Seeing how most of the threads have ground to a halt I thought I'd run by a couple of
questions to our fellow members. At one time I had over a hundred motorcyle books that took me a long time to collect as I am very cheap, er frugal, and did not pay a lot of money for them. Well, most of them. I had all the childrens series books such as Motorcycle Chums and Tom Slade and Bert Wilson, etc. I had a few technical books that were very early for both American and British makes. Plus an odd assortement of coffee table books and such. Plus racing books(Steven Wright)and Japanese classics like Honda's "Race for Leadership". I ended up selling most of my collections a few years ago and of course now I wish I had some of my books back. Anyway, I always wondered what was the earliest work of fiction related to motorcycling? My guess is the 1906 "The Motor Boys" by Clarence Young. In his preface he ends it with his name and a date. January 9, 1906. Which if I am correct means he had to have written the book in 1905. That's pretty early! This was his first book in the series and has a surprising amount of the story dealing with motorcycles. It appears the story takes place in the east and most likely he used Indian motorcycles in his story although he never comes out and says so. The boys had twin cylinder bikes so we can rule out Harley. In this book Mr. Young descibes, among other things, how the boys received their bikes, uncrated them at the railroad platform and went to the drugstore to get some gasolene. He also described in detail how races were run and the tactics used and how they operated the bikes.
Is this the earliest work of fiction related to motorcycles? I just don't know.
p.s. I just found another copy of "The Motor Boys" on the internet for $6.84 including shipping. Honest. It was in real good shape and had all the pages.