The year was 1928 when two young Hungarians decided to travel around the world on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with sidecar. Like Robert Fulton, whose circumnavigation of the globe is chronicled in his popular 1937 book One Man Caravan, Sulkowsky thought his was the first around-the-world journey on a motorcycle. This account of his trip with friend Gyula Bartha gives a very clear-eyed view of the world in the 1930s -- a world where the colonizing influence of Europe had affected much of Africa and Asia but not all. The two experienced the riches of sultans, witnessed primitive cultures and extreme poverty in remote villages, traveled through wilderness with the ever-present danger of wild animals, and traversed roads of all descriptions. They dealt with mud, sand, extreme heat and cold, and rivers where the motorcycle had to be taken apart to cross in a small boat. This intelligent and engaging book offers a unique world view between the World Wars, flavored by the great diversity of cultures and the wide variety of human life that exists on the planet.
For the first time, the life of Edward Turner, one of Britain’s most talented motorcycle designers, is revealed!
Although seen by many as an irascible man who ran a very tight ship, it is an inescapable fact that Triumph was a highly profitable, industry pushing company. Turner's hugely successful sales campaign after World War 2 stunned American manufacturers, and had long-lasting repercussions on their own home market.
No one can deny the impact his Ariel Square Four made at the annual Motor Cycle Show in 1931, his superbly-styled single cylinder Tiger models in 1936, and his revolutionary Speed Twin that dominated the Show in 1937. Even more was to follow with his post-war Thunderbird and Bonneville twins.
The Indian has been the iconic image for American big V-Twins down the years, due in no small measure to the motorcycles designed by Charles B Franklin - the Indian Scout and the Indian Chief.
Charles Franklin was born and raised in Ireland where he quickly became involved in motorcycle racing during the pioneer years. He rapidly established himself as Ireland’s first big star of racing and was the first to represent Ireland in international motorcycle competition. In the Isle of Man TT he consistently finished in the top eight, and in 1911 claimed second place, a remarkable achievement in itself. But it was when he moved to Indian in the USA, where he became the Chief Design Engineer, that his genius really flowed. His designs catapulted Indian back into the forefront of motorcycle design in the 1920s and ’30s and his racing engines and motorcycles won much glory for Indian against stiff opposition. Franklin introduced remarkable improvements in side valve combustion chamber design that predated the work of Ricardo. He championed a holistic approach that popularized new features such as the semi unit-construction power plant, helical-gear primary drive, double-loop full-cradle frames and a host of other improvements to the early motorcycles. Franklin's Indians not only chronicles his life, but also sheds much new light on the history of Indian motorcycles and the often turbulent times of the Indian Motorcycle Company itself. It's a much-needed book for all Indian fans and all who love the history of the classic American V-Twins.
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.
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.
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.
Obsessions Die Hard is the story of Ed Culberson’s determination to fulfill his dream. As a teenager he was fascinated with the Pan-American Highway System, which runs the length of North and South America. In his early forties, he acquired another passion—motorcycling. It was only natural that he would merge the two.
Culberson, then a retired U.S. Army officer, wanted to ride his motorcycle along the Pan-American Highway’s entire route between Alaska and Argentina. However, in the Darién region of eastern Panama and western Colombia the road is broken by an 80-mile gap filled with jungles, rain forests, rivers, and swamps, forcing travelers to detour around it by boat or plane. The area is so inhospitable and unexplored that a myth about its impenetrability has evolved over the centuries, and a curse aimed at Darién trespassers shrouds the region. But the Darién Gap, known as el tapón del Darién—the Stopper—didn’t dim Culberson’s dream. It became his obsession.
In the face of staggering obstacles, Culberson suffers failure before meeting success, encountering killer bees, arrest by a corrupt law officer, cycling injuries, and back-breaking labor to get himself and “Amigo,” his BMW R80G/S motorcycle, through the torturous jungles and swamps. He also encounters strangers who become friends, including Cuna Indians who guide him and share his triumphs.
A story of one man’s struggle with his own obsession, this is an amazing tale of human endurance and perseverance.
The story of a classic motorcycle racer who was fortunate enough to be able to ride many of the best classic machines between 1976 & 2016, at the highest level, and on many of the most famous road racing courses in the world. There are tales of success, friendships, and the loss of racing pals. Machine preparation and mechanical failures feature heavily, and the story recounts the author's frustrations and joys. Andy Reynolds maintained and built many of the bikes he raced, and ultimately retired from riding to become both a machine scrutineer and a sponsor. All aspects of motorcycle racing are covered in the author's easy-to-read and entertaining narrative. Altogether a fascinating adventure story for any motorcycle enthusiast. Come into the world of Classic Racing Motorcycles – but bring your check book and medical insurance!
