ABC of the Motorcycle by W. J. Jackman


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This is a high quality facsimile of “ABC of the Motorcycle” by W. J. Jackman, originally published in 1916.

The man who expects to find in this book a technical or theoretical discussion of the motorcycle and its mechanism will be disappointed. It has been written solely for the guidance of those who know they don’t know much, if anything, about the subject, and wish to start right in advising themselves about it. With this purpose in view the language used is intentionally devoid of technicalities and readily understandable. The book is what may well be termed a “show how” one.

Step by step, in rational order, the various parts of the machine are taken up and their functions explained until these parts are assembled in the completed machine, and their unity of action thus demonstrated. First, we have the generation of the fuel which supplies the motive power; next, the manner in which the force created by this fuel is utilized; then, the part taken by the motor or engine in communicating this energy to the transmission system; and finally, the transmission itself. If the reader will give these various chapters careful consideration, comparing them as he goes along with the explanatory illustrations which accompany them, he will readily obtain a clear, comprehensive understanding, not only of the mechanism itself, but of the principle upon which it is based. This information, once thoroughly absorbed, will enable the rider of a motorcycle to get more satisfactory service from his machine, increase his pleasure in using it, avoid a lot of trouble in its operation, and enable him to overcome many annoying things which, under other circumstances, would require the attention of an expensive expert.

  1. Inception and Evolution of the Motorcycle
  2. Vital Features of the Motorcycle
  3. Motive Power—Production and Application
  4. What the Carburetor Does
  5. Ignition
  6. The Motorcycle Engine
  7. Timing—What It Is—How Done
  8. The Crank Case
  9. Transmission of Power to Wheels
  10. Lubrication
  11. Road Troubles—Their Remedies
  12. Pre-Ignition—Its Cause, Effect and Remedies
  13. Horse Power and Electric Power
  14. Tires—Their Proper Care
  15. Cost of Operation
  16. Effect of Weather on Motorcycles
  17. Selection and Use of Machine
  18. Hints on Shop Repairs
  19. Some Things worth Knowing
  20. Buying a Second-hand Motorcycle
  21. For People with Speed Craze
  22. “Don’ts” for Motorcyclists


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