Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Where we came from

hot bike january 1971

Hot Bike's premiere cover from January 1971

Photo: Hot Bike Archives

For over 45 years Hot Bike has been the catchall of custom bikes by displaying a two- wheeled sign of the times. From wild raked and flaked choppers to the craziest go-fast street and strip bikes, Hot Bike has always showed you how to achieve your fabrication and horsepower dreams. From the premiere issue in the summer of 1971, publisher Tom McMullen and the magazine’s first editors—Richard Bean, Jim Clark, Mike Tansey, Brian Brennan, and Steve Stillwell—charted a custom course, and this periodical has steadily continued to inform readers while blowing their minds every month to this very day.

The 1970s

Hot Bike didn’t start out as a custom V-twin magazine as it is today. It was first and foremost a performance magazine as a flipside to its ever-popular sister magazine Street Chopper. That magazine was and still is all about chrome-clad machines of leisure. Early issues of Hot Bike featured metrics, British bikes, and American bikes all undergoing porting, polishing, and various forced-induction systems in the quest for speed and performance. It was wildly successful for the first few years of its existence, but the ebb and flow of performance bikes yielded way to long and lean choppers and some of the first pro streetbikes the world had ever seen.

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Photos: Hot Bike Archives

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Photos: Hot Bike Archives

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Photos: Hot Bike Archives

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Photos: Hot Bike Archives

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Photos: Hot Bike Archives

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Photos: Hot Bike Archives

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Photos: Hot Bike Archives

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Photos: Hot Bike Archives

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Photos: Hot Bike Archives

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Photos: Hot Bike Archives

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Photos: Hot Bike Archives

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Hot Bike in the 1970s | Gallery

Photos: Hot Bike Archives