BUY IT. FIX IT.
IT’S ALL THERE IN PRINT FOR US TO READ OURSELVES FASTER
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”