Biker Book Shelf

Originally Published In The March 2012 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine


Each year we set aside this small space to give credit to those who put our lifestyle, projects and craft into the written word. After all, there is nothing more telling of any civilization as the volumes of recorded history that it leaves behind. In our humble assortment this season we have a nice little cross section from all ends of the motorcycle nut library. Yeah, winter sucks, so kick back and grab a good book. Before you know it, the weather will break and you’ll be making stories of your own again!

How to Build an Old Skool Bobber

Author: Kevin Baas


Kevin Baas begins the second edition of his How to Build an Old Skool Bobber book with a little history, the history of bike building at home, as seen through the eyes of a young man watching his Vietnam-Vet father build a chopper at home in 1970. Kevin lays out the basics of bike building, starting first with the ideal components: which engine, which frame, and the differences in the various years. Next, things to watch out for when buying old parts, and how to fix the parts you do buy. Additional chapters describe brake systems, both early and late, tires and wheels, and frame geometry. Four complete start-to-finish bike assemblies round out this hands-on book. $27.95


David & Suzanne’s Big Frickin’ Canadian Motorcycle Adventure

Author: David P. Moore


All they wanted was a simple, week-long vacation to celebrate their new freedom. With their last child pushed out the door, it was now ‘their’ time. But where to go? And how to get there? They first bought a motorcycle. A futuristic behemoth of a touring bike with a design ripped straight from the pages of Buck Rogers that proved to be a topic of conversation at each and every stop. Armed with poor planning, poor judgment, laughter, love, and an optimism usually reserved for the perilously insane, our daring duo cast caution to the wind and headed straight into the heart of the deepest, darkest continent known to man: Canada. In the days to come they would have ample time to reconsider the wisdom of their choices as they encounter torrential rains, stomach-churning mountain roads, Canadians, Grizzlies, creepy motel owners, moose, hidden tombs, cloned Vikings, more Grizzlies, starvation, dehydration, beavers, gourmet food, Karelian Bear Dogs, more Grizzlies, ferries, frog swarms and witchcraft all before reaching their final destination at a Lodge in the mountains of Banff National Park. Would they survive? More importantly, would their 30-year marriage survive? These answers and more await inside. So pick a comfy chair and climb on board. It’s a heck of a ride. $15.95


Terry The Tramp

Author: K. Randall Ball


Some folks find their way to the bright white side of the tracks, but there’s a small percentage who run through the dark alleys of life. Even a smaller portion of those survive. Terry “the Tramp,” born in 1947 to a broken middle-class home in Alhambra, California, grew up with a violent chip on his shoulder. Terry became the international president of one of the most notorious one-percenter motorcycle clubs in southern California, the Vagos MC, and remained in office through upheaval, indictments, drugs, and gang wars for 26 years, until he was unceremoniously extricated. He is still a member after 42 years and never went to prison until 2010. This book takes the reader on a turbulent ride through Terry’s notorious life, each page sizzling with violent tales wrapped in a razor-sharp edge. Through it all, we come to learn what propelled this stout, unassuming man into a leadership role lasting over two decades. $27.00


There & Back Again To See How Far It Is

Author: Tim Watson


Vultures wheeled overhead as Tim Watson found himself running out of fuel in the desert. Indeed he had many hair-raising encounters in his 8,000-mile ride across small-town America – severe dust storms, mountain snow, an angry rattlesnake and even angrier racoon, not to mention weird folk, and the novice rider’s struggles with a huge motorcycle. His account, informative and hilarious, is a must for armchair adventurers and anyone who has ever wondered what small-town America is really like. $29.95


Motorcyclist’s Legal Handbook

Author: Pat Hahn


Motorcyclists face legal challenges that non-motorcyclists don’t even consider. Unfortunately, many motorcyclists are ignorant of those challenges as well—until they find themselves in legal trouble. In addition to all the physical hazards of the road, motorcyclists must negotiate a seemingly endless array of legal hazards, from the myriad licensing requirements and restrictions that vary from state to state to the issue of anti-motorcycle bias among law enforcement officials. While motorcycle magazines frequently publish articles addressing various aspects of the legal issues with which a rider must contend, there has never been a one-stop source that contains all of this information until now. Motorcyclist’s Legal Handbook collects all the information a rider needs to know in one comprehensive volume. $21.99


Riding On The Edge

Author: John Hall


Ride with author John Hall into the turbulent world of 1960s bike club culture, from his beginnings at an upstart motorcycle club to his rise to the Long Island chapter president of the Pagans, a club that the FBI called “the most violent criminal organization in America.” Follow him into the Pagan heartland of Pennsylvania where he fell in love, got in a roadhouse brawl over a honky-tonk angel, and eventually went to jail for “takin’ care a club business.” Now after a career as a journalist and college professor, he returns to the violent days of his youth and smashes up stereotypes like he once smashed up bars, resurrecting long-dead brothers in a style reminiscent of Jack Kerouac and Mark Twain. Hall presents them as they really were: hard living, hard loving, hard drinking, hard fighting rebels, but also hardworking, patriotic, loyal, and lovable characters. Outlaws, yes, but outlaws as American as apple pie. $17.99


Living The Life

Photographs by Doug Barber, aka Q-Ball

Poems by Eddie (Sorez) Pliska, aka Sorez the Scribe


I wanted to drop the official press release bullshit for this one and tell you cats first hand, ‘BUY THIS BOOK.’ Whether you are young or old, this one has something for everyone in it. For me, I found the seemingly familiar images of times from my youth. I could almost hear the roar of crowds pictured and smell the engine oil in the shop photos. Images captured here are so real they seem to come alive on the pages and the writing that sets the tone is a perfect reminder about where all this started, and how it should still be today! Thank you both for such an incredible tribute to our culture. 180 Pages. 9” x 9”, limited edition hardcover $40.00 US each – $5.00 shipping US each. You can purchase your copy at

Custom Bike Building Basics


This book is the basic bible that at-home builders need to build and modify their own motorcycle. Brought to you by Chris Callen, Cycle Source Magazine, and Wolfgang Publications, this new book starts with a chapter on Setting up your Shop. The next chapter is just as important: Working with, and Welding steel. Grassroots bikes are often built using a “donor bike” as the foundation and source for the majority of parts. Two chapters offer tips on choosing the best donor bike, and scrounging the swap meets for the things that didn’t come along with that bike. Once you have most of the parts, you still need The Plan – and now it’s time to Build a Roller. This is a chance to see how things fit together in the real world, what might be needed for wheel spacers, and exactly how the fenders should mount. The final topics are two that most of us find very intimidating: Upholstery and Wiring. With one chapter on each topic, the mystery and fear are eliminated. Simple leather work is not rocket science. And basic wiring, especially for a bike without turn signals, is likewise a pretty straightforward operation – especially with the help of a good how-to chapter on each topic. New from Wolfgang Publications and Cycle Source Magazine, Custom Bike Building Basics is the one book you need before you begin the process of creating your own motorcycle.

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