The 100 Most Exceptional Motorcycles Of The 20th Century. The Ultimate Book. $695.

100motorcyclecollection1100motorcyclecollection2It’s the collection of motorcycles that nobody will ever own. The impossible collection of what experts consider the 100 most exceptional motorcycles created during the 20th century. A collection you can get in your living room if you are ready to pay the price. $695.

Why this price? Because this book, as it should be, features very high end photography, the time and expense to find these motorcycles, to set up an appropriate location to shoot each of them, required very fine detail printing with a resolution of 1440 dpi and variable-sized droplet technology as small as 3.7 picoliters, and as you can guess, is published for collectors in extremely limited quantity.

Publishers Prosper and Martine Assouline present themselves as curators of culture. Their ethic is aesthetic. This book, like all those they publish in the domain of art and design, is artfully crafted to be highly considered for its visual content. Much more than paper and images. A very luxury book of motorcycle history and of inspiration unto itself. Ready to invest $695 to own the 100 most exceptional motorcycles of the 20th century? Pre-order at Assouline.
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30 Responses to “The 100 Most Exceptional Motorcycles Of The 20th Century. The Ultimate Book. $695.”


  1. 1 Dale Jul 21st, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I will pay for quality but I’m sorry $700 is over the top for a book

  2. 2 Sigfreed Jul 21st, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Dale – it is only my collection of books that is greater than my collection bikes and yes sir, $700 is very steep for a book, but I think it is intended for select high-end individuals, but perhaps more so for those who can ‘amortise’ it on a business balance sheet. It is 14 x 17 in. (35.5 x 42 cm) ‘monster’ and as such not cheap to make.

    Reminder – it is a reasonable long term investment (one that is often overlooked); stroll around high-end 2nd-hand book outlets and you will find such publications hold its value very well.

  3. 3 Terence Tory Jul 21st, 2013 at 9:24 am

    The day of the expensive picture art book is now over with the ubiquity of quality 30 inch PC monitors.

  4. 4 Rodent Jul 21st, 2013 at 9:55 am

    It will be on the remainder table at Barnes and Noble for 29.99 in a few months.

  5. 5 bigitch Jul 21st, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    i’ll wait till its an e-book for $.99

  6. 6 Fritz Jul 21st, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    This looks like the book nobody will ever own about the collection of motorcycles nobody will ever own.
    695 is a lot of bananas…….

  7. 7 Trike Lady Jul 21st, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I can see collector and antique bikes all day long at Cycle Warehouse in Butler, PA and there is a bike in the collection valued at $80,000.00 clams, a restored Servicar, vintage Indians and Brit bikes. If you ask they’d probably allow you to photograph the bikes.
    Maybe Jay Leno can afford the book, as for me I have better things to do with $700.00 clams.

  8. 8 BobS Jul 21st, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Not every book published is done in an effort to make the NYT best sellers list. Quite often artistic projects like this are done because someone with the passion to do it sees the value of the project just being done. You know kind of like a bike builder building a 100,000 dollar motorcycle that no one will ever ride. Selling a bunch of copies isn’t the point, completing the project is. The price just represents the publishers guess for their best chance to recoup costs.

  9. 9 LoneRider Jul 21st, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    The people who would actually buy? this have WAAY to much money and no common sense. “Common sense ain’t so common anymore”.- Will Rogers.

  10. 10 nicker Jul 21st, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I’m sure the content and quality is way-coo and over the top.
    But the price is also way-out-a my book/art budget…….. :-(

    -nicker-

  11. 11 BrhmaGyan Jul 21st, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    The price is right.. i.e. if you are giving a motorcycle free with every copy.

  12. 12 Jezza Jul 22nd, 2013 at 2:58 am

    Terence Tory and anyone else who thinks a 30 inch LCD monitor will replace this book are missing the point entirely. This is clearly a collectors piece for art lovers and bibliophiles. BobS is right on the money with his comment. As for it being for people with too much money and not enough sense, price and value are purely relative to income and interest level. I can’t understand people who pay big money for tickets to the super bowl, as I have no interest in such sports, but I’d probably pay 700 bucks for a book like this, except the shipping to Japan would cost me another 300 or so for such a heavy book. I’m a 50 year old business owner, and have been a biker since I was 15. Too much money? Hell no! Lacking in common sense? Yeah, probably, otherwise I wouldn’t be a biker! The point is, I’m a book lover and a rare, high quality low-volume first-edition piece like this that will almost certainly become a collectible is actually pretty good value for money and a fairly sound investment.

