Editor’s Letter – February 2024 – Destination-Free Journey

Photo by Kelly Callan.

Editor’s Note: This column addresses our Ultimate Motorcycling magazine app. It’s available for free for iOS on the Apple Store (search for UltMoto or use this link on your iPhone), and we’ll have it back on Google Play soon. We think you’ll like it and see stories you may have missed on the website.

While you might think that I’m paid to ride motorcycles for a living, that is definitely not the case. You don’t really need to pay people to ride motorcycles—most people pay to do it. Instead, I’m paid to write about motorcycles and keep the content end of the Coram Publishing empire running—no one will pay to do that! Fortunately, I have an outstanding team surrounding me, making my job easier and reliably making me look good. Yeah, it’s a job, but it’s a great one.

Editor's Letter - February 2024 - Kawasaki KLX300SM
Photo by Kevin Wing.

At the beginning of every year, when it’s cold and wet, I have some time to think about the past year and the coming year. I was going to write this column last month, but the death of motorcycle journalism legend Rick “Super Hunky” Sieman sadly changed my Editor’s Letter topic.

As we all know, the publishing business has undergone a sea change over the last few decades. Websites pushed print magazines out of the picture, and now social media battles with websites for readers’ attention. That means I constantly re-evaluate how to approach Ultimate Motorcycling and UltimateMotorcycling.com to keep them relevant and valuable to anyone interested in motorcycles.

The Ultimate Motorcycling magazine app you’re reading is closer to print than it is to a website. People don’t usually come to the website to browse—they’re typically looking for a specific subject. That’s not the case with the Ultimate Motorcycling app.

Magazines are all about an Editor curating content for the reader that the reader might anticipate being interested in. However, when the page figuratively turns, and you are presented with something unexpected, we want to fire up your imagination and have you read the story anyway—something less likely to happen on a website.

Editor's Letter - February 2024 - Beta 250 RR
Photo by Kelly Callan.

It could be you don’t care about dirt bikes, for instance, but when you see the lead photo and headline of the 2024 Beta 250 RR in this issue, you’ll read the review anyway. After all, you’re a motorcycle enthusiast—that’s why you downloaded the app—and it’s a bike review. Growing up reading print magazines, I always read every test, even of motorcycles I knew I would never own, or at least I thought I would never buy. Seeds get planted, and you can’t always predict when they will sprout.

Special interest magazines are great, but I’m glad I don’t work for one. Just as when I was a reader, I wanted to know about all sorts of motorcycles, and I feel the same way as a writer. I want to test and ride them all. Even if you don’t see my name on the reviews, as often happens, it doesn’t mean I didn’t ride the bike and offer my perspective to the review’s writer, which gets integrated to various degrees.

I know what I want when I read a motorcycle publication—bike reviews, a feature or two, product evaluations, some inspirational photography, and a bit of news. So, that’s what you have in your hands right now—a collection of motorcycle information from all corners of the motorcycling globe. If you’re a fan of motorcycles, a 1945 M.V. 98 is as relevant and exciting as a 2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro, a Royal Enfield Shotgun 650, a Husqvarna 701 Enduro project bike, or a trip to Barber Motorsports Museum and a ride on a BMW R 18 Roctane.

If it has two wheels, we’ll ride it and talk about it for as long as people want to read what we have to say. Thanks for joining us on this destination-free journey.