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The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle Hardcover – September 9, 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA?A comprehensive encyclopedia that pictures more than 1000 motorcycles and scooters and lists more than 3000 manufacturers. The first section is a photographic gallery that shows many of the cycles from the front as well as the side. Accompanying each photo is text, a flag of the country of origin, and the vehicle's insignia. The second section is a catalog of every known make or brand, arranged by country of origin. An easy and fun to use resource.?Nancy Geiger, Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This is primarily a visual reference of approximately 400 noteworthy or memorable international motorcycle makes, ranging from the earliest models to modern exotic specialty machines. The classic quality of many models is captured in richly colored, finely detailed photographs that invite nostalgia and evoke the sounds and smells peculiar to motorcycles. Companion text, though sparse, gives a bit of each model's history and its significant or innovative features. All this is augmented by an exhaustive annotated directory of all motorcycles known to have been manufactured worldwide; more than 3000 makes are attributed here, surpassing the number found in prior encyclopedic works and making this a valuable checklist. The volume falls short of functioning as a technical reference or a historical overview of motorcycling, but as a visual reference, it is superb. Definitely for public libraries, and academic libraries may also consider..?David Van de Streek, Pennsylvania State Univ. Libs., York
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: DK ADULT; 1st American ed edition (September 9, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789401509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789401502
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 1.1 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #718,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent reference for someone who wants to know about any brand of motorcycle. There's something in there on all of them!
I like everything about the book. The photography is great and there's some really good background information, too. My criticism of the book lies in the selection of the particular bikes that have any meaningful coverage devoted to them. Certain marques are overly represented where others are ignored or get very light coverage. Too many Ducatis, for example, and not enough early Kawasakis. Too many Ariels and not enough bikes from companies like Benelli, a company that sold zillions of lightweights. The other thing is the specific bikes chosen to represent certain companies. I would like to have seen a little more thought given to those that were the most significant models.
That's my only real criticism. The authors' interests were reflected in this book.
But again, in summary, it's the most complete work of its type I have ever seen, and I have spent many hours enjoying it. It's also nice to have whenever anyone talks about a particular bike-- you can look it up in the book and in many cases, find a picture.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an unbeatable resource for tracing the history of motorcycle and scooter brands and models. Over 1000 are photographically illustrated with notes, and a directory covers every known motorcycle brand and model, listed alphabetically under country of origin. Whether your interest is in classic models, racing motorcycles, or stylish new machines, you will find them all here.
"Before the automobile there was the motorcycle. And even after . . . the motorcycle put the world on wheels." Automobiles were made for the rich until Henry Ford came along. For everyone else, the motorcycle was the thing.
The first part of the book features wonderful photographs (always a side view, and sometimes front and back as well; for racing machines there are usually racing views; and mechanical views where innovations occur) along with brief descriptions of the manufacturer and model. Here are some of the motorcycles featured: Adler MB200; AJS Model D; Aprilia RSV 250; Ardie TM500; Ariel Square-Four; Armstrong MT 500; Ascott-Pullin 500cc; and Autoped (a motorized child's scooter) -- and those are just in the A's.
Motorcycles with two pages of coverage include the Bimota TESI 1D; BMW R32; Harley-Davidson JD28; Henderson; Hilderbrand & Wolfmuller; Honda CB750; Indian Scout; Kawasaki ZZ-R 1100; Norton Manx; and Triumph Speed Twin.
My favorite profile was of a reconstruction of the original Daimer Einspur, the first motorcycle.
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Format: Hardcover
I've owned this book for probably 15 years, having bought it when it first came out. I was a teenager at the time, and there was no way my mum would have ever let me own a motorcycle. This book was, for the most part, the only way I could live out my fantasy of owning or riding one. A couple of years later, I'd grown out of my interest in bikes, and the book ended up in a box for a few years.

In the last couple of years my interest has been rekindled, partially out of the potential need for a bike and its awesome gas mileage (I drive 80 miles every day between work and various errands), partially out of the romanticism that comes with motorcycle territory. So this book found its way back to my bookshelf, and it gets read several times a week. I don't yet own a bike or a license (coming up with the cash for a decent working bike is a bit of a problem these days), but I'm once again living out my fantasy as best I can thanks to this book (and the Long Way Round/Long Way Down series and a couple of great biker vlogs I've been following).

As for the book itself, it's a lovely hardcover affair, packed to the gills with high-quality photos, descriptions of engine parts and sometimes a history of notable modifications made in production. They obviously couldn't cover all of the bikes made in the last 100 years, or the book would have been at least three volumes, but I think the writer did a good job of including most of the big "make the industry sit up and take notice" bikes, like the Honda CB750 and Kawasaki Z1, the Triumph Speed Twin, Indian Scout, etc. There are also plenty of interesting (sometimes comically so) bikes from smaller manufacturers that fall into the "also ran" category.
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Format: Hardcover
The photos and content is very good but in several instances the most relevant models are not mentioned or illustrated. i.e. Matchless G50,M.V. Agusta 750s. Ducati 750SS roundcase. It seems that the authors preferences, easy of access to a machine (for photos) or conveniences are sometimes sacrificed for the important item. In general it is a very good general info book. Shows some really strange machines.
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