Modern Motorcycle Mechanics


J. B. Nicholson


Modern Motorcycle Mechanics isn’t so modern anymore.

Yet this hefty reference book last revised in 1974 remains an indispensable source of information for anyone who has ever owned or owns a motorcycle, regardless of make or model. Author J.B. (Bernie) Nicholson of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan covered all aspects of motorcycle repair and maintenance. His advice has literally changed lives.

More than 100,000 copies of this book have sold worldwide since Nicholson wrote the first edition in 1942 making Modern Motorcycle Mechanics a bestseller. For anyone interested in what makes that old bike tick the seventh edition of Modern Motorcycle Mechanics is required reading.

Before Clymer and before Haynes service manuals, there was J.B. Nicholson and Modern Motorcycle Mechanics.

Nicholson, together with his brother Lawrence, opened Nicholson Bros. Motorcycles in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1933. To this small city in the middle of the Canadian prairie they imported DOT, Calthorpe and Douglas motorcycles and by 1935 the brothers had transformed the business into a fledgling mail order parts supply house.

But it was a 25-year old J.B. (Bernie) Nicholson who published what could be considered one of the first comprehensive texts regarding the operation and maintenance of motorcycles of the day. In 1942 the first edition of Modern Motorcycle Mechanics was distributed widely. They sold the book themselves, and industry giants such as Johnson Motors bought books for resale in their showroom. Floyd Clymer himself ordered hundreds of copies for resale through his motoring catalogs.

Nicholson went on to revise his book six times, with editions appearing in 1945, 1948, 1953, 1965, 1969 and the final and seventh in 1974.

Over the years more than 100,000 copies of Modern Motorcycle Mechanics books have sold from Canada to England, India, South Africa, Australia and beyond.

Jam-packed with Nicholson’s clear and concise service and maintenance information and ever-handy clearance and settings charts for several different makes and models the Seventh Edition Reprint of Modern Motorcycle Mechanics is 766 pages – just like the original. The book covers everything from setting the timing on a single-cylinder Lucas magneto to rebuilding the engine of a Harley-Davidson 45”.