What is CityBike?

CityBike is California's (and maybe the USA's) longest-running and most-respected free regional motorcycling publication.

CityBike is printed on good old-fashioned newsprint around the 20th of each month. We’re (still) not an online news organization and dig the idea of readers sitting down to read our magazine in the real world, in real time, without having to squint real hard at a screen.

We do make previous issues available as PDFs right here on CityBike.com. You can expect to see the last month’s issue on our back issues page when the current month’s issue is hitting bike shops and newsstands.

How do I read it?

  • Get for free it at a distribution location
  • Subscribe: subscriptions are $30 per year ($45 includes a T-shirt, S-2XL) 
  • Wait 30 days or so after printing for PDFs to show up on our back-issues page.
  • Mailed Subscription Magazines go out bulk mail, which arrives 8-15 days after the print date.

Email us or call 415/282-2790.

How much does it cost?

It's been free since 1984.

If you can't find a place that distributes it or you live outside the San Francisco Bay Area, subscriptions are $30 per year, or $45 per year with a T-shirt.

Where do I find it?

It's distributed by over 200 participating motorcycle dealerships, repair shops and other related businesses, as well as bars, restaurants, four prison libraries and some free-standing outdoor newsracks. Find out where you can get your CityBike fix here. We also distribute at the gate or inside large events, like the West Coast Moto Jam, the Calistoga and Stockton flat-track races.

If you can't find it, you're not looking very hard! If you find a place that distributes it but has run out, call us at 415/282-2790 or email us. We'll try to restock or at least leave more next month.

How did CityBike get started?

A San Francisco tile-setter and Norton enthusiast Brian Halton got the idea of starting a free monthly motorcycle publication while laying linoleum flooring at a print shop back in 1983. By March, 1984, CityBike was under way. By 1990, the publication was well-known, widespread and had a huge influence on the Bay Area riding scene. Now, 30 years after its  birth, the magazine is still going strong, in much the same format it's been printed in since its early days. And they say print is dead...

Who owns CityBike?

Brian Halton sold CityBike Magazine in 2009, and it is presently owned by Publisher Kenyon Wills and Editor Surj Gish. Don't worry--Brian is alive, well, and as cranky as ever! You can contact him through us.

In reality, CityBike is actually owned by the Bay Area motorcycling community, so get involved by sending us story ideas, feedback, article submissions, letters to the editor and attending our CityBike events.

How does it support itself?

Ad sales are about 98 percent of our revenue. You can help "pay" for the service CityBike provides--and keep it healthy--by paying for goods and services from our advertisers (and telling them "I seen it in CityBike!"). We know it sounds crazy, but without motorcycle-related businesses, there would be no motorcycling events, race sponsorships and all the other great things we have here. We hear and read about riders travelling 500 miles to save a few hundred bucks over their local "stealers," and it makes us cringe. To a (wo)man, the local dealers are passionate enthusiasts just like you who are most definitely not getting fabulously wealthy doing this. Help them--and CityBike--out!

I want to write for CityBike. How do I do that?

And you should! A lot of well-known moto-journalists got their start in CityBike: Steve Natt, Brian Catterson, Andy Saunders and others. The first thing to do is send us a note. Tell us what you want to write about, how much room you'll need, what kind of photos you have (or need). We have a template and style guide we will send along to you.

We depend on volunteer contributions and professional writers usually aren't thrilled by our rates. But we're widely read by the motorcycling press and industry (and 20,000 local enthusiasts), and that kind of exposure is priceless...right?

What is your circulation and readership?

Our print run varies thought the year. We print more during the riding season and less when it's cold and rainy, but we print and distribute every month. In the last year we have printed up to 13,000 copies monthly. Using a conservative 1.5 pass-around rate (as many readers pass the paper to friends after they check it out) and guessing that some readers may not pick us up every month, we estimate over 20,000 motorcyclists read CityBike at least once a year. However, like other small publications, we cannot afford an audit so it's hard to say for sure.

Unlike other small publications, we don't base our readership on our print run. We count unread leftover papers from prior months before we recycle them, and can honestly say the vast majority of our papers are picked up and (presumably) read. Other publications print tons and tons of extras, and then wastefully ship them out via UPS or FedEx--and don't know (or care) if anybody is actually reading them. The unopened boxes are often used as display bases or door stops.

Why does CityBike occasionally suck?

Because we can do anything we want! It's a laboratory for experimental moto-journalism, rather than a bland, corporate glossy catalog that does the exact same thing over and over. That sometimes backfires, but we have a long tradition of Crackpot Journalism to uphold. If you don't like it there are lots of other things to read...or you can send us your criticism and help us make it better.