The New Cooks in the Kitchen

Who's taking over as editor in chief for Motorcyclist?

Ari Henning and Zack Courts take over as editors in chief.
Ari Henning and Zack Courts take over Marc Cook's duties as editors in chief.Photo: Richard Vandermeulen

The Americas's Pastime issue (Dec/Jan 2017) marks the last of Marc Cook's tenure as editor in chief. If this change leaves you with some questions, here are a few answers from the duo taking the reins.

Question: Who is taking the helm now that Marc Cook is gone?
Ari: That'd be Z and me. As Joe Gresh put it, "The inmates are in charge of the asylum!"
Zack: Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Jokes aside, between the two of us, our Associate Editor Julia LaPalme, and our Online Editor Brian Hatano, we've got a great core team and a strong creative vision for Motorcyclist.

Q: What can I expect in the new format? Is the content going to change?
A: In 2017 Motorcyclist will be printed on thicker paper, at a larger cut size, and there will be more pages. We're looking forward to filling those pages with bigger features and more varied content, all in hopes of making a more enjoyable magazine.
Z: And our wheelies will be bigger. Beyond that, we're hoping to expand our network for acquiring stories. Basically, we want to bring you a more global snapshot of motorcycling, with a strong emphasis on photos that you'll want to have on your coffee table for months. Same flavor, just more of it.

Q: Will you continue to have product reviews and comparisons?
A: Absolutely. Motorcyclist invented the comparison test, and road tests and product evaluations are our foundation.
Z: Bottom line, we're both way too curious and love riding too much not to gather bikes up and test them.

Q: I don't trust anyone born after 1980. Why should I trust you?
A: I've been told on more than one occasion that I have an old soul. One woman was even pretty specific about it. She said I was 47 inside, and that was three years ago.
Z: We're still young-ish, but growing up around vintage racing means Ari and I are probably more connected to motorcycle history than most people our age. We try to balance bending the rules with an immense respect for the heritage of motorcycling.

Q: Do you guys see a future for paper magazines?
A: The short answer is yes. The long answer is that print and digital both have their strengths, and Motorcyclist is lucky enough to have a presence in both domains.
Z: Still lots of magazines for sale in the grocery store, right? There's definitely a market for it, and we hope to connect with people in a way that hasn't been accomplished yet in motorcycling.

Q: Currently, all of the content that appears in the print magazine is also on the website. Why should I subscribe if I can get the articles online for free?
A: Because the internet is no place for features, and looking at a screen isn't as satisfying as holding a magazine in your hands.
Z: Ol' man Ari is right. will still be the quickest way to see First Rides, breaking news, and video content. But, like you, we think that big, featurized comparisons and other long-form stories are best enjoyed in the pages of a magazine.

Q: I love the On Two Wheels video segments. Have you considered doing a written version of those stories?
A: Yes, we have! In fact we've been bringing Julia (also our staff photographer) along on shoots to snap photos so we can do just that. We'll turn the best OTW videos into full-length features, just like we did with "Scramblers in the Rockies" (Nov. 2015, MC).
Z: Fact is, On Two Wheels was born from a desire to explore fun and off-the-wall ideas with motorcycles. It's led to some pretty fantastic adventures, not to mention exciting and obscure corners of motorcycling that might have been missed otherwise.

Q: What are you going to miss most about your boss?
A: His pragmatism and ultra-organization. Marc's time as a pilot was evident in his habits, and I appreciated his analytic and empirical approach to things. He also threw great barbecues!
Z: Hate to suck up after he's gone, but Marc Cook has an encyclopedic motorcycling brain, and it's a loss not to have him on staff. The good news is that he hasn't changed his phone number yet, so we still have access to some of his knowledge and advice.