IronWorks Magazine Will Cease Publication With March Issue

iwCreated in 1989 by Dennis and Marilyn Stemp, bought in 1995 by publisher Hatton Brown, IronWorks will print its last issue in March. Editor Marilyn Stemp is planning a new venture named Iron Trader News. Below is her official statement:.

“It is with some sadness that I write to inform you that Hatton Brown, the publisher of IronWorks, has decided to cease publication of the title after 24 years, effective with the March 2014 issue. Some of you may have learned this news as it was ‘leaked’ and I apologize if that’s the case. It’s not what I would have chosen.

As much as this represents the end of an era for the IronWorkers, it also presents an opportunity… for us to express gratitude for the fulfilling work we so enjoyed and the great times spent among you, our friends in motorcycling. You allowed us to tell your stories, showcase your craftsmanship and peek behind the counters in your shops. We appreciate your support of and interest in IronWorks over the years and prize the friendships that have been forged. I speak for the entire staff when I thank you for the many entertaining and enriching experiences IronWorks enabled.

That said, I do regret not being able to follow through on some editorial plans. We’re doing our best to find placements for promised articles that remain unpublished at this time.

If you are an IronWorks subscriber, you are entitled to a refund for unfulfilled copies. You may contact Hatton Brown directly or drop me a note—about this or any other concern. And do visit our new Facebook page for Iron Trader News. We’re reviving the original title that predates IronWorks to continue bringing dependable, intelligent information to bike riders everywhere.

Thanks for your interest in IronWorks. It was a great ride.” Marilyn Stemp, Editor IronWorks Magazine/Iron Iron Trader News


60 Responses to “IronWorks Magazine Will Cease Publication With March Issue”

  1. 1 Justin Nicolette Jan 15th, 2014 at 9:50 am

    This is indeed sad news.

    Thank you for the years of great editorial, Marilyn. I’ve always loved your and your colleague’s work (especially those Rick Fairless columns) and how authentic you all are.

    Best of luck with Iron Trader News. You can count on this subscriber. And as for the refund for unfulfilled copies – I’ll be letting Hatton Brown know I’d prefer the refund goes to you!

    Thanks for everything.

  2. 2 Joe Pardon Jan 15th, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Sad, but not unexpected. The print magazine model, as it is published today, is obsolete. Others will follow because they don’t seem to know how to adjust to a new media world.

  3. 3 John Talar Jan 15th, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Keep all your old print mags. In 20 years they will be collectible to sell on eBay.

  4. 4 Bruce Reynard Jan 15th, 2014 at 10:44 am

    The young generation that the mc industry is courting is only on the net…

  5. 5 Rollin Jan 15th, 2014 at 11:01 am

    IW will be missed, it was a first class magazine with great contributors.

  6. 6 Joe Mielke Jan 15th, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Your the best Marilyn!!

  7. 7 Horst Roesler Jan 15th, 2014 at 11:10 am

    THAT is another sad news that fits into the picture that is forming a – unfortunate – downward spiral for “special interest” magazines worldwide. In Europe, we have lost about 6-8 magazines in different countries over here in the last 5 years alone – and even more are hanging already “over the cliff”, with only the dedicated work of staff and editors, all underpaid anyway, to their existence. And most European countries have a better distribution and “points of sale” than the thinning US bookshop scene.

    Well, the moaning doesn’t help “Iron Works”, which has been highly underrated, as they were a very creative and open-minded team. I do wish Marylin Stemp a great fresh start with the support from the industry this team truly deserves.

  8. 8 Drum101 Jan 15th, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Horst is right. All over the world, paper magazines are in a downward spiral. Today, would you buy a Tepaz to listen to music? At least 2 other US mags are known for hanging over the cliff for too long. Change or die. Anyway, good luck to Marilyn Stemp.

  9. 9 Donnie Respery Jan 15th, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Yes, it’s sad. But is it the job of an entrepreneur to understand trends, markets, opportunities? Today, most people use the Internet to search, learn, entertain themselves. Why would you buy a print magazines to read 3 month old news when you can get the gratification of knowing everything as it happens. And let’s not forget the opportunity for us to express an opinion via comments. Cyril easily took over the digital motorcycle news market. And he was not a professional publisher…just a well known builder. Others from the print industry could have done it and they didn’t. Why? Probably because what they thought worked during several decades would continue to work. Their big mistake, so their fault.

  10. 10 George Davenport Jan 15th, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    It won’t happen to me. It won’t happen to me. It won’t happen to me. Who’s next?

