Motorcyclist: 100 Years of Doing Whatever it is We Do | Last Page

How the West Was Won

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 1 — This January Motorcyclist enters its 100th year of publication. Yup, we were already old and crotchety way back before Cycle World founder Joe Parkhurst soiled his first diaper—which, according to the Last Page slander department, he continued to do well into his 30s. And so we're boldly doing what all old brands do: treating ourselves to a year-long, self-congratulatory party.

That means for the next dozen issues, we’ll occasionally throw a leg over the wayback machine for an awesomely awful hot lap through 1912, when odometers had just four digits (as if a bike would ever go 10,000 miles!) and headlights had to actually be lit with a match.

It was a time of great industrial progress. Enormous gleaming ocean liners were built, gutted by icebergs and deposited on the bottom of the Atlantic. New Mexico and Arizona joined the team, and somebody finally made a parachute jump from an airplane without turning into warm gazpacho. Indian was selling motorcycles by the tens of thousands, and you could buy yourself a pretty darn swell 934cc four-cylinder Henderson for just $325. A literbike! But it only made 7 horsepower...

So it is with some nostalgia that we reveal this photo of what, according to water-cooler lore, is the original Motorcyclist staff at their very first editorial meeting. Apparently there was a bar, and after much drinking, a magazine broke out. That's mostly how it still works, though we've cut back on the handguns, only Ari still wears chaps and we're transitioning to wine coolers. And even with a century of practice, nobody seems able to reliably hit the spittoon.