Motorcyclist (magazine)

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Motorcyclist November 2016 cover.jpg
Editor-in-chiefChris Cantle
Staff writersAdam Waheed
PublisherBonnier Corporation
Total circulation
(November 2018)
First issue1912; 107 years ago (1912)
Based inIrvine, California

Motorcyclist is a motorcycling magazine in the United States. Motorcyclist is the first motorcycle magazine to be published in the United States. Founded in 1912, the magazine is headquartered in Irvine, California and is published by Bonnier. Motorcyclist is produced six times a year; the Editor-in-Chief is Chris Cantle, a veteran of several motorcycle and automotive publications.

Motorcyclist was sold by Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bill Bagnall (also its editor for 20 years) to Petersen Publishing in 1972, it is now owned by Bonnier Corporation, who acquired it from Source Interlink Media in 2013.[2]


As of 2018, Motorcyclist has been published for 106 years,[3] making it the oldest motorcycle magazine in the world continually published. Motorcyclist was initially called Pacific Motocycling when it was first published on July 1, 1912 as a bi-weekly newspaper in Los Angeles, California; the following year, the publication changed its name to Pacific Motorcyclist. In 1915, the magazine was bought by Western Journal and its name was changed to Pacific Motorcyclist and Western Wheelman; the publication then added content on bicycles.

In 1920, the name changed, once again, to Western Motorcyclist and Bicyclist. Then in 1932 it became the official publication of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and the name changed to The Motorcyclist; this union assisted in the magazine withstanding The Great Depression when all other motorcycle magazines went out of business. In 1940, the name changed again to its current namesake, Motorcyclist.

In 1943, Motorcyclist dissolved the union with the AMA. In 1962, the same year rival Cycle World published its first issue, Motorcyclist published a commemorative 50-year anniversary issue featuring a gold cover. In 1965, the magazine was purchased by then Editor Bill Bagnall, who ran it until 1972 when it was bought by Petersen Publishing. In 1980, Motorcyclist's 1000th issue was published. During that time, the classic exhaust-pipe “y” logo changed to the stacked logo seen today. In 1996 a group of private investors bought Petersen Publishing for $450 million, and later, in 1999, sold Petersen Publishing for $2 billion to British firm EMAP. Primedia bought EMAP’s American publishing division for $505 million in 2001. Then in 2007, Primedia’s enthusiast media division was sold to Source Interlink Media for $1.2 billion. In 2009, the headquarters in California was moved to El Segundo from Los Angeles.[3] In 2013, Source Interlink sold Motorcyclist to Bonnier Corporation, which relocated the magazine's headquarter to Irvine.

New format[edit]

Starting in the spring of 2017, Motorcyclist changed its format from a twelve-issue-per-year to a six-issue per year publication; the physically larger format consisted of more pages per issue, stronger paper stock, and a revised cover layout. The editorial direction also changed, veering toward more of lifestyle-oriented focus. Along with this new format change, then Editor-in-Chief Marc Cook left the publication;[4][5] as of 2017, Chris Cantle is Editor-in-Chief. Adam Waheed is Senior Editor, and Zach Bowman is Contributing Editor.

As of August 2018, Magazine Media 360° ranked Motorcyclist No. 2[6] in the country among major magazines in total brand audience increase compared to the previous year. Motorcyclist beat out such iconic brands as The New Yorker, Harper's Bazaar, Conde Nast Traveler and Outside.

In the introduction to the July/August 2019 edition, Editor-in-Chief Chris Cantle announced that the print edition was ending with the current issue, citing a tightening advertising market; the remainder of subscriptions would be fulfilled with Bonnier sister publication Cycle World.

Notable contributors[edit]


  1. ^ "eCirc for Consumer Magazines". Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  2. ^ Rondon, Michael (May 20, 2013). "Bonnier, Source Interlink Exchange Titles". Folio. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "A Century of Motorcycling - 100 Years of Motorcyclist Magazine". Motorcyclist(magazine). July 20, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  4. ^ Cook, Marc (November 21, 2016). "The Short Goodbye". Motorcyclist(magazine). Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  5. ^ Beeler, Jensen (November 23, 2016). "Motorcyclist Magazine Moving to Six-Issue per Year Format, As Editor-in-Chief Marc Cook Leaves the Publication". Asphalt & Rubber. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  6. ^ "August 2018 | MPA". Retrieved 2018-11-20.


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