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BRIT IRON is all about classic British bikes
January 12, 2017

January 2017

Here we are at another New Year. Myself, I’m stuck in the doldrums of lots and lots of rain (the drought’s over!) and a slow recovery from shoulder surgery, so not much has been happening here on the home front. My Yellow Bike sits in my shop just waiting for me to lay hands on it. My surgeon told me I couldn’t do any sort of physical work with my left arm until January 2. I thought I was in the clear, but then I got the flu and now I’m sick. I can’t believe my luck! Oh well, it will all be past me soon enough, it will warm up and the sun will start shining in my beloved California Gold Country, and I’ll get ambitious and get my Yellow Bike ready to ride.

In October, an announcement was made that Indian tractor giant Mahindra had just bought what was left of BSA, the motorcycle company, not the optics firm. Mahindra hs been breaking into the motorcycle business in baby steps, starting with scooters, then lightweights designed for their home market in India and the Third World export market. Now they feel they’re ready to get into the big game and wanted to secure the rights to one of the classic British marques. Rumor is they were trying to buy Norton, but when they heard they might be able to buy BSA instead, they jumped on it. Their plan is to launch a modern line of state-of-the-art BSAs, intended for the upper-end of the American and European markets. For the whole story, go to our new Motorcycle News-page. And keep up with it for all the latest buzz on the motorcycle biz.

Just got my auction brochure in the mail from Mecum Auctions for the bike classic motorcycle auction week in Las Vegas. It runs from January 25 through the 28th, and Mecum’s auction will be at the South Point Hotel & Casino as usual. They’re advertising 1,000 bikes! Then, across town at the Rio, Bonham & Butterfield (the world’s oldest auction house) will have another 200 or 300 bikes in their one-day sale on Thursday. I’ll be going, as usual, staying at the South Point (that’s the way to do it) and my wife and I plan to have a wonderful time in Vegas, and I plan to have a wonderful time ogling beautiful motorcycles. And taking pictures, lots and lots of pictures. It’s how I built this website, Even if you’re not buying or selling anything, it’s a fun gig, and what I call “the world’s biggest classic motorcycle show”. Hope to see you there. I’ll be the guy taking all the pictures of the British bikes.

Last month, I got an email from a fellow who had just finished writing a book all about motorcycles. He asked me if I’d review it for him and he sent me a copy. When it arrived, I was stunned! First off it was over 500 pages in length, and it was about the very broad topic of motorcycles in general. But what really got me was that it was one of the most beautiful books on motorcycles I’d ever seen! The cover (above) was certainly eye-catching enough, but when I opened it up, it was full of some of the most gorgeous pictures of motorcycles in print. Most of them I’d never seen before, they were unique to the book. So, my first thought is, even with 500 pages, how can you possibly cover, with any thoroughness at all, the entire subject of motorcycles and motorcycling?

Well, I’m here to tell you that the author, Armand Ensanian, did a masterful job of it. He broke the book down into meaningful chapters on the history of motorcycles, the basics of their design, engine design, cruisers, customs, racing, the culture and much, much more. Then he broke it down further into short sections with each chapter to keep it easy to read and very informative. ‘Discovering the Motorcycle’ is not only a fantastic reference volume, it’s all a fun, rewarding read. I’ve been reading it since I got it, and I can’t stop.

I was so impressed not only with the book itself, but the tremendous job that Ensanian did with an enormous subject that could easily have been drown in minutia. But he kept it light, interesting, informative and very well organized. It is my opinion that if you could only have one book on motorcycles in your library, this would be the one. Obviously, I like the book, enough to recommend it to all my viewers and subscribers. You can buy it here. Click on the picture of the book above to go to Amazon and order your copy. Of it you’d like to know more about the book first, go to my Book Review on it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I am.

The latest installment of my monthly column “From Across the Pond” just broke in the January 2017 issue of Thunder Roads Mid-Atlantic motorcycle magazine. This time, I covered the History of Velocette Motorcycles, tracing this once-proud marque from its pre-history through its glory days of the 1930s, 40s and 50s, to their ultimate demise in the turbulent and unforgiving 60s. Unforgiving, that is, if you were a British motorcycle company, because many came into the 60s, but very, very few survived into the 70s. It’s a bitter-sweet story and one that I invite you to read, either on my Thunder Roads-page , or by EMAIL ME HERE for your FREE COPY. Please make sure you include your name and FULL MAILING ADDRESS! (You wouldn’t believe how many orders I get without addresses of any kind). Again, there is no cost or obligation to this offer. I will mail you a copy free of charge and I’m paying for the postage. Hope you enjoy. Pass it along to your friends when you’re done with it.

Please don’t forget that we have a FACEBOOK PAGE. Please visit it, then bookmark it so you can find it again. And “Like” everything you see!!!

We also have a YouTube Channel loaded with awesome videos about classic Brit bikes.

And of course, don’t ever forget the Mother Ship, my website Visit and visit often. By the way, our traffic has been hovering around 200,000 hits per month, so apparently you have been. Thank you.

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