From the forgotten Aberdale, of Llwynypia, Wales, to the ingeniously eccentric Wooler, of north-west London, British Motorcycles 1945-1965 offers alphabetical coverage – in no less than 600 pages – of British motorcycle makes of the period 1945-1965, among them great names such as AJS, BSA, Matchless, Norton, Royal Enfield, Triumph and Vincent.
The two decades covered by this book represent the final flowering of the motorcycle industry in Britain, a period when British bikes were shipped all over the world, when America discovered high-performance British twins and when ton-up boys vied with each other in feats of horrific daring. In the meantime, rush-hour roads resounded to the buzz and crackle of ride-to-work two-strokes, men hidden in cumbersome waterproof coats slogged along on unwieldy sidecar outfits, wife on the pillion, kids alongside, and courting couples, carefree, hugging tight, enjoyed a sunlit ride to the seaside or into the hills.
In this intensely detailed study, author Rinsey Mills gives the histories of the motorcycle manufacturers and then provides information on the models they produced, year by year, using original material from sales brochures for the illustrations, not only to identify the bikes and to highlight model changes and revisions, but also to give the flavour of the times when they were to be seen going about their business.
Whether your taste is for the obscure and the might-have-beens, for workaday two-strokes, nimble scramblers, thumping singles, ton-up twins or fiery road racers, all are here, offering an unrivaled store of knowledge and information as well as more than 1,500 illustrations that provide a powerful evocation of motorcycling in these two decades. The illustrations are accompanied by generous and informative captions which help to convey the strengths, weaknesses and character of the machines, as well as provide intriguing technical insights.