Most helpful positive review
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Way above average
on January 9, 2007
This is not a complete book on how to build a bike. That's a vast field including quite a few full careers, such as mechanic, fabricator, welder, machinists etc... Maybe some day, someone will actually write it down.
In this format all I really want is some fresh information direct from Lane, not ghost written or republished materials as in the Monster Garage welding book (at least they chose a good book). On that score I think this is a very solid addition. Lane does go into technical information; what years of what motor he prefers to use, how to align these old motor and drive train systems. What modern components are best, for instance brakes. How to wire. None of these are exhaustive, but they are what he does. For instance, he does not cover trail and rake calculations. He just comes out and tells you what his favorite front end on a chopper or bobber is. That's the inside info that defines a maker's look, and if a person followed that info they would not need to understand the universe of trail and rake, info that is on the internet anyway.
One of the things that impressed me is that, apparent beer ads for corona in the text aside, Lane seems pretty serious about the quality of the bikes he builds. A lot of his build-off stuff seems to break or catch on fire, and I have never been all that impressed with his signature tanks. However he shows a few hard core details here that as competent pieces of engineering, and very stout construction, are excellent. The book is full of details that never really get covered in the other stuff out there. I was just left feeling I could use a couple of other books in a series.
Books of this format, on everything from painting flames to cheap choppers, are one step up from a magazine. At their best, they cover a lot of ground. This one isn't perfect, but it covers a lot more stuff than several seasons of BBO, OCC, BOB, the horse etc... Those all seem to edit out anything more complicated than bolting an engine or tranny to a frame. I wish more builders would get into the nitty gritty like this. This is not a "How to build a Ford hot rod", by Mike Bishop, but it's about as good as it gets normally.