Road Racer X Ceases Publication

Henny Ray Abrams | December 31, 2010

The continuing slump in the motorcycle industry has claimed another victim with the announcement that Road Racer X has ceased publication.The magazine, part of the Filter Publications LLC group whose flagship is Racer X Illustrated, has been a passion project for some time. Led by Chris Jonnum, and ably assisted by a number of editors – Eric Johnson was in for the start before Laurel Allen joined the publication for the long runs – RRX went from eight issues in 2009 to six in 2010. Even at those levels, it proved difficult to sustain. The company issued a release which read, in part, “We wish to announce that effective December 31, Road Racer X magazine will cease publication.”The current economic situation, along with the rising costs of production and distribution, have made it difficult to continue printing the publication. This was not an easy decision to make. Our editorial standards have always been set quite high in terms of production, photographic quality, and editorial page counts, and in the current climate, we felt that putting out anything less than that would be a disservice to our readers.”The feature-oriented magazine and companion website was a welcome and unique fixture in the road racing world for the past eight years. No other publication was as focused on the lives and lifestyles of the riders, with less emphasis on traditional race reporting. RRX did report on races, but with a different twist than the traditional race reports which can be found on any number of free websites. Riders, as much as fans, always looked forward to the latest issue, which would be found in the hospitality units of any number of MotoGP teams.In his final, 4100 word Road Racerhead column ( Jonnum recounted the highlights of the magazine’s run. What resonates most with fellow journalists was how he put the magazine together from all over the world. Mostly it was done from his home in Long Beach, but also the company’s headquarters in Morgantown, West Virginia, his in-laws’ house in Bergamo, Italy and internet cafes all over the world. Jonnum mentioned editing the magazine from Katmandu, Nepal for nine months, while going through the byzantine process that ended with he and his wife Viviana successfully adopting their beautiful daughter, Tika.The final issue, fittingly with Ducati Marlboro’s Nicky Hayden on the cover, was largely edited at the final MotoGP race of the year in Valencia, Spain. More editing was done in a rental car on the drive to Madrid following the first day of the post-season test and even more at the Madrid Barajas airport. It was buttoned up on the flight back to Long Beach.Jonnum, who served two stints at Cycle News, won’t be idle for long. The multi-lingual Californian was flying to Italy on New Year’s Eve to begin his job as a MotoGP press officer with Ducati Corse, working with Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi. Fortunately for us, we haven’t heard the last of him.The last word comes from the final lines of Road Racerhead. “It’s been a great ride. Thank you for reading.”


Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.