For many years the British motorcycle industry was the largest in the world, not counting low-powered mopeds and scooters and the like. After World War II the motorcycle industry was the third largest source of foreign exchange for the United Kingdom after motor cars and Scotch whiskey. Yet by 1975 the industry was essentially dead. What led to the fall of the motorcycle industry in Britain, after virtually defining the country for so long? Shooting Star: The Rise and Fall of the British Motorcycle Industry is the first comprehensive look at the motorcycle industry with a critical look at business and trade practices that led to its demise. The full romance, beauty and excitement of the machines and especially the top racers who rode them is captured here, but it's all blended for the first time with information about the lesser known businessmen who built the companies and then ran them into the ground, as well as a critical look at some of the engineers and designers who were brilliant and badly flawed at once. The failures of the British motorcycle industry are a painful object lesson for the badly strapped American automobile industry at the present time.
About the Author
Abe Aamidor is an award-winning journalist, author, university lecturer and life-long motorcycle enthusiast. He has been a reporter for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Champaign-Urbana (Illinois), News-Gazette, and the Indianapolis Star newspapers, and is the author of Chuck Taylor, All Star (2006). He's taught journalism at Southern Illinois University, Georgia Southern University and Indiana University. His first bike was a 1964 Honda Benly 150cc and his best bike was a 1988 Honda Hawk GT 650cc. But his favourite bike by far was a 1966 Velocette Venom Thruxton 500cc which he owned for several years in the early 1970s. He lives in Indiana.
"Business schools, all of them, should include this case history in their collections of cautionary tales . . . Shooting Star is an apt title for this deeply researched and engaging account of the industry' trajectory." New York Times
"The book reads well and you have achieved a very good overview [of the industry]." William Colquhoun, former managing director, Norton Villiers Triumph International, Ltd.
"Goodness me, but you've done some research. There was quite a lot of material within that I was seeing in detail for the first time." Michael Jackson, Bonhams (Auctions) Motorcycle Department
"Engaging and well-researched." Motorcycle Classics
"Takes a comprehensive look at iconic British motorcycle manufacturers Norton, BSA and Triumph and the business practices that eventually ran all three companies into the ground." Cycle World
"Aamidor has made a significant effort to research his subject." Toronto Star