Sunday, June 30, 2013
Small Motorcycles of the Sixties
The Tiddler Invasion is now at Amazon. The following information was written to describe the book at Amazon, but this material has not yet appeared on the page with the book. The description should be there within a week or so, but you can order The Tiddler Invasion from Amazon now.
This is the book collectors, restorers, and nostalgic fans of the machines of our youth have been waiting to arrive! After years of extensive research through archives of motorcycle magazines, books, and brochures from the classic era, the founder of the seminal Tiddlerosis website has published his magnum opus on the subject. The Tiddler Invasion covers many miles of two-wheeled motorized nostalgia. Thousands of facts, figures, colors, specifications, and even original prices are packed into more than 600 detailed pages. The story of the invasion of the USA by small motorcycles and scooters in the 1955-1975 era is told with enthusiasm for these many wondrous little machines by someone who lived through that special time in our nation's history. The book includes approximately 180 charts of the popular models sold in the U.S. during the period and well over 400 B&W photos. The author and two major collectors of these special little bikes share nostalgic personal remembrances of a wondrous time past.
The focus of The Tiddler Invasion is on the most common machines of the period, mostly from Japan. Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki each have a detailed chapter. Bridgestone, Hodaka, Tohatsu, and other early brands share a chapter. The story basically begins with the arrival of the Honda 50 in 1959 and ends with the release of the Gold Wing in 1975. The tiddler era rose to prominence in the Sixties and began its slow descent into obscurity as the Kawasaki Mach III, the Honda 750 Four, and the Kawasaki Z-1 took over the U.S. motorcycle market.
The major brands from the USA are detailed in a chapter, too. This group is of course dominated by Harley-Davidson, Allstate, and Cushman, just as it was back then. There are no H-D Big Twins here, but plenty of Hummers, Toppers, Super Eagles, Mopeds and Twingles!
There were countless European brands and models imported in the Sixties, but only those of significance are included. As we all know, most of the European models were either large road burners, obscure small Italian bikes and scooters, or off-road competition machines. You will not find Nortons, Guzzis, Maicos or Parillas here, but the European chapter is quite sizable nonetheless.
The most difficult element to communicate to a prospective reader is the definition of the machines and parameters included in this book. The concept of The Tiddler Invasion is unique to the time and place. Although the 50cc machines began Americans' rush to motorcycle dealerships, the market rapidly expanded from that point. The smallest machines covered in the book are the true tiddlers, but these little putt-putts for kids comprised only the tip of the iceberg. Many classic 250cc sports machines such as the Ducati Diana, Harley-Davidson Sprint H, Honda Hawk, Yamaha YDS-2, Suzuki X-6, and Bultaco Metralla roar through the pages of this book! The Kawasaki Triples scream through it so much you will choke on the two-stroke smoke! The author has a thing for the Honda Scramblers, as if they were dark-haired beauties in bikinis or something. The kings of upswept exhaust pipes and crossbrace handlebars get their own chapter.
Once you have possession of this book, you will never want to give it up. The Tidder Invasion is not a coffee table book of pretty color pictures. It is a reference guide crammed to the Snuff-or-Nots with useful info for collectors and enthusiasts of small classic motorcycles.
The author began collecting motorcycle brochures and magazines in 1962. Reproductions of and detailed information from these sources are included in this extensive reference guide. The author of this book is not a collector, a photographer, or a restorer. He is a super-nerd who clearly loves these classic machines. The earliest part of this book was written in 1985 on a 1959 IBM typewriter. Now with the help of modern computers, the whole, wonderful, magical story of that very special era in American history can finally be told!
Floyd M. Orr is a retiree from the financial services industry who has published seven books since 2000. He is not a prolific author. The Tiddler Invasion is the only book he will ever write about motorcycles. His books are of a unique type he calls Nonfiction in a Fictional Style. No two are from the same subject matter, yet all the author's books in the NIAFS Series share certain characteristics. Each one is firmly rooted in American Baby Boomer history, particularly the 1960s. Each contains thousands of facts and figures about the subject matter (remember the author's career background). Each book covers its subject matter with entertaining stories of nostalgia to complement the plethora of facts and figures. Every NIAFS book has been designed to be read first cover to cover and then kept on a shelf as a continually long-term reference.
Floyd M. Orr has always been a skinny little bookworm who lacks the physical traits necessary for success in competitive sports. He was born and raised in small towns in Mississippi and has lived his adult life in Texas. From the time he was handlebar high to a Harley Hummer, he has been fascinated with small motorcycles. His first access to the machines of his youth was discovered through the Sears Roebuck catalogs of the Fifties. The author's obsession was poured into concrete when his best friend got a Harley-Davidson Super 10 and his favorite cousin acquired a Honda Benly 150 in early 1960. He would soon become an avid trail rider while that new sport was in its infancy. He rode his Honda 350 from Mississippi to California in 1971. Like many young men of his generation, he was compelled to "find himself" by imitating Captain America. It was so much fun he did it TWICE to the tune of a howling Honda Scrambler!