The market for vintage motorcycles is very active these days, whether it involves riding them, collecting them, or repairing and restoring them. For the vintage motorcycle enthusiast, there are several good books about these older motorcycles where they can simply read about and learn more about the bikes and their history, or gather tips about collecting or buying an older bike. There are also price guides that give advice on how much you should pay for a certain model and books available on vintage motorcycle repair and restoration projects. Whether you’re a beginner or more experienced, there are books that will show you how to restore an old bike or perform maintenance and repairs. Here we take a look at the top 15 books on vintage motorcycles.
1) The Comprehensive Vintage Motorcycle Price Guide 2015/2016 Edition
Antique, Classic, and Special Interest Motorcycles by The Motorcycle and Model Railroad Museum of Wisconsin
This price guide is published every two years to provide information on all motorcycle models made from 1901 to 1996. It provides an overview of which bikes are currently the hottest on the market and an explanation for the price changes of certain models. It teaches readers how to recognize “price grades” so that they know where a particular bike fits in. Book is a handy pocket sized edition so it’s perfect to take along if you’re out shopping for or looking at bikes.
2) The Vintage Motorcyclists’ Workshop by Radco
This book is considered to be a classic when it comes to vintage motorcycles. Originally published in 1986, it has now been reissued due to popular demand. The book is presented in the form of a Haynes Manual and encourages amateurs to attempt vintage motorcycle restoration themselves by using the detailed information and illustrations found in the book.
3) How to Pick Vintage Motorcycles by Frank Fritz
Frank Fritz, co-star of the popular television series “American Pickers”, shares his experience with readers with advice on how to find a vintage bike, negotiate a good deal when buying one, and how to take care of it.
4) The Restoration of Vintage and Thoroughbred Motorcycles by Jeff Clew
This book provides readers with an overview about vintage motorcycle restoration and what to expect during the process. It is not a step by step guide, but more of a useful collection of a variety of information about what is involved in restoring vintage bikes.
5) The Complete Encyclopedia of Classic Motorcycles
This hardcover book contains information about the history of one hundred different motorcycle manufacturers. Includes information about some of the most famous designers, machines, companies, and racers, along with 750 color photographs that any vintage motorcycle enthusiast will love looking at.
6) Collecting, Restoring, and Riding Classic Motorcycles by Tim Holmes and Rebekka Smith
This book serves an a nice introduction to the world of collectible motorcycles and tells about the history of the classic bike scene, gives advice on how to purchase vintage bikes, and gives an idea on what a classic bike will cost and how to go about restoring it to make it street legal. This books looks at veteran, vintage, post-vintage, and post-war models as well as featuring a section on popular European, American, and Japanese bikes.
7) The Beginner’s Guide to Classic Motorcycle Restoration
Your Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up a Workshop, Choosing a Project, Dismantling, Sourcing
This guide explores the motorcycles from the 1970s and 1980s and the unique characteristics of bikes made during that time period. Book provides detailed information to take you through every stage of motorcycle restoration that even a beginner can do.
8) Old School Motorcycle Designs
Concepts,Figures, Sketches, and Detailed Descriptions of Vintage Motorcycles
This is offered in a Kindle edition and features detailed descriptions of six different models of vintage motorcycles along with sketches, figures, and concepts related to their unique designs.
9) Intertec’s Vintage Collection Series: Four-Stroke Motorcycles
This manual provides information on simple maintenance projects or complete restorations and features exploded views, drawings, specifications, and chart illustrations for each type of job. Learn about short cuts for repairs, as well as high-performance modifications for a variety of vintage motorcycles from Harley Davidson, Honda, Triumph, and Yamaha.
10) Antique Motorcycle Club of America 50th Anniversary
This is a fun book for anyone who loves vintage motorcycles. It features stories, photographs, and memorabilia from the members of the AMCA. It will take the reader through decades of bikes that have been beautifully restored and is a must have book for motorcycle enthusiasts.
11) Vintage British Street Bikes: BSA, Norton, Triumph- Repair Manual
This manual provides information on three different bike models and provides a guide for three major manufacturers of British motorcycles from years gone by. Features detailed photos and descriptions.
12) 2013 NADA Vintage, Collectible, and Retro Motorcycle Appraisal Guide
Find out how much a certain collectible or vintage bike is worth in this handy appraisal guide.
13) Illustrated Vincent Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide
This book includes information for buyers of vintage bikes, along with beautiful color photographs. Perfect for any motorcycle enthusiast.
14) How to Restore Your BMW Motorcycle Twins 1950-1969
All the information you’ll need to transform a vintage bike back to its former glory is provided in this book. Covers all twins from the R51/2 to the R69US and contains detailed text and over 220 photographs. Contains BMW history, information on required tools, how to set up shop for repairing the bike, and how to choose the right machine.
15) How to Restore Your Harley-Davidson
This book comes highly recommended by many readers. Features 640 pages of pure Harley Davidson information. Contains information that will enable the reader to perform restoration on Harleys made from 1937 to 1964. Will allow readers to rebuild their bikes back to what it was like when it first came out of the factory.
More Great Motorcycle Books
The Essential Guide to Motorcycle MaintenanceVintage Harleys: The Best Classics from Around the WorldHow to Restore Your Motorcycle: Second EditionVintage Dirt Bikes: Enthusiasts GuideThe Vincent in the Barn: Great Stories of Motorcycle ArchaeologyThe Complete Book of Classic and Modern Triumph Motorcycles 1937-Today