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American Iron goes out of print

American Iron Magazine Going Out of Print

But Will American Iron stay in business?

American Iron magazine has been around for over 30 years, but print motorcycle publications seem to all be suffering a quick and sudden death.

Last year saw the demise of Cycle Canada as a print publication despite their self-labeling as “Canada’s leading motorcycle magazine.” Rob Harris’ Canada Moto Guide is a shell of what it once was since Rob’s unfortunate passing in 2016. Going back to 2014, we gave a shout out to the closing of Iron Works magazine after over 20 years in production.

It seems like no matter what side of the border you’re on, the motorcycle content producing industry is becoming less and less about independently (often family-owned) motorcycle publications, and more about giant motorcycle retailers (many of which are owned by the same one umbrella company) that throw big marketing budgets into content creation. Time will tell whether that’s a good or a bad thing.

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Unfortunately for American Iron magazine, their time has come. COVID-19 meant their advertising income crashed as advertisers pulled out of the magazine. The timing of the virus, just in the build-up to riding season, couldn’t have been worse for a motorcycle industry that seems like it still hasn’t fully covered to what it was before the recession hit in 2009.

American Iron tried to reduce page count and content in their magazines, but all that leads to is motorcyclists spending the same money to get less, which should never be an option and can only carry you for so long. From Buzz Kanter, Editor in Chief of American Iron: “Rather than watch our magazines decline even further, we have suspended publication as we explore our options.”

This quote from Buzz is interesting. It flirts with the idea that this may not be the end of American Iron, that their might be some other way, like, oh, I don’t know, a website like this one, or a YouTube channel like this one. But he goes on to say: “Rather than dwell on the end of our magazines, I hope you’ll join us remembering your favorite articles, writers, photographers and events that we have enjoyed over the years.” Which doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence in the future of American Iron.

Personally, I’ve always taken issue with a lot of motorcycle magazines. I wrote about it in the article In a World of Alternative Facts, Should You Trust Your Motorcycle Magazine? where I shared my experiences dealing with some motorcycle magazines from my time working in the industry and seeing just how much magazines counted on advertising revenue from motorcycle manufacturers, and just how much they were willing to promise those manufacturers in exchange for the money. But, I’ve had no experiences with American Iron, and it’s always a sad day to see another motorcycle publication close their doors.

Hopefully American Iron will find some way to land on their feet, in a different shape or form. You don’t get to 30 years in the motorcycle publishing scene without doing a lot of things right. Best of luck to Buzz and all of his team.

Ride safe everyone!

Adrian

About YouMotorcycle

YouMotorcycle is a lifestyle motorcycle blog to be appreciated by those who see motorcycling as a lifestyle and not simply a hobby, sport, or method of transportation. Most of the posts on the site are written by past and present motorcycle industry staff. We remain fiercely independent, innovative, and unconventional. Our goal is to encourage more people to enjoy the world's greatest outdoor sport by helping new riders get started and inspiring current riders to get out more. We motorcycle, do You?

7 comments

  1. Why aren’t subscribers being refunded? I recently renewed both American Iron and American Iron Garage. In the last couple of issues, Buzz was encouraging people to subscribe and also to buy gift subscriptions for others. Since he is 65 this year and eligible for medicare, it makes me wonder if this is part of his retirement plan. I’ve tried to contact customer service by phone and e-mail, but I get no response from either. I don’t know how many subscribers they had, but I know it was a lot. That is a lot of free money for undelivered issues.

  2. As a long time subscriber to AIM, I agree with Fred 100%. I swapped my subscription to AIM over years ago, as this magazine fit my needs much better than the others on the market. My subscription had over 6 months left on it, and I had not planned on donating to Buzz’s retirement, as I am currently funding my own.
    Hey Buzz, If you were going to discontinue your magazine the least you could have done for us, your faithful subscribers, is to include a notice in the last magazine or a post card explaining the situation to us before you quit, not leaving us in the dark waiting for our magazine to arrive, which it never did, thus forcing us to wait in the dark for it never to arrive. Next time I see you at an event I will talk to you in person, as I am sure many others will also. A very poor way to close out your working career.
    Enjoy your 1913 Indian bought with our money. May your motor seize up the next time you ride it.

  3. They just F–ked all of us and kept the money. Period. That’s why they “went out of business”. Anyone that does good people like that is just wrong. If you can’t make a buck with a magazine these days …just say it and don’t blame it on the chinese virus. They got me for a 2 year bill. They screwed us…time to move on…Next

  4. Hey Adrian…sounds like no one agrees with you…Good guys don’t rip people off. Thanx for all your hard work to have this platform for open comments, keep it up.Peace to you

  5. Yes guys, also I agree from the other side of the pond. Was wondering why no new issue came out. Now I know. And as you concluded already: what about all that subscription money.
    Since everything is off line I guess that went up in smoke. Also my newly setup 2 year digital one. A shame for such a fine magazine, but not so much handled honestly moving out of business so silent keeping the loyal customers in the dark :-(

  6. Hey guys,

    Sorry to hear you’ve all been getting a bad deal from AIM before they folded.

    I’ve been running YouMotorcycle for 10+ years, putting out free content for motorcyclists all along the way. It might need be editorial quality on par with the big magazines, but I could sign you up for our newsletter if you want? It comes out once or twice a month depending on when I have enough good content to send out.

    Please let me know if you’re interested.

    Thanks and ride safe!

  7. Edward Montgomery

    Thanks BUZZ I needed a good F*ucking, last issue received was in July? I was going to call the SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT but that’s the wife or daughter? So I guess that would be a waste of time!!! Hope you enjoy your retirement on all of your sucker readers like me!!!!

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