Motorcycle Magazines


Our Favorite Motorcycle Magazines

Labels and stereotypes; for good or for evil, they put people and things into little boxes with closed lids.

Labels tend to shut off debate and prevent people from dealing with real issues.

But labels are a reality, so we just have to learn to live with.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! So we’re hereby labeling webBikeWorld as an online motorcycle magazine.

Now this may seem obvious to some, but not to others.

If you can’t wrap your mind around the fact that webBikeWorld is a magazine, or your definition of a magazine is something that’s paper-based, glossy and comes in the mail once a month, then you’ve been had by the Lords of Labels.

webBikeWorld certainly is a magazine; albeit one that fits a more modern definition of the genre in this, the Age of Broadband.

Online vs. Print Motorcycle Magazines

The mission of our magazine is simple: to provide information that helps our visitors make informed purchasing decisions.

To implement this mission, we exploit three of the basic advantages that a web-based magazine has over its print cousins: the near-zero incremental cost to provide more — more detailed information and photographs than can be offered in print.

Visitors also have 24/7 access to the huge and growing webBikeWorld database of information kept on the site. And don’t forget that a website has the ability to deliver the information to its readers in a much more timely fashion than any print magazine can manage. Oh, and one more thing: don’t forget the hyperlinks!

In contrast, print magazines typically have a lead time of 2-3 months in a world when people want information right now. Print magazines are generally designed to be read once and discarded. This is as inefficient as it is wasteful.

Ever try to look up a year-old article in a magazine? First of all, you have to hope it hasn’t been tossed out with last month’s trash. If it was, the search ends right there. But if it’s still hanging around, it’s then a matter of pawing through every page until the article is found.

Looking for archival information on webBikeWorld? We have a simple policy for the retention of information: we don’t delete.

You can count on less than one hand the number of webBikeWorld pages that have been removed from the index in the past 6 years. The information on some of our pages may be out of date, but it’s always there for you, just a search box away.

That’s one of the most powerful advantages of a website — there’s basically no incremental cost for storing old information, just as there’s really no incremental cost for providing as much detail as possible and plenty of photographs.

So print magazines are obsolete, right? Absolutely not! Print magazines definitely have their place. Riffling through pages you can feel with your hands definitely has its advantages. Even finding the latest issue in the mailbox is a thrill that never fails!

And some print magazines serve as more than entertainment; they provide timeless documentation of our sport. If you’ve never seen Classic Bike or The Classic Motorcycle, you’re really missing out on a lifetime of motorcycle knowledge and also some of the best motorcycle photography around.

Favorite Motorcycle Magazines

Which brings us to the point of this article: a general survey of our favorite print motorcycle magazines. We’re letting out one of our secrets here, because many of the products and accessories that we review were first discovered by reading the articles and the ads in these magazines!

Kind of ironic, no? We’re dissing print magazines because of their ads, yet those very ads are the source for many of our ideas!

One of the things that prompted this article was a recent survey we conducted to count the number of worldwide motorcycle magazines. We stopped at 340, but our educated guess tells us that there are almost certainly three times that many if local motorcycle magazines and industry and trade magazines are included.

We get several dozen sent to the webBikeWorld offices from all over the world each month and some of them are not cheap. Cross-border postage can be outrageous!

So we thought you might be interested in a list of some of the magazines that we read. There’s not a lot of originality in this list, because you can certainly find this information elsewhere on the web without much digging. But we thought you might like to see what we read to help keep you informed.

If you have a favorite magazine that you’d like to see added, feel free to ping us at [email protected]

Resources

Looking for a print magazine? Many British and other motorcycle magazines and obscure or out-of-print motorcycle books can be ordered through Motorsport Publications in Jonesburg, Missouri | The Magazine Man is the Motorsport Publications of the UK!  |  Emap is also one of the largest publishers of motorcycle magazines in the UK

Here are some of the magazines we can’t live without (in alphabetical order) along with our personal opinions of their content. Below that is a text listing of some of the magazines we read, sorted by country

(Publication Date: June 2006).

Bike
Country: UK
Publisher: EMAP Automotive Ltd
Published: Monthly

Description: Beautiful motorcycle photography by Chippy Wood, probably the best motorcycle photography you’ll ever see anywhere, period.

Road tests and limited product reviews. General interest and world adventure travel articles. Occasional articles on performance riding with good graphics illustrating the points. The “Really Useful Section” in the back is just that; it has ratings for used motorcycles by brand and model, buying tips, what to look for and more.

And don’t forget the monthly Ogri page, the longest running motorcycle cartoon in the world.

The photos alone are worth the cost of a subscription to Bike.