• A personal account of a life racing classic motorcycles
• The thrills of racing on some of the best classic motorcycles in the world
• Follow the author’s journey from sixties rocker to racing sponsor
• An in-depth account of the well-known characters on the scene
• Includes all aspects of racing, both human and mechanical
• Features many famous circuits across Europe and the UK
• An honest look at the financial sacrifices necessary to compete at this level
• Demonstrates the dedication of the author to race preparation, and his attention to every detail
• Highlights both the successes and the dangers associated with motorcycle racing
• An easy to read autobiography that will appeal to anyone with an interest in motorcycle racing
Slow Burn tells how the Superbike racing motorcycle developed out of the road legal sports-tourer to become one of the most successful competitions in all forms of motorcycle sport. As well as offering world championship class competition in its own right, Superbike racing has been a highly competitive training ground for grand prix riders, as well as helping manufacturers, distributors and dealers develop and improve their motorcycles.
Superbike racing is to the motorcycle industry what touring car or NASCAR competition is to the car world – race on Sunday, sell on Monday. All the big names were drawn into the sport during its formative years, and have been there ever since – Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Ducati and Aprilia have all used Superbike racing to test their street bike designs. Some of the biggest riders in the sport – Wayne Gardner, Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwantz and Eddie Lawson – all started out on big, unruly Superbikes, learning how to powerslide their way around the world’s toughest tracks. It’s all in Superbike – and it’s all in Slow Burn.
• The story of Superbike racing from its earliest days
• Remembering the mighty trackburners from the '70s and '80s
• Recalling the exploits of the stars, from Mike Hailwood to Kenny Roberts
• The rapid growth of technology, from pushrods to twin cams, carburation to fuel injection
• The epic rivalries of the '80s, from Freddie Spencer v Eddie Lawson to Wayne Rainey v Kevin Schwantz
• From steel to alloy: the evolution of the motorcycle frame
• How to do more with less: the growth of the 750
• Vive la difference: European endurance racing of the '80s
• Epic racing on short circuit and open road, from Brands Hatch to Macau
• The four great races: the TT, the Bol d'Or, the Suzuka 8-Hours and the Daytona 200
Researched and written in Japan with the full co-operation of the factory, here in definitive detail is the story of the two-stroke Suzuki bikes – a series of models that put the company on the map, helping it to survive a difficult era that saw hundreds of Japanese motorcycle makers reduced to just four. Successful immediately, the two-stroke models defended Suzuki's honor on the tracks as well as in the showrooms, handing the company numerous world championship titles. The series has now been all but killed off, but Suzuki Motorcycles - The Classic Two-stroke Era helps celebrate an era when the two-stroke was king, concentrating on the 1950s through to the late-1970s.
This book traces Peter Starr's personal journey as he made some of the most acclaimed, award-winning motorcycle films, and the accompanying DVD vividly illustrates his contribution to the world of motorcycle racing. A golden era is explored, examined and preserved in 272 pages and more than 500 photographs as this behind-the-scenes book looks at how history was made in races all over the United States and Europe from 1973 to 1993. The compendium 60-minute DVD features Speed TV's Brian Drebber interviewing Starr, who discusses key aspects of his work and shares clips from the more than 40 films he made … including the famous scenes of Kenny Robert's return to the Mile Dirt tracks in 1985 and Mike Hailwood's return to the Isle of Man in 1977. Spend some time with this book and DVD and enjoy learning about a lifetime's body of work, whose subjects read like a "who's who" of motorcycling from this amazing time: Kenny Roberts, Mike Hailwood, Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, Freddie Spencer, Roger DeCoster, Russ Collins, Barry Sheene, Steve Baker, David Bailey, Bob Hannah, Marty Smith, Jay Springsteen, Ricky Graham, Bubba Shobert, Scotty Parker, Gary Scott, Bruce Penhall and a cast of thousands.
Agusta’s classic four-cylinder dominated Grand Prix racing for a decade from 1956. When it was replaced by the new triple in 1966, Count Agusta decided to make the Four available in limited numbers as a production bike. To prevent privateers converting it into a Grand Prix racer that might embarrass the factory, he stipulated it be 600cc and have shaft final drive. The touring 600 eventually evolved into the 750 Sport and GT, and finally the America, but MV Fours were always built in extremely small numbers.
As befit an engine that handed multiple World Championships to John Surtees, Gary Hocking and Mike Hailwood, the technical specification was staggering, and remains so to this day. This magnificent engine was always at the heart of MV Agusta, and it was this engine that created and sustained the legend.