Book review: American Dream Bikes

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When I heard Alan Cathcart’s latest book was called American Dream Bikes it conjured guys like Cole Foster, Shinya Kimura, and US-domiciled Brit Russ Mitchell, the master craftsmen of the custom bike world. But then I thought, ‘Alan doesn’t ride stuff like that.”

Sure enough, American Dream Bikes is not about choppers, but it’s one hell of a motorcycle book. 

American Dream Bikes represents the cutting edge of motorcycling technology. It’s about high horsepower machines. Some of the finest engineering on the planet. It celebrates a diversity of thought that characterises the petrolheads of America.  And it’s unbelievably cool.

Just flicking through the pages reminds you of so many great motorcycles. Roland Sands’ KR V5 Tracker, and his Ducati Ultramotard. The Ecosse Heretic. Confederate Hellcat and Wraith. The South Bay Triumph Mirage. The MotoCysyz C1 (what a shame the E1pc TT winner missed the production deadline cut-off). The wonder Tul-Aris 800 two-stroke. The Roehr. The Fischer. The Vectrix. Mert Lawwill’s Harley streettracker.

The sort of bikes that stopped you in the tracks when you saw them the first time. Well, American Dream Bikes gives you chance not just to wallow in their beauty, but thanks to Cathcart’s passion for detail, gives you the chance to read the inside story to these inspired motorcycles.

Two minor gripes: ‘Sir Al’s over-accentuated riding style on naked bikes just looks odd. And there’s a sprinkling of homogenised production-line pieces cluttering the rest of the jewels.

But I just by-passed them to enjoy the other 20-odd glorious machines within this fat 240 page, big format tome that’s rammed so full of quality images of engineering excellence that it’ll keep the tech-heads engrossed for hours.

Love it!

‘American Dream Bikes, Leading Edge Motorcycle Design and Technology’ is written by Alan Cathcart with a foreword by Jay Leno and Published by Parker House. Price: £25.
ISBN: 978-1-935350-01-9

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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin