A Review of 'The Complete Book of BMW Motorcycles'

Many items come across the desks of the Clutch and Chrome staff for review. Each are initially greeted with unconscious reactions ranging from raised eyebrows, nods of approval and the occasional silly grin.

The Complete Book of BMW Motorcycles earned an audible wow from a few folks when it was dropped on a desk at the Clutch and Chrome offices. And dropped with a thud we might add.

This may have been the book’s charm actually.

Many in the office grew up in the age of the coffee table book and have an appreciation for this oversized, hard-covered type of literature which screams a person’s interests to the world. If there were ever a coffee table book to sit in a rider’s living room, 'The Complete Book of BMW Motorcycles' is it.

Written by Ian Falloon, The Complete Book of BMW Motorcycles is a thorough year-by-year guide to every production machine ever built by Germany's leading motorcycle manufacturer.

Considered one of the world’s foremost motorcycle historians, Ian Falloon is the author of twenty books on motorcycles, including ten on Ducati. His knowledge on the two-wheeled topic is apparent as is a maturity to presenting the information found in the book.

Here is the promotional outline of The Complete Book of BMW Motorcycles;

All the classic bikes are here, pre-World War II BMWs such as the R5 that defined performance in that era; the military R12 that carried the Wehrmacht as it blitzkrieged its way across Europe; the Earles-forked R69S that offered the perfect platform for mounting a Steib sidecar; the R90S cafe racer; the K1 "flying brick"; and the GS (Gelände Sport) series that launched a dual-sport revolution, right up to today's world-class S1000RR.

All of BMW's bike families are covered--the side-valve machines from the early years, the early overhead-valve performance bikes, the postwar Airheads and Oilheads, the four- and six-cylinder touring bikes, the early pushrod singles, the modern overhead-cam singles, the latest parallel twins, and inline four-cylinder sport bikes. From the first model, the R32 that launched BMW's motorcycle dynasty, to the latest (and fastest) model, the World-Superbike-dominating S1000RR, The Complete Book of BMW Motorcycles captures nearly a century of motorcycling excellence with a combination of historic and contemporary photos.

Books on motorcycles ride a fine line, balancing the presentation of information and technical information, blending it all in an entertaining manner. How much is too much and what is too little.

The author manages all of this perfectly with every page welcoming readers with not only the layout but also the information itself. Obviously it helps to write about a history as rich as BMW which gives ample material to blend the range of topics riders like to read about.

Indeed, the long and interesting life of BMW and its ride through motorcycle history make this book attractive to all riders, regardless what is sitting in the garage.

With Christmas cruising ever closer, the release of this book couldn’t be timed better. The book is a perfect gift to people to buy for the riders in their life. It’s also a great, guilty splurge, easily justifiable by riders who know they only have socks and underwear waiting under the Christmas tree.

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