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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.
We've all stood at the front desk of a repair shop at some point, staring at an invoice, gritting our teeth and nursing our injured wallets. All vehicles will inevitably need maintenance, and we pay a premium in labor fees every time we take them in. Unlike an automobile, however, the electrical components on a motorcycle are on display for all the world to see. Out in the open, they are constantly subjected to destructive elements such as rain, sand, salt, dust and ultraviolet rays. Virtually everyone who owns a motorcycle will have to deal with electrical problems. In How to Troubleshoot, Repair, and Modify Motorcycle Electrical Systems, motorcycle expert Tracy Martin provides crystal-clear, fully illustrated, step-by-step instructions for every electrical repair imaginable on a bike: from the nuts-and-bolts basics to fuel-injection systems, onboard computers, repair and installation of factory and aftermarket accessories, and everything else in between. Complete with 600 full-color, how-to photos and 20 helpful diagrams, How to Troubleshoot, Repair, and Modify Motorcycle Electrical Systems will keep your bike on the road and your wallet in your pocket.
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.
This illustrated official biography explores the life of the most successful racing motorcyclist in the 107-year history of the Isle of Man TT races.
In this classic book, written in association with the Dunlop family and originally published a year after Joey's death, Mac McDiarmid charts the life of the passionate motorcycle road racer who competed for the love of the sport, whether at high-profile races or to promote humbler events such as the Estonian one that claimed his life in July 2000. His achievements included three hat tricks at the Isle of Man TT races (1985, 1988 and 2000), where he won a record 26 races in total, as well as 24 wins in the Ulster Grand Prix and 13 in the North West 200 in his native Northern Ireland. For motorcycle fans, Joey Dunlop is still akin to royalty.
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.
Leanings 3 contains stories and observations from one of America's best motorcycle journalists. Peter Egan's writing invites you to pull up a chair, pour a little scotch, and relax while he shares with you his tales from the road, his motorcycling philosophy, and his keen observations about the two-wheeled life. His columns and feature articles are among Cycle World's most anticipated each month. Egan's legions of fans know they will always leave his articles with a fresh perspective. Leanings 3 offers a fresh collection of Egan's motorcycle musings delivered in his signature wise but amusing style. For added perspective, each feature article is preceded by fresh commentary from the author. This is an unforgettable collection of the works of a master writer whose simple adventures of life remind us all why we love to ride.
In 1982, at the age of 23, Elspeth Beard left her family and friends in London and set off on a 35,000-mile solo adventure around the world on her 1974 BMW R60/6.
With some savings from her pub job, a tent, a few clothes, and some tools, all packed on the bike, she was determined to prove herself and to get over a recent heartbreak. She had ridden bikes since her teens and was already well traveled, but this journey would be the toughest thing she’d ever done. By the time she returned to England two years later, she was 30 pounds lighter and decades wiser. She’d ridden through deserts and mountain ranges and war-ravaged countries. She’d faked documents and fended off sexual attacks, biker gangs, and corrupt police who were convinced she was trafficking drugs. She’d survived brutal crashes and life-threatening illnesses, and she’d fallen in love with two very different men. In an age before email, the internet, mobile phones, and GPS, Beard had to navigate with unreliable maps, communicate by post, and fix her bike with the tools she carried with her, but she achieved her goal nonetheless. Told with honesty and wit, this is the extraordinary and moving story of a unique and life-changing adventure.
There's something about motorcycles, the lure of freedom, and the open road. If you've ever wanted to take a motorcycling trip, you've been before and are looking for new ideas for places to go, or you just want to do something completely different, then this book will inspire you. Featuring 40 spectacular routes from the snowy passes of Patagonia to Australia's Red Centre, Magnificent Motorcycle Trips of the World is the perfect inspiration for your next big motorcycling adventure. All the featured journeys can be taken as part of a 2- to 3-week vacation or linked to form a longer trip. You can choose to take your own bike, rent one on arrival, or pick up a bike as part of an organized tour. Whether you’re an experienced overlander looking for a quick adventure fix or a novice rider seeking inspiration, these journeys will open up a whole new world of motorcycling possibilities.
The perfect book for anyone who has ever dreamed of taking off on a bike and exploring the globe, Magnificent Motorcycle Journeys of the World features 38 guided tours on six continents. It presents 40 awe-inspiring routes that take in the best of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and the Americas. Full of stunning photography and route maps showing points of interest along the way, the guide focuses on journeys that are accessible to everyone (regardless of their level of expertise on a bike).
For motorcyclists ready to take their rides to the next level, Mastering the Ride provides an exhilarating course in skills, safety, and common sense. With instructional color photographs and drawings, the book covers improving a rider’s skills of speed and passing on superslabs, mountain roads, and city streets; anticipating and handling street and road hazards, from treacherous tar snakes to lane-weaving drivers; and learning the limits of sight distances, executing quick stops at sudden hazards as well as curves. The book devotes two full chapters to the skills involved in mastering cornering, with specific advice about rolling on and off the throttle, shifting, braking, countersteering, body steering and positioning, and cornering lines.
Plus, author David L. Hough dedicates a chapter to understanding and employing conspicuity: understanding how motorcyclists and car drivers see their surroundings and getting others to see you on the road by using hi-viz clothing, LED lights, and other gear. And the chapter that follows it covers an ability key to safety: predicting how road events will unfold by thinking through the possibilities way before a potential hazard presents itself. Thanks to Hough’s direct and specific instructions to riders for what they need to know, to improve, to avoid, and to do every time they get on their bikes, this chapter and the skills it describes are nothing short of lifesaving.
Even 30 years after his death, Steve McQueen remains a cultural icon. His image continues to appear in advertising and pop culture and his fan base spans from car lovers to racing enthusiasts to motorcycle obsessives. In his movies, McQueen's character always had an envy-inducing motorcycle or car, but in his personal life, motorcycles were always McQueen's first true love. McQueen's Motorcycles focuses on the bikes that the King of Cool raced and collected.
From the first Harley McQueen bought when he was an acting student in New York to the Triumph "desert sleds" and Huskys he desert raced all over California, Mexico, and Nevada, McQueen was never without a stable of two wheelers. His need for speed propelled him from Hollywood into a number of top off-road motorcycle races, including the Baja 1000, Mint 400, Elsinore Grand Prix, and even as a member of the 1964 ISDT team in Europe. Determined to be ahead of the pack, McQueen maintained his body like it was a machine itself. He trained vigorously, weight lifting, running, and studying martial arts. Later in his life, as he backed away from Hollywood, his interests turned to antique bikes and he accumulated an extensive collection, including Harley-Davidson, Indian, Triumph, Brough Superior, Cyclone, BSA, and Ace motorcycles.
Today, McQueen still has the Midas touch; anything that was in the man's possession is a hot commodity. McQueen's classic motorcycles sell for top dollar at auctions, always at a multiple of what the same bike is worth without the McQueen pedigree. McQueen's Motorcycles reveals these highly sought-after machines in gorgeous photography and full historical context.