  11. 11 Doc Robinson Jan 15th, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    I have a 1970 magazine with a cover story declaring PRINT IS DEAD! Well, as Mark Twain said, reports of his death have been greatly exaggerated. I for one am very sorry to see Iron Works discontinued as it has long been a quality publication with a great selection of article subjects. However, the downward spiral of titles may not be due so much to print having had its day as to changes in the industry in general. Horst reports that a number of European mags have gone out of business, but let’s look at some reasons why this might be, not just saying “oh well, print has had its day”. In Europe motorcycle sales saw a huge collapse in sales from nearly three million units a year in 2007/8 to just over one million for 2013. That is two million lost readers! Another negative has been the economy of both Europe and the United States where things have been tough and in the main remain so. Yet another factor has been the proliferation of small run publications catering to core audiences, magazines like Greasy Kulture Magazine, Dice Magazine and others that are powering along very well. The face of the magazine market is changing but I predict that good quality motorcycle related magazines will have a long and successful future co-existing with online blogs such as this one.

  12. 12 HelpMePlz Jan 15th, 2014 at 4:50 pm


    Dice, Greasy Kulture, Lowside, Iron & Air, Hopper…

    You guys are right….

    There’s a real dearth in quality motorcycle publishing – especially those catering to the post TV builder crowd.

  13. 13 badams Jan 15th, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Been on Kopteri and Vibes for years. If you haven’t checked them out, ya should, even if you cant read Finnish or Japanese.

  14. 14 Blackmax Jan 15th, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Everyone knows paper magazines are dinosaurs
    But that does not mean that some of us out here
    don’t appreciate the feel of paper in out hands vs. a tablet
    It’s a damn shame to a very good & informative publication

  15. 15 1550tc Jan 15th, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Hate to see this mag leave ……..and Doc the market is really fragmented or dead for so many puplications

  16. 16 Rodent Jan 15th, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    I predicted the death of paper on the birth of the iPad !

  17. 17 Zipper Jan 15th, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    My tracker made it to the pages of Iron Works in the early 90’s. I will alway keep that issue thank you. ..Z

  18. 18 Chris Sharp Jan 15th, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Doc Robinson. You are wrong. The mags you are mentioning are marginal with very few sold copies. First, they are not news magazines and usually are of very poor quality, design, content, printing etc. They will stay marginal and I would say, want to stay this way. Their concept is to appear “underground”, outside of main stream. These and others always existed. Some appear, some disappear. From a media viewpoint, they have no weight, can’t support serious advertisers and the motorcycle industry. They don’t explain the collapse of print magazines. A digital magazine like this one didn’t steal print readers. As a matter of fact readers flocked to what was credible to read, entertaining, where they spend most of their time: the web. Print magazines first loyalty as always been to the advertisers. It should have been to the editorial mission, to inform objectively the readers. But there are also quite a few bad online mags. They are all those trying to copy the print model in the digital space. Until now, no print magazine was able to create a good online version and so far Cyril Huze has no competition for sharp custom motorcycle news and announcements. Let’s not forget the psychological aspect, making bikers feel connected, and a very commercial one, giving those featured an instant and international exposure.

  19. 19 badams Jan 15th, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    @ Doc and Chris, you guys have some salient points. I came across this the other day and it tripped me out related it to your POVs.

    Could be considered simply directional, but on the other hand points out how consumers shift in powersports content and info consumption.

    In the end, I still dig a magazine to refer to in the garage when my hands are covered in grease. As long as the bikes in the editorial are not running parts manufacturers adjacent to the article. Seems harder to camo that as pubs get thinner…….

  20. 20 rob Jan 15th, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    My favorite mag. Will Hatton brown refund the rest of my subscription??

  21. 21 david uhl Jan 16th, 2014 at 1:52 am

    I will miss the pub Marlyn, I am sure it will unfold into something even better for you. You are superb at what you do!

  22. 22 Jezza Jan 16th, 2014 at 3:21 am

    I think it’s a real shame. Iron Works was a really great quality publication for enthusiasts who want to read good motorcycle journalism, product reviews and tech articles. Maybe I’m old school, but I still don’t think online mags can truly replace print, because like Blackmax states, some people like a physical magazine in their hands rather than a tablet/ kindle/iPad or whatever. Heck I have 3 iPads and a dozen computers at least but I still like real magazines and still buy them.

