A Message From Street Chopper Magazine

The following is a letter I received from Jeff Tinnion, publisher of the magazine Street Chopper. By your comments, let him know what you think.. 

“Dear Industry Partners, Street Chopper magazine has enjoyed a rich history since its inception in 1969. Feedback from our readers and marketing partners over the past year has taken Street Chopper in a fresher, more exciting editorial direction to create a more visually impacting publication. In an attempt to put out a publication that is relevant to the marketplace, Source Interlink Media has decided to decrease the monthly frequency of Street Chopper in 2008 to a bi-annual publication. They are going to take the savings and increase the package size of the two issues of Street Chopper for 2008 in an attempt to convey more valuable information to the readers. These issues will retain the top-notch photography that you have come to expect from Street Chopper in the past year and will be jam-packed with the lifestyle that makes Street Chopper a standout on the newsstand. This move will bring greater value to the advertisers, as the pair of 2008 Street Chopper issues will be distributed on the newsstand for a period of ninety days as opposed to 28 days with the old system. This strategy will allow Street Chopper to address the marketplace for a longer duration. Unchanged is the heart and soul of what Street Chopper consistently delivers to our loyal audience. We believe these proactive changes are going to allow Source Interlink Media’s American Motorcycle Group to produce several new titles to continue to strengthen our role as the market leader. Should you have any questions or need any further information, please feel free to contact me. We look forward to continuing to serve you and help you with your marketing objectives” Sincerely, Jeff Tinnion Publisher Source Interlink Media, American Motorcycle Group.


25 Responses to “A Message From Street Chopper Magazine”

  1. 1 goldiron Dec 1st, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Source Interlink Media will remove Street Chopper from being a source of news. The move will not be in the direction of editorial. Rather, it will be a commentary on the historical events of the preceding year.

    Many times people look to magazines to spot current trends. I feel that this move will kill this publication.

    With the reduced budget, the quality will also suffer.

  2. 2 Mike Rogers Dec 1st, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    This letter is just a way to state that the magazine is dead. These 2 issues a year? To complete existing advertising cntracts. Then gone.

  3. 3 Nicker Dec 1st, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    What are the circulation projections for the two issues?
    How will SC compare to the “…several new titles”…?

    “… will be jam-packed with the lifestyle that makes Street Chopper a standout …”

    Does this mean more emphasis on Tattoos and Clothing…?

    What’s the business case for the advertisers?


  4. 4 DJ CHOPPER GOD Dec 1st, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    Another one bites the dust.

  5. 5 madpuppy Dec 2nd, 2007 at 11:23 am

    At only two a year, whats the cost?. Like the others “sorry to see ya go “.

  6. 6 Coluche Dec 3rd, 2007 at 11:27 am

    This isn’t looking good. I like Jeff Tinnion’s choice of words though. That’s the corporate way to say” we are screwed and we don’t know if we will be here much longer”.

    Motorcycle hobby market has been shrinking for a while and this is another victim of the current state of affairs…

  7. 7 Tony Dec 3rd, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Coluche. I agree, it’s well written but sounds like chosen words to announce a death.

  8. 8 Nicker Dec 3rd, 2007 at 10:07 pm


    Could it be that the major expansion that we’ve seen has simply been an anomaly of demographics and “fashion trends.”….?

    …Motorcycle hobby market has been shrinking for a while …”

    So, instead of “shrinking” its simply retrenching back to it’s historic levels….?

    Just a thought.

  9. 9 Harley Dude Dec 4th, 2007 at 8:56 am

    Is this the beginning of the end for all the Primedia motorcycle titles? While the letter is well crafted, it is little more than corporate spin leading up to the quick and private burial.

    Once Street Chopper is gone, which will be any day now, how long before the recently renamed Hot Bike Baggers and Hot Bike follow suit? All are thinning down in editorial content, page count, advertisers and readers.

    Another example of how Wall Street corporate-think managed to kill more enthusiast publications.

    RIP American Motorcycle Group.

