Introducing the Encyclopaedia of classic motorcycles
THE A - Z of classic marques.
This book is the culmination of hours of painstaking work by author Richard Rosenthal who has, over a number of years, developed a passion for old motorcycles.
The Encyclopaedia of Classic Motorcycles will become the definitive guide to motorcycles, from the very earliest attempts to motorise pedal cycles to the latest technology seen in more modern-day machinery.
We cannot confess to including every motorcycle manufactured. Nevertheless, this book is the most complete guide ever produced. It lists in alphabetical order all the machines you are ever likely to see from the dawn of two-wheeled power right up to the mid 1980’s. Machines falling within this period are generally accepted as classic motorcycles. This is a very generic term and it is impossible to make direct comparisons between a machine made before the First World War and one which, whilst still carrying a classic title, is capable over reaching over 150mph. We have viewed them all as classics in their own right.
Author Richard Rosenthal is a name known to thousands of classic fans around the world. He has ridden over 800 different motorcycles from a 25cc Cyclemaster to a Suzuki Hayabusa.
When he was just 14, Richard saved up £5 and bought a 1962 Paloma moped. He repaired the engine and got the hang of two wheels riding round the lawn before, illegally, taking to the country lands near his home. Apparently, he told his mum it was perfectly legal as French children could ride mopeds at 14! He ‘went legal’ and a week after his 16th birthday took to the roads on a 1955 Zundapp 200s…the beginning of a long love affair with bikes.
He bought his first old motorcycle – a 1924 OEC Blackburn 550cc – in 1971. He admits at that time he was a novice at restoration and it took him eight years to return it to the road. It’s been taxed continually ever since and of the 800 machines he has ridden, the Blackburne still gives him more pleasure than anything else.
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Richard joined the Vintage Motor Cycle Club in 1972 and has been a continuous member ever since as well as a member of the New Imperial Owners’ Association. He is still an active rider and has taken part in over 200 VMCC events, still managing up to 10 ride-outs with members every year, despite being a busy freelance writer and autojumbler. He’s completed over 25 Banbury Runs, tried his hand at trials riding, passengered a racing outfit at Mallory Park and still has aspirations to start a ‘new biking career’ sprinting a Rudge and possibly a Kreidler.
In a former life, Richard was Archivist of one of the finest collections of photographic and motor cycle related material in the world, now owned by Mortons Media Group Ltd, publishers of this book. It is from this very archive Richard has carried out his research using original sales catalogues, motor cycle magazines of the time and of course one of the largest photographic collections in the world.