This is the definitive, comprehensive guide to motorcycle design. Tapping a deep well of knowledge and a lifetime of experience, motorcycle racer and historian Mick Walker sheds light on the evolution of one of the world's ultimate status symbols and style icons―a development owing as much to history, politics, and technology as it does to image, lifestyle, and design. In a survey that ranges from the late nineteenth-century pioneers like Gottlieb Daimler and Hildebrand & Wolfmüller to present-day manufacturers―Harley Davidson, Ducati, Honda, BMW, Aprilia, and Triumph―Walker sets each model within its historical context and outlines the main technological and stylistic innovations that make each bike unique.
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Mick Walker is acknowledged to be the world's leading motorcycle authority. In a career that has spanned over forty-five years, he has written over one hundred books and curated several exhibitions. He has been a successful racer, tuner, team manager, talent scout, and British importer. In 1998, he was involved in The Art of the Motorcycle exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and, in 1999, Ducati presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award, the first of its kind.From The New Yorker:
This illustrated history charts the design and engineering developments that shaped the modern motorcycle. Walker shows how the vehicle's evolution from the steam-powered bicycles of the eighteen-sixties was influenced by technological innovations in the airplane and auto industries, and also by lessons that manufacturers learned from the world of motor racing. Modern "superbikes" can traverse the Sahara and reach speeds of a hundred and seventy-five miles per hour. While it helps to be up on basic internal-combustion workings (a glossary is provided for those who don't know their camshafts from their crankcases), even the mechanically maladroit can enjoy the copious images, which feature such curiosities as snapshots of early sidecars - one a fully enclosed camper, big enough to sleep in, another a policeman's jail cell on wheels, for instantaneous imprisonment.
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