CLASSIC BRITISH MOTORCYCLES
Three decades after they first roared onto the scene, the superbikes of the 1970s are still regarded with awe and affection by motorcycle enthusiasts everywhere.
Beautiful, powerful, exotic, brutal, and quick are just a few of the adjectives that these machines still conjure up … and not just among those of us old enough to remember them. A generation of younger riders has heard countless stories about these legendary bikes from fellow cyclists and magazine reports.
But what were the original superbikes really like to ride? And how do they compare to today’s machines with their more sophisticated engines, suspension, and brakes? To answer these questions, Roland Brown, one of the world’s top motorcycle journalists, rides the best of these bikes and shares his impressions. He also describes each bike’s technical features and provides complete specifications and road-test excerpts from when the bikes were new. Hundreds of color photographs and vintage 1970s sales brochures help recreate the excitement of encountering these bikes for the first time.
Maybe you’re in the market for a classic motorcycle, or you want to learn more about a bike you already own. Or maybe you just want to find out how these bikes changed the world in the ’70s and paved the way for today’s machines. No matter what you’re looking for, Superbikes of the Seventies is the definitive guide to this unique era in motorcycling history.
The venerable Ariel Red Hunter. An elegant and well designed engine. Photographed with the cooperation of the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. #25 in the series.
This 16" x 20" print-on-demand metallic print was created by professional motorsports photographer Daniel Peirce. Each print is signed and numbered by the author.
What is a Metallic Print? An Endura Metallic print is a unique imaging paper from Eastman Kodak. Photographically printed, the subtle metallic surface produces a depth and color richness unmatched by any other process. A subtle 3D effect is discernible in many of the images. Giclee printing is swell, but for engine pictures, Metallic is the only way to go. Also, print longevity is an impressive 100 years. Metallic prints will not disappoint. Please allow up to 5 business days to ship.
Although in production for only three years, the R90S was the most significant post-war production BMW motorcycle. Its release coincided with the 50th anniversary of the BMW boxer motorcycle, and started a new era for the boxer twin.
Before the R90S BMW motorcycles were idiosyncratic, expensive and primarily luxury touring machines designed to appeal to the older rider.
Although the new-generation R75/5 did much to change the staid image that existed during the 1960s, the R75/5 still couldn't compete with the new high-performance Japanese Superbikes that came in the early 1970s. That all changed when Bob Lutz persuaded BMW's conservative management to sanction the development of the R90S, a sporting machine that could take on the best in the world.
As ace BMW tuner Udo Gietl says, "The R90S was a pivotal bike for BMW. It showed the world that the 'always black' bike could be very pretty, and win races. The R90S provided a new face for BMW motorcycles around the world and is to BMW as the 300SL Gull Wing is to Mercedes-Benz. Neither was perfect but they were iconic. The R90S wasn't BMW's best product, but it had a profound impact on their marketing direction. The R90S was an example of the perfect combination of timing and product."
Author Ian Falloon tells the story of this important bike and how it evolved, noting all significant changes from year to year. Beautifully laid out with big full-color pictures, this book could stand alone as a coffee table book. But it's much more than that. Falloon writes with enough detail to make restoring these great bikes much easier, and also includes a chapter on how to live with an R90S, using them as reliable daily commuters, making popular upgrades, and what to look for if you are in the market for one.
Because the R90S was built in relatively large numbers, it is still possible to buy one at a reasonable price. Excellent parts availability, a wealth of specialist services, and an enthusiastic owners circle ensure the R90S is not merely a show pony, but a classic motorcycle to be ridden. Restoration is relatively straightforward, and with outstanding looks and high-quality equipment, the R90S has justifiably garnered a huge following.