Motorcycle Classics

Eight Motorcycle Books for the Motorcyclist

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1. Just released, Daniel Peirce’s The Fine Art of the Motorcycle Engine is hands-down our current office favorite. We drooled over prints of Daniel’s great photography as his Up-N-Smoke Engine Project (named after Peirce’s favorite biker-BBQ joint in Keller, Texas) progressed, and we’re very excited to the see the culmination of the Up-N-Smoke project in its finished book form. If ever there was a labor of love, this book is it. Containing more than 60 individual engine photos, the book is a visual treat that tells not only the story of the motorcycles and engines portrayed, but also the story of the project from start to finish. Cycle World‘s David Edwards nailed it when he called it “pornography for gearheads” — every motorcycle fan needs a copy of Peirce’s book on their coffee table. 144 pp. $39.95. More info:

2. Ian Falloon is well-known in the industry as a consummate motorcycle enthusiast and writer, having penned a host of great books covering the history of different motorcycle marques. His first book, The Ducati Story, was originally published in 1996. It was then updated and reformatted in 2006 to celebrate Ducati’s 60th anniversary. This fourth edition Includes both racing and production models from 1945 to the present day. A must-read for any Ducati fan. 224 pp. $44.95. More info:

3. 25 Years of Buell is the first comprehensive history of the Buell Motorcycle Company, and was written by Court Canfield and Dave Gess, both of them previous employees of the company. Sharing the story of the company as it evolved from an idea in Erik Buell’s head to the thriving company it is today, the book offers a great inside look into one of the most controversial motorcycle manufacturers operating today, now as a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson. 127 pp. $24.95. More info:

4. Art of the Basket Case by Andrew C. Bauer gives us a different look at motorcycles and the pieces they’re made of. It’s a collection of creative, artistic photographs of beaten, battered, weathered, forlorn and forgotten motorcycles and motorcycle parts. If you’re a swap meet junkie, you’ll appreciate the patinas found here. And if you’re just a bike fan in general, you’ll be surprised by the true beauty in some of these gritty detail shots. 154 pp plus. $29.95. More info:

5. Another great book by Ian Falloon, The BMW Story tells the tale of BMW from its beginnings in 1923 to 2003, when the book was published. Well researched and complete with accurate histories on the development of racing as well as production motorcycles, Falloon’s book gives fans of the great Bavarian marque an excellent reference work complete with the major specs for all BMWs from 1923-2003. 176 pp. $34.95. More info:

6. Although Laverda was never a major player in the market, the famed motorcycle manufacturer from Breganze, Italy, has acquired a following of almost fanatical proportions (including aficionados like our own editor Backus). In typical Italian fashion, the company’s fortunes seemed to forever rise and fall, before finally falling forever in the late 1980s, a mid-1990s revival notwithstanding. The Laverda Twins & Triples Bible by Ian Falloon gives readers a fact-packed, year-by-year, change-by-change record of Laverda’s twins and triples, along with technical specifications and racing history. Like the bikes themselves, books on Laverda are rare, making this a real treat for fans of this classic Italian marque. 160 pp. $59.95. More info:

7. The Triumph Story by David Minton is another excellent marque history. A seasoned U.K. motorcycle journalist with credentials reaching back to the mid-1960s, Minton’s first motorcycle was a 1939 Triumph T100 — which he still owns! His interest in the brand shows, as Minton gives readers a thorough telling of the great story of Triumph motorcycles from its beginnings in 1902 to the early days in Meriden, and to its resurrection in Hinckley. Exhaustively researched, if sometimes a bit overly technical, Minton’s book is particularly noteworthy for its coverage of the pre-Hinckley days, which given the book’s 2002 publishing date shouldn’t surprise. 191 pp. $34.95. More info:

8. The Moto Guzzi Story is another recent release by Ian Falloon, and like all of his books it’s well researched and packed with information. While all the important Guzzi models — Falcone, V7, Le Mans — make their expected introduction, Falloon also covers some of Guzzi’s lesser models like the forgettable Trotter and Chiu mopeds. Including many never before published photos, plus coverage of Moto Guzzi’s racing successes in the 1930s and 1950s, it’s a necessary addition to any Guzzi fan’s library. 232 pp. $34.95. More info:

  • Published on Sep 25, 2008
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