This is the third in our occasional series of reviews of classic motorcycle books. Some of these books some are very rare; some are out of print, obscure, forgotten or generally out of the mainstream.
I have always been of the opinion that deepening our understanding and knowledge of what has come before can help us better appreciate what we now have and what will come in the future. Our hope is that you will discover something new, just as we have, and that you will become as inspired as we have been to deepen your knowledge of motorcycling history.
But Bacon is a man of mind and hand, because he’s covered both the history and restoration tips on some relatively obscure marques in books such as “AJS & Matchless Restoration”, “Norton Singles OHV & SV 1931-66” and others.
Obviously, a man of many talents with a wealth of information about motorcycles, especially the wonderful British variety. Roy Bacon has a not-easy-to-find website with a biography and information about a motorcycle dating service that he offers to interested historians.
The 1930’s is so foreign to many motorcyclists today that it isn’t even considered as part of motorcycle history. But the 1930’s were actually an incredible, vibrant and action-packed decade in more ways than one, especially for the British.
But our focus is on motorcycles, and there were over 80 different makes of motorcycle available in Britain in the 1930’s. This may be hard to believe or conceive, because that’s probably at least twice as many motorcycle makes in the entire world in the 21st Century.
Bacon covers 84 of them in “British Motorcycles of the 1930’s”, from the familiar marques like Norton, Triumph and AJS to the completely obscure, with names like New Gerrard, NUT, SOS, Chell and Whitwood. I have no idea how he got them, but there are many photos of each with detailed descriptions, model histories and even charts in the back of the book that list the technical details.
If you can’t get enough of motorcycles; if you’re interested in the astonishing and utterly fascinating history of the British motorcycle industry; or if you’ve viewed the wonderful “A to Z of British Bikes” video and want more, this is the book for you. It’s an extremely valuable historical document that can only become more precious as time marches on.