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John Penton and the Off-Road Motorcycle Revolution Paperback – April 1, 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 ratings

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Paperback, April 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews


"...a full-scale book that is wonderful to read." -- Racer X Illustrated

"...an incredibly well-written and thoroughly researched account of an heroic life, a significant piece of history..." -- The Chronicle-Telegram

"John Penton and the Off-Road Motorcycle Revolution is a well-researched and informative mini-slice of our moto-history. Mandatory Reading." -- Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly

"Just got done reading our copy of John Penton and the Off-Road Motorcycle Revolution, and can heartily recommend it." -- Trail Rider

From the Inside Flap

Consumed by a passion to build better motorcycles and a deep, patriotic desire to lead America to victory at the International Six Days Trial, John Penton has spent his life redefining off-road motorcycling. Along the way he helped change the face of American motorcycle competition, the politics of racing, and what Americans expect from their off-road motorcycles. One of the most visionary, driven, complex, dynamic, and influential personalities in motorcycling, John Penton stands out in what may have been the most exciting and revolutionary quarter-century in the history of the American motorcycle sport.

Author Ed Youngblood draws upon his 30-year personal acquaintance with John Penton, an exhaustive review of the literature of the period, and more than 50 interviews with Penton, his family, friends, employees, dealers, customers, business associates, and competitors to tell this captivating tale of the creation of the high-performance, light-weight, purpose-built off-road motorcycle. Yet John Penton and the Off-Road Motorcycle Revolution goes beyond the story of a man and his machine, it ties motorcycling in America into a larger cultural movement, explaining how major political and economic events affected the creation of the off-road motorcycle in the 1960s, the precipitous decline of the market during the 1970s, and the rebound that found KTM motorcycles--successor to the Penton--competing successfully against the powerful Japanese manufacturers in the 1990s.

Several reviewers who read the pre-publication manuscript of John Penton and the Off-Road Motorcycle Revolution said they simply could not put it down, reading from beginning to end in one sitting. Within this authoritative and fascinating history are:

--how personal tragedy reshaped and strengthened the Penton family.

--how John Pentons determination and seemingly inhuman tolerance to physical pain helped him overcome long odds to build one of the most innovative companies in motorcycling.

--how the Penton family became the center of the greatest international motorcycle endurance teams that America has ever known.

--how inflation, the falling dollar, a historic decision by Richard Nixon, and the greed of silver barons drove the Penton marque out of the market just as it was achieving its greatest commercial success.

--how behind-the-scenes battles between John Penton and his Austrian partner helped position KTM for world-wide success and recognition.

--how a cult of personality has begun to form around John Penton as Penton motorcycles take on new value as desirable collectibles.

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2001
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Reviewed in the United States on August 16, 2000
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