There will be events billed as the Easyriders Motorcycle Rodeo Tour in 2020. Although the company and events have fallen apart over the years and recently. Furthermore, it is going to be hard to say that there is really much left of the Easyriders we’ve known for the last 50 years with so many changes. However, the 2020 Easyriders Motorcycle Rodeos will utilize the name at least for marketing purposes.
In addition, the name will apparently be slapped on various products as well as used for marketing the 2020 Easyriders Rodeos. However, we don’t know whether the products will be biker related or not. Although the below information on what happened to Easyriders and the collapse of the company is unfortunate, it just is what it is.
Overview of the Collapse of Easyriders
Before we go into the latest news of what happened, here’s a brief history of Easyriders Magazine and the Motorcycle Rodeo Tour. In 1970 Joe Teresi and others founded the company. Next, Paisano Publications was the legal name of the company. As you know, under the leadership of Teresi Easyriders became an household name for bikers.
Next here is some of what happened to Easyriders over the years. First, the Easyriders Motorcycle Rodeo Tour and Bike Shows have had huge declines in attendance. In addition, magazine sales over the years significantly dropped. Eventually Easyriders Magazine stopped being published and the site was shut down overnight.
Especially troubling is that a lot of the core people who really made the company successful are gone. Other assets and/or ventures are no longer around or have been sold. Finally, at some point in 2019 a new owner bought the remains of the iconic biker company, which includes the Easyriders Rodeo Tour.
What Happened to Easyriders Magazine?
After the Easyriders Magazine’s site was shut off and there was no response from the company we started searching around for information. Eventually we found an article from Bandit of BikerNet.com (https://blog.bikernet.com/sad-day-at-easyriders/). If you aren’t familiar with Bandit, he has decades of experience in the motorcycle industry. Also, he has a lot of connections. Subsequently, Bandit gets a lot of quality information early.
In the article, Bandit notes that Michael Lichter (THE infamous photographer of Easyriders Magazine for decades) went to go check on his photo archive. After Lichter knocked on the doors “… one of the new partners, who owns StrongHold, a clothing shop on Melrose. The guy [said he] had never heard of Michael Lichter.”
Immediately we had some big questions:
- Some clothing store guy now owns Easyriders??
- Isn’t the population of Melrose tilted more towards hipsters and yuppies rather than bikers?
- How can someone not know who Lichter is who owns a 50 year old biker company?
- What is going on with the 2020 Easyriders Motorcycle Rodeos?
- How can the legacy or anything in the spirit of Easyriders be carried on by someone who doesn’t know important things about the company they are buying?
Furthermore, the BikerNet.com article goes notes the new company held the “creative meeting in Canada.” Again, we had another troubling question. What happened to the iconic AMERICAN biker magazine, Easyriders Rodeos, and the company??
Finally “members like Dave Nichols and Beatnik were let go,” was noted by Bandit. As you might know, Nichols was the editor-in-chief and Beatnik was a key part of Easyriders. So the news wasn’t getting any better.
Future of Easyriders Rodeos and Magazine
Moreover there were some concerning items on the Easyriders Magazine Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/EasyridersMagazine/). The page refers to the new company doing “major-label product collaborations.” I’m not exactly sure, but this kind of sounds like the new owner could be slapping the brand name on whatever type of products??
Also, the Easyriders Facebook page states that the new magazine is going to be a “quarterly coffee table-style book.” This doesn’t seem to describe a biker magazine or Easyriders Magazine.
In addition, the phrase used to describe the new pictures in this book is “gorgeous photography.” Again, this doesn’t sound like a phrase used to describe anything biker-related. Additionally, this doesn’t sound like it was written by someone who knows the biker-world. Also, this sounds like it might appeal to yuppie hipsters riding scooters in Beverly Hills, but not bikers?
Not only was the above strange, but the Facebook page says that the book will be available in “boutique venues.” I was lost with this phrase…totally lost. Although I know what the phrase means, I have no idea where “boutique venues” are even located.
Furthermore, people who paid for magazines posted that they did not receive them on the Easyriders Magazine Facebook. These people sound like they were essentially told “too bad,” “here’s a product instead,” “you have to wait…tough,” “no refunds,” etc. For many people it sounds like there was no response at all.
What Is Going on with Easyriders Rodeos?
In December of 2019 we were at a motorcycle event talking to an old school biker. He had heard a lot more than most about what was going on with Easyriders. He said that it sounded like what was going on was similar to “taking a Harley emblem and putting it on an electric scooter.” It is an interesting analogy and quite probably true, but we are not sure what will happen to Easyriders.
Finally, Easyriders Motorcycle Rodeos is NOT on the LightningCustoms.com’s 2020 Major Motorcycle Rallies List as an endorsement…NOT at all. We keep the biker rodeos on the list to get you the latest information on what happened to Easyriders.
Also, with the above issues and drastic changes we have no idea if the attractions promised will actually happen. Also, what happens if an entire Easyrider Rodeo is cancelled at the last minute. Next, if the Motorcycle Rodeos are canceled will people get their money back? There doesn’t seem to be any refunds with the Magazine closing? The cancellation of the 2020 Easyriders Bike Shows just adds to the doubt.
With all of the above problems the era of Easyriders is over. We will continue to get you more information, but for bikers this is a sad day.