Classic Bike
Country: UK
Publisher: EMAP Automotive Ltd
Published: Monthly

Description: Stunningly crisp photography of classic and antique motorcycles, printed on high-quality stock. Lots of practical info on buying and maintaining classic British and European motorcycles. Good focus on finding bargains and future classics.

Feature issues that focus on specific bikes or marques are very useful as a guide for new or wannabe owners. Great want ad section with hundreds of bikes and photos; high drool factor! Classic bike owners need this magazine.

The Classic Motorcycle
Country:  United Kingdom
Publisher: Mortons Media Group
Published: Monthly

Description: Possibly the longest running motorcycle magazine in the world? Started as The MotorCycle in — get this — 1903! Focus on historical and antique bikes. Great photography printed on some of the highest quality paper of any motorcycle magazine.

Features on specific bikes with information on their history, racers, racing and more. Don’t throw these away — they can be read again and again.

Cycle News
Country: USA
Publisher: Cycle News Inc
Published: Weekly

Description:  Went out of business one day in 2010 without warning and did not refund subscribers’ payments!

 

Cycle World
Country: USA
Publisher: Hachette Filipacchi Media
Published: Monthly

Description: Pretty much the generic, all-around motorcycle magazine for American riders, found on just about any news stand in the U.S.A. Covers a broad spectrum of topics with good in-depth evaluations of new motorcycles; quick updates/press releases on new products and some historical and general interest articles. “Race Watch” section can’t produce timely reporting on races so instead offers background and commentary, which is a better strategy for a monthly.

Hachette Filipacchi publishes both Car and Driver and Road & Track and subscribers to those will know what we mean when we say that Cycle World reads like a combination of both; slightly irreverent and slightly stuffy. The front half of the magazine uses a format nearly identical to the car mags; one-page editorials, complete with the obligatory stylized head shot of the author. The format may seem old-school, but at least they employ two of the world’s greatest motorcycle authors: Peter Egan and Kevin Cameron.

Motorcyclist
Country:  USA
Publisher:  Primedia
Published: Monthly

Description:  Has lots of UK influence for some reason, with articles showing up here that you’ll swear you’ve read elsewhere.

Seems more accurate, less frothy and more technical. Very good occasional in-depth studies of certain topics, like their recent series on motorcycle helmet testing issues and problems.

This is our favorite U.S. motorcycle magazine.

Motorcycle Classics
Country: 
 USA
Publisher:  Ogden Publications, Inc.
Published: Bi-Monthly

Description: Interesting new U.S.-based magazine focused on classic motorcycles “is the only American consumer magazine focusing on the growing interest in classic motorcycles, providing owners, riders and enthusiasts the insight and information they want about their favorite classic motorcycles from around the world.”

Interesting articles and history, sort of like the UK’s “The Classic Motorcycle” but with advertisements for American retailers and parts suppliers that you never knew existed. I hope there’s enough of a market in the U.S.A. so that this one lasts…

Motorcycle Consumer News
Country:  USA
Publisher:  Bow Tie, Inc.
Published: Monthly

Description:  Independent motorcycle magazine that accepts no advertising. Very practical advice on choosing, buying and owning motorcycles. In-depth motorcycle reviews; product reviews less detailed and not quite the same quality. Good advice on maintenance and repair.

Occasional detailed studies of topics like oil, cold-weather clothing, helmets, etc. but these are costly to produce and seem to have become less frequent. Robust letters section and good articles on esoteric topics like motorcycle training, health and others. Probably the best pure motorcycle magazine in the U.S.A. unfortunately has limited readership.

Motorcycle News
Country: UK
Publisher: EMAP Automotive Ltd
Published:  Weekly

Description: Sort of like a combination of the NY Post and People magazine but for motorcycles. They seem to out-scoop everyone else in the industry, although winter brings some fanciful Photoshop guesswork on possible new models. Good race coverage.

Everything new in motorcycling appears here first. Once available as a weekly electronic download in .pdf file by (very expensive) subscription; now only available in an even more expensive print edition only.

Motorcycle Sport & Leisure
Country:  UK
Publisher: Mortons Media Group
Published: Monthly

Description:  Claimed to be Britain’s longest-running motorcycle publication. Specializes in very good, solid, practical reviews of new motorcycles.

Some touring and special interest articles and occasional historical profiles of antique bikes. Not as much content as some others, but what’s there is useful, logical and believable.

RiDE
Country:  UK
Publisher:  EMAP Automotive Ltd
Published: Monthly

Description: Like a Consumer Reports for motorcycles, but without the turgid editorial style. Specializes in product testing and comparisons; the RiDE “Best Buy” and “Recommended” green triangles are a good indication of a product that works and can be found on gear for sale in the UK.

