Motorcycle Repair EncyclopediaIt can be difficult to find shops that will even work on bikes from the sixties and seventies – let alone work on them with a high level of expertise.

Bikes moved to computer assisted fault analysis like automobiles a number of years ago, so having to troubleshoot and repair old bikes that have none of that equipment can be difficult — even for mechanics with lots of experience on modern machines.

Complicating matters is the fact that DIY type may discover that finding good repair manuals on those older bikes is difficult these days, so finding one like Tim Lockwood’s Motorcycle Repair Encyclopedia from the seventies is the next best thing.

Tim Lockwood has at least 15 service and repair manuals to his credit, covering seven different makes and his Motorcycle Repair Encyclopedia covers 22 makes (including AJS, BMW, Bultaco, BSA, Can-Am, Carabela, CZ, Harley-Davidson, Hodaka, five Honda model types, Husqvarna, four Kawasaki model types, Maico, Montesa, Moto-Guzzi, Norton Commando, Ossa, Penton, Sachs, three Suzuki model types, three Triumph model types, and three Yamaha model types) and more than 200 models in all.

The book is encyclopedic in length with 464 pages, an excellent index, and very handy chapter of mathematical formulas and conversion tables. Several hundred illustrations, wiring diagrams and black/white photos show how to do troubleshooting and tune-up procedures with great clarity.

Exploded-view diagrams help make disassembly and reassembly of everything from carburetors to magnetos and generators easier to understand.

Systems that have changed radically such as the ignition system where breaker points have gone away in favor of electronic ignition systems are covered in depth. Replacing and setting contact breaker points as well as how to evaluate their condition is covered, as is how to service a range of once-common carburetor types.

The book is organized by operating system covered in nine chapters and broken down by brand and model type. General areas are chassis, electrical system, carburetors, tune-up and troubleshooting, individual model-specific tune up procedures, and tune-up specifications.

For a book that has vintage status in its own right, I have found it to be very handy for problem-solving on some old clunkers and even a source of useful background information on bikes that are considerably newer.

Book Data:

  • Title: Motorcycle Repair Encyclopedia
  • Author: Tim Lockwood
  • Published: First edition, 1974, Second edition, 1977
  • Publisher: Clymer Publications, 222 N. Virgil Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90004
  • ISBN: 0-89287-021-4

Note to readers: 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.