In response to “significant change” in the motorcycling world, Bonnier Motorcycle Group (BMG) announced a significant change of their own: Cycle World, the print motorcycle publication with the largest circulation in the United States in recent decades, will now publish four issues a year instead of 12.
“To respond to the changes in consumer and advertiser media needs, Cycle World is moving to a captivating, quarterly, coffee table-sized journal focusing on the art of the motorcycle,” the company said in a blog post. The format was chosen after “extensive research,” in which BMG found that younger readers strongly preferred a polished product to a timely but disposable one. Shifts in moto-media mean readers are looking online for the latest news, but many still enjoy larger stories on the printed page. Between Cycle World’s online presence and quarterly magazines, BMG seeks to provide content to both groups.
“Our focus groups have told us that they will pay more for a beautiful, quality product, so we are redesigning our print brands to deliver a great reading experience that they will covet and value," said SVP and Managing Director Andy Leisner.
Cycle World isn’t the only BMG holding affected by the recent announcement. Later in the press release, BMG reveals plans to merge Hot Bike magazine with Baggers “to become the premier American custom and V-Twin touring publication, which will be produced six times within the year.” The name of the new publication was not yet revealed. Last year, BMG ended print publication of Sport Rider and Dirt Rider.
Cycle World was founded in 1962 by Joe Parkhurst and built a name for itself as the largest motorcycling magazine in the world. CW changed hands several times before Bonnier bought it in 2011. Motorcyclist, another title owned by BMG, recently underwent a format change of its own as motorcycling magazines build new strategies for today’s readers.
Cycle World’s influence can’t be understated, and their new format marks a major change for their brand, contributors, and readers. No word on what the final product will look like, but I’ll have to make some space on my coffee table and see what shows up.