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Big Sid's Vincati: The Story of a Father, a Son, and the Motorcycle of a Lifetime Paperback – April 27, 2010
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"If you believe it is possible to fall in love with a motorcycle, you will love this book. It's a guy's romance novel with mystery, adventure, and real passion."
"I don't think you need to be a motorcycle enthusiast to lose yourself in this book. It is an open- handed classic about living and love, with a heart as big as a Vincent V-twin engine."
-Mark Knopfler, musician and former Dire Straits frontman
"First of all, while this is a book chock full of interesting mechanical wizardry and a tribute to a true legend in motorcycling, calling it simply a "motorcycle book" is a bit like calling Field of Dreams simply a "baseball movie." Because in this remarkable tome, father and son learn a lot about life and each other while creating a dream come true motorcycle."
-Greg Harrison, Antique Motorcycle, www.antiquemotorcycle.org
"Every motorcycle has a story. The Vincati is an extraordinary one and Big Sid's Vincati seals its place in motorcycle history."
-George Barber, The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
"A heartfelt and beautifully written story of a family and the meaning of motorcycles in their lives--and the meaning of one particular bike that brings a father and son back together during difficult times. The enthusiasm is dangerously contagious; it'll make you want to go right out to the garage and restore your own bike--or build one."
-Peter Egan, journalist and columnist for Road & Track and Cycle World
"Motorcycles are many things. Obsession; thrill; the church at which a certain tribe worships. But did you know they are a solace, too? In joining two of the greatest machines ever conceived, Matthew Biberman and his father made something greater than any single bike: a transcendent story about machines that is really about love."
-Melissa Holbrook Pierson, author of The Perfect Vehicle
"If you can come away from this book--this opportunity to see up close what Sid Biberman and his son are made of, without a new respect for how a piece of machinery can come to life and take along with it the lives of a family, you didn't pay close enough attention. A beautiful story."
-John Healy, editor, Vintage Bike magazine
"The average American male spends half a lifetime making peace with his father. Big Sid's Vincati describes how a quest to reconstruct one mythic motorcycle can wildly accelerate that process. A rewarding read for anyone who's ever loved a man, or a motorcycle."
-Aaron Frank,editor-at-large, Motorcyclist magazine
"There are precious few well written motorcycle books; this is one of them. It's the human stories behind each machine that make them fascinating. This is a great tale that will resonate especially with people like me, whose love of motorcycles was sparked by family."
-Hugo Wilson, Editor, Classic Bike
"A splendid motorcycle tale about unlikely things coming together: an imperfect past with an uncertain future, a professor of Shakespeare with a mythic speed-tuner, and a stylish Euro-bike with the most iconic motorcycle in the world."
-Fred Haefele, author of Rebuilding the Indian
"There are few times when a man has a passion for a machine like Sid Biberman has for Vincents. What makes Big Sid's Vincati especially beautiful is that in this case, the son has taken the time to write down that love in words for others to appreciate."
-Denis Manning, BUB Enterprises
"By no means just for bike nuts, this is an absorbing and often poignant story. Matthew Biberman paints a sensitive and touching picture of his father Big Sid, a man with a remarkable empathy for quirky machines."
-Mick Duckworth, journalist and author of TT100 and Ace Times
About the Author
MATTHEW BIBERMAN teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Louisville. He also works on Vincent motorcycles in his garage with his father, “Big Sid” Biberman.
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I felt Big Sid's love for motorcycles in my bones.
After I read this book, I decided I was never ever going to pay to have my motorcycle serviced.
I wish some day I have the chance to shake Sid's hand.
Can say I even feel a better person for fixing my motorcycles, every time something gets me frustrated, I think of what Big Sid would do... I end up fixing it.
Bid Sid, your son did an amazing job at conveying such a compelling story.
Thank you! Wish I meet you both someday.
As the chapters develop you feel the stress of an all encompassing hobby on family members and the hidden flaws of post-war American society. This is no "Leave it to Beaver" story. Sid's dreams prove elusive and the costs of dreaming become apparent. Fast forward fifty years and you witness the changing role of the motorcycle in the American psyche, the rebuilding of a family, and the changing nature of work. Relatively few people work with their hands today and we are less of a society for it.
Vincent motorcycles are rare and very expensive and therefore each one has a documented life. In fact, most owners understand that they are caretakers of a machine that must be ridden fast and will outlive them. Big Sid has seen or worked on nearly all of them. I could never afford such a bike but after reading this book I have begun making dangerous plans to buy one. Buying a Vincent is incredibly irresponsible, but may be just the commitment that gives a truer meaning to an otherwise ordinary life. A superb read, well written, and totally absorbing. I would give this book to any motorcycle enthusiast you know as they will immediately understand. For non-motorcyclists this book offers an explanation of a sport that defies explanation. Even the best writers often struggle to explain "why" when discussing motorcycles. Matthew Biberman gets it right. Highly recommended! Todd in Detroit
The bond that grew between father and son as they built this unique machine is wonderfully portrayed. Anyone who, like me, has spent many hours in the garage working on old bikes with their dad, will tell you that it helps forge a strong bond where life outside the garage and away from the bikes does not matter.
The great thing about this book is it can be read with equal enjoyment by motorcyclists and by sane people.
I heartily recommend it to anyone that wants to explore how fathers & sons connect and that loves good motorcycle tales.