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The wBW Rare Motorcycle Book Review Series: Grace and Grit: Motorcycle Dispatches From Early Twentieth Century Women | Triumph Bonneville: Portrait of a Legend | 60 Years of MotoGP | Hold ON! by Stan Dibben | Classic Motorcycling: A Guide for the 21st Century | The Rugged Road by Theresa Wallach | Exotic Motorcycles by Vic Willoughby | Fay Taylour - Queen of Speedway | Fifteen Times by Giacomo Agostini | Historic Racing Motorcycles, Famous Racing Motorcycles and Built for Speed by John Griffith | Great Motorcycle Legends by Richard Renstrom | Bahnstormer by L.J.K. Setright | British Motorcycles of the 1930's | Tuning for Speed by Phil Irving | Cafй Racers by Mike Clay | Tuning for Speed by Phil Irving | Bill Lomas: World Champion Road Racer | More wBW Book Reviews | wBW Book Review Ratings
This is another in our occasional series of reviews of classic motorcycle books. Some of these books some are very rare; some are out of print, obscure, forgotten or generally out of the mainstream.

I have always been of the opinion that deepening our understanding and knowledge of what has come before can help us better appreciate what we now have and what will come in the future. Our hope is that you will discover something new, just as we have, and that you will become as inspired as we have been to deepen your knowledge of motorcycling history.
griffith motorcycle books webbikeworld vintage motorcycle racing

John Griffith was a journalist in the 1950's, who wrote for Motor Cycling magazine, the precursor of the now-popular Motorcycle News. Griffith's specialty was in road testing the motorcycles of the day, but he had a special interest in historic racing motorcycles.

These three very rare gems were originally published by Temple Press Books in the early 1960's in London. They are wonderful little "pocket" books, illustrated with beautiful and excellent quality (considering the vintage) photographs and drawings.

The version of Historic Racing Motorcycles shown here is the original hardcover, which is very rare. The other two are soft covered and are reprints of the originals. The originals were published by Temple Press, but the reprints shown here were commissioned and promoted by the sponsor, Motor Cycle, in the early 1970's, which makes them just that much more of a curiosity.
Griffith's huge enthusiasm for motorcycling and especially for racing models definitely comes through in the text. He not only describes in minute detail all of the features of the various engines, chassis and more, he also had an encyclopedic knowledge of the riders and races in which they competed.
There are some relatively well-known and some very obscure models described, including rare bikes like the 1928 350cc Chater-Lea, the 1930 Rudge Whitworth 350 and the 1958 NSU Sportmax to the better-known 1960 Honda 250cc four cylinder TT machine and many more.
Even though the three books have different titles, they could really be considered as a three-part series of one continuous volume. Some of the chapters have originally appeared in the old Motor Cycling magazine and are reprinted in their entirety.

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