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.
When Honda released the CX500, the sales brochure stated “First into the Future,” and described the bike as a road sports V-twin. Honda’s first venture into the V-twin engine market, with water cooling and shaft drive, was certainly different from their previous twin- and four-cylinder models. Known for its good handling and fuel economy, the low-maintenance Honda was comfortable, loved by tourers and couriers alike and, after overcoming early teething troubles, developed a reputation for reliability. Sportier models incorporating turbochargers were also released for those looking for an additional adrenaline rush. After 30 years, there’s now a resurgence of interest in the CX models, both from restorers and custom builders, with aftermarket café racer kits available, too.
The techniques, tips and tricks used by an experienced restorer will save you time and money. You’ll see that you don’t need expert knowledge or a fully fitted workshop for a restoration project. Packed with photographs and detailed instructions, this book is your perfect guide from start to finish.
In 1969 the Honda Motor Company launched a motorcycle that many consider to be the world's first Superbike. The Honda CB750 had the first mass-produced 4-cylinder inline engine, a single overhead camshaft with four carburetors, a 4-into-4 exhaust system and came with electric start and front disc brakes as standard. This specification set the bar higher than had been seen before on a production motorcycle and led to the other Japanese motorcycle manufacturers introducing their own 4-cylinder motorcycles, albeit some time later. Following the success for the original CB750, Honda went on to produce a range of motorcycles using SOHC 4-cylinder engines. All with their own characteristics, they proved to be reliable and smooth-running, and even today they can offer reliable transport on modern roads if restored correctly. Now with some examples more than 40 years old, many enthusiasts wish to restore these classic machines. How to Restore Honda Fours has been written to guide the enthusiast through his or her restoration of these fine classic motorcycles.
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.
Kawasaki W, H & Z is the story of the air-cooled “big” Kawasaki bikes in definitive detail, researched and written in Japan with the full cooperation of the factory. This series of models put the Kawasaki company on the map during the 1960s and 1970s, helping it survive a difficult era that saw hundreds of Japanese motorcycle makers reduced to just four.
Successful immediately, these models defended Kawasaki’s honor on the track as well as in the showroom, handing the company numerous world championship victories. The series was recently revived as part of a retro boom, and a new machine has been launched, delivering the same thrill and charm as its predecessors.
There are many ways of designing a motorcycle, but it takes a great deal of artistic sensitivity to create a legend from only two cylinders. That is exactly what Moto Guzzi, the prestige manufacturer in Mandello del Lario, has done. Active in motorcycle construction since 1920, particularly in the years after 1945 it created motorcycles that made history, especially those with the powerful V-twin engine installed lengthwise in the chassis. For forty years the V-twin four-stroke engine has been the Italian company’s flagship. The fine Italians, Le Mans, and California types, and the small 125s, 250s and 350s are described here with accuracy and detail.
This comprehensive volume describes all models and technical details. As is the style of the authors, they also provide background information about the company and the industry. It is not all about machines and horsepower, but also the people who put their stamp on the operations: not only a treat for fans of serious technical information, but a gripping story as well.
With the launch of the new California 1400 in 2013, and appointment of actor Ewan McGregor as brand ambassador, Moto Guzzi's owner Piaggio is proving its faith in the future and importance of Moto Guzzi. Moto Guzzi: The Complete Story charts the development of the stylish Guzzi bikes and the highs (and lows) of one of the oldest motorcycles marques still in existence. Topics covered include the origins of the Moto Guzzi factory at Mandello del Lario, the oldest motorcycle factory in the world; successes at the Isle of Man TT and races worldwide; the development of the V-twin engine; the De Tomaso years; and the introduction of the iconic Le Mans model.
The Commando was the main bike in Norton's range from 1968, and was produced until the demise of Norton Villiers Triumph in 1977. The bike featured the unique 'Isolastic' system that rubber-mounted the engine and protected the rider from the twin-cylinder's vibrations. The model range provided the rider with a choice of touring and sporting models, as well as offering special police machines and off-the-shelf production racers. Commandos feature strongly in today's classic scene, and offer excellent performance and spares availability, as well as a vast range of improvements and updated components.
