Community Classic and Custom Motorcycles Classic Superbikes by Frank Melling Book Review: Motorcycle History

Classic Superbikes by Frank Melling Book Review: Motorcycle History

Frank Melling is an old-school moto journalist and former factory racer. He lives with his wife Carol on a beautiful farm in northwest England. There, he raises Manx Loaghtan sheep, among other things, runs the Thunderfest two-day motorcycling event (previously known as Thundersprint), campaigns a Seeley Suzuki, and still can get around a circuit in a respectable time.

I met Frank in Spain during a Triumph new-model launch years ago, and we have kept in touch. My respect for him grew after reading his A Penguin in a Sparrow’s Nest. I thoroughly enjoyed it—especially the part where he tells the story of his BSA factory ride and of “liberating” his B50 from the factory as the gates were closing the final time after bankruptcy.

Classic Superbikes by Frank Melling: Motorcycle Author

Frank has participated in and seen many of the happenings woven into the history of late 20th-century motorcycling, so his moto-cred is firmly established. His newly printed Classic Superbikes, in soft-cover magazine format, is about 130 pages of what motorcycle magazine readers used to lust over before said magazines showed more advertising than content. Classic Superbikes has adverts on just a handful of pages; the rest is pure moto-reading bliss.

Classic Superbikes is well-printed on quality paper stock, and is chock full of Frank’s stories and fabulous high-resolution photos. Each chapter tells of a different, legendary machine. Chapter titles include Gilera Four—The Best of the Best of the Best; 1938 Triumph Speed Twin—The machine that killed the British bike industry; Egli Fritz—Rarer than a smiling parking warden with a forgiving nature; The Last Works BSA—A fairy tale for grown-ups; Hesketh Venom—The gentleman’s motorcycling carriage); Norton Commando 750—Mk1: The best of all Commandos, and many more stories and photos that will surely make you smile and reminisce.

I highly recommend Classic Superbikes, as well as all of Frank’s moto-related books, and they can be purchased directly on the Frank Melling website.

Classic Superbikes by Frank Melling: For Sale

Jonathan Handler
Jonathan Handler
Jonathan Handler has been around the block a few times. He doesn’t know it all but he knows what he likes. He has an eye for form but function is everything. He loves old bikes but prefers riding the new ones.

2021 American Flat Track Schedule: 17 AFT Rounds Planned

The 2021 American Flat Track schedule has been revealed, and it features 17 rounds running from March to October, and coast-to-coast. There are four...

2021 Aprilia RSV4 and RSV4 Factory First Look (11 Fast Facts)

There are quite a few updates to the 2021 Aprilia RSV4 and RSV4 Factory. None of them are revolutionary. However, taken together, they add...

Honda CRF110F EFI Long-Term Test: 11-Year-Old Tested

When we got a hold of the 2019 Honda CRF110F, we were reluctant to give it back. Test rider Ben Karsian was cutting his...

2021 Moto Guzzi V9 Lineup First Look: Bobber and Roamer Updated

The  Moto Guzzi V9 lineup of the Bobber and Roamer gets a significant update for 2021. There’s a new motor powering the two V9s,...

Tirox SnapJack SS First Look: Motorcycle Chain Maintenance Aid

Although single-sided swingarms are designed to simplify maintenance, if the motorcycle doesn’t have a centerstand, it doesn’t make working on your drive chain any...

Titan One: A Custom Honda CB360 Like No Other (Exclusive Interview)

Some custom motorcycles suck you in with beauty and artistry. Others are an unapologetic kick to the groin. With a wood seat, short unmuffled...