibikes,” Boehm adds. “There are some pretty good vintage magazines out there, but with few exception they’ve traditionally focused on British, European and American motorcycles. There hasn’t been much attention paid to the Japanese bikes and the two-decade period from the mid-’60s through the early ’80s, when motorcycling exploded across the country with the help of baby-boomers.
“We aim to change all that, as Motorcycle Retro is largely Japanese-based, at least on the street side. European brands figured more prominently on the motocross side, so we’ll feature plenty of them in our dirt coverage. As before, we’ll dig for the background stories surrounding the bikes, people and culture of motorcycling’s Glory Days, and we’ll continue to make these dirt and streetbikes relevantin today’s environment.”