In the life of a motorcyclist there are some times when riding is simply not possible. The weather, a maintenance issue or a nasty injury are just some of the circumstances which can keep you inside and not out on your favorite road with your bike. In those times, those of us who are afflicted with a serious case of the two-wheeled disease need to find something to do with ourselves. Many will spend time in their workshop or garage with whatever projects may be awaiting some work.
However, there are times when even that is not possible. For such times we have motorcycle books, and there are some quality reads out there these days which cover just about every angle of our beloved sport. A new addition to the SpeedTV network’s “Little Books” series is just the ticket for the speed-obsessed among us; it is “The Little Book of Fast Bikes” written by Jon Stroud.
The “Fast Bikes” book is fun and easy to read and covers some sixty different exceptionally quick machines from the past 100 plus years of motorcycling. It all started with strapping a small engine to a bicycle frame back in the late 19th century. From there it progressed through board-track racers, to the pre-war Isle of Man TT racers, café racers in the 1950s and 1960s, and then came the Japanese. In the late 1970s the Land of the Rising Sun began to produce what would become the superbike. That changed everything and you can see it happen through the important motorcycle models featured in the pages of Stroud’s book.
Marques featured in the book include Aprilia, Benelli, Bimota, BMW, Buell, Dodge (Viper-powered Tomahawk), Ducati, Ghezzi & Brian, Harley-Davidson, Harris, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Lavera, Martin, Mondial, MotoCzysz, Moto Guzzi, Moto Morini, MTT, MV Agusta, Petronas, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha.
Each of the profiles contained in “Fast Bikes” spans at least two pages and contains a minimum of two images, one of which shows the entire machine and another close-up of a special or interesting aspect of the bike. Also included are detailed specifications about each featured motorcycle; engine size, type, bore and stroke, compression ratio, dry weight, maximum horsepower, maximum torque, and, of course, top speed, are all listed for each bike.
Stroud’s writing style lends entertainment value to the read as well. He has a good sense of humor and of the absurd, and that comes through in the exacting prose he uses in “Fast Bikes.” Reading the book is a pleasure if your interests run towards the faster of the breed. It also works well as a reference book (when the Internet is down) and should find a long-term slot on your bookshelf along with the many other moto-themed tomes in your collection. As it states on its back cover, “…The Little Book of Fast Bikes celebrates the best and most exciting motorcycles of the last thirty years including specifications and performance figures for each model.”
“The Little Book of Fast Bikes” is available now for the rather low price of US$9.99 and is available in the SpeedTV book store here. Go ahead, it’s a bit late for a Christmas present, but you don’t need a holiday to give a gift to someone you love!
Written by J.C. Current, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com