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10th February 2005


A History Of The World's Motorcycles
by Richard Alexander Hough and L J K Setright

A History of the World's Motorcycles - From Amazon.co.uk - MaybeRecommended by NVNL

A family connection in the book trade (www. lostwithielbookshop.co.uk) means some absolute gems come my way from time to time, including hard to find titles like Ixion's 'Motorcycle Cavalcade'.

'A History Of The World's Motorcycles' turned up last spring and continues to be a source of entertainment as the days lengthen towards next spring.

Generally anything Mr Setright writes about motorcycles will hook me and although this book covers decades of bikes which I would not usually reckon to be especially interested in, it presents them in such a way that I keep returning.

The book is well-illustrated and takes a chronological approach to our game running from 'Until 1900 - Primordial Chaos' through to '1950 - 1965 Back into the melting pot'.

In the beginning there were a lot of dodgy-looking vehicles with at least two wheels, but by the end of WW1 things settled down a bit and just about anything with a third wheel, was recognisable as a motorcycle and sidecar.

As to us, the riders, well we seem to have started out in collars and ties with boaters, and ended up in leathers and crash helmets.

Initially I formed the idea that this is just a repeat of all the other motorcycle histories I have read. In fact it seems more likely to have been source material for many of them. Also there are bikes described and pictured that are unfamiliar from elsewhere.

For me this is a book to dip into rather than read cover to cover, and I am enjoying dipping into it.

A History Of The World's Motorcycles by Richard Alexander Hough and L J K Setright was published by George Allen & Unwin in 1966, ISBN 00601 119675.

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