Three Decades and Counting

Shifting Gears with Buzz Kanter


SHIFTING GEARS, by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

American Iron Magazine was created for riders more interested in the tin and not the skin

It’s hard for me to believe, but 1989 was 30 years ago. The Berlin Wall came down, the World Wide Web was invented, the first episode of The Simpsons aired on TV, and the first GPS satellite went into orbit. A gallon of gas cost 97 cents, and the first George Bush was our president. American Iron Magazine was launched in California in cooperation with Harley Owners Group (HOG) in March 1989.

What were you doing back in 1989? I was getting ready to launch TAM Communications and my first motorcycle magazine, Old Bike Journal. Our research shows a bit less than half our current readers were riding motorcycles back then. I suspect many were thrilled when a family-friendly Harley magazine hit the newsstand. Prior to American Iron Magazine, almost all Harley-oriented magazines focused on the so-called biker lifestyle, with lots of nudity and attitude.
American Iron Magazine was created in response to the growing number of riders more interested in the tin and not the skin. They wanted to learn more about the motorcycles and were hungry for ideas and information. The first few issues were sent free to HOG members and sold on the newsstand. For reasons I won’t go into, the relationship with HOG ended long before we were involved, and the magazine offices moved from SoCal to Morgan Hill, California, home of Custom Chrome, which basically took over ownership of the magazine.

To make a long story short, our TAM Communications bought the floundering American Iron Magazine in March 1991, saved it from folding, and moved it to our offices in Connecticut where we publish it today.

Win a New Motorcycle!
Yes, it’s our birthday, but we couldn’t do it without our readers, so we are going to give you the presents. When we rode and reviewed the Indian Scout Bobber everyone on our staff fell in love with this great bike. So, we are getting one to give away.

Details and other free prizes are still being finalized, but subscribe today because we are giving away a new Indian Scout Bobber (and other free stuff to be announced soon) to one lucky reader. Call 877/693-3572 or go to to subscribe now. Who knows? You might win a new Indian Scout Bobber!

Daytona Bike Week
It’s almost time to enjoy the fun in the sun again this year during Daytona Bike Week. If you are going—and I hope you are—here are a few events I plan to attend and can recommend for you:

Sons of Speed Antique Motorcycle Boardtrack Racing
Saturday, March 9 at the New Smyrna Speedway.

Garage Build No-Pro Bike Show
Friday, March 15 at the Broken Spoke Saloon.

American Flat Track TT Races
Thursday, March 14 at the Daytona Speedway.

For more Daytona Bike Week information and events listings please visit And if you can’t head south in March, let’s not forget the amazing Donnie Smith Show in St. Paul, Minnesota, from March 22-24

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.


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