There are more than six million motorcycles registered in the United States and motorcycle magazines are a critical part of that mobile industry. Philadelphian Allan Lane’s SportsBike Inc. (SBI) magazine adds another dimension to the motorcycling experience in America. In addition to SBI’s unique coverage of the culture and subcultures of the sportbike industry, the magazine features road racing, drag racing, custom bikes and stunt riding with contributions from authorities in each discipline. SportBikes Inc Magazine, published digitally, is the incorporation of all things related to the culture and subcultures of the sportbike industry in the U.S. and related markets.
Lane, a former street cyclist and first-time publisher, launched the magazine in 2010 with the stated goal of becoming the number one resource for the world of motorcycle edutainment. The free monthly magazine is only available online, where it can be read in its entirety.
We came out the gate digital,” said Lane. “I know how much printing cost, and I know how many magazines are in debt to their printers. I did not want to start a business that was going to be automatically in debt. The digital format is earth friendly and it is instant access. It’s a good look for advertisers and marketers.”
What Lane finds unappealing is the salacious use of women to promote his media. “I don’t do T&A,” explained Lane. “I appreciate women — I’ll be the first one at a bike wash, no problem — but a woman sitting backwards in six-inch stiletto glass pumps in a bikini on the back tire of a bike, it doesn’t make sense. It’s like she’s a hood ornament. Bikes don’t need hood ornaments; they should be sexy alone. Our readership among females is so high, because that’s the growing demographic in the motorcyclist community. There are more women riding now, and I don’t want that image. There are other magazines for that, and that’s not what SBI is about. SBI is about the real enthusiasts. If a woman is on the cover, she geared up properly: helmet, leather. To me, that’s sexier. A beautiful woman, on her own bike, in leather, now that’s hot to me. I take it seriously. I don’t want to insult or offend anyone because that’s not what my magazine is about.”
As a motorcyclist, Lane regularly criss-crosses the country and is impassioned talking about safety and positive riding image. During the interview, his bike, which was parked outside a Rittenhouse Square cafe, drew dozens of looks from toddlers to seniors.
“I believe everybody’s got a biker in them — everyone does,” observed Lane. “I think everybody has either fancied the idea of throwing a leg over. Whether they were influenced by a music video, a movie or whatever, I think everybody has that in them.”