Classic motorcycles
Legendary motorcycles : the stories and bikes made famous by Elvis, Peter Fonda, Kenny Roberts, and other motorcycling greats
by Basem Wasef ; foreword by Jay Leno.
St. Paul, MN : Motorbooks/MBI Pub. Co., c2007.
The motorcycles that have achieved legendary status in the last century--from Elvis #38;rsquo;s and Evel Knievel #38;rsquo;s to Steve McQueen #38;rsquo;s and the Easy Rider chopper.

Want to get a motorcycle enthusiast’s attention? Ask him about a 1928 Indian Scout, a 1930 Harley-Davidson, or a 1955 Moto Guzzi Airone Sport 250. Some may call these older motorcycles ‘classic’, ‘vintage’, or ‘antique.’ All will call them extraordinary works of art and technology.

What makes a motorcycle "classic?" Most view it as a machine that is of outstanding design and engineering merit. Prior to 1913 there were over 120 manufacturers of motorcycles in the United States. Harley-Davidson, Indian (also known as Hendee Manufacturing), and Excelsior were probably the best known. With the advent of inexpensive automobiles, this number was reduced to a handful by 1920.

Over the years, Americans, British, Germans, Italians, and Japanese have become known as major motorcycle manufacturers. Each country exhibits a unique philosophy of motorcycles.

They rode Harley's

Clark Gable
Elvis Presley
Elizabeth Taylor
Evel Knievel
Jay Leno
Tina Turner

American designs include the ever-popular Harley Davidson motorcycle. Begun in 1903 when four men experimented with a combustion engine, owners of classic Harleys take pride in their bikes' distinctive design and sound. The "American Way," the "Easy Rider," and "The Outlaw," are names synonymous with the Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Whether the classic motorcycle aficionado has a passion for American built machines or one from Japan, they all have one thing in common - the desire to own and ride one of these unique vehicles.  And ride them they do at rallies, runs, road races, scrambles, and Sunday rambles on country backroads.   

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff