How to Restore Your Motorcycle | Rider’s Library

How to Restore Your Motorcycle | Rider’s LibraryMotorcycle Library

Mark Zimmerman’s book “How to Restore Your Motorcycle,” takes a very pragmatic approach to the subject.

Instead of just diving into how to tear down, refurbish and reassemble the various motorcycle operating systems, Zimmerman takes a step back and starts at the beginning — the real beginning.

He takes some time to help the reader consider what kind of bike to acquire for possible restoration, what to restore and what not to restore and some sage advice on creating the kind of workshop space that will make the restoration project easier to do.

He even recommends some valuable additional resources to use in the search for the right restoration project bike, such as Roy Bacon’s series of buyer’s guides (ex: “Illustrated Norton Buyer’s Guide”).

Mark Zimmerman is exceptionally well qualified to author a book on this subject and has written extensively for publications such as Motorcycle Cruiser, as its Technical Editor and Classic Bike Guide (U.K.).

The 192-page softcover book includes dozens of color images as well as detailed line drawings to illustrate how things can be done. It is cleverly organized in 18 color-coded chapters that cover all the key mechanical and electrical systems as well as some little-known insights into the aesthetics of paint, powder coating and chrome plating.

Since acquiring a copy of this book a couple of years ago, I’ve used it as a reference for maintenance and repair on some of my old bikes, even though I have the factory shop manuals for them. Why? Because Zimmerman includes information about what to watch for and expect to fix or replace on bikes with some real-world miles on them.

Factory shop manuals tend to only apply to the situation where tear-down and reassembly is more akin to how the bike is built in the factory.

Though the book’s title seems to make it a good choice primarily for people bent on restoring some sort of vintage bike, in truth, the book is an excellent resource to use along with your owner’s manual or shop manual for maintenance and repair on your daily rider.

Book Data:

  • Title: How to Restore Your Motorcycle, 2nd Edition
  • Author: Mark Zimmerman, photography by Jeff Hackett
  • Published: 2010. Soft cover.
  • Publisher: MBI Publishing Co. and Motorbooks, an imprint of MBI Publishing, 400 First Ave. N., Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55401 USA
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7603-3772-1

Many of the books that we’ll feature in Rider’s Library 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.

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