Started by my son Chris and his wife Lisa in California in 2001, first as Full Throttle, then changing to the name Quick Throttle, we have grown into a chain of 8 regional magazines. Following their lead, my wife Jan and I started our own magazine in February of 2002 and published our first edition in March 2002. As a rider who has lived in Washington since 1995, I always felt the area needed its very own rider magazine. We felt that having an up to date ride calendar as well as stories that were NW based would be a great benefit to all of us who ride up here. As we enter our 6th year of publishing NWQT, I thought it was time to answer in print the most common questions, observations and complaints that we get each month. The questions that we will answer below are representative of those we have gotten virtually on a monthly basis since year one. While we try to answer everyone individually we thought this might save you and us a lot of work this year. So here we go:
FAQ: “Why is there so much advertising in your magazine?”
QT: Advertising pays all the bills including the freight on the FREE copies sent to advertising as well as non-advertising dealers and other businesses. It is our only source of revenue. PERIOD! We try to keep advertising at less than 40% of the magazine with the other 60% being content. Occasionally we have a higher percentage of ads when a story or feature doesn’t make it in on time. We should all love advertising!
FAQ: “Why can’t I subscribe to QT?”
QT: First and foremost we feel that dealers deserve a shot at your business in return for giving us counter space for the magazine. When you walk in to pick up QT, they get their shot. It is also not cost effective and we would have to charge over $30.00 a year to break even due to mailing and packaging costs.
FAQ: “Why is there so much coverage of the Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland areas?”
QT: This is where the action is, and this is where 90% of our advertisers are. If you want to change that, submit articles or pictures of events for us to evaluate and perhaps include in the issue. We are a reflection of your participation and that of the area’s dealers.
FAQ: “I went to my favorite shop and he was out of QT. Why don’t you send him more books each month?”
QT: Have your dealer contact us and we will review his allocation of books. 90% of dealer calls result in us upping his allocation. We try to balance each area based on population density, number of pick up points etc. In some areas we have placed limits on the number of books provided to non-advertisers to affect the right balance.
FAQ: “I am a dealer and got your magazine for years. Suddenly it stopped coming. What happened?”
QT: You either moved or started using a different address for your mail and did not tell us. The post office will NOT forward anything but 1st class mail. Magazines are 4th class mail and if they are returned our printer who ships all our books directly, removed you from the distribution list. Please re-apply.
FAQ: “Is it true you are subsidized by major motorcycle companies?”
QT: NO. As stated in answer #1, our ONLY source of revenue is advertising sales. This supports printing, shipping, commissions, all office expenses, etc, etc.
FAQ: “I no longer see QT at any of the “big dealers” in Montana. What happened?”
QT: Nothing happened, literally and after five years of placing books in every “big shop” in Montana and getting NO support or participation whatsoever, we stopped sending books to them. That was so we could redirect books to other areas where our support is growing. We are a business and sometimes we have to make unpleasant decisions.
FAQ: My friend in Milwaukee says he gets QT also. Is this the same issue we see?”
QT: No, we have 7 regional issues besides NW Quick Throttle. Each area or region is published individually with its own local staff and editor. This way we can be “area specific” and only cover events pertinent to that area. Soon we will be launching magazines in several new areas including Texas. These will be licensed to independent business people within the area and over-seen by my son and I.
FAQ: “Why wasn’t our club’s event listed in your calendar?”
QT: You did not submit it directly. We do not surf the net, or search out listings, nor do we use any information from a competitor. Your group must e-mail, fax or snail mail the info to us at least 6 weeks or more prior to the event.
FAQ: “Why didn’t you cover our event and do a story?”
QT: Did someone from your organization contact us? That is the very first step in having your event covered. If it’s a very local event to you, then consider “covering” it yourself and submitting the story and pictures. Remember that the pictures should convey the flavor of the event and must be “GP.” We have a very limited staff in order to keep our costs down. We can’t be everywhere so help us to help you. Submit the idea and let us review it. Very often you will actually be able to get it into the magazine.
FAQ: “Why have you seemingly ignored some of the area’s biggest events for the last few years?”
QT: Without you being specific, this will be a very general answer. Again, someone associated with the event needs to contact us. Promoters and organizers should be proactive in getting us there. If this is a commercial “for profit” event, we will not cover it unless the promoter advertises with us. He is a business and so are we. Then many events including some huge ones look the same year after year. With so many things happening in season and with us doing more and more tech (by request) we just don’t think seeing the “XYZ” run 4 years in a row makes sense.
FAQ: “Why is there so much tech stuff in your book?”
QT: It has become our leading requested department by readers.
FAQ: “You promised more tech stuff, what happened?”
QT: See, we can’t please everyone can we?
FAQ: “Why does the size of your magazine (# of pages) change so often?”
QT: In order to go from our basic book size of 40 pages, we must add pages in 8 page increments. That happens when we hit 40 and then sell another 3 pages of ads to pay for the total increase of 8 pages. In July and August we are usually at 56-64 pages. If we can’t “pay” for the extra pages, then we have to hold back some content and keep the size at the previous level.
FAQ: “Why do you focus almost all your attention on Harleys and other American V-Twins?”
QT: We have repeatedly reached out to metric dealers for support. In more than 5 years of trying we have gotten zilch. Despite our centerfold being Yamaha for more than a year we just cannot find more metric dealers who seem to care a whit about the heavy cruiser market. Most metric dealers are focused on Moto and off road bikes. Again, we are a reflection of both reader and dealer participation.
FAQ: “Why are you so opposed to putting “babes” in your magazine like Easyriders does?”
QT: We do have “babes” in our magazine, but they are riding the bikes in appropriate riding attire not draped over them having the air in their heads changed and showing off 50K in cosmetic “upgrades!” Besides, our NW weather is often not favorable to the scantily clad.
AND MY PERSONAL FAVORITE:
FAQ: “Why are your editorials so opinionated?”
QT: “Opinionated? Me? Really? You bet, and often politically incorrect as well. This comes from having been around 64+ years, growing up in a tough part of Queens, NY and being, as my Mom used to say, “A smart ass.” Seriously, I am very passionate about the magazine, motorcycles and the people who ride them.
So when something seems wrong to me or important to me, or I see riders being used and abused I react accordingly. No one has ever had to guess where I stand on something. I am always willing to engage in a serious, factual debate and have even changed my mind on occasion. Besides, as my main man Quint observed when asked the same question about me: “Just because he is opinionated doesn’t mean he is wrong!”
Well, I hope this helps answer most of our reader’s questions. Over the past five years several things have surprised us and all can be traced directly to you, our reader. First and foremost is your unqualified support for which we are forever grateful. That support manifests itself in many ways. So many of you have sought out the dealers who advertise with us and given them your business despite having to ride further or spend more time getting to them. Keep it up, please, as they truly deserve it. It is our advertisers, not us who make this magazine happen financially. See them first. They will appreciate it as much as we do. The other thing we have noticed is how fast riders spot bad shops, bogus deals & crummy events. Shops & events close for a reason and screwing over riders is at the top of the list. It appears the “rider network” is alive and well. Keep it up. The end result will be better dealers and more fun events.