Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Brookfield, MA
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RIP Sport Rider Magazine 1993-2017
As I'm sure many of you are aware, Sport Rider magazine ceased publication after 24 years with it's Oct/Nov 2017 issue.
I was a bit surprised to see the cover blurb "Last Issue Ever!" when it arrived in the mail a while back and yesterday I received a notice that the remaining issues of my Sport Rider subscription would be added to my subscription to Motorcyclist.
I haven't seen a lot of lamenting for it's loss, which is odd considering that whenever there's been a discussion on what is the best magazine for new CBR250R owners to seek out Sport Rider has always seemed to be the clear favorite recommended.
I have yet to see an exact reason for it's demise, but I suspect that it serving a niche market and always having a rather low circulation as a result was a large factor. That and the fact that magazines like Motorcyclist have really upped their game recently. The new Motorcyclist is barely distinguishable from the old rag. Quality you can actually feel with heavier paper stock, beautiful photo spreads and an increase in content and diversity of subject matter that is a welcome change from the norm. Ari Henning and Zack Courts have really taken Motorcyclist magazine to a new level and it has easily become the motorcycling publication I most look forward to receiving each month.
Still, Sport Rider definitely had something that the other magazines lacked. It's larger format filled with breathtaking photos of racing machines under power never failed to inspire and it's singular focus on sportbikes made it required reading for aficionados of the latest and fastest bikes. Editorially it may not have been the best magazine out there, but being able to see Rossi and Marquez locked in mortal combat at speed in glorious, high definition and oversized photographs will definitely be missed. Heck, even their full page ads for new bikes looked better in that format.
So what's your favorite motorcycling magazine now that Sport Rider has officially passed beyond the veil? For me it's obviously the new Motorcyclist, but I can tell that Cycle World is also feeling the heat and is subtly making changes to maintain and increase it's market share. Are motorcycle magazines a dying industry? With the new focus on "retro" bikes and scramblers and their riders who seem to value their "individuality" so much, will they also shun periodicals about their hobby? I'd be interested to hear what you all think a magazine with the "status" of Sport Rider ending publication after 24 years portends for the motorcycle magazine industry - and the sport in general - going forward. Or if you think it even matters at all.