Tons of practical information on choosing and maintaining motorcycles and gear. Probably my all-around UK favorite for content.

Rider
Country: USA
Publisher: Ehlert Motorcycle Media
Published: Monthly

Description: The orphan child of U.S. motorcycle magazines? Some motorcyclists swear by it, but about the best way it can be described it is that it’s like a lightweight version of the mainstream mags for occasional riders or those who aren’t really that interested in the obsessive details.

Good but basic info mostly feels like you’ve read it somewhere else before, only in more detail. Occasional road tests of the less popular bikes that the other magazines never seem to review. They do seem less editorially beholden to advertisers than other mainstream magazines.

Roadracing World
Country:  USA
Publisher:  Primedia
Published: Monthly

Description: Not your average motorcycle magazine, which is a good thing. We have enough of those! Focus on hard-core road racing with special emphasis on the amateur and semi-pro levels. Good articles on race prep and first-hand reports by racers on bike preparation, racing and more.

Very good in-depth technical articles on race technology. Again, maybe not as useful to the average street rider, but prospective or armchair racers should take a look.

Sport Rider
Country:  USA
Publisher: Primedia Inc
Published: 8 times per year

Description:  Focused mostly on Japanese street bikes, modifications and racing. Good occasional articles on motorcycle racers and their bikes. Some of the content is repeated from other sources. Product “reviews” are mostly re-hashed press release filler.

We don’t get as much satisfaction from this magazine as we do from others, perhaps because we’ve never been a fan of Japanese sportbikes. And why is Kent Kunitsugu always scowling?

Motorcycle Magazines Suggested by Visitors

From “N.H.” (April 2015): “There are a number of Canadian magazines dealing with motorcycles.Motorcycle Mojo is the one I have a subscription for although I do occasionally buy Canadian Biker (listed above) and Inside Motorcycles at a news stand. Motorcycle Mojo is a quality publication and has articles ranging in interest from touring to some off road riding.

There is also news from a Canadian perspective, motorcycle reviews and some accessory reviews. It is published 10 times a year. Canadian Biker is published in British Columbia and has a similar mix to Motorcycle Mojo. Inside Motorcycles is more of a news magazine and has a heavy racing focus.”

Moto Retro Illustrated is a relatively new, U.S. based magazine that focuses on the ’70’s. ’80’s bikes (dirt and street) that many of us grew up with. It is helmed by industry veteran Mitch Boehm.

RoadRunner (Bi-monthly) – Focused mostly on tourers, cruisers, destinations and general interest articles. Several webBikeWorlders suggested this magazine.

Robb Report Motorcycling – “This magazine, like any Robb Report publication, is primarily concerned with the higher end of the market. As such, the focus of the publication is is such that more emphasis is placed on the aesthetics of a bike than its technical merits. Nevertheless, perfect for aficionados and/or blue bloods (“K.T.”)

If you have a favorite magazine that you’d like to see added, send the name of the magazine and a brief description (and don’t forget the URL) to [email protected]

Motorcycle Magazines by Country

More magazines that we either receive or read on a regular basis.

Australia: Rapid Bikes |  Cycle Torque |  Two Wheels
Austria: Der Reitwagen
Belgium: Moto & Loisirs
Canada:  Cycle Canada  |  Canadian Biker  |  Inside Motorcycles
Denmark: Bike
Finland:  Bike
France: Moto Journal  |  Moto Magazine
Germany: BMW Motorräder, Klassik Motorrad and Motorrad Magazin  |  Fighters  | Moto  |  Motorrad  |  Motorrad Reisen & Sport
Greece: Moto
India: Autocar India
Ireland: Irish Bike – Order from the Motorcycle Man (UK)  |  Irish Racer
Italy: Motociclismo
Netherlands: Het Motor Rijwiel
New Zealand: Kiwi Motorcycle Rider – Available from the NZ Magazine Shop
Norway: Bike  |  MC24 is a web-based motorcycling magazine with news, tests, general
interest, travel, classics – just about anything concerning motorcycles.
Russia: Bike Freak
Slovakia: Moto Magazin
South Africa: Bike SA
Spain: Motociclismo
Sweden: Allt om MC  |  Bike
UK: BikeSport News  |  Classic Bike Guide  |  Classic & Motorcycle Mechanics  |  Classic Racer  |  Fast Bikes  |  The Bullet-In  |  What Bike?  |  Motorcycle Racer  |  Superbike  |  Old Bike Mart  |   Performance Bikes
USA: Biker Ally – for women motorcyclists  |  American Iron Magazine – Best selling Harley -oriented magazine in the world. Great reviews, tech and how to and feature bikes – custom, classic and reader’s ride  |  Motorcycle Business – MotoSports Business, new online magazine replacing the older print version  |  The Motorcyclist’s Post – “The longest-running motorcycle newspaper in the United States.”  |  RoadBike – All-around street bike magazine. real world reviews, rider skills and tours  |  Walneck’s Classic Cycle Trader  |  2 Wheel Tuner

Motorcycle Industry Magazines

Motorcycle Product News – Monthly. Primary audience is Powersports dealers.

