Cyril My Friend, The World is Turning Ugly Man!

Chris Callen, founder and editor of The Cycle Source Magazine, wrote to me. Chris knows where his motorcycle roots are and never forget about them. He has a great understanding of our industry and a fine analysis of its evolution. When he writes, I read attentively, and you should too. When you are done, comment as much as you want. It’s what my Blog is all about: citizen journalism.

"It seems, as things get harder in this industry, that many people are loosing their patience with each other and getting’ a little grumpy. In my end of this it seems like the magazine world is about to self combust. Rising costs of printing and increased competition from other forms of media like Cable television, Pod casting, and internet based pubs, blogs and forums have made new challenges for print based mags. But that’s why I see it as an interesting new one. Imagine for a minute if we all just gave up and there were no more print magazines, or for that matter, imagine what this industry would be today without them……

The big national builders of today have gained legendary status through recent media exposure on TV Biker Build-Off. But if you look back at mags like Street Chopper in the 70’s you’ll find they were building careers and notoriety for thirty some years before that recent media picked up on them.

Parts manufacturers like 40-year old S&S have had amazing products released especially during the past ten to twenty years and almost all brands of media report on them and other products today. But how about when Iron Works was still called Iron Trader News and was doing stories like the one on “The Tramp III” which was S&S’s Salt Flat racer. Or the articles since then that have covered the bazillion ways to use, improve and reconfigure products from the aftermarket world.

Today there seems to be a book or DVD a month out on the history of something from our industry and that’s good. We are lucky enough to be in something with so much heritage, so rich in values and tradition that it should be documented. But what about the magazines that have carried these stories for generations now. As a matter of fact, if you look closely at those books and DVD’s or television documentaries, many of them are written, directed or contributed to by the same editors and journalists that have been part of the magazine industry for decades now.

Today there is a big movement to relive the past, to do things like they were in the old days and it’s cool again to be a tramp. But I wonder where people who for the most part are too young to remember this bygone era are getting their information from? How do they know what things used to be like?

Certainly not from the new media’s programming or information. These aspects are constantly lost to them. No, in fact, I believe just like myself, these new generation tramps are raiding piles of old magazines like Ironhorse, Outlaw Biker, Old Easyriders and Street Chopper. They’re seeing first hand what the scene was like and reading all about it from people who lived it.

And there in lies the invaluable role that magazines, print magazines, have and always will play; Care takers of history. That’s the one variable that they will forever keep uniquely. Sure, web sites are faster at getting information out, television reaches more viewers faster, but you can’t hang that stuff on a wall, you can’t (most people anyway) take it into the bathroom with you and you can’t tape it up to your tool box. As a matter of fact, for the most part, once these media are finished with a topic the information is just gone and they are onto the next matter at hand. There are no boxes in the attic full of this information. This of course is with exception to some of the great work sites like your Cyril Huze Blog and Bandit’s Bikernet.have brought to the table but my point is, all these media work together. Motorcycling has grown tremendously and it would seem a shame if in its need to go faster and reach higher, it knocked down its own foundation.

So to help the average cat that might not get much exposure to our world, here are a few of my favorite magazines. Some of them are new, some are old, some are underground and some are main stream. Some might be considered my competition but all of them are included in a brotherhood of people who have made a lifetime commitment to reaching the hearts and minds of individuals who love this thing we do. Maybe some of your readers will want to add to this list. Cyril, I hope so. Now go buy a magazine, someone, somewhere is staying up too late, drinking too much coffee and riding to the end of the earth to bring you brilliant pictures and fantastic tales of life and the motorcycle!" Chris Callen, Editor of The Cycle Source Magazine, a national grassroots motorcycle publication..

Chris recommends the following magazines. Street Chopper. The Horse Back Street Choppers. Iron Works. Greasy Kulture. Dice Magazine. Garage Magazine. Thunder Press. Car Culture Deluxe. Ol’ Skool Rodz. Barnett’s Magazine. Now, add yours in the comment section. (picture Sara Liberte) 


32 Responses to “Cyril My Friend, The World is Turning Ugly Man!”

  1. 1 Ape Hangers Nov 9th, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    I met Chris. Chris is cool.

