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.
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.
Whether considering an ocean-to-ocean cross-country journey, a vacation ride through the Canadian Rockies, a full-length tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway, or an ambitious Four-Corners ride, Motorcycle Journeys Through North America provides the "big-idea" guidance every rider needs to plan fun-filled motorcycle tours throughout the continental United States and Canada.
Emphasis is placed on the very best roads, with expert advice on:
• When to go
• Which routes to select
• Areas to avoid
• Must-see attractions along the way
• Places to stay and eat
You'll also find plenty of first-hand stories and hard-earned lessons from expert touring riders.
The only question that will remain is, What are you waiting for?
This fifth edition of John Hermann's classic Motorcycle Journeys Through the Alps & Beyond touring guide is the best-loved and most-respected resource for any traveler planning to ride the high and twisty roads of Europe.
Detailing more area than any previous edition, Hermann's fun-to-read text has been thoroughly updated and revised, now adding new roads in Switzerland and France. All maps feature mountain relief backgrounds to highlight the topography, and many spectacular new photos have been added. Every region of the Alps is covered: Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, and even special alpine-lookalike places such as Corsica, Slovenia, and the Pyrenees and Picos de Europa mountain ranges of Spain. All of the important roads and passes are described and critiqued.
Each recommended trip features a detailed route description, easy-to-follow maps, advice on accommodations and things to do, and plenty of inspiring photographs. Local customs, history, and amusing travel anecdotes dot every page to enrich the journey. There is no other motorcycle travel guide like this one!
Motorcycle Journeys Through the Alps & Beyond is simply the best guide for any motorcyclist planning their trip of a lifetime to motorcycling's nirvana.
With more than 700 color photographs, Norton Commando Restoration Manual provides step-by-step guides to restoring every component of this classic bike. Topics covered include how to find a worthy restoration project; setting up a workshop with key tools and equipment; dismantling the motorcycle to restore the chassis, engine cradle and swing arm; restoring the isolastic suspension, forks and steering; tackling the engine, transmission, carburetors, electrics, ignition and instruments and, finally, overhauling wheels and brakes, and replacing tires. There is also a chapter on the assembly of a restored 'Five Times Machine of the Year' motorcycle.
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.
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.
Proficient Motorcycling lays out a clear course for all riders who want to sharpen their handling skills and improve their rides. This second edition, expanded and now in full color, offers new riders and road warriors the exact kind of advice they need to be prepared for anything when on the road, from how to avoid accidents to how to handle the unexpected. Author David Hough, who began motorcycling in the 1960s, tackles every imaginable topic, from the mechanics of the motorcycle, selection of the right-sized bike, and basic riding skills to night riding, group outings, and advanced survival tactics.
This book takes riders from long, snaking country roads right into the traffic of the big city, and Hough offers the best advice for riders dealing with the most challenging conditions (whether it’s road construction, snap-jawed intersections, skateboarders, or suddenly slippery road surfaces). A critical section of the book offers riders advice on how to deal with automobiles, including aggressive car drivers, oblivious SUV drivers, or “blind” truck drivers. The book offers the kind of firsthand experience that can literally save riders’ lives, as illustrated in the chapters “Booby Traps” and “Special Situations,” which offer evasive tactics and advice to avoid and handle everything from slick surfaces, curbs, and construction plates to ferocious dogs, hazardous wildlife, and difficult weather conditions.
Suspension is probably the most misunderstood aspect of motorcycle performance. This book, by America's premier suspension specialist, makes the art and science of suspension tuning accessible to professional and backyard motorcycle mechanics alike. Based on Paul Thede's wildly popular Race Tech Suspension Seminars, this step-by-step guide shows anyone how to make their bike (or their kid's) handle like a pro's.
Thede gives a clear account of the three forces of suspension that you must understand to make accurate assessments of your suspension's condition. He outlines testing procedures that will help you gauge how well you're improving your suspension, along with your riding. And, if you're inclined to perfect your bike's handling, he even explains the black art of chassis geometry. Finally, step-by-step photos of suspension disassembly and assembly help you rebuild your forks and shocks for optimum performance.
The book even provides detailed troubleshooting guides for dirt, street and supermoto, promising a solution to virtually any handling problem.
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
Riding motorcycles is fun, but author Ken Condon maintains that there is a state of consciousness to be achieved beyond the simple pleasure of riding down the road. Riding in the Zone helps riders find that state of being. It's the experience of being physically and mentally present in the moment, where every sense is sharply attuned to the ride. Your mind becomes silent to the chatter of daily life, and everyday problems seem to dissolve. You feel a deeper appreciation for life. Your body responds to this state of being with precise, fluid movements, you feel in balance, your muscles are relaxed, and it seems as though every input you make is an expression of mastery. This is "the Zone."
Condon identifies all of the factors that affect entering the Zone and addresses each one individually, from the development of awareness and mental skills to mastering physical control of the motorcycle. At the end of each chapter are drills designed to transform the book's ideas into solid, practical riding skills. Riding in the Zone takes riders to the next level in their skill set.