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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This isn't really a tip or a trick but it seemed (to me anyway) to fit this section best. Maybe this thread can list some of the better reference materials people have found over the years.

I bought a copy of this book years ago and NOTHING got me more psyched to build a racebike from the ground up than this book did. Yes I have the Foales chassis book too (a couple editions of that one actually). I also bought volume 2 when it came out. I spent hours going over the info in both of them. I went as far as buying a donor bike but when I started tearing into it life went sideways starting with my dad dying and I never did get back into bikes the way I had been. So now they sit on my book shelf and I have no real plans of ever building a frame… but I digress. Buy this book. It's not cheap and it doesn't tell you what parts to bolt on your CBwhatever but if you truly want to learn the technical side of motorcycles this is quite an education.

EDIT: This is a an old review from probably 15 years ago. I have no idea what the book costs now, and the source they list for it no longer sells books IIRC. But come on, you have Google, use it.
 

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I own all 3, defiantly worth the money and will help anyone that reads through them stop from making dangerous mods fabricating on chassis components if the can grasp and apply what information is available in them.
 

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I own all 3, defiantly worth the money and will help anyone that reads through them stop from making dangerous mods fabricating on chassis components if the can grasp and apply what information is available in them.
Lucky you.

Volume 2 which specifically deals with chassis materials and construction has been out of print for some time and is unobtanium.

I wish I had a copy.

Volume 3, though, doesn't exist yet as far as I know.
 

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Vol 1 copies run about $40-80 depending on condition, edition, seller, etc...

John Bradley, Motorcycle - AbeBooks

Every volume 2 copy I have seen is like $1000.

I had both at one time but I can't seem to find vol 2 right now. Perhaps it grew legs.

for beginners I like this book:
http://www.amazon.com/How-Why-Motorcycle-Design-Technology/dp/8879113445/ref=pd_sim_sbs_14_3?ie=UTF8&dpID=61cRyQb3HCL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160,160_&refRID=017AJ6AGK8S4C8RNHVMD

It covers the basics for newbies who want to get into how this stuff works in theory so when they adjust the preload on their shocks they understand what it actually means. It's also usually $30. Personally I would love to just go around to all those hipster builders and smack them in the head with a copy so they understand why just because you call your bike iron and seaweed or something such nonsense does not mean it's a good bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Vol 1 copies run about $40-80 depending on condition, edition, seller, etc...

John Bradley, Motorcycle - AbeBooks

Every volume 2 copy I have seen is like $1000.
Wow, I had no idea Volume 2 was so dear! I'd better check to make sure I still have mine when I get home. All this talk has me thinking about bike frames again, in fact last night I was snooping around for info on a frame jig I had bookmarked a while back... though what I really want to do at the moment is make a girder fork for an old Ducati I started messing with about ten years ago.

Anywhos, I think when the previous poster said he had all three books, he was considering the Foale book to be #3.

EDIT: I started to think $1000 would make a good contribution to my "I need an 851" fund, but then I realized I've had a few books that show up on bookseller's lists for big money, but never sell for near that much when the time comes. I had a few 356 Porsche books (the Pellow books) that are supposedly going for decent money now but I can't find them anywhere. Either I already sold them, or I put them somewhere "safe"...
 

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This is a beautiful trilogy by a man name of Robinson who wrote from simple terms right into the nitty gritty. I owned all three as a yoof but sadly the two smoke was the first non return (and now getting very rare) and I never learned not to loan out books. Last to leave the flock was the chassis tuning manual but If memory serves I think gary lent it to cockney..... Well worth a read and I'm gonna post on santa's forum to see if I've been a good enough boy to get them for christmas this year as I miss owning them:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Motorcycle-Tuning-Chassis-John-Robinson/dp/075061840X

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Motorcycle-Tuning-Stroke-Four/dp/0750618051

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Motorcycle-Tuning-Two-Stroke-John-Robinson/dp/075061806X

Not as rare as I thought..... just bagged me some books!!
 

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I have that Robinson two stroke tuning book in my library. Came with a bike I bought years ago.

Does anybody else hoard manuals? I never get rid of a bike manual when I acquire one, usually by purchasing the bike. I must have 4 or 5 copies of cb750 manuals and I know I have the kawasaki factory manuals for all of the triples, but I also have a dozen for bikes I don't seem to own anymore. Maybe it is because I know at some point I will just own another one again. I was going to sell my gs750/1000 manual but someone offered me a stupid cheap 1978 GS1000 last weekend.
 

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I love the spanny calculator program for the acorn electron that you had to type from the back of the book back before all this instant gratification of the interwebs. At the time I remembering burning the parent's phone bill "downloading" amiga games from the BBS's.

I'm a manual hoarder both on confuser and hard copies. The internet provides that quick fix but nothing is quite the same as thumbing through a well leafed heinous manual that has some of the pages stuck together with blue hylomar..... My porn collection mirrors my manual collection come to think of it!!

Performance bikes was a publication that I bought religiously from the late eighties through to the mid nineties and it's technical content was par excellence due to JR being the technical editor and the rest of the staff being a bunch of childish miscreants.

My personal favourites are the stealer only manuals which quote standard repair times for every job on the bike and woe betide any spotty tech that runs over the stated time. One hour twenty is bags of time to replace a worn out shocker on a trophy 900 if the bike is fresh out of the wrapper and in the surgically clean factory workshop..... 25 years of crud and neglect however tend to alter the working parameters and the person cracking the whip seldom takes this into account.

As far as good literature goes I try to follow the simple rule of thumb that if it is data specific and technical then the least amount of very focussed info is the ticket. For tuning, performance and other "black arts" I find a large amount of broad info can lead one toward the path of enlightenment.
 
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