The Strange Death of the British Motorcycle Industry

The Strange Death of the British Motorcycle Industry


By (author) Steve Koerner

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  • Publisher: Crucible Books
  • Format: Paperback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 172mm x 242mm x 28mm | 739g
  • Publication date: 22 August 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Lancaster
  • ISBN 10: 190547203X
  • ISBN 13: 9781905472031
  • Illustrations note: Contemporary monochrome photographs
  • Sales rank: 123,397

Product description

The British motorcycle industry once stood at the top level of world production. Before and after the Second World War famous names such as BSA, AMC, Matchless and Vincent led the world in design, sophistication and popularity.Then it all went horribly wrong.Perhaps British bikes were too large, too focused on the sports end of the market, or perhaps just old-fashioned and unreliable? In the face of stiff competition from imported machines, the British industry imploded, and by the 1970s it was teetering on the brink of financial collapse. From a position of dominance -- both in sales and in technical competence -- the British motorcycle industry was in its death throes. To many the collapse seemed indicative of a wider malaise in British manufacturing industry. But what was the real explanation?At long last Steve Koerner presents an original and in-depth explanation, based on hitherto unused sources, of what went so badly wrong. Fascinating and detailed.

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Review quote

Of interest to motorcycle enthusiasts and students of the history of technology, this volume on the British motorcycle industry examines the dominance of the English industry in the early years of motorcycling and explores the dramatic effects of Asian competition on the industry in the 1960s and 1970s that led to its steep decline. The volume discusses classic brands, industry design and labor practices, international followings and economic trends, and includes numerous black and white photographs of classic British motorcycles. Koerner is a Canadian writer and British motorcycle enthusiast.