  10. 10 Doug Mitchel Dec 4th, 2007 at 9:43 am

    Good morning,

    As a motorcycle enthusiast myself, I hate to see any titles being taken off the shelves, no matter how graceful the management tries to achieve it.

    Being deeply entrenched in the world of cycles and choppers, it has been obvious for some time that the world of customized scooters has been waning. Fewer buyers and builders means fewer ad dollars, and that leads to fewer magazines.

    If we were willing to spend $8 or $9 on every issue of a magazine, they could lean away from the ads, but few, if any are willing to drop that kind of money on a magazine. IF it was the only one we read than maybe, but since I subscribe to numerous periodicals that kind of fee would force even the most serious reader to make some choices.

    We can only hope that the strength of Primedia/Source Interlink will help to sustain certain titles while bringing some fresh blood to the readers. It’s a rapidly changing climate and all we can do is hold on as it rips through a series of corners and still finds us on the seat.

  11. 11 Charlie Lecach Dec 4th, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    “in an attempt to convey more valuable information to the readers” !!
    A six month old Street Choppers issue will be very interesting to read six months old product news ! You’d rather stay tuned on Cyril’s Blog to get the fresh news 😉

  12. 12 Larry Dec 4th, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    RIP Street Chopper Magazine. You’re right Charlie. Better off reading Cyril’s news. Anyway, he is faster than any print magazine.

  13. 13 Courtney Dec 4th, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    I am the Editorial Director for the American Motorcycle Group and I appreciate all of your concern for the current state of Street Chopper. There are several things that led us to cut the frequency of Street Chopper to Twice a year and all of them had to do with economics.

    1. The price of paper is out of control. We are looking at a 15-percent increase in the price of paper in 2008.

    2. The economy and the “War on Terror” is really taking its toll on the custom bike industry. Take a huge chunk of the guys who are the age of the average custom bike enthusiast (18-35) and ship them off to the middle of nowhere to get their asses shot off. I hate to talk politics in an open forum, but enough is enough already. Bring our guys and gals home.

    We actually have seen a recent surge in advertisers, but it isn’t enough to offset paper and staffing costs. So what we decided to do was produce the book twice a year as a labor of love. We will adjust the editorial content to make it more of a coffee table book (ala Rodder’s Journal; thanks to Steve Coonan for showing the world how it should be done) with a thicker package and more historical pieces and fewer news pieces in an attemp to make it timeless.

    And if this plan works, who knows we may expand the magazine to quarterly in 2009? But we’ll just have to wait and see if we can figure out how to offset the cost increase of paper first…

  14. 14 Dennis Johnson Dec 4th, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    More power to you guys. Publishing (magazines, newspapers, ransom notes, you name it) is an interesting business right now.

    For the naysayers, this does have the possibility of being very cool. If you’ve seen Surfer’s Journal (i’ve not seen Rodder’s Journal) you know how good an infrequently published mag can be. SJ is six times a year and reader supported at $12.95 an issue but what a great magazine filled with in-depth stories and unbelievable photography.

    I’m thinking if Source Interlink Media didn’t think Street Chopper could survive it wouldn’t mess around with experiments like this, it would simply kill the title.


  15. 15 Adam Jones Dec 4th, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    Very interesting. A journalist talks to a journalist via the internet magazine of a well known custom builder who is an insider and a good reporter. So cool. Family ties.

  16. 16 Jacko Dec 4th, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    Good riddance! never knew they existed, so no loss.

  17. 17 American V-Twin Dec 6th, 2007 at 9:31 am

    If no one can find the magazine in the stores, I have to wonder what the retailers feel Street Chopper is worth. If the retailers don’t support the magazine as a monthly, what makes you think they will as a twice a year frequency?

    From all I have read and heard the newsstand industry is hurting worse than the cycle industry and several people are predicting at least half the motorcycle titles will be dead in a year. Just not enough readers or advertisers to support them all.

