Magazines

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My wife, fearing that my boredom and my isolation might lead to self harm or worse, stopped by a book store and brought home a bunch of motorcycle magazines. Of the four titles she purchased three were UK publications and two out of the four featured a Norton on the cover. How great is that? I particularly enjoyed a magazine called "Classic Motorcycle Mechanics." It represents my own history of hauling bikes back to the house and making them valuable member's of society again. It also got me thinking how much I miss periodicals in our digital age. I miss the indepth articals (although the print is kind of small for older eyes.) I miss the ads and the classified that I used to pore over. The best part is they do not go away. They remain ready and functional at all times. I have been digesting these publications slowly, first looking at the pictures, then reading the interesting articles and much later reading the less interesting stories. What a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.
 
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All the newsagents shops that used to sell bike magazines around here have closed down, or changed over to selling lotto tickets and chintzy gifts. I do miss them.
 

Flatspot

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I remarked only yesterday on another of my bike forums how Bike magazine is now on issue 600. That’s just over 50 years of production, it was quarterly in the first year, and I can recall buying it from day one! I still receive it as a freebie with my bank account, but like me it has changed radically over the years. These days I just scan through it and then pass it on to a friend, although upstairs in the attic I know there are several hundred languishing, sadly not issue 1 or many from the early years.
Classic Motorcycle Mechanics is another mag that I purchased a 24 month subscription for a while ago when they had a special offer on, something like nearly half price.
There’s too much garbage in them these days, it’s as if the journos are all riding and writing about the same old, same old, all the time.
or I’m just getting old and grumpy - don’t answer that 🤪
 

baz

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My wife, fearing that my boredom and my isolation might lead to self harm or worse, stopped by a book store and brought home a bunch of motorcycle magazines. Of the four titles she purchased three were UK publications and two out of the four featured a Norton on the cover. How great is that? I particularly enjoyed a magazine called "Classic Motorcycle Mechanics." It represents my own history of hauling bikes back to the house and making them valuable member's of society again. It also got me thinking how much I miss periodicals in our digital age. I miss the indepth articals (although the print is kind of small for older eyes.) I miss the ads and the classified that I used to pore over. The best part is they do not go away. They remain ready and functional at all times. I have been digesting these publications slowly, first looking at the pictures, then reading the interesting articles and much later reading the less interesting stories. What a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.
Do you blokes get 'old bike mart' in your part of the world?https://www.classicmagazines.co.uk/subscription/OBM/old-bike-mart
 

Fast Eddie

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I remarked only yesterday on another of my bike forums how Bike magazine is now on issue 600. That’s just over 50 years of production, it was quarterly in the first year, and I can recall buying it from day one! I still receive it as a freebie with my bank account, but like me it has changed radically over the years. These days I just scan through it and then pass it on to a friend, although upstairs in the attic I know there are several hundred languishing, sadly not issue 1 or many from the early years.
Classic Motorcycle Mechanics is another mag that I purchased a 24 month subscription for a while ago when they had a special offer on, something like nearly half price.
There’s too much garbage in them these days, it’s as if the journos are all riding and writing about the same old, same old, all the time.
or I’m just getting old and grumpy - don’t answer that 🤪
I’m the same, I have drastically reduced what I buy these days whereas in the past I’d buy religiously every month, and be waiting for em to come out!

Maybe they’ve gotten worse, or maybe we’ve eventually gotten bored after 40+ years of continuous readership ?

I think the latter must apply to classic mags more, there is only so much that can be written about the same old stuff. I just don’t think there’s anything new for them to write anymore.
 
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My Norton Metisse and I found our way into December’s - Classic Bike Magazine, Aus VMX magazine and a French magazine called Moto Review - Classic. It involved no effort from me, I just seem to have been in the right place at the right time - Hasnt happened before - doubt it will happen again!
 
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speirmoor

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This one was my favorite. Used to get it mail order here in the States but the distributer stopped during covid. There was a " The way we were" or something section which was my favoite piece showing all period photographs of bikers and/or their relatives on old machines. Tech section was great too with Rick Parkington
 

Mark Savage

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I feel the same too, I mean what can you write about all our "old shite" that wasn't written when they were new?
That said, I still get Classic Bike as it was a birthday present subscription from my two daughters.
 

Craig

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I been subscriber of Classic Bike Guide for as long as I remember , also pickup Motorcycle Classics at drug store every other month , buddy I ride with (Scotsman) gets a couple from UK as well , we trade off monthly at wkly coffee meet , keeps rising costs bearable …. I always enjoy sitting back with a good read , not a fan of the online stuff ….
 

