The idea for Retro-RR came about shortly after two bike-obsessed forty-somethings were sat in a pub moaning to each other that their favourite motorcycle magazines had disappeared.
With Superbike and Two Wheels Only well in decline before they closed, many of those that were left appeared to be geared more towards advertisers than readers. And that’s before we even get started on the paper quality — sure, the internet had played its part, but we opined that publishers had not only forgotten that readers want to be entertained, but that they want quality content printed on paper that brings photographs alive and does the stories of some of motorcycling’s best writers justice.
So, we set about creating our own magazine. Just us. No big corporation backing us. No Kickstarter campaign. No investors. Just us, and our idea.
Our plan was simply to use the best of everything. The best photographers, the best writers, the best designer, the best printers and the best quality paper. We wanted a magazine for the bookshelf rather than the bin, a truly collectable coffee-table quarterly, packed with stories, columns and features on the bikes you love, all set in the 80s and 90s, a real golden era for motorcycling.
We want to relive the 80s and 90s with the people who were there. The nostalgic stories from the past deserve to be brought back to life through first hand experience, not from a quick look through Wikipedia and some quotes cobbled together by a staff writer who was barely a twinkle when GP bikes had expansion chambers and narrow power-bands that gave even the toughest racers sleepless nights. So we’ve commissioned some of the biggest names in the business to share their stories with us.
So who are we? Founder Nik Ellwood has been involved in motorcycling for most of his life, working for manufacturers and race teams and orchestrating international events. He’s also a keen bike collector, with a Ducati 916, an original ’92 Fireblade and a part-restored ZX-7R making access to his kitchen something of a challenge.
Editor Rob Hoyles started his journey in motorcycling aged seven. He’s since swapped crashing into trees on trials bikes for crashing into gravel traps on race bikes. He worked as road test editor for the original Chelsea-based Fast Bikes magazine before heading off as a freelancer, writing for pretty much every UK-based motorcycle magazine, a few national newspapers and several overseas titles.
If it was ridden or raced in the 80s or 90s then you’ll find it in the magazine: behind-the-scenes stories, epic races, the best bikes and the legends. Our own bikes, bought, tweaked and thrashed on track days. Within the 132 high-quality pages of Retro-RR, there’s something for every passionate motorcyclist that loved life long before the digital age.