I’m finding myself suddenly reading Practical Sportsbikes because the winter subscription I get to Performance Bike Magazine has migrated over as PB ends a three decade run and merges with their more practical (and I’m assuming more popular) child publication.
I’m enjoying Practical Sportsbikes (they offered me a couple of back issues during the transition), though I miss some of the best bits from Performance Bikes like the Rutter comparison tests and the general focus on riding. There is a rawness to Performance Bikes that sometimes reduces itself to the juvenile, but you can’t deny their love of riding. If the new combined publication can keep Performance Bike’s active, athletic and obsessive focus on riding then I think I’ll enjoy the new combination.
I’ve tried Practical Sportsbikes a few times but find it gets a bit lost in nostalgia driven mechanical minutia. I’ve never been much of one for nostalgia, it’s never as good as you remember. Mechanics and practicality are all well and good too, but for me, for now at least, it’s the visceral act of riding that should take centre stage. If practicality was the primary motivation, I wouldn’t ride a motorbike in the first place.
PB has always tapped racers and performance focused riders to shine a light on the act of riding, something they obviously love obsessively. If the new magazine can combine that love with the mechanical sympathy needed to enable it, then I might be in for a whole year subscription instead of just using PB to get me through the neverending Canadian winter.
I usually look to BIKE Magazine for my joy of riding buzz. This new publication might be able to give them a run for their money by offering a wider range of performance focused riding while still scratching that mechanical itch.
Here’s hoping they find a way to balance the two into a monthly ode to the visceral art of motorcycle riding and graft of mechanical sympathy that enables it.
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