  2. 2 sara Nov 9th, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Chris Callen is one the few who can look you straight in the face and tell you like it is, he is also one of the very few who are actully in this industry for the rights reasons, the LOVE of the Motorcycle. I’ve been working with Chris for the last 9 years and he has just as much enthusiam and Passion as he did when Cycle Source was a monthly regional publication back in 1998. I’m honored to call this guy my Big Brother! ~Sara Liberte

  3. 3 Mo No Chrome Nov 9th, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Chris is the “New Kid On The Chop” who knows a lot about old shit. Like the mag.

  4. 4 Spoke Nov 9th, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    I think that print & digital medias are complementary. Motorcycle history is written by all those who photography, talk and write about bikes. Yes, it’s cool to find old mags in the attic, but let’s face it. In 50 years bikers will also retrieve in a nano second old pics and articles using their computers. Even this comment will remain on a server somewhere. Pen and keyboard have different functions. Both are cool.

  5. 5 A 1 CYCLES Nov 9th, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    my greatest treasure growing up in rural massachusettes was my dads stack of biker and car craft and hot rods from 1955 up to the late 80’s… boxes and formed a lot of my knowledge of motors with awesome tech articles and awesome customization of was a great start to my career to be 12 and have an undrstanding of valve overlap and cam centerline..compression ratios all things mechanical. their are still some great tech guys out their like donny from heavy duty cycle to name one..the thirst for knowledge will always be their and print magazines become a treasure to pass down a c.d. or dvd. just doesnt have the same feel, smell, or wonder. computers help spread information as well as rampant rumors quickly and efficiently but i still love magazines and im saving a huge stack for my son so i can say thats how we did it in the 90’s and 2000’s…

  6. 6 Racing Sportster Nov 9th, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    The way it shouldl work. Cyril uncovers stories and writes the headlines and teaser posts. Magazines develop his stories.

  7. 7 Doc Robinson Nov 9th, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    Cyril your readers might like to take a look at what’s happening in the custom scene in Australia via the Heavy Duty Magazine web site at
    Comments and question to us are always welcome.

  8. 8 Greg Nov 9th, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    Good plug, Doc.

  9. 9 DUNCAN @ LUCKYCHARM Nov 9th, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    I would like to add Cycle World to that list. There are & have been some really awesome bikes between the covers of this magazine. Chris Callen rocks! Let him be an inspiration to all! One of my earliest influences growing up in Ireland was the cover of a Cycle Magazine in the 70’s featuring Daytona and if I remember right, the Rats Hole Show and some awesome stateside custom bikes that would blow minds still today. Keep up the good work Chris.

  10. 10 dragon Nov 10th, 2007 at 12:10 am

    i’m glad easyrider is going back to the old school of biking

  11. 11 CJ "Warden" Hanlon Nov 10th, 2007 at 9:04 am

    Cyril, Chris, THANKS! I was just digging through my garage yesterday reliving the past issues (and getting inspiration for our next build) of just such magazines and remembering. Remembering the times when we had stacks up to the ceiling in the garage of EasyRider, CarCraft, HOTROD and many many others that take us literally back to the times we either lived (and in the case of younger enthusiast-wish we’d lived). This wouldn’t be possible if mag’s and papers suddenly dissappeared.
    Chris, you’ve again hit the nail on the head with a concise and well crafted commentary on the industry and thus the reason i read your magazine with enthusiasm and advertise regularly with you. Ride safe bro!

  12. 12 Lee Rogers Nov 10th, 2007 at 9:19 am

    Let’s not forget the magazine Vibes in Japan.

  13. 13 goldiron Nov 10th, 2007 at 10:28 am

    One of the problems with motorcycling today seems to be the topsy turvy economic situation.

    Back in the day, a Harley was a relatively cheap/inexpensive bike.

    Many of the original mods that were made were to improve performance, reliability, and beauty. Some of the modifications came out of necessity.

