I have been an avid motorcyclist for 30 plus years and my interests are broad, from dirt riding to road racing to sport riding to touring to vintage collection/restoration/riding. East Tennessee is blessed with great roads and scenery that make it a true motorcycling mecca! Until this issue (Vol. 5 / Issue 1 - February 2009), Handlebars Magazine had nothing to offer true motorcyclists—people who ride their bike farther than the nearest bar for a bike night or faster than a parade route.
This issue I actually read from cover to cover and enjoyed it immensely. The literary pennings of masters Sahms, Townsend, and Barrett are excellent at describing the great variety the exists in motorcycling! Articles like the "True Adventures of the 555" are just the kind of thing that can exemplify the spirit of motorcycling!
Columns like "Fred's Garage" are great reads to help inspire your own project. "6th Gear" presented the importance of proper maintenance and riding year-round (farther than Hooters). And a column for Off-Road & Dual-Sport riding? Wow! This area has a plethora of opportunities for off-road exploration. "Getting Dirty" can certainly encourage one to venture off the beaten path and explore another side of motorcycling. I find these topics far more relative to motorcycling than bars, tattoos, and choppers.
I hope that you keep the new format for it has the potential to grow and promote motorcycling in a more positive fashion. This issue made me proud of the motorcycling community in East Tennessee so much so that I have forwarded the online link to some of my riding buddies up north to make them jealous during their winter slumber.
Jim Wagoner , Minister of Misinformation and Manipulator of Images, Time Warp Vintage Motorcycle Club, www.timewarpvmc.org