Note: For informational use only. All material and photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC since 2000. All rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld® Site Info page. Product specifications, features and details may change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read the Terms and Conditions!

1 Comment

  1. Jon Sims
    August 1, 2021
    Reply

    SANYANG JOYMAX 300. 18,000 KM Report.
    I’ve been riding bikes for half a century now.
    I’ve always owned at least one motorcycle.
    Nowadays I don’t even own a car. Too many of those damned four wheel things clogging up the roads, guzzling gas and with a 9 year average lifespan, the expense and bother is just a wee bit too much for my carbon shoes.
    Back in my youth, growing up in Blighty in the 60’s and 70’s it was pretty much all British bikes. They were rubbish. However a 7/16 and 1/2“ spanner was pretty much all you needed for those famous roadside rebuilds.
    In those days I sneered at electric start bikes and the gizmos the rice burners peddled. I watched their chrome peel off, the wiring fall to pieces and sneered at their poncy servility. They oozed blandness, had no style or character. They were beneath contempt.
    Well all that had changed by the eighties.. They had learnt from their mistakes and grown, and frankly speaking, pissed on the competition who were stagnant and sitting on their broken down designs as the East streaked by in the fast lane.
    In 1995 I had set up shop in China. It was an unexpected move, but at the time a temporary one I thought. I was completely wrong and 25 years later I find myself still here and with a small fleet of 5 motorcycles.. Two off road, one touring, a low rider and my most recent purchase; the Sanyang Joymax.
    3 of these bikes are Chinese made.
    There is a crappy 250 dirt bike which is so cheap that I didn’t even have to get down to my pocket lint in order to buy this. The CF MT650 is my tourer, more than enough and still small enough to be lotsafun on the twisties.
    I have a 400 dzr which is something like 18 years old.. and my long time partner is the Dragstar 1100 made in 1999, smooth, quiet, disgustingly reliable, has a prop shaft, and, to me, is the quintessential low rider.
    My latest purchase in June 2019 was the Joymax XS300T scooter, which at the time was against my better judgment as I had been riding a CF Jetmax 250 for the preceding 6 years. The Jetmax had teething problems but the support and service from CF made it all bearable. Had CF Moto decided to continue making scooters I would have gone nowhere else.
    But they didn’t and I did.. And as the story goes, shit happens.
    Their catchphrase, “SANYANG; world leading two wheels manufacturer”, even got the likes of cynical old me get a wee bit swallowed up into the rhetoric.
    Which is stupid of me. I know better. I also knew this Taiwanese brand was being made in China. What made me even more stupid was I knew Xiamen in Fujian province was not famous for motorcycle manufacturing.
    But scooters are fun. Twist and go. They keep the weather off you and as a “maxi” this one, along with its good looks, ticked all the boxes for a runaround with longer legs when required.
    However, the whole point of a “maxi” is you can stretch out a bit and make that driving experience all the more comfortable. And it would have been if the wheel base was just a couple of inches longer, or there was actually something substantial there for your feet when you did stretch out.
    And it would have been more of a maxi if they had put something bigger than the piddly 14” wheel on the front of the bike. At the price I paid for it, a couple of discs on the front would have been nice too.
    But they were spot on with the price.. Definitely a maxi price. For a Chinese made scooter this was around 33% over what it was worth.
    But “hey” I though.. “Sanyang quality. Sanyang service.. Can’t go wrong.”
    And in my whole life, apart from the choice of mother of my children I’ve made few other bad choices.
    So I paid my money and well.. There was a blissful honeymoon of 800km before the front shock oil seals started leaking. When I say leaking, I am not talking about an almost invisible ring of dust and oil. I’m talking Victoria Falls in the monsoon. Those seals were not made of a good quality rubber. My only conclusion was they had contracted Mr Pillsbury to pop something in the oven for them.
    Okay.. “new bike, new factory… teething problems” I thought. And when the seat started tearing around the stitches at 1500km I continued down this mental path, even though I had to abuse the crap out of them to make them understand that this was a quality issue in order to get a free replacement.
    At 2,000km the rear mudguard fell off.. All the screws used to attach this had simply loosened off and fallen out.
    I contacted Sanyang and waited. I am still waiting over 2 years later for an answer on this.
    Being of a practical type and having my own engineering factory it was more than simple to replace these screws with bolts and nylock nuts. Job done.