    One point I would like to make though, is that perhaps the survival of the remaining quality magazines needs a shift in paradigm, away from being just a publication, and towards becoming the center of a self sustaining community. The two biggest Japanese Harley Davidson publications, Vibes and Club Harley have both done this successfully, and both cater to very different and clearly defined social groups within the V-Twin world. Vibes has a fanatical cult following. The annual Vibes Meeting is Japan’s nearest equivalent to Sturgis or Daytona (albeit a very distant equivalent). The point is, the magazine sustains the community and the reader community sustain the magazine. Vibes suffered through the recession too, but they survived and they’re still independently owned.

  23. 23 Bill Schwab Jan 16th, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Good luck Marilyn in your endeavors. Hope to always see you at future events.

  24. 24 Jesus Jan 16th, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Business cycle. Business rotation. The weakest disappear. It’s life. Don’t care. Stopped buying magazines in 2006.

  25. 25 Harlan Schiilinger Jan 16th, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Marilyn: You are the best and always will be. Looking forward to your newest adventure..

  26. 26 yale Jan 16th, 2014 at 8:15 am

    New beginnings await you! Marilyn Congratulations and thanks for all that you and Iron Works have done for our industry yALE

  27. 27 Tom Keefer/ Franklin Church Choppers Jan 16th, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Marilyn, thank you for the great run and all you do for the industry! I know someone with your talent will find yourself with many opportunities! Tom

  28. 28 Darry Wagner Jan 16th, 2014 at 8:58 am

    To be successful, a media needs to create a community and engage its readers. By its nature, a monthly magazine can’t do this. CH is successful because he federated a large number of readers by making them react on daily news. The web is the only possible platform. CHP is a social media. Proof are all the comments, including this one.

  29. 29 calif phil Jan 16th, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Ironworks was one of my favorite magazine. I still like paper better than digital.

  30. 30 Lon Nordbye Jan 16th, 2014 at 10:22 am

    The publication was a reflection of Marilyn Stemp and the Stemp family. This is a step backwards for the V-Twin motorcycle industry as there is one less editorial, marketing and advertising option for companies to reach consumers. Best to Marilyn and her family. We all look forward to working with you on your future endeavors.

  31. 31 AFT Jan 16th, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I don’t feel sorry for them. They refused to run Metrics which would of opened up a whole new revenue stream for them . The mags that run all bikes are surviving.

  32. 32 Jusmecuz Jan 16th, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I dig around on the internet but NOTHING can replace the feeling I get thumbing thru an actual chopper/bike rag….Or the feeling ya get when you carefully cut out that feature build/babe and hang that puppy up on the wall for all to enjoy… Now, I do like the online thing too. Things like ChopCult, Cyril, etc. Wish we could have em both.

  33. 33 Brad Schaeffer Jan 16th, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Good point AFT. Had the same problem. It was called Iron Works but editorial was prejudiced with American customs made from metrics Same problem with American Iron magazine.

  34. 34 Funknutz McFly Jan 16th, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    “Doc Robinson. You are wrong. The mags you are mentioning are marginal with very few sold copies. First, they are not news magazines and usually are of very poor quality, design, content, printing etc”


    Like, REALLY?!?!?

    Have you ever seen DICE? The perfect bound first 50 issues (the first ten are stapled but…) are a thing of beauty and the new enlarged size are downright gorgeous! Guy’s GK isn’t just consistently well laid out, its been written with the same cool, informative language for years…

    Shame on you Chris Sharp, shame on you…

  35. 35 Olive Oil Jan 16th, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Just sold 25 years of Playboy with pages stuck together.

  36. 36 Steve The Hog Radio Show Producer Jan 16th, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    1st off sorry about the mag going under.

    Second as it relates to Publishing Industry. The best mags in the business: Popular Science and Motor Trend have shrunk to a third of their former size. (I know my wife just bought subscriptions for both my boys). The content is very meager in both of these afore mentioned mags with more ads than quality content.

    Too many mainstream magazines have gone to creating fluff filled pages resulting in a real lack of traditional long format editorial content which is why I have always bought a magazine.

    There are some mainstream mags doing quite well Real Simple (Ladies Mag) is still quite thick and caters to 20-50 year old women. Forbes magazine has shifted a lot of content to the web with hundreds of writers and ability of readers to interact with those who write online keeping the long form editorial articles intact within its paper publication.

    Magazines have always been about information and quality writing. Too many of today’s papers and magazines contain far too much fluff and no real content. I have also noted a huge amount of poor rammer and spelling errors due to lack of editors.

    The best will remain and will evolve those unable will eventually die.

  37. 37 Rodent Jan 16th, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Want to hear my opinion, I’ll call you at the pay phone on the corner!

  38. 38 Cris Sommer Simmons Jan 16th, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    I met Marilyn and Dennis many years ago and commend her for keeping this dream alive all this time.

