If the names Bakker, Dresda, Harris, Spondon or many others like them ring a bell, you’ll find Motorcycle Road & Racing Chassis a very interesting book. Just published, it covers 15 specialty frame builders, some still in business, some not, with stories of how they came about and photos of the frames and completed bikes they built over the years.
If you read The Kneeslider, it’s likely you’ll recognize most or all of the companies covered in the book, but, even among the well known names, you might not know much about how they started. Did you know Bimota began with the purpose of making ducting for heating and ventilation? Guiseppe Morri and Massimo Tamburini (the “mo” and “ta” in Bimota) liked motorcycles and the company took a new direction. Lucky us!
Many of these companies started because a racer wanted to improve his own bike, and after putting together something that worked well, others began asking if they might be able to buy one for themselves, Nico Bakker is a good example of this route into business.
Many of the photos from as early as the 1960s and 70s, show bikes that look superb from today’s standards and would look good anywhere they appeared. A Rickman or Spondon chassis just looks right, even if it’s 30 or 40 years old.
Even if you know a fair amount about some of these companies, it’s likely this book will fill in a few gaps in your knowledge and the many photos will give you plenty to look at and probably generate more than a few ideas if you’re thinking about building something yourself.
If you really appreciate the hardware side of motorcycling, functional hardware that is, not the chrome and flashy paint, then this book should be on your shelf.