Mick Walker is acknowledged as one of the world's leading motorcycle authorities. In a career that has spanned almost fifty years, he has written over 110 books. He has also been a successful racer, tuner, team manager and talent scout. Mick has been involved in virtually every aspect of the motorcycle industry, even acting as the British Importer for several Italian marques, including Ducati, Moto Guzzi and Cagiva. During the 1980s he was editor of Motorcycle Enthusiast magazine. Most recently, in 2010, he was made president of the Italian Motorcycle Owners Club.
Originally used as a slur against riders who used hopped-up motorcycles to travel from one transport café to another, "café racer" describes a bike genre that first became popular in 1960s British rocker subculture … although the motorcycles were also common in Italy, France and other European countries. The rebellious rock 'n' roll counterculture is what first inspired these fast, personalized and distinctive bikes, with their owners often racing down public roads in excess of 100 miles per hour ("ton up," in British slang), leading to their public branding as "ton-up boys." Café Racers traces café racer motorcycles from their origins in the mid-20th century all the way into modern times, where the style has made a recent comeback in North America and Europe alike, through the museum-quality portraiture of top motorcycle photographer Michael Lichter and the text of motorcycle culture expert Paul d'Orléans. Chronologically illustrated with fascinating historical photography, the book travels through the numerous ever-morphing and unique eras of these nimble, lean, light, and head-turning machines. Café Racers visually celebrates a motorcycle riding culture as complex as the vast array of bikes within it.
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.
The motorcycle should have disappeared with the advent of the inexpensive automobile, because Henry Ford's Model T usurped the motorcycle's position as a primary form of utilitarian transportation, but a funny thing happened on the way to extinction: the motorcycle not only survived but thrived. Enough people were enamored of the thrill and beauty of the two-wheeled mechanical beast to ensure it would continue to exist indefinitely. And exist they have! Many of the motorcycles manufactured during the past century truly fit the description of "classic," and many consider these machines works of art.
Written by noted motorcycle author Patrick Hahn, Classic Motorcycles presents the history of motorcycling as told through the most significant, iconic, classic motorcycles of all time, with both period photography and modern portrait photography. All the best domestic and international makes are represented here, from BMWs, Indians, and Triumphs to Vincents, Ducatis, and Harley-Davidsons: the most classic models. You'll drool over the 1933 Matchless Silver Hawk, and you'll want to tear out the page displaying the 1956 Triumph Thunderbird and frame it. Each motorcycle was shot in a studio setting using photographer Tom Loeser's light-painting technique. Period ads and relevant historic photos and documents are spread throughout the book to supplement the portraits of the bikes, evoking a sense of time and place. Prepare to be in awe of the undeniably classic motorcycles in this collection. It's the only motorcycle history you'll need.
What's old is new again, and the newest trend on the block is Café Racers.
Written by well-known motorcycle and automotive author Doug Mitchel, How to Build a Café Racer starts with a history lesson. While those first bikes were built in the UK for racing from café to café, the current rage for Café Racers has definitely spread to the US.
Converting a stock motorcycle to a Café Racer requires more than a fairing and a few decals. The book starts with chapters on planning and choosing an appropriate bike, followed by chapters that detail the modifications that will likely be embraced by anyone converting a stocker to a rocker. From shocks and tires to engine modifications, Doug's book lays out each type of modification and how it's best carried through.
The center of the book holds a gallery of finished bikes. These are not just Triumphs or Nortons, but nearly every brand imaginable from Japan, Italy, the UK, and Germany.
The final chapters include two, start-to-finish Café builds. This is the chance for the reader to see how professional shops take a stock Honda, Triumph, or Ducati and convert it into a fast, sexy, and functional Café Racer, ready to race from cafe to cafe on Saturday night, or around the race track on Sunday afternoon.
Indian Motorcycle: America's First Motorcycle Company tells the complete story of America's first mass-produced motorcycle maker, from its start as a bicycle manufacturer to the purchase of the brand by Polaris Industries in 2011 and the subsequent new Indian motorcycles. In the early years of the 20th century, Indian dominated the world's racetracks, earning the brand a worldwide reputation for quality, performance, reliability, and technical innovation. The once-mighty company fell on hard times, however, and in 1953 was forced to file for bankruptcy. The Indian brand never quite died, though, thanks in large part to fanatically devoted enthusiasts, who tried to resurrect it for more than half a century. Finally Polaris, maker of the highly regarded Victory brand of motorcycles, purchased the brand and released the Chief and Scout, models that once again restored Indian to its rightful place in the motorcycle pantheon.
A lavishly illustrated and definitive look at the design evolution of the racing motorcycle. The dynamic between competition and design has always fueled the evolution of racing motorcycles and inspired astonishing feats of design and engineering. This book traces the development of the sport bike, from the earliest French motorcycles to the dominance of British machinery in the 1930s, the exotic Italian motorcycles of the 1950s and 1960s, the influence of American racing in the 1970s and 1980s, and today’s Japanese superbikes.
