This weighty tome by an author who knows his subect is a very interesting read. Excellent photographs with plenty of interesting facts and the chapter of the V8 Cosworth engine in relation to motorcycle engine development is an excellent read. Well worth adding to any motorcycle buffs library.
This book is a 'must read' for a true motorcycle enthusiast. It wasn't till i read it fully and spent time re-reading it that i realised how important this book is. Many years ago i began to listen to interviews with Jerry Burgess and wondered what he meant, upon reading Kevin's book i began to understand.The inclusion of Cosworth and reference to Curtis and Pratt and Whitney in this thesis are essential.If you truly want to know where inovation and genius dwell, read this book.Be it Vincent's cantilever swing arm or the adoption of harmonic expansion chambers in two strokes to the inevitable steep inclines to Cosworth valve angles this book has it all. Only recently when Valentino rejoined Yamaha did i have to listen to a Yamaha engineer re-qoute the myth of 'after the war we could not make airoplanes, so we built bikes. That is why we are the best.' If you read this book you will 'beg to differ.' In a world where myth becomes reality this book is a cognotive and lateral sensibility.
I only got this book on Christmas Eve so havent read it all and like Camerons book on the history of GP Motorbikes its excellent, although the layout is different to that book with a lot more text and a lot less artwork. Some of the photos could ve been a little clearer but thats my only gripe.
The book covers 53 bike engines ranging from the Guzzi singles of the 20s right up to Lorenzos 2011 Yamaha, but dont be put off if you have little interest in the older machines because all eras are well represented but as you would expect the writer concentrates on the post 60s explosion in technology. 28 of the 53 engines covered are either Ducati, Honda, Kawa, Suzuki or Yamaha but most everyone else that I can think of, bar BMW and Aprilia, has one or more engines covered.
I liked the little subheadings to each chapter which nicely summed up each engine. For example Kawaski H2-R 750 Triple.....it outgrew its cooling. Honda NR500.....but we learned so much, or Ducati 3- cam 125....reaching for unlimited revs.
The writing is great, clear and highly informative. You do of course need some background knowledge of engines to appreciate the main and the finer points but anyone interested in the book in the first place will follow it with no problems. Highly recommended.
After reading previous reviews I decided to purchase this book and I have not been disappointed, the way the author describes the engines and their characteristic's is so accurate as the first chapter I turned to was about the six cylinder Honda and in Kevin Cameron's words"anyone who has heard it being warmed up will never forget it, like a dog barking" I was fortunate enough to have experienced this when it was being ridden by the greatest Mike Hailwood and being used as it was meant to be used its neck being wrung to within a inch of its life, standing right behind it and being mesmerized by how instantly the revs rose and fell,( I still have the tinitus to prove it) Yes Kevin Cameron's writing captures this and the on going technical struggle takes place between manufacturers. This is just one of the many vivid and highly descriptive chapters and do not do this book justice, in fact I have read this volume from cover to cover a number of times since it was delivered and am in the process of tracking down any other books written by the author Whilst I have books that are more technical in their description of various engines and development nothing comes close to the highly readable sometimes humorous writing of Kevin Cameron
You get a very good overall review of engines of historic importance and a good explanation of the modern technology. But You don't get a detailed technical description of the engines. The technical data are scattered all over the text - no dimension and data tables - and there are very few drawings and photographs of the internals. Mostly You get only a photograph of the outside of the engine.
ive always enjoyed Kevins books and this one is no exeption, but his obvious efforts to downplay the work of Walter Kaden and MZ left a bad taste in my mouth, i think that most of us who where around through the late 50s early 60s will agree that walters work brought two stoke technoligy out of the dark ages and made them GP winners, he was clearly the first person to understand and utilise the resonant exaust systym, had he had the resorces to obtain top quality matierials and hire top riders they would certainly have won many world chamionships, Degners actions in defecting to Suzuki not only gave them the knowledge to start building competitive bikes but also virtualy ended MZs GP hopes as they where hardly allowed out of the country afterwards, one only has to look at suzuki results before and after 1961 to find the truth. You may have made Suzuki feel a little better about themselves Kevin, and i feel that was the aim, but its wrong to try to change history.
A brilliant read for anyone that likes and wants insight into all things related to motorcycle engines. The technical information provided about the racing motorcycle engines from the early days up to the present time is excellent. The narrative is delivered excellently allowing the reader an un-obscured view of the chase for power across the years.
This is the definitive book on racing motorcycle engines. A very informative book for experts but also good read for non-experts like myself. If you are interested in motorbike racing, this book is a must. Recommended!
The book is a good technical and historic reference for those interested in internal combustion engines, particularly those fitted to racing motorcycles. An author always has a difficulty with such a book deciding what to include and what to leave out. There are engines missing that I would have liked included and some that I would not have missed had they been excluded but that is just my preference. Another reader would likely have different views. There is variation in the depth of the technical description of the various engines, I guess that this is due to the availability of historic records. Each chapter is self contained with a description of a single engine type, so the book can be read by picking whichever chapter holds the most urgent interest for the reader at the time. There was one feature that I did not like; many of the photo captions indicated a lack of research or knowledge about the origin of the photo. For example, a caption for a Norton engine states "......this looks like a 1950 or earlier......". Many readers of reference book like this want to know exactly what it is, not what it "looks like" to the author. Such captioning, lacking in certainty, seemed to be quite common throughout the book. I am sure that there are enough photos, in accessible archives, which could have been chosen that had accurate descriptions. For me this was a small downside to the book which is otherwise very useful.
A great book for anyone interested in the technical aspects of race engines. It's well written and engages the reader in what could be a dry subject from start to finish. Despite the contents of the book being listed alphabetically rather than chronologically - therefore resulting in the description of evolving technology being written out of historical order - Kevin Cameron manages to keep the reader focused and doesn't repeat himself or have to refer you back or forward in the book during the discussion.
It could do with more diagrams to illustrate topics, and also more photos of engines & associated bikes rather than leaving this to the imagination.
Bizarrely, the title photo for the DKW 350 triple on p.52 looks like it's taken of a plastic model kit (engine only), but nonetheless gives the reader an impression of what's discussed! That aside, all other pics are ok.