Motorcycle Consumer News has shut down after 50 years of publication.
The US-based magazine was founded under the name Road Rider in 1969, changing to its current title in 1991. Unlike the majority of the motojournalism industry, which relies on advertising to pay the bills, Motorcycle Consumer News built its budget on reader subscriptions, with no ads. MCN did use industry press bikes, but otherwise attempted to avoid any impression of conflict of interest.
Motorcycle Consumer News had offered print and PDF subscriptions in recent years. Recently, the owner had been trying to find a buyer for the publication, but decided to shut it down when no takers were found.
According to the Motorcycle Consumer News Facebook page, “We were informed that fulfillment stopped cashing subscription checks late 2019. Not sure about credit card payments. If you tried to pay in the last couple of months, you may not have been charged (check your bank statement). If you are owed issues and would like to request a refund, instructions are at mcnews.com.” Staff are advising readers to download any PDF issues they want to save, at this point. For other details, visit the MCN website.
As a subscriber I am sorry to see MCN’s demise. They had a near-unique business model, providing good technical information, and opinion pieces that were more esoteric than what is found in most moto mags. Bike reviews tended more toward cruisers than I would have liked but overall it was worth the cost to me. Apparently not enough riders agreed.
Will all bike (paper) magazines die in my lifetime? I’m hoarding all my old ones, nothing beats holding an actual magazine.
There are new paper magazines all the time. The trouble is that they’re either too expensive, or no good, or both.
I like Meta and Iron & Air when I’m feeling spendy. I don’t like all the content in there, but then, there were whole issues of CW in its prime that I thought were boring. But then, CW wasn’t $20 an issue either …