By Victor Wanchena
The number 189 is not very significant. It’s an odd number. Not mathematically important other than being needed to get from 188 to 190. But, it is important for MMM. Issue 189 represents the final print edition of Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly.
While we are sad on some levels to see the print edition go (what will I put under leaking bikes or use to start campfires?) it was inevitable. The reality is that the market for print advertising, especially in a niche publication, has been steadily decreasing for the past 10 years. Frankly, we’re surprised we lasted as long as we did.
It has been a long glorious run for MMM. Founded in 1996 by Dan Hartman as publisher and run by Troy Johnson as editor. I assumed the helm as publisher and senior editor from 2000 to 2010. The editor torch was passed to Bruce Mike in 2010 to present. We have each added our own something to MMM. Troy had the vision and the skill to found MMM. I brought an irreverence and a “whatever, let’s run it” attitude. Bruce has brought an eye for design and a hard tail chopper to our stable.
I’m very proud of what MMM accomplished in 21 years in print. 189 times we entertained, irritated, informed, and taunted our readers. We supported our advertisers and they’ve supported us. We enjoyed a level of loyalty rarely found in print publications. Our longest running advertiser, Croixland Leather Works in Osceola, WI, has been in every issue printed, all 189. We never could have lasted this long without them.
The good news is MMM is not dead. Just the opposite. In an ironic twist we were always forward looking, having had a website since 1998 where we posted almost everything we printed. That foresight (or luck in our case) means we have a well-established digital presence that will continue into the future. We’ll continue to publish the same stories, road tests, and rantings we always have. The only difference, it will be available anywhere, anytime on your computer or mobile device. Bookmark it today mnmotorcycle.com
As we sign-off from the print edition I realize we will be losing a little something from the experience. You can’t grab it at a coffee shop and tuck it in your tank bag to read later. You can’t pass the issue on to other riding friends. And you can’t keep your TT500 from marking your garage floor with oil spots (not that I would know). But change is constant and inevitable. Feel free to insert your own cliché about carbs vs. fuel injection or points vs electronic ignition here.
So, readers of MMM, thank you for the good run. We will see you on the digital side. Print is dead, long live print.
Ride fast, take chances.