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Clymer Vintage Collection – Four Stroke Motorcycles | Rider’s Library

Clymer Vintage Collection - Four Stroke Motorcycles | Rider's LibraryThe Clymer Vintage Collection Series includes condensed service manuals for both four- and two-stroke motorcycles. The one I happened to stumble across some years back is the four-stroke edition.

The books focus on bikes from the late sixties and into the seventies, and since it includes comprehensive service and rebuild data on both my 1976 CJ360T and 1974 Honda CB350F, I thought it would be a particularly good book to have on hand.

Besides those Hondas, it covers single-cylinder four-stroke models from BMW, BSA, Benelli, Ducati, Gilera, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Moto-Guzzi, Norton, Triumph and Velocette. It covers key multi-cylinder models from all of those same brands (minus Ducati), and Kawasaki, Royal Enfield and Yamaha in addition.

Specific models that may be of particular interest include the BMW R90S and R90/6, BSA A75 (Rocket 3 750), Benelli 650 Tornado, Harley-Davidson XLCH and 74 ci twins, Honda CB750 and GL1000, Kawasaki Z1 and Z1A, Moto-Guzzi V750 and 850 Eldorado, Norton 750 and 850 Commando, Royal Enfield 750 Interceptor, Triumph Trident, X75 Hurricane and Yamaha XS1B 650 and TX650, to name but a few.

If that sounds like it has to be a load of content, you’re right—it is. The book’s 375 pages is packed with black/white photos, diagrams and exploded view illustrations of engines that you’d have to get a bookshelf full of factory service manuals to match. It even includes a full-page degree wheel in the back to allow it to be duplicated.

To help new wrench-spinners visualize the operation of the engine they are about to work on the book starts out with an excellent discussion of the basic operation of the four cycle engine. That includes carburetor fundamentals, ignition systems, spark plug tech, and essentials of troubleshooting, and various repairs including fastener basics and threaded fastener repairs. Chassis, brakes, suspension and drive chain basics are handled in brief form—but in many instances are treated in detail in the various make/model-specific sections.

Each section includes detailed engine specification sheets, and the detailed exploded assembly views are particularly helpful in that they provide the name of the parts in the assemblies.

Depending on which sixties or seventies vintage bike or bikes you may have in your shed now, or think about having in the future, when it comes to having a do-it-all engine tuning and rebuild reference book, this is a very good one to have in the garage.

Book Data:

  • Title: Clymer Vintage Collection Series Four-stroke Motorcycles
  • Author: Compilation
  • Published: First edition, 1990, Fourth printing 2006.
  • Publisher: Prism Business Media, PO Box 12901, Overland Park, KS 66282-2901
  • Library of Congress Number: 90-055414

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.

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