Trelland's Motorcycle Reference Guide - Vol. 1

Trelland Industries Ltd., 1991, ISBN 1-895542-00-6

It's popular to publish books that catalog things these days. Catalogs are cheap and quick to publish, and require very little expensive writing skill. And they're easy to sell to libraries, which like to hoard reference-like material.

Things change rapidly, though, and because of the delays associated with publishing and distributing, catalogs can become obsolete almost as soon as they roll off the presses. This book unfortunately is an example of this problem.

To many in the industry, or perhaps to some that might like to visit European museums, this book might well be worth the price...

With a copyright date of 1991, the Motorcycle Manufacturers section of this catalog is hopelessly outdated. The Simpson and MZ marques are listed as products of pre-unification East Germany, and the Ural, Riga, Voskhod, Dnepr, and ZDK machines all have addresses in the now-nonexistent Soviet Union. Models listed for all manufacturers appear to be about 1990 vintage.

There are some curious mix-ups among the models as well. Most manufacturers show their current models, with perhaps an antique or two for flavor. The 12-page Jawa section, though, includes photos of every model that they ever built since the 1930s, with current production models sprinkled in their midst. It's impossible to tell what exactly that the company is building now. The Moto Guzzi section has the same problem.

The Sidecar Manufacturers section is more useful, since the technology changes a bit more slowly. The Museums section, however, contains not a single exhibit in the United States.

The Motorcycle Magazines section shows its obsolescence by listing the now-defunct "Cycle" magazine. It does not, of course, list "Motorcycle Online," but this is compensated somewhat by the failure to list the current crop of me-too Harley magazines.

The Clubs and Organizations area is a pretty good sampling of general and special-interest groups around the world. Curiously, it goes alphabetically directly from Italy to Luxembourg without mentioning Japan. Oops.

To many in the industry, or perhaps to some that might like to visit European museums, this book might well be worth the price -- it is a veritable tome of (oft incorrect and/or outdated) obscure motorcycles. As a general work, it is less than exciting -- especially since it lacks detailed references to many popular brands, such as Triumph and Harley-Davidson.

The pictures of antique Jawas are pretty neat though! 

US $14.95 plus $3.00 shipping
Canada $14.95 plus $3.00 shipping
UK 8.00 pounds plus 2.00 pounds shipping
Other Countries $14.95 plus $4.00 shipping, US funds

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Motorcycle Reference Guide
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