British Custom Motorcycles

20th January 2016


Choppers | Bobbers | Veloce Publishing 


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This isn't actually a new book. It was first published in April 2014 (although it's marked "NEW" on Veloce Publishing's website, and when we originally asked about it we were told it was new).


Either way, it's certainly new to us, and a good book (new or old) deserves a little extra publicity if it's still in print.


The title is British Custom Motorcycles. The hardback book features dozens of custom bikes, choppers and bobbers from around the world. Our expectations were actually pretty low with this. We've seen a lot of books on custom bikes, and we've edited one or two. And we figured this would be pretty much the same general stuff; i.e. a brace of run-of-the-mill bikes sandwiched in a hundred or so glossy pages with a few terse lines of copy draped here and there.



But we were surprised. There are in fact some very interesting custom bikes here from AJS to Vincent, from Ariel to Velocette, all nicely (but not dramatically) displayed within the 128 colour pages. However, what we particularly like is that the author has collected material from around the world, and not simply the more obvious places (i.e the UK, the USA, Australia, Sweden, etc).


There are bikes from India, Switzerland, Argentina, Finland, France, Japan and Italy. And what makes them doubly interesting is the regional and national differences (and if you thought the Indians, for instance, simply hammered stuff together, this will help dispel those nasty prejudices).




As befitting the title, the bikes are all British, except for the latter-day Royal Enfields which are Indian-built (but British in spirit). The photography is good-to-very-good. The production is more adequate than exceptional. The writing is unflashy and economical. The author is Uli Cloesen who lives and works in New Zealand.


The format of this book is square (250mm x 250mm). There are 250 images decorating the aforementioned 128 pages. And the price from Veloce is 25.


British Custom Motorcycles is by no means the first word in custom bike books, and it's certainly not the last. Nevertheless, if you're into choppers and bobbers, this will keep your attention for a while and will serve as a good reference tome.






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