By John Burns
The Bonnier Motorcycle Group, publisher of Cycle World, Motorcyclist and other titles including Hot Bike, has just pulled the plug on the latter and fired most of its staff. Maybe Bonnier is in fact down to two print magazines now? The print versions of Sport Rider and Dirt Rider folded last year, though the online versions remain. Sources tell us the Hot Bike site will remain open for business also, with content provided by a reduced staff that also provides editorial content for other BMG titles. Reliable sources tell us some other Bonnier magazines are also getting the axe, including such prestigious titles as Baggers, ATV Rider, and UTV Driver.
According to its own website, “For more than 40 years Hot Bike has been the custom motorcycle enthusiast’s go-to magazine. Hot Bike features in-depth technical articles for any rider’s level of skill, the baddest new products, tools and gear, as well as massive coverage of the world’s most mind-blowing custom V-twin-powered bikes. Hot Bike also covers the lifestyle of real bikers with in-depth personal profiles, event coverage, and some of the hottest ladies ever to be draped over a motorcycle.”
Other magazines in the American V-twin niche seem to be doing pretty well in spite of the downturn in all things print. In fact what makes the killing-off of Hot Bike hard to understand is this rosy document posted in Bonnier’s “Media Solutions” section just one week ago:
Motorcyclist and Hot Bike magazines see surge in audience recognition
January 2, 2019
While audiences, especially within the past decade, have shifted to various avenues to retain news, key metrics recently released show the prominence of print is still thriving among brands under the umbrella of Bonnier Motorcycle Group.