Motorcyclist (magazine)


cover November 2016
Editor Marc Cook
Categories Motorcycling
Frequency Monthly
Total circulation
(December 2011)
First issue 1912 (1912)
Company Bonnier
Country USA
Based in Los Angeles
Language English
ISSN 0027-2205

Motorcyclist is a motorcycling magazine in the United States. The magazine is headquartered in Irvine, California and is published by Bonnier. The former editor in chief, Brian Catterson, had been the executive editor at the rival Cycle World.[2] The current editor is Marc Cook, a veteran of several motorcycle publications, including Motorcyclist.

Motorcyclist was sold by Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bill Bagnall (also its editor for 20 years) to Petersen Publishing in 1972.[3][4] It is now owned by Bonnier, who acquired it from Source Interlink Media in 2013.[5]


As of 2016 Motorcyclist has been published for 104 years[6] making it the oldest motorcycle magazine in the world continually published. Motorcyclist started out being called Pacific Motocycling on July 1, 1912 as a bi-weekly newspaper in Los Angeles, California. The following year of 1913 they changed the name to Pacific Motorcyclist. In 1915 it was bought by the company Western Journal and change the name to Pacific Motorcyclist and Western Wheelman and also add content on bicycles. In 1920 the name changes again to Western Motorcyclist and Bicyclist. Then in 1932 they become the official publication of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and the name changes to The Motorcyclist. This union helped the magazine to withstand The Great Depression when all other motorcycle magazines went bust. In 1940 the name changed again to just be called Motorcyclist for the first time. In 1943 they dissolved the union with the AMA. In 1962 the same year their rival Cycle World published their first issue Motorcyclist put out a special 50-year anniversary commemorative issue featuring a gold cover. In 1965 the magazine was purchased by then Editor Bill Bagnall who ran it until 1972 when it was bought by Petersen Publishing in 1972. In 1980 its 1000th issue was published; also this year the classic exhaust-pipe “y” logo changed to the stacked logo seen today. 1981 sees a format change with Motorcyclist no longer covering dirt bikes and going to all-street. Then in 1996 a group of private investors bought Petersen Publishing for $450 million. These investors later in 1999 sold Petersen Publishing for $2 billion to British firm EMAP. Primedia bought EMAP’s American publishing division for $505 million in 2001. Then in 2007 Motorcyclist brings back dirt bikes to the mix and Primedia’s enthusiast media division is sold to Source Interlink Media for $1.2 billion. In 2009 the headquarters in California was moved to El Segundo from Los Angeles.[6]

Notable contributors


  1. "eCirc for Consumer Magazines". Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  2. "Brian Catterson named Editor-in-Chief of Motorcyclist magazine". Motorcyclist Magazine. September 8, 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
  3. "Motorcycle Hall of Fame: Bill Bagnall". Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
  4. "Bagnall obituary". Dealernews. November 28, 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
  5. Bonnier, Source Interlink Exchange Titles
  6. 1 2 "A Century of Motorcycling - 100 Years of Motorcyclist Magazine". Motorcyclist. July 20, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2016.

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