    Some of the old clubs used to insist upon specific brand ownership. This allegiance had nothing to do with patriotism, rather, it was a necessity to have a rolling stock of parts available.

    One of the problems with the current laments about modified motorcycles, is creativity is now a couple of keystrokes away on someones computer. Quite frankly, given enough billet and dollars, most everything can and is replicated.

    I think it is important to maintain the history of the long ago days and yet, feel that the new history should be written, too.

    Expanding your visions to what is available, affordable, and makes sense rather than fantasy of what could be done with a gazillion dollars seems to be the true and lasting memories and histories of what was written decades ago.

  14. 14 Henry Nov 10th, 2007 at 11:14 am

    Good mag, Chris. Good blog, Cyril.

  15. 15 madpuppy Nov 10th, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Bravo Chris, very well written and interesting article !!

  16. 16 Mark Ruzicka Nov 10th, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    As always Chris your on the money.
    Chris has got to be the hardest working guy in the business,Mark FASTLANEBIKER

  17. 17 Brian Klock Nov 10th, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    What a lead story to this edition of the blog. I love all things motorcycle related and I think as a magazine “freak” that this speaks to our whole industry. Chris Callen will long be a gentlman of our industry. He gets it. Our entire team repsects Chris a great deal and he just proved that it truly is about Passion. Love what you do, and live it, encourage others with like interests to do the same. Its FRIENDLY competition that breeds better everything. Don’t cloud the passion and make things petty. ENJOY! What would happen if one of us was gone tomorrow. Nothing is that sacred, share your stories and go get a magazine.

    Doc Robinson from “Heavy Duty” is that same type of passionate biker, thanks for chiming in. I need to go dust of some of my old magazines and get a new one! (or ten)


    Brian Klock
    Klock Werks

  18. 18 J Nov 10th, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    lol- well, until I feel safe taking my laptop into the bathroom with me every morning, magazines are safe…..(!)

    On the other hand, business cycles. I bought my first bike in 1980, right about the height of UJM. We had what- Cycle, Cycle Guide, Cycle World, Rider, and probably a couple others that I am forgetting;

    Then stuff contracted.

    It will happen again. Just gotta roll with it.

    One thing that might help is to reign in the price of newstand copies a bit- c’mon, compared to subscribing, newstand prices are stiff. I understand that it’s payola to the vendors, but I can’t see kids getting excited about paying for a $6 copy of Hot Rod when it’s free online…….

  19. 19 Bruce Nov 10th, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    A few months ago, I read an article of Cyril Huze in the Source magazine. Now Chris Callen writes in his digital blog. This is motorcycle brotherhood between pros of the industry. A good example for others to follow.

  20. 20 Yves Beaudoin Nov 10th, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Cyril

    It’s so interesting but in Canada the best magazine Revolution Motorcycle Mag don’t miss it. The market of custom bike it is not the same in USA but with this magazine in Canada they are the best right now. for them website.

  21. 21 gustian Nov 10th, 2007 at 9:36 pm


    I’m a 51-year-old-Belgian. For those who don’t know Belgium, it’s the neigbour of France, Cyril’s native country.
    That’s also why I would add FREEWAY to the list, a high quality French mag. As Northern Belgians, we speak Dutch, but also French. Freeway is by far the best magazine in our region.
    It’s the first time I’m reacting on a blog. But this time, I really feld the need to express a certain feeling that’s so well discribed by Chris Callen.
    I will not doom the internet medium, but as Chris says, you can’t hang the damm’ thing on the wall of you garage. We also are to much used to the immediate info we can get from the internet. Simply the fact of waiting another month for the release of the next issue, then opening it as a box of chocolats to find out what’s in it, is a little bit of magic anyway.
    Forgive me my writing faults but it has been al long time I did wrote in English.
    Oh, by the way Cyril, if I ever come to America, I bring some of your favorit AMORA-mustard with……

  22. 22 Cyril Nov 10th, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Hey, Gustian. Thank you for writing and I wait impatiently for some Amora (for my American readers I mention That Amora is the brand of a French mustard, the best in the world, and I can’t find it here in the US).

