Motorcycle Restoration Books

How to Rebuild and Restore Classic Japanese Motorcycles

In October 2014 I submitted my final manuscript for a motorcycle restoration book to Motorbooks International for publication. The final few months were busy and full on trying to finish it by the deadline, in 2015 it was published and has been a steady seller ever since.

You can find it by title How to Rebuild and Restore Classic Japanese Motorcycles or follow this link:

I have set up a web site for both marketing my book and to include a range of content that did not get into the book, the web site is


As soon as I received book #1 I found errors, some are layout errors but on pages 175 and 176 the block diagrams of the charging system are wrong, the earth is shown as (+) but should be negative and the (-) terminal should be positive! and its on 3 pictures! I will make sure they fix this on the next print run. I also found a cover photo is described as a “Honda z1”, but this should be “Kawasaki Z1”. I will also put an errata section on the main web site.

Book 2

Work is underway for book 2, I will possibly pre-publish a lot of tutorials on my web site to supplement the book. Visit the site for more info on it.


Some History and Notes on getting to Publication

August 2015

The book is now available world-wide.

June 2015

The book is being printed!

December – January 2015 Update

The book is in final layout stage prior to me approving it for publication.

October/November 2014 Update

First revisions back from the publisher but basically very good and on its way through the publishing process. Cheques in the mail… apparently 😉

September 2014 Update

Final chapter assembly and photography is in progress for October deadline.

June 2014 Update – The book will be published by Motorbooks in Spring 2015.

I will be placing links to eBook versions here and to both the Publishers site and when they become available.



13 thoughts on “Motorcycle Restoration Books”

  1. Terry Chambers said:

    Hi ,
    This article very much interests me I would like to know how to tell if the crank is twisted as my GPZ doesn’t seem to go as well as it used to the motor has been rebuilt about ten years but only 8000kms ago. Pehaps the answer is in chapter 9.

    • Hi Terry,
      The quickest way to check if the crank is twisted is to measure the piston heights, you will need a dial gauge and a long rod to stick down the spark plug hole. If the crank is twisted the pistons where the twist is occurring will not reach TDC at the same time, if you have the head off then you can place the dial gauge directly onto the pistons as they reach TDC and all should be within a set range as specified in the service manual. By the way do you have a service manual? They do come up on eBay every now and then and are worth getting as all the measurements for checking every aspect of the motor are present.

      Let me know how you go.


      • Gez Kane said:

        Hi Sid,

        We’re looking for GPz1100 owner/restorers for our regular restorers tips feature in the next issue of Practical Sports Bikes. It would involve an email ‘interview’ and you supplying a high res photo of you and your bike to go with your words of wisdom. I’d send you some questions and notes, which hopefully would give you a better idea of what we’re after. Uni-Trak wisdom would be particularly welcome!

        If you’d be up for helping, we’re after hints, tips, tecniques and advice – anything that might help someone with their own resto. If you’re up for helping you can contact me by email at

        Many thanks for any help you may be able to give. I look forward to hearing from some of you.

        All the best,

        Gez Kane, Practical Sports Bikes

  2. Scott MacPherson said:

    Hi Sid,

    I emailed you almost a couple of years ago with a few pictures of the GPz1100B1 that I rescued from the junk yard. Here are 2 of what it looks like now. Hope the links work


  3. Scott MacPherson said:

    Thanks, I am still waiting for the front calipers and mounting brackets to come back from Powder coating. First ride will be in a week or so !!!

  4. Anders Buskas said:

    Very nice, I bought a B1 today running condition.
    Looking forward to start the work. Was driving a B1 in 1984, and eversince regret that I sold it !

    Very interested in any chapter you might send me, will buy the book when it comes!

    Best regards
    Anders Buskas

  5. Hi, I’m entering the world of restoration for the first time. I got my hands on a 1979 z400 on which I plan to a frame up restoration. I have just finished setting up my shop and buying tools. I wonder if the rest of your book is available for reading online. Thanks.

    • Hi Juan,

      The book is currently being evaluated by a publisher and when the outcome of that is determined then I will know if I will have it professionally published or self-published.


  6. Thank you. I am very interested in a hard copy when they become available…Tom

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