    Magazines (and print ones) are all time consuming labors of love. Few women have entered this moto- cycle magazine world and I would like to thank Marilyn for all she has done. We look forward to the next chapter for you and wish you all the luck and love!

  39. 39 Martin Twofeather Jan 17th, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Great note Cris,I feel the same way and do wish Marilyn and Dennis lots of luck and success in the next chapter of their life.Martin

  40. 40 1550tc Jan 17th, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Love to hear and have Jesse James chime in on what its like to launch and keep these niche bike magazine afloat

  41. 41 Johny Jan 17th, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Even Jesse James failed with his “Garage” magazine. To few readers, I guess, for a “vertical” magazine

  42. 42 Mike Jan 20th, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Wonderful people.
    Dennis visited Corbin, Castroville, Ca in ’95
    I think we were one of the first advertisers.
    We enjoyed the mag and people all these years.
    You have a marvelous attitude Marilyn.

  43. 43 The Vintagent Jan 20th, 2014 at 10:37 am

    The old print paradigm is dead. Drop the ‘news’, as we all get it on the web (yo Cyril!), so bring us really good writing, analysis, and photos; stuff we’ll want to keep forever. Nobody throws away their copies of DiCE or Sideburn or Men’s File, etc, because you can feel their Quality, in layout, paper, and content. Smart print has edged closer to the book publishing model in this way. These mags feel like Cycle did in the ‘good old days’ because they’re right on the pulse of what’s happening.

    The best specialist publications are thriving, and advertisers are eager to be included, because they ‘get’ their market. They are enthusiast/participant driven, and it shows. Social media responds quickly to good content, which provides a clue how to build a fan/readership base. If nobody’s watching your FB/Insta/blog, they won’t buy your mag, either.

    All that said, it’s still painful to see good people struggling to make it in the new marketplace. It’s no reflection on their character, because the motorcycle biz has never been easy… just ask Indian, Excelsior, Norton, MV Agusta, Benelli, Buell, NSU, Cyclone, BSA, etc…

  44. 44 Jose Jan 20th, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Agree with Vintagent. Print magazines must change their content or they will die. There is no way they can compete with a site like this one. What will make me buy a magazine? I don’t know, but not what is proposed now.

  45. 45 Davenport MC Jan 20th, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    GD. You must be a struggling print mag publisher who had failed online to write such BS. So, what is your name for everybody to know which print mag is going to fold very soon.

  46. 46 Vincent Gerr Jan 20th, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    GD. Failing to monetize the work of a publisher, print or online, is a failure in both cases. I didn’t know that you can’t save and share an online page. It proves that you know a lot about internet. LOL. All of my friends stopped subscribing to print magazines a long time ago. Around 2005. Because it’s only disguised advertising, for sure not journalism. If I want to find a vendor, a part, I search online and also read this website to know what’s new.

  47. 47 New York myke Jan 20th, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    I will definitely miss IronWorks but hopefully Marilyn will be around and successful for a long time! I echo all the positive comments about the magazine and Marilyn and just add how it was so refreshing to be at a rally or something in the middle of nowhereville that only a dedicated few(or few hundred) was attending, and there was Marilyn covering it… Thankyou Marilyn for your great work and dedication! Looking forward to seeing your “what’s next”! Thankyou!!

  48. 48 Vincent Gerr Jan 20th, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Of course we don’t pay to make a search or read this website. Like you who just read Cyril and the comments. But you were talking about online publishers unable to make money. It’s not true. They are paid (like a print magazine) by advertisers. And since they have a readership you will never have through paper, they charge more for an ad and less per reader reached. You are really dumb. I hope you are not a publisher because your case is tragic.

  49. 49 Vincent Gerr Jan 20th, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    People don’t care if a publisher makes money. He reads what’s interesting. By the way I do SEO work and maintaining a great website, ranked high in search with many relevant incoming traffic and evolving with the constant progress of technology costs a little fortune and requires quite a few collaborators. As a matter of fact I bet that Cyril’s website costs more to maintain and publish that many motorcycle print magazines.

  50. 50 Bruce Reynard Jan 20th, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    GD is asking bikers to buy a print magazine to help the publisher make money, not to read content. It’s too funny. Cyril, you should create a section called “Most Stupid Comment Of The Week”

  51. 51 andy Jan 20th, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Marilyn and her late husband accomplished so much. I was always a fan of their editorial work and style, and enjoyed every issue they produced, and also Marilyn’s many issues following the loss of Dennis. Very proud to have met Dennis once, and grateful to be among Marilyn’s friends.

