Any kind of competition breeds a desire to gain a performance advantage over the opposition, and motorcycle racing is no exception. Cutting-edge chassis design is a major factor in motorcycle performance, including that of fast road machines. This book charts the history of fifteen of the most innovative companies, with full specifications for many chassis and extensively illustrated throughout. It is a must for any motorcycle enthusiast and a valuable reference for the trade.
This book is an account of the companies and individuals, who have played a major part in the design and advancement of motorcycle frame (chassis) performance. These independent companies began to spring up in the early postwar years, when motorcycle racing began to take place again. Due to the lack of available factory machines and the urge to improve performance of the now aged equipment, riders began to build their own frames around whatever engines were available. Success brought recognition, and people were soon wanting to buy winning machines, so fledgling companies began to spring up to satisfy the growing demand for custom chassis. Some of these companies soon began to grow, and others appeared in various European countries over the next few years. The state-of-the-art hand built frames were becoming a must for the discerning road bike rider, and so the independent motorcycle frame makers were beginning to put some designs into production, and a thriving business was beginning to emerge. In later years, with such a large choice of factory engines from around the world, the successful independent chassis manufacturers went from strength to strength and some are now producing highly prized road bikes, whilst building one-off machines as required.
As the years have passed, one or two of the independent companies have disappeared, but in many cases their machines have become very collectable classics. The companies still thriving today, as well as producing modern machines with a wide range of engine options, are finding considerable business rebuilding and maintaining machines built in the earlier years. Some of the pioneer builders have become household names to the motorcycle fraternity, and those written about in this book include: Nico Bakker (The Netherlands), Bimota (Italy), Dresda Autos (United Kingdom), Egli (Switzerland), Harris Performance Products (United Kingdom), Hejira racing (United Kingdom), Magni (Italy), Maxton Engineering (United Kingdom), P&M Motorcycles (United Kingdom), Quasar (United Kingdom), Rickman UK (United Kingdom), Colin Seeley Racing (United Kingdom), Segale (Italy) and Spondon Engineering (United Kingdom). This book charts the history of these innovative companies with full specifications for many chassis, and is extensively illustrated throughout. A must for any motorcycle enthusiast, and a valuable reference for the trade.
About the author
Keith Noakes has a lifetime's love of motorcycles and has owned and restored road racing machines, vintage speedway machines and various off-road examples. Although he no longer rides them, Keith maintains his love and enthusiasm of motorcycles. A large part of his working life has been involved in composite engineering, working in research and development for a large company that was one of the earliest suppliers of carbon and other fibres in various forms for structural applications. It was shortly after the introduction of this technology to Formula One car racing that it was, unsurprisingly, adopted by some motorcycle designers, particularly the innovators in the independent chassis manufacturing companies. Keith's involvement with these designers brought him closer to the cutting-edge developments, and led to him discovering a wide range of highly appealing machines from the many independent manufacturers. The creativity and innovation of these designers, and the success of their machines, inspired Keith to write this book.