I used to buy every bike magazine I could lay my hands on when I was young. These days I’m a bit more selective. I always buy “Bike” magazine from Great Britain. It is, in my opinion, the best motorcycling read anywhere to be found. I sometimes buy AMCN, but, when news breaks quicker on the internet than it does on paper these days, there seems to be less of the “news” in AMCN than what there used to be. Still good value, though.
My favourite magazine I don’t buy at all because my thoughtful family bought me a 12 month’s subscription to it. It’s Old Bike Australasia, edited and produced by the knowledgeable and diligent Jim Scaysbrook. Jim has just the pedigree to do such a job, being an ex-racer himself and having a wealth of contacts in the industry and in the wider motorcycling fraternity. Jim shared a Ducati 750SS with the late, great Mike Hailwwod at the Castrol Six Hour Race in 1977 and won the class.
OBA is a glossy mag, produced 6 times a year (though Jim is coming under increasing pressure to make it a monthly) and it is fast becoming a repository for the history of Australian and New Zealand motorcycling that is not being chronicled anywhere else. Australia’s greatest motorcycle journalist, Don Cox, is, I understand, in failing health and it is looking increasingly likely that the torch is being passed to OBA to record and preserve our precious motorcycling past.
Much of the magazine’s content is directed towards motorcycles and characters that are even older then I am (I know that sounds difficult to imagine), but there is always plenty enough in it to make me open the wrapper with alacrity and sit straight down to read. The current issue, for example, has a wonderful feature on the ECCO BMW’s and a quote from “Gyro” that will probably go down in history, “I only ever had three riders, Kenny Blake, Greg Johnson and AJ [Andrew Johnson].” As if he would have needed any MORE than that!!
In keeping with its charter, it’s not available on the web, so, if you’re interested, you’ll just have to go out and buy one. Go on, you know you want to.