Volumes 1 and 2 of ‘The Racing Motorcycle, a technical guide for constructors’ are specifically written for those who wish to build their own race bikes. However, a lot of the information in Volume 1 will appeal to anyone who is simply interested in what makes bikes perform. Similarly, Volume 2 contains much to interest to those building cars and karts as well as bikes.
Volume 1 deals with fundamental performance issues, covering areas such as engine characteristics, gearing and gear ratio suitability, chassis geometry, weight distribution, suspension and aerodynamics. There is also a section discussing straight-line performance, the influence of weight, rotational inertia etc. There are numerous examples and tables of data taken from a variety of successful bikes. In essence, Volume 1 provides a performance overview and identifies things that need to be thought about before spending significant sums of money.
Volume 2 assumes you have formulated a design concept and are going to construct your own rolling chassis. It discusses numerous technical and practical issues but is primarily focused on the various engineering materials that are employed. This book covers all the materials normally used for motorcycle construction, eg steels, aluminium, magnesium and titanium alloys, plastics, composites, and a variety of more specialised alloys.
This is not a text book and there is a constant practical theme running through the book, along with numerous contact details for suppliers, fabricators etc. There are over 300 photographs illustrating the way things are done. A significant part of the book deals with structural issues such as strength and stiffness, how to minimise structural failures etc. This coverage is non-mathematical so that every constructor can benefit from it, whatever their background.
Volume 2 does not cover those issues that are adequately covered by monthly magazines, things like making up brake hoses or where to buy standard motorcycle parts. Instead it concentrates on the engineering issues that are of vital importance but rarely discussed in depth.