Motorcycle Library Retro Review
If you read any motorcycle literature, be it U.S. or U.K., you have probably read Roland Brown’s work.
He has ridden and written about everything from spindly-framed antiques to golden-age classics to present day superbikes.
Consequently, he is uniquely qualified to compile the contents of his book Dream Machines Motorcycles.
Comprised of feature chapters on 44 dream machines, the book interestingly begins and ends with products from Harley-Davidson; indeed four of the 44 featured are from the Motor Company.
Similarly, Triumph, Suzuki and Kawasaki each have four models included but Honda tops them all with no less than seven of its creations in the compendium of dream machines.
Of course, the number of featured bikes from any given manufacturer is probably more about the sheer range of machines they have produced than about whether their products are that much better or “dreamier” than anyone else’s. For example, Yamaha, Ducati, Norton, Indian, MV Agusta all have but two each and other iconic names like BMW, BSA, Aprilia, Ariel, Gilera and Brough all have but one.
Each feature includes three to four superb color images many shot by Brown himself as well as a speedometer graphic that tells at a glance the typical top speed of each bike and a specification table that provides engine, transmission, chassis, brake and physical specifications.
Antique dream bikes like the Harley-Davidson 11F “Silent Gray Fellow” of 1915 and the Indian Powerplus of 1918 are treated primarily in a historic context, but as the narrative moves ahead to more modern classics and contemporary bikes like the Norton Commando, Triumph Trident, Kawasaki GPZ900R, Yamaha V-Max, Aprilia RSV Mille and others, Brown gives the reader more a seat-of-the-pants appraisal of the bike’s design and performance.
With such a range of dream machines included, Brown’s book is a great addition to any serious enthusiast’s library.
- Title: Dream Machines Motorcycles
- Author: Roland Brown
- Published: 2002 (1st edition)
- Publisher: Parragon Publishing, Queen Street House, 4 Queen Street, Bath BA1 1 HE, UK
- ISBN: 0-75258-071-X
Note to readers: many of the books that we’ll feature here may be out of print and some may be difficult to find. That could be half the fun. The internet should make the search relatively easy but ironically, none of the books currently scheduled for eventual retro-review for the Rider’s Library section were found with the help of the Internet. They all were found at book stores, used book stores, antique shops, motorcycle shops, yard sales and so on.