With a title like “Great Australian Motorcycle Stories” you would expect some great tales, but instead this 260-page book is just an honest and entertaining read, written by motorcyclists for motorcyclists.
Despite the word “great” there really is no pretension here about being the next Pulitzer Prize winner.
This is a fun collection of anecdotes, reminiscences, fiction and fact from a bunch of motorcycle riders whose love of bikes is obvious.
The main contributor, editor and compiler of the articles is John Bryant who has been riding a wide variety of bikes and even scooters for about three decades since the age of 15.
Among John’s stories is his tale of starting Australia’s first motorcycle wedding escort service. But it all ends when it becomes more hassle than it’s worth and turns a hobby into a job.
He’s now back riding bikes for leisure and gathering stories of other riders to share with the motorcycling community.
There are 40 stories here that range in writing quality and entertainment value, yet it’s a fairly compelling read for those of us who just like anything to do with motorcycles.
Some are tales of woe and misfortune and others are sublime reminiscences of the golden years of riding. As a rider of four decades, I find myself relating to most of them.
Most are fairly inspirational, even if it’s just to go for a short ride or tinker with that bike that’s been sitting idle in the garage for some time.
I love the story of the two Aussies who travelled to the US, bought Honda Gold Wings and went looking for the cheapest accommodation they could find; John’s story about riding with the Pope; a hellish ride on a V-Rod across the Hay Plain in a dust/mud storm; and the humorous fictional tale of the CB750 servo thief.
Great Australian Motorcycle Stories by John Bryant is one of ABC Books’ bestselling Great Australian series and is available at ABC shops or online.