BUY IT. FIX IT.

IT’S ALL THERE IN PRINT FOR US TO READ OUR­SELVES FASTER

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - On The Bench -

Seems that the more you know about bikes, the more there is to know. When I be­came of age to have my own bikes, the process of a hands-on ed­u­ca­tion be­gan, the me­chan­i­cal mis­takes hav­ing as much value as the suc­cesses.

When not rid­ing or mend­ing and mod­i­fy­ing, there was al­ways some read­ing to do. Sir Harry Ri­cardo’s works on the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine and Phil Irv­ing’s Tun­ing for Speed were an­cient tomes even in my youth but the prin­ci­ples they laid down are at the very foun­da­tion of ev­ery­thing we love as petrol­heads. Mag­a­zine ar­ti­cles and books by the late, great John Robin­son pro­vided end­less in­sights even if you of­ten had to work hard to grap­ple with and get the con­tent. Years later I would work with John on Per­for­mance

Bikes; a rare priv­i­lege I still of­ten strug­gle to be­lieve was mine.

One con­stant mantra through­out all th­ese years spent with bikes is that rac­ing im­proves the breed. Of course it does, the pur­suit of ul­ti­mate per­for­mance has a trickle-down ef­fect that in­forms the de­sign and equip­ment of the bikes we ride on the road.

Around 20 years ago, en­gi­neer John Bradley pub­lished vol­ume one in his se­ries, The Rac­ing

Mo­tor­cy­cle. A copy landed in the of­fice and it fell to me to re­view it. It has proved a com­pelling and ed­u­ca­tional ref­er­ence ever since, as has vol­ume two which ap­peared a decade or so later. So I was very ex­cited to re­ceive an email from John Bradley a few weeks back say­ing that vol­ume three was im­mi­nent and would I like to re­ceive a copy. Would I ever. Some days later the 416-page, 1.9kg epic thud­ded onto my door­mat.

The fo­cus of the third vol­ume is chas­sis set-up. John re­ally gets down to the nitty gritty. Al­though the books all have a rac­ing bent, they un­lock many un­der­stand­ings for us as road rid­ers. If you missed the first two vol­umes, there are plans to have them reprinted. For now you can grab a copy of vol­ume three for £42 plus postage at www. broad­landleisure.com. Mine will be tak­ing its right­ful place on the book­shelf along­side works by Ri­cardo, Irv­ing and Robin­son and, of course, Mr Bradley’s pre­vi­ous ef­forts. Alan See­ley

“BOOKS BY THE LATE, GREAT JOHN ROBIN­SON PRO­VIDED END­LESS IN­SIGHTS”

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