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Old March 3rd, 2018, 08:48 AM   #1
Zaph42
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Motorcyclist Magazine new design

Who here likes the new design of Motorcyclist Magazine? I hated it so bad that I cancelled, but recently with the death of Sport Rider, my subscription to that was replaced with Motorcyclist to fill out my remaining issues.

I still like to read magazines, (daily around 9 am, ) but this is garbage.





Well at least if I'm in a bind I can wipe my ass with it.
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Old March 3rd, 2018, 12:47 PM   #2
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I agree - can't stand it.

I loved Sport Rider. Just what I wanted to read about (sport bikes) with no other crap (cruisers, hipster bikes, etc).

The new Motorcyclist seems to be geared to Hipsters and those with short attention-spans that like to look at pretty pictures.
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Old March 5th, 2018, 09:49 PM   #3
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Total agreement with John and Jay.

I've let all my subscriptions lapse: will eventually re-up Motorcycle Consumer News (zero ads!); and maybe Rider.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 10:00 AM   #4
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The only one I'm still paying for is Cycle World. I may let that run out and just get Road Racing World.

But Sport rider was always my favorite and it will be missed.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 12:09 PM   #5
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There's a lot of pandering to the new "lifestyle" riders going on everywhere.

That's a market that has a short attention-span and moves-on from doing "the motorcycle thing" quickly when it becomes too dangerous - or boring.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 04:31 PM   #6
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Yeah that's true and you can see it in the articles. It's clearly marketed towards hipsters after the recent redesign.

But the thing is, even hipsters like a lot of pictures. Current Motorcyclist design has page after page of unused space. If they are just going to do text, they need to at least make the text bigger so us old folks can read it. Right now they use a 1/3 of a page for text, leave the rest blank and call it artsy.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 01:06 PM   #7
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What would be some article ideas that you are most interested in? Travel stories? Bike comparisons? Race info? Skills and technique? What holds your interest the most when reading a motorcycle magazine?

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Old March 12th, 2018, 01:53 PM   #8
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I'm going to be the outlier here and say I love it. It's a breath of fresh air. Gorgeous. Well designed. Well written.

Let me put this in context by saying I've been in the industry myself. I've written and edited books, been a magazine editor, and have been a full-time writer for 35 years. So my perspective is different from most. I look at this stuff through the eyes of an insider who thinks a lot about how communications work.

First, we should consider the nature of the magazine. Already in this thread there's a conflation of content and design that IMHO misses the essential point. Complaining about lifestyle articles... well, what if the magazine looked exactly like the old familiar Cycle World/Sport Rider but had that content (which it did)? Would you still complain?

Motorcyclist has never been only about sport bikes. That more general focus is not new.

From a design standpoint... the new book is refreshingly different. Very high quality paper, terrific photography, a distinctive format (size), and something of great importance to me, good writing. It's aesthetically pleasing. And therein lies the point.

To me, the pleasure of reading the magazine matters. I don't need ANY magazine to get content that informs. That's not why I pick up a physical printed piece. No, it's for the experience of holding it in my hand and flipping through it.

15 years ago SR and magazines like it were the ONLY source of info like bike reviews. But now, all that stuff is online. You don't need a magazine for that kind of content anymore. When the reviews finally do make it to print, you've already seen all the pictures, read all the specs, and know everything there is to know. This is inevitable because of the time it takes to print and distribute a magazine.

Which begs the question: What are magazines for in this day and age?

To me it's clear. The web is really good for looking up stuff in a hurry and getting educated. It sucks for enjoying the experience. Sitting on my deck on a nice summer morning with computer and phone nowhere in sight (or more importantly hearing), sipping coffee with my dog at my feet, listening to the birds and having an entirely analog experience with a beautifully crafted piece of printed matter is an underrated joy. I like good writing, great photography, and a distinctive voice. I like to unplug and connect with the world in a different way. That's what this magazine gives me, and there isn't anything else quite like it.

There's another thing going on here, and that's the multi-channel nature of communications these days. Motorcyclist understands this very well, and is serving that insatiable tech-head, bike-review GIVE ME CONTENT need on the website and with videos. Ari Henning does a fantastic job with the MC Garage series, for example. You want a really good piece about, oh, bleeding brakes? They've got it... online, where people are going to look for it anyway. You want an up-close-and-personal first-hand review of the new Ninja 400? Yep. It's there, online, where you have onboard video that, once again, you're going to look for anyway.

When you combine all that stuff from MO with the dozens of other outlets all covering the same topics, you've got all you could ever ask for in terms of hard information.

So looking at the magazine in isolation is, in my view, the wrong way to think about it. Think instead of the whole experience and how a printed magazine fits into that experience--the role it plays in your interaction with the world of motorcycling. Think about where you go for different kinds of information and how you consume it. The world in which we live is a mashup of YouTube, websites, social media and print. Each has its best use and to me, a magazine doesn't need to, nor should it, replicate what the web already does so well.

Another thing to think about is the publication's positioning. Before the redesign it was pretty much impossible to tell the difference between Cycle World and Motorcyclist. You want what Motorcyclist used to be, just subscribe to CW instead. Sure, you'll get your literbike shootouts... and then have a whole issue dedicated to V-twins (yawn).

I agree that the loss of SR hurts. Like many here, I don't particularly care about dirt, cruisers, tourers, ADV or any of the other flavors. I sure as HELL don't give a rip about stunting. I like sportbikes new and old. I miss having a rag dedicated solely to my tastes. But demographics and economics are what drives this, not passion. There aren't enough of us to keep such a magazine in existence.

But all is not lost. Roadracing World does truly excellent in-depth bike reviews... really exhaustive and rich with information. Worth subscribing just for those, even if you don't follow racing.

There's also Cycle News, which is free, digital and frequent. They aren't as focused but they too have great photography and enough stuff I'm interested in to keep me engaged.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 03:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misti View Post
What would be some article ideas that you are most interested in? Travel stories? Bike comparisons? Race info? Skills and technique? What holds your interest the most when reading a motorcycle magazine?
Pretty much anything that ran in Sport Rider.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 05:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
Pretty much anything that ran in Sport Rider.
Fire up your printer.

https://www.sportrider.com
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Old March 14th, 2018, 01:46 PM   #11
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I don't get any print magazines anymore. I read what I need online.
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Old March 15th, 2018, 07:53 AM   #12
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Food for thought:

Quote:
Ludd's Twelfth Law:

Any information that relies on technology for storage or retrieval will effectively cease to exist once that technology becomes obsolete, breaks down or is no longer supported.
We take instant availability of information for granted, which IMHO is unwise. A website can go dark at any time. The web is wonderful for consuming information in the moment... but if it's something you'll want to refer to later, trusting in the service provider/website owner/cloud provider is a risky proposition.

Online content that I know I'm going to find useful someday (e.g. the calsci break-in method I prefer) gets saved as a PDF. If I REALLY want to make sure it'll be available years from now, it gets printed.
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Old March 17th, 2018, 04:02 PM   #13
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I just got issue #1 for 2018 of Cycle World. (issue #1 at the end of March?) Have any of you guys seen this? They just did the same damn thing with the design as Motorcyclist. It's loaded with tiny paragraphs of text taking up a small portion of the printed page, with sepia colored black and white pictures. Well screw all of them.

It's not a breath of fresh air. It's a waste of paper.

With stupid publishers like this, the total death of magazines is going happen much sooner than everyone thinks. The current publishing crews will be known as the ones that permanently killed motorcycle magazines. F'n idiots.
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