British Custom Motorcycles by Uli Cloesen
Thursday, 13 March 2014
The term prolific can be equally applied to Veloce Publishing who continue with the fifth in the hardback series on Custom Motorcycles from countries around the world and the author of these books, Uli Cloesen. British Custom Motorcycles is published the same size and format as previous editions and this latest 128 page book features 250 colour pictures, featuring bikes using British marques as the basis.
As ever Cloesen has scoured the world and come up with some unlikely bikes not often found at custom meets or conversions and that is really what makes these volumes stand out from the normal fare on custom bikes. He is not afraid to profile the good, the bad and the ugly in his quest to cover the subject and believe me so of the bikes profiled are as bad as some are good!
What is quite interesting in this volume is the donor bikes used for some of the bikes are now featuring quite heavily in classic bike auctions and fetching very high prices. Clearly the customiser is not worried about such things as money in search of their quest for the perfect bike!
As you make your way through the seven chapters which end with Indian Enfield based customs you find bikes ranging from old singles right through to modern 2.3 litre new Triumphs.
The book clearly shows that when it comses to customising British bikes, this now go much further than the simple chopped Triumph parallel twin. As before in the series include are all types within the genre such as chopper, bobber, and trikes and there are plenty of examples of spend a little to spend a lot!
It is getting difficult ro review these books which are now coming up with some very diverse machines, but following an excellent format which is hard to critisie because it works so well. Excellent photography is backed up by concise test and the quality of the presentation and layout works well.
But, once again it gets top marks for showong that not all custom machines need to be based around an American V-twin. So this latestest tome is definitely worth having on the book shelf to complete the series on unusual custom machines from around the world that showcase innovative engineering and design.
Again sensibly priced like the other four in the series.
ISBN 978 1 845846 21 3
Available from all good bookshops or direct from the publishers Veloce www.veloce.co.uk
Review by Ian Kerr MBE
British Custom Motorcycles by Uli Cloesen
I‘am usually a bit wary of custom motorcycle coffee table books but I‘am pleased to recommend ‚British Custom Motorcycles‘ by Uli Cloesen, a compendium of bikes with British engines, rather than bikes built in Britain.
There‘s quite a number of the latter, including familiar names as Lamb Engineering - a full page photo of Spirit of Endeavour‘s engine cries out to be snipped out and framed! - Sootys Customs, Old Empire Motorcycles and the Trike Shop, but the book features international machines, from Redneck Engineering‘s gorgeous Vincet to the creations of LC Fabrictions in Virginia, USA.
Uli has included as much information as possible with each bike, but with dozens of well reproduced pictures, it‘s churlish to quibble when he dosn‘t know the entire history of every bike. An excellent addition to the book are the final chapters which feature British-engined customs created in Japan and India. 130 pages can‘t cover everything, but this book has a good go at bringing you a cross section and it‘s well worth a perusal. It‘ll be available from all good booksellers. Although you can pre-order on Amazon).
100% BikeR Custom Bike Magazine UK
Many books have been written about motorcycles, especially the halcyon days of British bikes and their racing history.
However, this could be the first book telling the story of British-only customs, and the chopper, cruiser and trike scene.
A welcome look at some of the best British custom bikes ever produced, it highlights the early days of customising, a world once ruled by British enthusiasts and not just on Triumph-based Tritons and Norbsas. The author covers a variety of makes including AJS, Hesketh, Indian, Royal Enfield and Velocette. A lovely book.
Steve Hole, Total Kit Car (TKC) April 2015