Fans of S&S Cycle and biker build-offs should make room on their coffee tables for the 224-page hardcover S&S Cycle Presents Today’s Top Custom Bike Builders. S&S enthusiasts will remember that the company celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008 with a huge biker build-off. S&S chose 50 of the hottest builders to fab bikes using one of 50 available Anniversary Edition S&S engines. The company hosted a bash in June to display the bikes and choose the winner, who turned out to be Keiji Kawakita of Tokyo’s Hot Dock (featured on pages 106-109). The book dedicates a four-page chapter to each S&S theme bike and its creator. All the big guns are in here — Brian Klock, Arlen Ness, Skeeter Todd, G2, OCC, Chica, Redneck Engineering, and so many more. Each chapter includes eye-popping photos by Michael Lichter and info about the bike and builders written by Howard Kelly, S&S’ former communications manager. The text lacks any real meat about the builders, but it does give some insight into the bikes’ features and key components. Let’s face it, the book is all about the photos anyway, and they really deliver, casting the rides as the pieces of functional art they truly are.
If you can pull your eyes off the photos for a few minutes, you’ll be treated to a foreword by Jay Leno and a prologue that walks you through the history of S&S, which started back in 1958, when George Smith set out to “make all motorcycles go faster.” At $40, the book probably won’t fit into the budget of the casual biker, but it’s a cool gift idea for the dedicated. AIM
– by Laura DeLallo as published in American Iron Magazine, the world’s best selling Harley magazine.