This book looks at the history and development of the Commando, gives the specifications and outlines the model changes, and also offers the riding experiences of past and present owners. In addition there is a blow-by-blow account of the author's restoration of a 1971 750cc model that had been re-imported into the United Kingdom from America needing a complete rebuild.
About the author:
Matthew Vale started his motorcycling career in 1974 at the age of 16 with an NSU Quickly moped. This was followed by a BSA Bantam and a BSA B25SS Gold Star. He continued riding for a further 10 years. Between the mid-1980s and late 1990s his career and family commitments kept him from biking, but the bug never went away, and in 1998 he bought his first restoration project, a 1970 Triumph Bonneville. He started writing books on classic bikes early in the new millennium. This is his fifth book for Crowood Press.
The Art of BMW Motorcycles presents the rolling sculptures that are BMW motorcycles in studio portraits, each bike accompanied by a short history of the machine.
All the classic bikes are here: pre-World War II BMWs like the R5 that defined performance in that era; the military R12 that carried the Wehrmacht as it blitzkrieged its way across Europe; the R75M that accompanied Rommel’s Panzers in North Africa; the Earles-forked R69S that offered the perfect platform for mounting a Steib sidecar; the R90S café racer; and the GS (Gelände Sport) series that launched a dual-sport revolution. All the bike families are covered: the side-valve machines from the early years, the early overhead-valve performance bikes, the postwar Airheads and Oilheads, the four-cylinder and six-cylinder touring bikes, the early pushrod singles, the modern overhead-cam singles, the latest parallel twins, and inline-four cylinder sport bikes.
From the first model (the R32 that launched BMW's motorcycle dynasty) to the latest (and fastest) one (the World Super Bike-dominating S1000RR), this book captures nearly a century of motorcycling excellence.
More than 60 years ago in Bologna, Italy, a small company called Ducati began manufacturing simple, inexpensive 50cc motorcycles … really no more than 2-stroke-powered bicycles. Since then, Ducati has evolved into one of the most storied names in the motorcycling world, its lineup of beautiful machines revered for their technical excellence and extreme performance. In The Art of Ducati, Ducati expert Ian Falloon teams with renowned British photographer James Mann to present a gorgeously illustrated, wonderfully curated review of more than six decades of Ducati excitement. From the single-cylinder bikes of the 1950s and 1960s to the bevel-drive twins of the 1970s and early 1980s to the high-performance bikes of the 21st century, The Art of Ducati showcases a motorcycle marque that has never rested on its laurels. Ducati's style and technology have constantly evolved, engineering timeless classics like the 900SS, Darmah, Mike Hailwood Replica, 851, 916, Monster, and ST sports touring series, bikes that laid the foundation for today's cutting-edge models: the Panigale superbike, Multistrada adventure bike, all-new Monster, Hypermotard, and Diavel power cruiser. While there's no end in sight for Ducati's dominance, The Art of Ducati pays homage to their past six-plus decades of masterful motorcycle engineering.
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.
This new edition of Ian Falloon’s classic book on the history of BMW Motorcycles brings the story right up to date, and now includes all models from 1923 right through to 2019.
Over the past 80 years, BMW motorcycles have provided a unique alternative to those of other manufacturers. Some motorcycles may have been faster, certainly others were cheaper, but with their emphasis on quality and reliability, none have emulated the practicality of a BMW. With its commitment to ease of serviceability, the BMW motorcycle has become the preferred choice for hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists around the world.
BMW motorcycles are made to be ridden, and if the journey includes a mixture of straight roads and bends, there is no better motorcycle. Factor in the best range of factory luggage and accessories available, and the success of BMW motorcycles isn’t surprising. Ownership of a BMW is also generally a long-term affair, a refreshing change from the current trend towards almost instant obsolescence.