Friday, December 2, 2011

History Book

Way back in the dark ages, when I was a schoolboy, History was not one of those classes which I disliked. In fact, I believe that I could actually admit, if pressed, to enjoying History classes. That said, when a book comes along with a title like "Motorcycle Drag Racing: A History" it is not hard to see why it might grab my attention.

Motorcycle Drag Racing: A History, by John Stein is a 240+ page book jam packed with photos and a lively text which documents motorcycle drag racing from its 1950 birth at Santa Ana, right down to today's NHRA Pro Stocks. The size and quality put it in the category often referred to to as a "coffee table book" (yeah, I know; I don't have a coffee table either). If you are a fan of motorcycle drag racing, this is a "must have" item!

Chapter titles include: The Pioneers: 1950-1960, The Sixties: The Golden Age of Motorcycle Drag Racing, The Pioneers: 1960-1970, "Congratulations, You've Got Twins." (which of course deals with the rise of dual engine drag bikes), and many others. Legendary racers such as Lloyd Krant, Louie Castro, Chet Herbert, Bud Hare and Tommy Auger are some of those highlighted from the '50s. Clem Johnson, Leo Payne, Joe Smith, Boris Murray, and Sonny Routt are just a few of the other "shakers and movers" to earn a spot in this "who's who" of motorcycle drag racing lore.

My only complaint is that I wish Mr. Stein had expanded every chapter into a book of its own ...and I do understand what an unreasonable complaint that is given the large size and scope of the book as it is. But the book is sorta like motorcycle drag racing itself: its so good you just want more of it!

Seriously, the photos alone are worth the price of admission. Likewise the text could stand on its own and I doubt that anyone would complain about the price; add those together and its a bargain!

"Motorcycle Drag Racing: A History" can be purchased direct from Gearhead Publishing . Buy it; read it; you'll thank me for the heads up.

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