January was a busy month for us and for many of you as well. The AMA Supercross season kicked off in Anaheim while winter set in for most of us back East. But we did get to spend part of the time in sunny California, visiting with some of you in the industry. Seeing you at trade shows and talking to you on the phone is great, but it’s not the same as being able to visit you at your place of business and see your day-to-day operations up close. One of our visits included a stop at the new Italian Trade Commission offices in Los Angeles, where they not only fed us snacks but unveiled a new logo, too.
We headed back home to Cleveland just in time to visit the International Motorcycle Show. And while the weather outside was frightful, the show inside was rather delightful as there was a large crowd all three days, and exhibitors were more than pleased with the turnout.
Of course, one of the biggest attractions was the Ultimate Builders Competition, which our friends at Northern Ohio Ducati Triumph took second place in with their rather unique GT1000 café bike.
Finally, for those of you old enough to remember and experience the decade of the ’70s for what it was, which were glory years for many in the motorcycle industry in many ways, this year marks some milestones: “Good Times” premiered on CBS. People Weekly magazine’s first issue was released with actress Mia Farrow on the cover. Barbra Streisand got her first #1 hit song with, "The Way We Were."
The F-16 fighter jet flew for the first time. The oil crisis of 1973 came to a close as most OPEC nations ended their months-long oil embargo in March of 1974.
Lost in these headlines was the launch of a little publication aimed at motorcycle dealers. Issued at the end of 1973, the first edition was called the Motorcycle Trade Directory. I’m sure someone still has that one laying around. This directory was really the beginning of the monthly magazine MPN, but it wasn’t until Issue 2 that it became Motorcycle Product News.
Both issues were considered Volume 1 with Issue 2 being published in June of ’74. Why the boring details about issue and volume numbers? Well, depending on what you take as our first issue, this year marks our 40th anniversary.
I am barely that old myself and I have quite a few aches and pains, but MPN still looks great for its age. We will go into the archives throughout the year to celebrate this momentous milestone.