By Jeff Clew
(Shire, Paperback, 9780747802778, 32pp.)
Publication Date: November 17, 2009
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After the close of the First World War, the British motorcycle industry rose to prominence as British motorcycles became almost unbeatable in competitions. However, a shortage of these new model bikes pushed prices to a premium and most people were forced to settle for prewar designs. These high prices led to greater competition, and greater competition lead to swifter and more innovative development. By the mid 1920s the overhead valve engine came into its own, with enhanced performance, and then the overhead camshaft engine with even greater potential. Internal expanding hub brakes kept safety in step with increased performance. The later 1920s brought about further significant changes when wired-on tyres came into general use and electric lighting replaced acetylene lights. Appearance was improved when chromium plating took the place of nickel and the saddle tank rendered the old flat tank superfluous.
Packed with illustrations of the bikes in use , this book is a celebration of the golden years of British motorcycles.
Jeff Clew has been involved with motorcycles since 1946 and has owned over sixty different machines. An experienced competitor, he has ridden in most types of competitive events, including ten years of road racing, after which he became Chief Travelling Marshal for the British Motor Cycle Racing Club. Still an active rider, he has a small collection of nine motorcycles, all of which he has restored. He joined J. H. Manuals and became the Haynes Publishing Group's Executive Editorial Director until his retirement in 1991. He has written fourteen books, nineteen workshop manuals and innumerable features for magazines and newspapers, as well as appearing on radio and television. In 1985 Jeff Clew was awarded the Montagu Trophy, the first time it had been awarded for a motorcycle marque history.