There are times in every rider’s life when getting out on the road just isn’t practical. Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate and sometimes your bike is in the shop. When that happens, motorcycle lovers seek out something to scratch their itch to ride. If you’re stuck at home, motorcycle magazines can be just the thing.
You might think magazines are relics of the past that you only encounter when waiting at the doctor’s office, but there are actually numerous high-quality powersports magazines available online. In this article, we’ll spotlight six outstanding publications that include everything from mechanics’ tips to bike photos to gear reviews of helmets and helmet communication systems.
1. Cycle World (4 digital issues/year, $19.97)
Cycle World is an elder statesman of powersports magazines, continuously in publication since 1962. Although the magazine moved to a quarterly rather than monthly publication schedule in 2018, each issue is still packed with fascinating features, in-depth reviews and beautiful photos. If you want a great all-around motorcycle publication that’s fun to read and comes at a reasonable price, it’s hard to go wrong with Cycle World.
2. American Iron (13 digital issues/year, $29.97)
If you love American-made motorcycle brands like Harley-Davidson and Indian, American Iron might be just the magazine for you. This well-regarded publication, founded in 1989, provides coverage exclusively of American bike brands, with a focus on cruisers and touring bikes. It’s a Hog Head’s dream, and custom bike aficionados will enjoy its loving reviews of deluxe customizations. If you go nuts for old-school models, check out Classic American Iron, a sister site devoted to vintage American bikes.
3. Fast Bikes (5 digital issues/year, £9.99)
With a name like Fast Bikes, we’ll give you one guess as to what kind of motorcycle this magazine covers. That’s right sportbike aficionados, this is your promised land. Fast Bikes includes everything you’d expect from the world’s leading sportbike magazine, including bike and gear reviews, technique tips from professionals and in-depth analyses of some of the world’s biggest motorcycle racing events.
Motorcycle magazines can help you brush up on your mechanical skills.
4. Classic Bike (12 digital issues/year, $39.03)
Those who love to keep it old-school will find plenty to love in any issue of Classic Bike magazine. Each issue takes a deep dive into the long history of motorcycles, from well-loved models to obscure gems. You’ll find expert tips on fixing up older bikes, plus gorgeous HD photographs of eye-popping restoration jobs. Gearheads who love puzzling over an engine should be sure to check out “Rick’s Fixes,” a column where a seasoned bike mechanic answers readers’ questions.
5. Back Street Heroes (6 digital issues/year, £15.99)
For custom bike enthusiasts, one magazine stands head and shoulders above the rest, and that’s Back Street Heroes. This bimonthly UK publication has been catering to the hardcore chopper-heads since 1983, and it’s still the gold standard in its niche. Although BSH has been toned down from its famously outlaw-centric 80s years, its loud-and-proud style is still a preferred publication for those who love traditional motorcycle culture.
6. Motorcyclist (Free)
A truly venerable publication, Motorcyclist magazine goes almost as far back as the motorcycle sport itself—it was first published all the way back in 1912. Although it’s become an online-only publication, Motorcyclist is still full of great information. Its upscale presentation remains intact with HD photos and well-written articles. You can even sign up for a subscription to its weekly email newsletter, which gives you essentially the same experience as a magazine—for free!
7. Motorcycle Sport and Leisure (12 digital issues/year, £28.99)
There’s something to be said for specializing, but Motorcycle Sport and Leisure takes the opposite road—they do it all. This UK magazine covers everything from new models to motorcycle travel to repair tips. Its MSL Extra articles are subscriber-exclusive and take you even deeper into the world of powersports.
No matter what kind of rider you are, there’s a motorcycle magazine that produces online content you’ll love. So, until you can go on a group ride again, get your motorcycle fix through magazines. Many have introductory offers, such as a free issue or a reduced price for the first several months, so check out a few different options and find one that suits your interests.
Pro Tip: If you’re still looking for more reading options, explore Bonnier Corporation magazines. Bonnier is a media company that owns multiple print and digital motorcycle magazines. Along with Cycle World and Motorcyclist, Bonnier also runs Motorcycle Cruiser, Dirt Rider, Cycle Volta and more.