1- Cycle World For Quick Sale Or To Shut Down? It’s no secret that things are quite bleak for almost all motorcycle print magazines. They continue to lose readers and to bleed subscribers. Most even ceased to publish any readership numbers, too afraid to scare away their remaining advertisers. Most have failed to recognize on time that their print magazines (and websites) needed to be rethought to adjust to a new economic reality, a new generation of riders and a new way to consume news via the web. Another example of magazine unable to find its new direction and that has now become irrelevant for its readers is Cycle World published since 1962. Belonging to the Hearst Group since May this year, the sad reality is that Cycle World revenue from advertisers, newsstand and subscribers sales continues to plunge with no end in sight. Cycle World was supposed to celebrate its 50th anniversary in January 2012. Probably not. Whatever their denial, other motorcycle print magazines are following the same path with too little time in front of them, no money and no potential investor available to completely overhaul their publications.
2- Repeal of Michigan’s Motorcycle Helmet Law? After years of protesting Michigan’s helmet law at Capitol rallies, motorcyclists converged last week for a “call to victory rally.” The reason for optimism? Gov. Rick Snyder has replaced Jennifer Granholm, who twice vetoed repeals of the helmet law. The state Senate Transportation Committee passed a repeal that should soon go before the full Senate, while a bill is pending in the House of Representatives. Talking about Governor Rick Snyder, Vince Consiglio, president of the state chapter of American Bikers Aiming Toward Education (ABATE) says: “There are enough votes in both chambers to change the helmet law. It’s a fluid situation. I think we’ve got a better chance and we keep the motto “Let those who ride decide”. As usual, opponents claim that a repeal would increase deaths and serious injuries, and cost taxpayers in medical bills and increased insurance premiums.
3- Polaris Closes GEM Fargo plant And Moves Work to Minnesota, Iowa. Polaris said in April it was buying GEM (Global Electric Motorcars), a subsidiary of Chrysler Group that manufactures electric-powered low-speed vehicles. The transaction is expected to close this month. Polaris Industries Inc. will close the GEM Fargo, N.D., offices and manufacturing plant move the operations to its facilities in Medina and Wyoming, Minn., and Spirit Lake, Iowa. Workers at the Fargo plant have been guaranteed jobs for at least 60 days after the deal closes, and an unspecified number have been offered jobs at Polaris’ Spirit Lake manufacturing plant, product development facilities in Wyoming and corporate headquarters in Medina. Polaris already makes some electric off-road vehicles, mostly for farmers, hunters and the military. The company has said GEM’s vehicles will put Polaris in a different market of commercial customers, such as hotels, airports and colleges that use them for shuttles. GEM has been producing the vehicles for about 13 years and to date has sold about 45,000.