It’s all over

Old Bike Australasia - - BLOW YOUR OWN -

I’m can­celling my sub­scrip­tion. The mag­a­zine no longer seems rel­e­vant or worth buy­ing. After over 30 years of con­tin­ued sub­scrip­tion I’m just not en­joy­ing the read any­more. I’m talk­ing of course of my long-term re­la­tion­ship with the Bri­tish mag­a­zine Clas­sic Motorcycle. As a young clas­sic and vin­tage motorcycle enthusiast I could hardly wait to get to the newsagent ev­ery two months in the early ‘80s to pick up the lat­est edi­tion of Clas­sic Motorcycle and see if there was an ar­ti­cle on ei­ther a bike like the one I was restor­ing at the time, or on some per­ti­nent restora­tion tech­nique I wanted to master. This worked fine while I was in­ter­ested in only one make, Nor­ton, as there was al­ways plenty of in­for­ma­tion on this very Bri­tish icon. As my in­ter­ests broad­ened over time how­ever there was less rel­e­vance to find, es­pe­cially on clas­sic Ital­ian, Ja­panese and vin­tage Amer­i­can iron. So I bought Clas­sic Bike, Clas­sic Me­chan­ics, Clas­sic Racer, any­thing that I thought would of­fer some vari­a­tion. Then in the late ‘80s came an Aus­tralian mag­a­zine which seemed far more in­ter­est­ing than the over­seas mags. I would oc­ca­sion­ally see some­one I knew pic­tured, or find an ar­ti­cle on an Aus­tralian make, or even find out about an up­com­ing event… be­fore it hap­pened! Steve Hazel­ton’s Clas­sic Mo­tor­cy­cling seemed to fill the hole in my motorcycle read­ing needs. Steve’s mag­a­zine started off pretty ba­sic, com­pletely in black and white, but soon pro­gressed to quite a nicely pre­sented mag­a­zine and on a par with Clas­sic Motorcycle (of that pe­riod at least). But then it just dis­ap­peared, gone with­out a trace, I was thor­oughly dis­ap­pointed. After only a cou­ple of years it was back to the UK for read­ing ma­te­rial. Another 20 years in the desert passed, and Old Bike Aus­trala­sia came to my res­cue – a lo­cal pub­li­ca­tion cov­er­ing a wide range of motorcycle eras, coun­tries of ori­gin, makes and as­so­ci­ated his­to­ries, plus peo­ple and places I know – all in one mag­a­zine! OBA not only has the lo­cal con­tent, but equals (maybe sur­passes) the best of the Bri­tish mags now in the qual­ity of the jour­nal­ism and print­ing it­self. I’m par­tic­u­larly im­pressed with the qual­ity of both the pe­riod and con­tem­po­rary pho­tos. Well done, you’ve cre­ated a mag­a­zine with­out com­pro­mise! I have to con­fess though that I’m not an Edgar Jes­sop fan. I find it down­right frus­trat­ing to see an in­ter­est­ing pe­riod photo but am not able to find out what the real ori­gin of the photo is! It may be, how­ever, that I’m just turn­ing into a Grumpy Old Man as, when talk­ing to a friend the other week about OBA, he said that the Edgar Jes­sop sec­tion was the first thing he turned to each edi­tion! Have you con­sid­ered go­ing monthly, in­tro­duc­ing a “for sale” sec­tion or a reg­u­lar “how to” fea­ture? But then, maybe that would be try­ing to be too much like the very same Bri­tish mag­a­zine I’ve be­come tired of? Well, things have come full cir­cle, once again I can hardly wait to get to the newsagent ev­ery two months to pick up my favourite bike mag­a­zine. Thanks for a very pro­fes­sion­ally put to­gether mag­a­zine – just don’t dis­ap­pear on me any time soon please! Rob El­liott South Aus­tralia

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