    Being an engineer and knowing that China is not the best in producing nuts and bolts to international standards I sort of knew why this had happened.
    What I did not understand is why “world leading two wheels manufacturer” had decided to leave all their quality control in Taiwan and not brought that over to China along with their famous brand name.
    Then a fuse blew. I have absolutely no idea why it fuse blew, but it did.. So I went on line to find out where the fuse box was on this bike. Obviously I looked in the “glove compartment”. The cupboard was bare. I looked under the seat. I looked underside, I looked at the wiring diagram and even at the parts list schematic drawings. I was even told it was in the battery compartment on the opposite side of the glove box.
    It was nowhere to be found. The dealer could not help me. Sanyang Taiwan didn’t even reply. It wasn’t until a guy in the neighboring city told me I would have to completely remove the windscreen, and then completely remove the front panel that I discovered where these holy grail like fuses happened to be.
    Yes… In order to change a fuse, you have to remove the windscreen and the front panel. The stupid thing was the wires to the fuse box were long enough to have put it in the glove comparment. Thoughtless, lazy and half arsed design and assembly was the reason for this.
    They just didn’t give a tinkers cuss about their customers and service. They didn’t even give a toss about quality control of outsourced parts.
    But wait.. there’s more! At 15,000 km I noticed the occasional drop of oil under the engine where it was parked. Within a few hundred more km, the drops were getting more. I contacted the dealer.. “it’s a Chinese made bike, what do you expect.”
    I assumed the plastic breather pipe had done a Pillsbury on me and asked the dealer to sort it out. Seems MR P was also supplying Sanyang their main engine gaskets as it was the main gasket that had decided to go west.
    So that cost me a couple hundred dollars.
    Getting the bike back, I noticed the bike had lost about 10% of its’ horses.. I contacted the dealer.. No reply.
    So yesterday, out in the mountains with my good lady sitting behind, 18,000 km down the road, the throttle cable decided to snap.
    Yes. 18,000 km… that is a One, followed by an Eight and then a few Zeros..
    Now. I don’t know about you, but who of you out there riding a famous brand bike even think about taking any tools with you other than a puncture repair kit? There is no need right? I mean, modern motorcycles are pretty damn reliable. A twist and go that won’t twist also won’t go.
    So you find yourself out beyond the stump, up there in the wop wops, uttering oaths to the gods which would have all wokes, six foot under, spinning like jet engine turbines.
    Fortunately for me I have my boy-scout badge for being not only pedantic but also able to back it up in times of need. Every problem has a solution right? I mean.. I had my puncture repair kit with me. There had to be “something” I could do.
    So I yanked out the remains of the throttle cable from the twist grip and unbraided all the bits of braided wire. The cable snapped because the wire had not been heat treated properly. It was too hard and therefore brittle. It could be that the carbon steel used for this was also crap.
    Again. Sanyang was not checking quality of bought in goods.
    The great thing about these mostly illegal tire repair kits is they have a needle type tool which inserts the rubberized string into offending hole in the tire and this is exactly what I threaded the unstranded broken throttle cable onto.
    And it worked. In fact it worked so well and I am now quite accustomed to riding like this that I am considering not replacing this crap piece of throttle cable with another crap piece of throttle cable. I mean, what’s the point? It’s all just so much FDH… (flogging a dead horse) after all..
    And in all honesty, Sanyang to me, is synonymous with FDH. Could’ve been a great wee bike. But Sanyang have only themselves to blame for this. They have no excuse. They can’t slap their brand on it, charge top dollar and then leave the customer with the opportunity to write reports like this.
    It doesn’t matter what they say or do about this from this day forward. The damage has been done.
    I grew up with badly made bikes.. Triumph, Norton and all the rest went belly up because nobody trusted them. Nobody wanted their garbage.
    And at my age, nor do I. I don’t want roadside fixes. I don’t want breakdowns. I just want to ride.
    As for the “WORLDS LEADING TWO WHEEL MANUFACTURER”. Perhaps you are. But in between those two wheels is a hell of a lot of stuff that shows you are clearly close to the bottom of the pile.
    It took a week for the throttle cable to turn up.
    The “SANYANG” store here is pretty much closed as they play motorcycles for the next two weeks..

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