More than 50 classic motorcycles — from Harley-Davidsons to Peugeots, Velocettes, Moto Guzzis, BMWs, Kawasakis and Ducatis — are presented chronologically illustrated with stunning studio photographs that present the machines as works of art and wonders of design in themselves. They are accompanied by rare and beautiful archival images that place the subjects in the context of classic races, rallies and motorcycle shows, and essays reveal the legends behind the machines. Some of the championship motorcycles featured include the 1902 Manon, the 1922 Harley-Davidson 8-valve, the 1935 Terrot 500, the 1948 AJS Porcupine, the 1954 Moto Guzzi V8, the 1965 Honda GP 250, the 1976 Suzuki RK67, the 1986 Cagiva GP and the 1990 Ducati Supermono.
About the Author
Phillip Tooth has been a journalist for more than 20 years. For 10 years he was editor of U.K. magazines Classic Bike and The Classic MotorCycle, and also Motorcyclenews.com, before becoming a freelance writer so that he could spend more time with his motorcycles. He now writes for magazines throughout the world, including Klassic Motorrad (Germany), Moto Légende (France), BMW Bikes (Japan), Motorcycle Classics (US), and Motor (Netherlands). Jean-Pierre Pradères ran a studio in Paris where his clients included famous fashion house Hermès, and now devotes his time to photographing motorcycles and bicycles. His work has also been featured in the Guggenheim's The Art of the Motorcycle and The Golden Age of the Hand-Built Bicycle.
The Complete Book of BMW Motorcycles is a thorough year-by-year guide to every production machine ever built by Germany's leading motorcycle manufacturer. All the classic bikes are here: pre-World War II BMWs such as the R5 that defined performance in that era; the military R12 that carried the Wehrmacht as it blitzkrieged its way across Europe; the Earles-forked R69S that offered the perfect platform for mounting a Steib sidecar; the R90S café racer; the K1 "flying brick"; and the GS (Gelände Sport) series that launched a dual-sport revolution, right up to today's world-class S1000RR.
The Essential Buyer's Guide: Kawasaki Z1 & Z900 is packed with good advice on choosing the right Kawasaki. Covering the Z1, Z1A, Z1B, Z900 and KZ900 from 1972 to 1976, this book features a comprehensive inspection guide and in-depth analysis of strengths and weaknesses. Author Dave Orritt covers desirable upgrades, modifications to avoid, valuation and predicting which models will become collectable (if they aren't already). Illustrated throughout with photos of key areas to check and foibles to be aware of, and featuring details ranging from the Kawasaki community to whether a Kawasaki Z1 or Z900 will suit you and your lifestyle, this is the complete guide to choosing, assessing and buying the Kawasaki of your dreams.
The Harley in the Barn offers 40-plus tales of lost Nortons, hidden Hondas, dormant Indians, and busted BSAs, all squirreled away from prying eyes but found by lucky collectors just like you. Author Tom Cotter is not only a barn-find master, he's also master of discovering the collectors with the best stories and the most outlandish finds.
The Moto Guzzi V7 Sport and Le Mans are iconic sporting motorcycles of the 1970s and 1980s. They were among the first Superbikes to combine Italian style, handling, and performance. After struggling to survive during the 1960s, Lino Tonti was given the opportunity to create the V7 Sport Telaio Rosso in 1971. This was so successful that Moto Guzzi again began to concentrate on building sporting motorcycles. Covering the period 1971-1993 and all models (V7 Sport, 750S, 750S3, 850 Le Mans, 850 Le Mans II, 850 Le Mans III, 1000 Le Mans IV, 1000 Le Mans V) and with description of model development year by year, full production data, and 150 photos, this is a highly informative book and an essential bible for enthusiasts.
The story of Moto Guzzi is a story of survival. As one of Italy’s oldest and most legendary marques, Moto Guzzi had seen the height of success during the 1930s and then in the 1950s, when they dominated 250cc and 350cc Grand Prix racing. Their withdrawal from racing coincided with a period of stagnation until the company was sold to De Tomaso in 1973. During the 1970s, the V7 Sport and Le Mans were at the forefront of the new superbike era, and later, with Dr. John Wittner’s help, embraced contemporary technology with the 1000cc Daytona.
This book tells the complete history of Moto Guzzi. From Carlo Guzzi’s Tipo GP of 1920 to the MGX-21 Flying Fortress nearly 100 years later, every Moto Guzzi has been unique and charismatic. But the road hasn't always been smooth, and Moto Guzzi has survived many ups and downs. With the stories found in this book, you’ll get an inside look at it all.