Thanks to the magical time warp created by long lead times in the magazine world, we are barely getting feedback from the April relaunch issue right now. Most of it was positive, some of it was expected, and some of you downright hated it. But without a doubt, the new Hot Bike has evoked some type of emotion whether it was good or bad, and to me that is an overwhelming success. The worst reaction to any change is indifference and everyone seems to have an opinion about all the changes.
It seems we have pissed off a few people with the return of the ladies to the pages. We had several comments made on this subject for sure. It’s funny because the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue hit the shelves at about the same time and showed as much, and in some cases MORE, skin than our very magazine you’re holding! I’ve never made excuses about capturing pictures of the female form and it’s been my calling in the magazine world for more than a decade. So go ahead and put the blame on me when your ol’ lady is bitchin’ at you because the former bike mag has now been destroyed with tiny pictures that can be found anywhere in the real world by opening a magazine, turning on a TV, or surfing the web.
I’m now approaching a full year as editor of the world’s best American V-twin magazine and am learning that the world of American iron is separated by many different boundaries when it comes to bike styles. This didn’t come as a shock to me in any way, as most magazines are continuously under scrutiny for not showing enough of a certain type of bike, whether it be too core, too expensive, a trailer queen, or too junky. If you put a trailer queen on the cover, people want real rides. If you put a real ride on the cover, people want the unattainable. My goal has always been to feature bikes much like a bell curve. There should be bikes that you can build at home with simple bolt-ons put together with basic tools, bikes that a good shop can build with more expertise and know-how, and bikes that are outrageous and over the top with a supermodel perched atop. These serve as inspiration and targets for “Why did they do that?” All of these have a place in a magazine and all are deserving of a chance to be printed in the pages.
The true core of any build, regardless of make, cost, type, or color, is the bond shared by all bikers. In the real world, it’s us against them screaming down the road in their metal-covered four-wheelers. The mom in the minivan doesn’t care how much your bike costs or what type of motor you have between the framerails. She doesn’t see any of that … literally.
With this the being the June issue, it means you only have a few months to make plans to hit the inaugural Hot Bike Power Tour. This tour is meant to be a uniting of bikers and an invitation to all riders to show up, shut up, and ride together. It’s the memories made with friends that separates two-wheelers from four-wheelers, and here’s your chance to make some lasting ones with us. Check out hotbikeweb.com for more information and let’s get back to the basics of riding. Who’s with me?
“Without a doubt, the new Hot Bike has evoked some type of emotion whether it was good or bad, and to me that is an overwhelming success.”