    I have been told to look and see what magazines are selling in the big chains like WalMart to identify who the survivors will be. If you can’t find a magazine in the stores now, odds are they won’t be around muych longer.

  18. 18 Nicker Dec 7th, 2007 at 12:14 am

    “… newsstand industry is hurting …”
    “… least half the motorcycle titles will be dead in a year…”

    In that case, may be the American Motorcycle Group strategy of
    2 really high quality issues a year, perhaps sold out of book, isn’t such a bad idea.

    If it can be positioned as the “must have” publication, industry folks would go after it no matter how it was distributed.

    If the problem is keeping up with trends, perhaps a monthly, low cost newsprint/paper format could bridge the gap….??


  19. 19 goldiron Dec 7th, 2007 at 9:44 am


    One of the directions that has been taken in the automotive magazine sector has been e-magazines. Notably, Winding Road seems to have overcome the paper crunch.

    Possibly this direction would bode well with the motorcycle sector as well.

  20. 20 Renegade Dec 17th, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Wow! The Demise of the biker magazine? I’m the publisher of Renegade Biker Magazine and I’m here to tell you No fuckin’ way!

    I’m telling you right now I’m going to make Renegade Biker Magazine an icon in the industry for the new generation of bikers, like Easyrider and Rolling Stone were in the sixty’s before they went corporate.

    Right now we only publish two issues a year, with each issue distributed FREE at more than six major bike rallies such as Daytona’s Bike Week, Sturgis, Myrtle Beach, etc. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of seeing a copy of Renegade Biker it is a first class biker magazine like no other! Printed on 80lb gloss full color from cover to cover, and it’s free! Renegade Biker is not corporate owned or publically traded, unless you mean between bikers! Renegade Biker is Biker built and biker owned!

    I am currently working on issue #5 due out for bike week 08.

    I started this magazine with practically no budget, I paid for the first issue with my own money, and have managed to at least break even on each issue since. Even with the slow economy and down turn in the motorcycle industry Renegade Biker is going strong! I basically produce the entire magazine myself, the photography, graphic design & layout, stories, ad sales, distribution, website, etc., If I do say so myself it is by far one of the best looking magazines you will ever see! Don’t take my word for it check it out yourself!

    The main reason for the demise of many of the current crop of biker magazine is because they are boring! The same old crap for over twenty years!

    If you want to see a kick ass biker rag then check out Renegade Biker at http://www.renegadebiker.com or be sure to grab one in Daytona this bike week, but you better grab one quick because the go fast!

    Renegade Biker Magazine will be the #1 magazine in the world! Believe it! Read it! Buy it!



    Sorry for the rant & shameless plug!

  21. 21 Don Shapiro Dec 17th, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    Hey Renegade, you sound very arrogant.

  22. 22 Renegade Dec 17th, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    No just proud!

  23. 23 Renegade Dec 17th, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    Proud, passionate, and determined about what I’m doing! If that is arrogant then so be it.

  24. 24 vic myers Mar 4th, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    I really liked Streetchopper. I actually found out about the demise when I tried to subsribe via a fundraiser and the fundraiser company said the magazine was no more.

    Streetchopper had been around since 1969….it has weathered many a storm. How can it go now? Take away Hot Bike or Amercian Iron please.

  25. 25 Crash Mar 21st, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    What a dumb idea to kill of this magazine.This sucksI The entire motorcycle magazine business has turned into nothing but repeating articles across an entire publications line up each month. Have you noticed how many articles are the same in Hot Bike, Easy rider, etc? Street Chopper was “the” magazine I read on a monthly basis with bikes that were not the bulls*&t cookie cutter fat tire bikes that all the magazines like to put in print lately. I guess that’s how it goes when the industry has turned into bagger monthly and it’s filled with over weight, fat walleted, billet loving bastards that have lost sight of what real bikes are all about.

    Renegade: Thanks for the link. Looking forward to the next issue. Checked out your stuff on-line. Nice to know some one is passionate about real bikers! Keep up the good work.

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