  23. 23 Nicker Nov 10th, 2007 at 11:39 pm


    Enjoyed your site.
    “… Care takers of history…”

    I wish that were so.
    We could use it.

    However, the real ancestors who actually walked-the-walk like the depression era “Gypsies” have long been forgotten.

    Contemporary history may go back to the Booze Fighters & post WW-II HA. But the true pioneers are forgotten.


  24. 24 goldiron Nov 10th, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    Amora Mustard / Moutarde Amora
    Amora Mustard It’s finally back, moutarde Amora fine et forte. You won’t find a French kitchen without a jar of Amora mustard within arm’s reach. If you want to make a vinaigrette the way the French do, this is the mustard for you!

    Amora · Mustard · 150g (5.3 oz) · $4.10 · Available end November.

  25. 25 Glenn Casa Nov 11th, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Anyone going to europe is requested to bring back french food products to Cyril.

  26. 26 David Semprey Nov 11th, 2007 at 11:05 am

    Hey guys, it’s not the food network blog.
    Read Cycle Source one time at a friend’s house. Different from the other mags. Liked it.

  27. 27 gustian Nov 11th, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    Hi David,
    sorry if I started something with that AMORA-mustard-thing. But only the readers of Freeway (and Cyril of corse), the French Harley-scene magazine, knows what I’m talking about. It’s all about the monthly article Cyril is writing in that mag (in French).
    Don’t worry, I’m verry intoo Harley and I ride motorcycles since I could hardly walk!!!
    So again, I was not mentioned to make this blog into something about food. That Amora-thing was just a little hint to Cyril that over here, we do read and appreciate his monthly article and……………..that we are very very proud of Cyril and the work he does. That’s all.
    I also read somtimes Easyriders (Dutch version, translated from the german), Big Twin, and from time to time,If I can lay my hands on it in a special store in Ghent,Iron Works and Garage magazine.
    See you………

  28. 28 Yves Beaudoin Nov 13th, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    Hey guys

    You dont know something about our magazine Revolution Motorcycle Mag we edit this mag in french and english.Distributing all in North America and soon and Europe like our web site in the both language We are proud to say We are th first canadian magzine of custom bike with only american motor.

  29. 29 Nicker Nov 15th, 2007 at 12:56 am


    Do you know theses guys…..?

    It’s a Bay Area (mainly SF)paper, a news print format.
    Not glossy, they cover the local scene.

    Is going glossy a big part of your business case….?

    Just wondering

  30. 30 jatinder Nov 15th, 2007 at 4:37 am

    i love mags.been using internet myself but,u cant beat the charm of mags.the articles,pics,advertisements …man cool.

  31. 31 American V-Twin Nov 15th, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    How about the best in the biz – American Iron Magazine? They seem to be doing fine and easy to find in the stores.

    Also Thunder Press newspaper is a good one.

    What happened years ago to the old Indian Motorcycle Illustrated magazine? Cool rag that lasted a few years and then went the way of the real Indian – poof!

  32. 32 Big Joe Nov 16th, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    I think I would cry the day we didn’t have magazines to thumb through with pictures of the toys the other kids are bringing to the sand box. If there is a magazine to be had that has cars or motorcycles I’ll pick it up. I would bet a dollar to a donut I had the first subscription to Garage Magazine in SoDak. Throughout my house I have magazines all over the place. My wife is forever trying to throw them away.
    From time to time I have to let go and make room for new mags. But is always a joy to look through one that is years old. I have one early 70s issue of Street Chopper that sits on my computer desk at home and I page through it often. When was the last time you saw a Smith Brothers and Fetrow ad? I know those ads were running when I was in diapers.

    As for you Chris, when ever I get the chance to see you on the road I always come away with the same impression. Your passion is always focused on everything biker/rider/motorcyclist. Whatever label a person chooses. Your on the button man. People who know respect you for it.
    Keep it up. I ain’t to proud to pat you on the back.


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