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Book Review: Bonneville, World’s Fastest Motorcycles

by Landon Hall

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 Book Review: Bonneville: World’s Fastest Motorcycles 

 Motorcycles and the Bonneville Salt Flats go back a long time. It’s a history rich with amazing stories, famous photographs, and, most importantly, lots of records. Speed records, that is.

Maybe you’ve known and heard about the Bonneville Salt Flats for years and had the desire to go. Maybe you saw The World’s Fastest Indian and it got you thinking. Whatever the case, if you’ve never had a chance to see the flats and some of the great motorcycles that run there, consider Horst Rösler’s new book, Bonneville, World’s Fastest Motorcycles (published by Wolfgang Publications Inc.) a really cheap vacation. If you’ve never been to the salt, here’s a great way to tide yourself over until you get the chance.

Never have we seen so many great real-life photos of the salt, the competitors, and the machines all in one place. Rösler made three separate trips to the salt, in 2004, 2005 and 2006, each time for the BUB Speed trials, the seminal week for motorcycles at the flats, taking photos, talking with racers, mechanics, officials and the like. The result is as close to immersion in the spirit, the fun and the challenge of the salt as one can get without visiting the hallowed ground.

Stories of racers, from everyday riders who rode in from Pennsylvania for a chance to go flat out on their street machines, only to ride them back home again, to Dennis Manning, Chris Carr, and the story of the record-breaking Seven streamliner, can be found here, with a variety of big and small-time racers in between.

Thought the book tells an intriguing story, it’s the photos that make it worth the dough. If you want the full history of Bonneville and bikes, this isn’t you’re book, but if you want to see what’s running there today, along with glimpses into the world of racing at the flats, it’s a great place to start.

Check it out from the Motorcycle Classics Vintage Shop at: