Pushing it a little, aren't they? Actually, no. These are among the 365 bikes you should ride before you die, or your wrists, bum, reflexes and eyesight give up, whichever comes sooner. Problem: another 635 (an even 1,000) deserve your attention. You know scores you'd include. I'd add the LE Velocette, a water-cooled, shaft-drive 148-/192-cc flat twin--smooth, almost silent, handles like a KTT. Brit country coppers used them.
Enough carping. This is a terrific book, written by enthusiasts who know their motorcycles. You can spend hours digging history (back to beginning bikes), current bikes you've probably ridden (the gamut of marques over the past 50 years) to exotics you'll never ride but should, just for the experience. It covers machines, alphabetically, A.J.S. to Yankee (no Zundapp), one page for important entries, sometimes two or four per page, with illustration.
Convenient graphic icons accompany each bike's condensed description: `?' (`Did you know' unusual facts), `The Perfect Ride' (the ideal environment for that machine), a `star' (claim to fame) and a `riding jacket,' dubbed `Rebel Factor'--authors' ratings, one star to five, reflecting the idiosyncratic nature of every motorcycle, the machine's character or designer's behavior and goals from sane to omigod. The authors let it rip, candidly.
Esoterica that should grab you: the A.J.S. Porcupine (terrific cutaway drawing), the Moto-Guzzi V-8 roadracer (insanity on two wheels, which some racers refused to ride) to Gottlieb Daimler's wooden wonder (no, you and I will never get to ride it). This book is a keeper.