by Jeff Clew
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Reprinted after many years of absence! For many, a motorcycle bought at the beginning of the 1950s was a first taste of the freedom offered by personal transport. Although British postwar austerity was fading, money was still tight and new machines virtually unobtainable, but there were plenty of cheap prewar machines around and an ex-War Department motorcycle could be bought from one of the big city dealers on the never-never; better still it would be sent to your local railway station.
Ex-army dispatch riders coats and boots would serve to keep the weather at bay as the new motorcyclists explored and enjoyed the quiet roads in a pre-motorway era. The decade would become a Golden Era of motorcycling as manufacturers brought new and excitingly advanced machines to an appreciative audience which had never even heard of a Japanese motorcycle.
Motorcycle sport mushroomed in popularity at a time when you actually had to go to the race to see it and helped to reinforce the public s ever-growing enthusiasm for the motorcycle. the era would also see the arrival of the moped, scooter and bubblecar. For those that were there, Jeff Clew s insight to motorcycling of the 50s will provide a delightful nostalgic journey into the past, while those younger riders who cherish 1950s motorcycles today will discover a whole new dimension to their enjoyment of the machines.
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