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US magazine Cycle World has radically changed, and we’re going to have to change with it

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American magazine Cycle World rebuilds itself as a glossy quarterly.

We’ve made no secret of our views on the motorcycle industry and publishing in particular here at Motofire. Some of us here have some experience within both areas whilst others have just been disillusioned at the state of internet news publishing in general.

What we can all agree upon though is that the American magazine Cycle World has been a firm fixture upon all of our coffee tables and an altogether excellent publication. And now it’s changing…

Launched via an article upon its website, the new Cycle World is going to move from a monthly magazine to being a ‘heavy-duty, high-quality quarterly’ which the publishers hope will be the kind of ‘library-­worthy print piece you’ll want to keep forever’.

“It’s 2018, and Cycle World is ­reacting to the state of publishing and the market as the media world has changed profoundly.”

The landscape within the motorcycle publishing industry has been changing on an almost weekly basis for the past six months; in an article on Asphalt & Rubber written after our own, Motofire news, Jensen Beeler described it as an ‘never-ending evolution (or lack thereof), but this change for Cycle World looks appears to be an attempt to show more than just a little bit of vision.

And it could well be the kind of leading example that many other publishers should perhaps take notice of (especially when coupled with the kind of exercise that has allowed Sean MacDonald to go off and explore videoblog production).

That is if the readers respond kindly of course.

Which – if the comments underneath the announcement are anything to go by – it would appear they do not.

Here are an example of just a few of the immediate reactions,

“Self-destruction is sad to watch…”,

“I’ve been reading CW since the mid-60s, when I was a kid.  As a result of the new format and quarterly frequency I’m canceling my subscription.”,

“Well you’ve just lost me as a subscriber.  I’ve probably been one for 20 plus years.  I’m not looking for a life magazine clone, just an honest enthusiast magazine.”

So is this an own goal by the publishers?

Well, we’ve already admitted that here at MFHQ we know very little about anything of any import, but we sincerely hope that the team at Cycle World don’t lose heart  – and that their publishers don’t lose faith in the new approach – because this more luxurious, more evergreen approach to a motorcycle magazine feels like just the right kind of move in this current climate.

And have you noticed anything in common amongst the denigrating comments above?

That’s right, at least two of them mention that they have been readers for well over 20 years…

It’s a shame that some customers become so resistant to change and nobody wants to lose a friend, but when the market is dwindling at almost exactly the same pace as the average age of riders is growing, as an industry we’re fast hitting a point where there’ll be no new blood left with any interest in vehicles on two wheels.

If we’re going to attract new blood, new riders and new ideas then we’re going to all have to adapt and explore new opportunities.

And that includes us as consumers.

We wish everyone at Cycle World the best of luck. We’ve already placed our subscription.

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NEWS

Custom of the Week: BMW R100RS by Bolt Motor Company

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MOST CUSTOM BUILDERS are juggling careers, building bikes as a side gig. Adrián Campos falls into that category: he’s the sporting director for Campos Racing, the team founded by his father Adrián Campos Sr, the former Minardi F1 driver.

Adrián Jr. is surrounded by high-tech missiles capable of 208 mph (335 kph), but he’s also nuts about motorcycles. So he started customizing classic bikes, as an antídoto to the ultra-modern race machinery that absorbs his working day.

His first build garnered enough interest to turn his side gig into a fully-fledged second business. Bolt Motor Company is now on its seventeenth build, and employs seven team members.

Bolt shares a workshop in Valencia with Campos Racing. But while the race team preps cars for the Formula 2, Formula 3 and GP3 race series, Adrián is swinging spanners on bikes like this stunning 1982 BMW R100RS.

We’ll admit it’s not the wildest custom boxer we’ve seen. But even though the style is well established, the perfect proportions and level of finish are something else. And the client wasn’t even looking for anything fancy; “He wanted a comfortable cafe racer for two people,” says Adrián, “so that’s what we did.”

The donor arrived in a pretty good condition, but it left in an even better state. There’s fresh paint and powder everywhere, from the motor right through to the forks, frame and tank.

Bolt tweaked the airhead’s stance by lowering the front forks internally just over two inches, then installing a pair of Hagon shocks at the rear. The fuel tank is stock, but the subframe and seat are custom made. The subframe’s a bolt-on affair, and the main frame’s been detabbed and cleaned up.

The taillight’s a particularly nice touch. Bolt built it into the seat rather than the rear loop, along with integrated rear turn signals. The whole setup’s barely visible—until it lights up.

They’ve also added some room for the customer to ‘customize’ his BMW at home. There’s a second tank and seat in a different paint scheme, which can be swapped out via four fasteners for the seat, and one for the tank. The second seat has it’s own plug-and-play taillight too.

Bolt have kept things practical too. The BMW’s airbox is still in play, and it’s also equipped with a BMW oil cooler and crash bars. Plus there’s a discreet inner fender at the rear. The exhaust headers have been shortened and run into a pair of generic cone mufflers, with the side stand relocated to work around them.

The cockpit’s sporting new handlebars, grips, bar-end mirrors and Motogadget bar-end turn signals. There’s a new master brake cylinder too, with some really neat plumbing. Up front is an LED headlight, tucked into a custom-made bucket.

Bolt rewired the bike from top to bottom and tucked away as much as they could. A set of Motone switches have their wires running inside the bars, while a Motogadget speedo has its cable routed through the BMW’s hollow steering stem nut.

This sort of consideration is rife, with every last nook and cranny cleaned up. We’ve spotted stainless steel fasteners throughout the build, nifty choke pulls on the carbs and a OEM-looking Bolt Motor Co. plaque on the side of the motor.

The classic white BMW motorsports livery is on point too. And Bolt have shunned the ubiquitous Firestone Deluxe Champion tires, going for the saw tooth tread of Shinko Classics instead.

We doubt that Bolt #17 could lap a track anywhere near as fast as a Campos race car.

But it’s just the sort of simple, classic ride we’d pick for getting to the track in the first place—via some leisurely Spanish back roads.


This article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here by permission.

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Video: Watch Sarah Lezito show you how to drift a motorcycle

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Yes, drifting on two wheels is possible. Especially if you’re an insanely talented stunt rider from France.

There are a few stunt riders worth following across social media and YouTube but few get the numbers of French stunter Sarah Lezito.

Shot in a cold, wet and snowy location, it’s hardly the easiest of environments for riding a motorcycle – although possibly better for skids! – but the control from Lezito, and her instruction, is captivating.

Why learn how to drift? Well, Lezito says that it might help in learning how to save from slipping, keeping the balance on your bike or just improving your stunting skills.

And her top tips?

  • First find a small bike – a 50cc or 125cc machine that’s easy to handle.
  • Find a slippery spot, like a wet floor after some light rain.
  • Put hard tyres on the rear and more air in the front tyre.
  • Protect everything… On you and your bike.
  • Prepare to crash. A lot.

We’re hoping she’ll be adding to her channel over the coming months and that this is the start of a series of ‘How To…’ videos from the young stunt rider.

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