In the modern era, mass-produced motorcycles tend to be Japanese or Italian, with the “big four” Asian manufacturers dominating the market. However, this wasn't always the case. Until the 1950s, and even into the ’60s, British makers such as Scott, Rudge, BSA, Norton and Vincent ruled the roost. These legendary companies sold their bikes around the world, winning racing championships and setting speed records as they went. They, and many smaller British firms like them, are motorcycling's founding companies. This is the story of those pioneering firms, whose engineers– (many self taught) were fired by racing ambition, commercial rivalry, patriotic duty and, above all, a passion for innovation. Superbly illustrated with more than 150 color pictures, many previously unpublished, Classic British Motorcycles is a captivating and highly informative account of the men, machines, race meetings and world events that shaped the development of the motorcycle from its bicycle origins.
BMW began its life in aero-engineering ... as anyone who's ever ridden one of its motorcycles might guess. These are bikes as close to airborne as any get. And what's more, 50 percent of all the motorcycles BMW has manufactured are still flying down the world's roads. These are the best, and in this book, the best of the best get their due, with brilliant, full-color photographs of BMW’s classic models and detailed descriptions of their features, all located within the context of a concise history of this legendary marque. From the first engines that brought BMW its first fame, these are the bikes that made history ... and, better yet, gave the most demanding riders a taste for flight.
Ever since the original appearance of its first single-cylinder engine (followed by its twin cylinders), the Harley-Davidson has distinguished itself with the introduction of models known for their trustworthiness and endurance and by how many competitions they won. The motorcycles powered by V-Twin Harley-Davidson engines have forged the legend of this American brand, which has already been in business for more than a century, through families of highly prestigious names: Hydra Glide, then Duo Glide and finally Electra Glide, and also Softail, Dyna, V-Rod and Sportster. These names have existed and persisted, in the case of certain models, for more than 50 years. In spite of the competition that sprang up in later years from America, the United Kingdom and Japan, Harley-Davidson has prevailed because of the innovations it has introduced (at times belatedly, but always the fruit of sensible reflection). The company has endured, too, because it diversified its family of motorcycles to make them correspond to the public's expectations. Without falling into the trap of expanding technological innovations to an exaggerated level, the new Harley-Davidsons have become motorcycles offering modern performance while succeeding in conserving the spirit of the brand and, above all, that special Harley-Davidson character. All you need to do is climb onto the saddle and rev up a Harley-Davidson to discover a new motorcycling universe, where the concept of pleasure reveals new meaning. This is the universe that this book invites you to discover, through the history of the brand's main models (embodying nearly 110 years of motorcycling adventures), and touching upon touring, sport, customization, and a simple and outright passion for motorcycles.