Chris

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I brought classic bike the first issue. I had just brought a Thunderbird engined Triton that was built out of old used parts. Started out as a seasonal mag, summer autumn winter spring. Added Motorcycle Sport for the brilliant writing, bike because it was current & had Ogri, mechanics because I thought it would help! It didnt, plus several more. I have a pile stacked in my garage two copies deep four copies wide, five foot high. I only have Classic Bike & racer now. Many of the articles have been covered twice in that period & usually the earlier edition was much more comprehensive & just better written.
As an aside can I tell you how many motorcycle clubs I was a member of?
Triton, Norton obviously, TR3 Trident nut, Triumph, MV I had a little 350 twin,
Classic Racing Motorcycle Club, Vintage club & the racing section now called BHR British Historic Racing. God the money I spent feeding my hunger😂.
 

Fast Eddie

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I brought classic bike the first issue. I had just brought a Thunderbird engined Triton that was built out of old used parts. Started out as a seasonal mag, summer autumn winter spring. Added Motorcycle Sport for the brilliant writing, bike because it was current & had Ogri, mechanics because I thought it would help! It didnt, plus several more. I have a pile stacked in my garage two copies deep four copies wide, five foot high. I only have Classic Bike & racer now. Many of the articles have been covered twice in that period & usually the earlier edition was much more comprehensive & just better written.
As an aside can I tell you how many motorcycle clubs I was a member of?
Triton, Norton obviously, TR3 Trident nut, Triumph, MV I had a little 350 twin,
Classic Racing Motorcycle Club, Vintage club & the racing section now called BHR British Historic Racing. God the money I spent feeding my hunger😂.
If you didn’t spend it on motorcycling Chris you’d only have wasted it…!
 
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I subscribe to The Classic Motorcycle since 1990 and find it's the best by far and I've tried them all.
I buy Classic Bike since 1990 as well but stopped it for about 10 or 12 years when half of the mag was full Japanese bikes which I'm not interested in at all. Then came editor Gary Pinchin who put the mag back on track with British bikes and a bit of European and American as well for good measure.
Sadly G. Pinchin quits recently, past editor Hugo Wilson came back and in its first issue there was about three or four features on Japanese bikes and last but not least a Royal Enfield decked out with Yamaha, Kawasaki and so on parts everywhere. The builder of the poor Enfield claims that "The first thing to do to a British bike is to fit a Japanese carburetor".
I think from now on I'll save about 10 € each month use them to buy some more petrol and go ride my Brits.
 

Shelby-Right

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At least all the you tube stuff is free to look at , all the bike and car mags were getting really expensive anyway , one of the hardest to get was the "Engine Masters" , and you couldnt get a sub at all , it is nice to have a nice glossy mag , but it's a bit like all our E - photos stuck in e- space . .
 

lcrken

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I still have every issue of Classic Bike and Classic Racer packed away in boxes in the rafters of my shop, as well as lots of other motorcycle back issues. I still pull a few down every once in a while to sort through looking for a particular subject. I suppose I'll have to think about disposing of them eventually.

Ken
 

SteveBorland

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When I started getting into bikes in the mid 70's, I was hooked on Bike mag, some great writers such as Mark Williams, LJK Setright, Zed Zwada (who metamorphed into RP McMurphy, since he was selling advertising, it was a bit difficult after having slagged off the latest offering of a particular maker). Personal,ly I blame Zed for my addiction to bevel Ducatis! Ogri was also fantastic.

One of t he first issues I bought had a road test of a special using a Suzuki 750 triple engine in a Nico Bakker frame, the cover photo was the bike propped u against a wall (no stands!) and a very young girl standing next to it, with the caption "Jailbait", referring (I think) to the rather raw character of the bike rather than the tester :cool: I don't think that would make it into print these days!

Motorcycle Mechanics was very good at the oily hands stuff, it helped a lot. Cycle magazine was also very good, but more analytical and fact based, fantastic photos though.

I used to be religious about buying the mags, that lasted up to about the late 80's when I basically stopped. The journalists became less interesting, the bikes less exciting , the Brit bike industry was dead, the Italians were actually making practical daily riders, what's the point?

I do have a small collection of early Bike rags, some from FleaBay, some donated by a good friend, including the Giant test with a MkIII Commando and a T160 Trident, as well as a couple of Norton tests.

My newest bike is a T160 from 1975 and I've not yet managed to get it registered yet! Perhaps this year though. Which is actually a bit embarrassing since for some reason my name is in the TR3OC club magazine as one of the Danish contact persons.

I do remember a wonderful article in one of the US mags from the mid-70's I think. He wrote of how riding his Commando after work really helped remove the stresses and problems of work. Something about riding along the Pacific coast, then meeting a girl on a Honda and having a short dice, then each going their own way. I remembering of the closing lines as being something like "other people pay a shrink to sort out their problems, I take the Norton for a ride". Always wanted to find a copy of that.
 

cliffa

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Storing boxes and boxes of magazines became a problem for me, so I gave hundreds away. I get the electronic versions now and I can download and read them on my Ipad or P.C. The great thing is you can enlarge pictures that you want to see some extra detail of, (and the font of course👓) but as Eddie mentioned the classic mags are repetitive and I find I hardly read them any more.
 
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