  52. 52 Shifter Jan 21st, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Supreme. Did you ever advertise on a serious online website? Your Facebook page may be without interest and without traffic. What are you doing here, online?

  53. 53 Gallagher Jan 21st, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Supreme Team. If everything is fine in the print business, explain to us why Ironworks is one more magazine to shut down? You must know.

  54. 54 P. Martinez Jan 21st, 2014 at 8:10 am

    It is my observation that big names, big brands have a heavy presence on the web because they know how to use it. For ex. in the US, Harley-Davidson is 100% online and don’t buy print ads since many years. Indian Motorcycle privilege online coverage. You are not going to teach them how to do marketing, business. Little mom & pop motorcycle vendors of the motorcycle industry still advertise in print magazines for 2 reasons. 1- They don’t have the budget to advertise online on the big websites, so they go where they can only go, in small print magazines fighting with each other with ad discounts. 2- They don’t know how to use the web, social networks and most of them have very bad 80’s style websites. All the print industry is in decline, all sectors, with less readers, less advertisers. You can’t fight the web as a media. There are only companies who don’t have the knowledge, who don’t have the financial means to use it. Print is going to disappear like the telephone booth, the CD player, the Blockbuster stores, and soon the big box booksellers like Barnes & Noble (already in big trouble and switching to internet via e-books), etc. I live in New York city. Good luck to find a motorcycle magazine in a newsstand. Where are these magazines sold? In a few 7/11 in the rural areas? In a big rally, ask what magazines people are reading, what they subscribe to. Most of them will say nothing because they look for info, research online. Young generation of builders/readers? They spend more time online than front of a tv. It’s online that a brand builds a reputation, good or bad. The motorcycle industry is mostly old with no internet marketing skills. Just a few understand and win big. Period.

  55. 55 George Van Tine Jan 21st, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Brands denying the power of internet and those who are unable to adjust to the digital age or failed to get results with it are going to disappear. Guaranteed. Brands are no longer mere corporate assets to be leveraged, but communities of belief and purpose. It’s only on the web that they can be created, grown and nurtured. It’s not easy, costly and new techniques need to be learned almost every month. But there is no other efficient way. I suspect that those who commented above against internet and its power are already failed businesses.

  56. 56 Terence Tory Jan 21st, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Magazines can’t complete with 30 inch monitors for vivid images and resolution.

    The quality of experienced MC journalists and technical experts is at an all time low.I can’t even think of the name of one these days:that tells you something.

    People used to be understimulated,and bought mags for stimulation.Now people are overstimulated by being on smart phones or online 24/7,and now avoid them.

    GD:”A printed magazine is still a tangible item, you can save and share” What do you mean like a Bitcoin,or ten thousand bike images on a 2TB hard drive?

  57. 57 Ax Jan 26th, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    It’s a shame, but I think Marilyn made a mistake when she fired Steve Berner. He had the magazine going in a different direction, with a lot of distinctive, original content that made it stand out from the Twin Cam only magazines. Once he was gone, Iron Works became just more of the same.
    Beyond that, I think all magazines are pricing themselves out of business. I won’t pay seven dollars for a magazine with way less content than when they were four dollars a few years ago.

  58. 58 Walt Lumpkin Jan 28th, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Marilyn: I’ve expressed my sentiment elsewhere but I forgot to mention please persuede Fairless to continue his column with Iron Trader in whatever format you choose. The perspectives of the Ricks and Berts of the m/c world are always interesting and entertaining to me. More please.

  59. 59 Catamini Feb 15th, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Another one hanging over the cliff. The Horse mag. is out of breath without journalistic content since many years.

  60. 60 Rollin'Bones Feb 23rd, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    What ever the (real) reasons for discontinuing this great publication were, the sad fact remains of
    having lost one of the best motorcycle magazines on the market. I have purchased this magazine
    for many years and always looked forward to reading it every month.
    The editor Marilyn Stemp and her staff provided the readers with a variety of thoughtful articles, carefully arranged with outstanding photography and background stories on the motorcycles featured. That is what set this magazine apart from the run-of-the-mill mass produced Brand-X
    bike magazines.
    What we as bike enthusiasts are left with is a poorer choice at the bookstore. The ongoing debate
    over what some magazines feature, American vs Metric is pointless. The problems facing publishers are deeper than what is featured in their magazines. As the world economy slips further into trouble, there will be many more (undeserved) casualties.
    I wish to express my gratitude to Marilyn Stemp and her staff for their excellence in journalism and photography and providing us with a carefully thought out and entertaing publication for many years.

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Cyril Huze