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Ultimate Motorcycle Book Hardcover – September 15, 1993

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Lookin' for adventure in whatever comes your way? Wilson's book is colorful, it's loaded with photos of over 200 bikes, it's informative, and, most importantly, it's a blast. Along with historical tidbits about the earliest cycles during the 1890s and the use of bikes during both world wars, Wilson provides sections devoted to racing, touring, motocross, and customizing. U.S. bikes, headed by the estimable Harley-Davidson, are featured first, but classic British models such as Triumph and Vincent are spotlighted alongside Italian, French, and Scandinavian bikes, German military models, bikes from companies such as BMW and Hunch, and, of course, the Japanese giants: Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha. Full-color photographs virtually leap off the page, and their captions point out pertinent facts (a snapshot of a vivid red 1988 Electra Glide is highlighted by the bike's disc brakes and its separate gearbox). To top it all off, neophyte gearheads will swoon over the intricate graphics provided in a section that explains just how a motorcycle operates. For veteran bike enthusiasts as well as folks who've just recently discovered that they're "born to be wild." Joe Collins
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: DK ADULT; 1st American ed edition (September 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564583031
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564583031
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.7 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book has great photos, no dark areas or confining borders to the photos, and intelligent text that always complements the main features--the motorcycle photos. Though mainly an exposition of the many types of motocycles in the world, this is also a history book touching on vintage bikes, famous racers, and facts about changing technology that have made certain bikes pathbreaking achievements of engineering. There is only a two-page section on motocross, the same volume of pages allocated to scooters. No elaboration into the sub-phyla--or sub-classes--of arena cross or supercross. But that's not a big deal, because what you have here is well worth it on its own. Wilson includes a great layout of "Electrics and instruments" which is reminiscent of Gray's Anatomy, in that it looks like a dissection scene from biology class. He lays out the electrical system of a motorcycle (street bike), looking like nerves branching out of a spinal cord. This is an innovative way to present this, with the amber, red, and white light covers and the battery cell covers still on. Only someone obsessed with this subject matter could have done this, which has the benefit of rubbing off on less-devoted adherents of the sport and the products who still need to be motivated by reading this book. And by simply studying it. Way more than words here. This is the lifetime achievement superstar reception room table favorite book in our law firm. Amazingly, no client has stolen it yet.
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Format: Hardcover
"The best spin-off from the invention of the wheel is, without any doubt, the motorcycle."
Whether you are a rider, someone who likes to admire motorcycles, or are curious to learn more, this book is for you. The book balances the "lure of the open road" mystique of motorcycles, with solid history, and gorgeous photographs of important and well-known models.
The first few pages look at how Gottlieb Daimler developed the first motorcycle. You will also see impressive photographs of a replica made from the original drawings. From there, Mr. Wilson teaches us about how engines developed, and where they were located in the design. Then, the issues of other needed technologies are explored (like brakes, suspension, and safety features). Original black-and-white photographs vie with color advertisements and beautiful color side views of motorcycles for your attention.
The main section of the book looks at the history of the world's motorcycles, by geography. Each page is crammed with views of motorcyles from ever angle, photographs of riders, and lots of specifications and other interesting details. Major parts of this section cover the United States (Harley-Davidson, Police Motorcycles, Henderson, Custom Bikes, Indian, and Other Classics), Germany (BMW, DKW, Sidecars, MZ, Munch, NSU, and Other Classics), Great Britain (AJS, Brough-Superior, BSA, Norton, Triumph, Speed Records, Velocette, Vincent HRD, and Other Classics), Italy (Benelli, Ducati, Gilera, Scooters, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, and Other Classics), Japan (Honda, Touring Motorcycles, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha), and a few bikes from Austria, Czechosloakia, France, Scandinavia, and Spain. The strength of this section is that many brands are covered.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a sportbike rider it is an exciting thought for me to imagine an 'Ultimate Sportbike Book' using the familiar and excellent layout of the ultimate series of books. But no such title exists. Instead, and what the ultimate motorcycle book delivers, is a historical overview of road going motorcycles.
The bottom line is: we would all love to see an 'Ultimate Book' devoted to our own little field of motorcycle interest (mine is sportbikes and race bikes), so knowing that, this book is bound to leave a person wanting more. Thats just the way it is. But this is nevertheless an excellent book. In places it looks laughably outdated, which is normal considering it is an old book, and not even the cornerstones of sportbiking are shown. Neither is the 916. No gixxers neither.

Its an old book, but its well done, and it covers its subject quite well, all things considered. ANother excellent Ultimate book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pretty awesome book. Doesn't hit everything in the whole motorcycling world, but that would take about a million pages. Tons of nice pictures and a bit of info about lots of models through the ages.
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By Sadie on May 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a gift for my 70 year young avid motorcycle neighbor. He has mentioned it many times since I gave it to him.
It is a very attractive book, with lots of history and lots of facts. Packaging was just right, secure and earth friendly.
Thank you.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another tired history of motorcycles book. They have some great pictures, but the text is uninspiring. I was hoping for something that captures the fun and excitement of motorcycles, this is more about the history of design.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful addition to my collection. Well written an very informative. Covers so many different brands and years of motorcycles.
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Format: Hardcover
I Have no complaints I only wish the book was soft cover because they wouldn't let him have the book because it was hard cover...its not your fault & it's not mine because I didnt know.
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