  13. 13 Southerner Jul 22nd, 2013 at 5:55 am

    A $700.00 book, or $500.00 floorboards for your ride.
    Hey the boards are just there to stick your boots on guys, whereas the book can set your imagination running and bring lightness to your life.

  14. 14 Zipper Jul 22nd, 2013 at 6:08 am

    Who are the experts? Maybe the 100 most exceptional bikes to them. No thanks. ..Z

  15. 15 Terence Tory Jul 22nd, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Jezza,I could school you in the ways of the world,but at fifty it may well be too late.”price and value are purely relative to income and interest level.”,not really.I amass books and span continents just to look at scribbles hanging on walls for a few minutes so I have some idea of what arty things are really worth.I think this book is in the same league as “smoking dogs playing poker” prints and Franklin Mint collectables as “investments”.I’ve viewed the books contents on the publishers website and I don’t think any of the bikes portrayed in it are the least bit memorable on any level.At a mere 695 dollars and with only one hundred first editions you can purchase the entire lot,make a healthy profit in no time flat and retire on Bora Bora.Crack a coconut for me.If you actually are interested in a art book with bikes,get a copy of “The Art of the Motorcycle”(Guggenheim Museum Publications) .It is a book with unique bikes and the learned backing of a major gallery. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_the_Motorcycle .

  16. 16 RUB Jul 22nd, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Hustler is on my coffee table , great articles !

  17. 17 wholesalefred Jul 22nd, 2013 at 7:38 am

    from my point of view quality comes to be in the eyes of the beholder.several years ago about six of us set out from st petersburg florida to see the vintage motor cycle races at the BARBER motor sports site outside birmingham ala,we viewed in real time hundreds of special interest motor cycles ,the sites,sounds and the displays where world class if you have not had the pleasure to visit the BARBER MOTOR SPORTS COMPLEX check it out ! ; the trip was less than $700 for every thing1ride to live,live to ride!

  18. 18 Jg Jul 22nd, 2013 at 7:48 am

    $700 will get you new tires , brakes , tank of gas , oil change , who needs a picture book ? Jg

  19. 19 pokergolf420 Jul 22nd, 2013 at 8:52 am

    I think I’d rather invest the $700 into parts or paint for my next build.

  20. 20 Bleeding Ears Jul 22nd, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I checked out Assouline’s web site. The book is $695.00 but for another $8,500.00 they will throw in one of their fabulous Niemayer book stands.

    I like LOUD pipes!

  21. 21 Drew Jul 22nd, 2013 at 10:23 am

    For all interested…
    My Birthday is March 30th, and Christmas is December 25th.

    Thank you in advance.

  22. 22 Mazz Jul 22nd, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    I will wait for it to show up at a yard sale!! (not much chance of that!)

  23. 23 Blackmax Jul 22nd, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    A collector’s item, to be sure, but at that price ????
    Most of the people on here have it right, it will be on sale someday
    significantly cheaper that the list price.
    Half-Price Books, maybe ?????

  24. 24 BC Jul 22nd, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Some of the guys who are whining about the price are guys with $75 grand tied up in a 30″ wheel garbage wagon that looks like a jukebox going down the road, and pay $30 for a shot of Patron because its the in thing. Different priorities for different people. Spend your dough on what makes you happy. Obviously this book is not for everyone, including me, but some will love it.

  25. 25 Olive Oil Jul 22nd, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Sorry just bought some swamp land in Florida !!!

  26. 26 MDSPHOTO Jul 22nd, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    My buddy bought a book a few years ago for over a grand and it came with it’s own stand. He said the same thing as the OP it was an investment and the size of the book justified its cost. That is until the pages started falling out of his thousand dollar book.

  27. 27 Jezza Jul 23rd, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Different strokes for different folks I guess. I’m not saying I’d pay $695 bucks for that particular book, I’m just making the point that value is a matter of perception. I looked at the publisher’s site too, and I agree, the selection of bikes is just somebody else’s arbitrary choice, but the principle remains the same. There are those for whom the price is reasonable given the enjoyment they’d derive from the book. Personally, the book entitled The Art of sailing, by Beken of Cowes, for sale on the same site for the same price is more desirable in my view, and I’m not even into boats, but the photography is stunning. It doesn’t matter though. If somebody get’s $695 dollars of pleasure from the book who is anyone to say they have too much money or no common sense? People who profess to be into custom bikes and cars, of all people, should understand that taste is subjective. BC has it right. Some people love 30″ wheels. Still, I guess for the Terence Torys of this world it’s always easier to be a hater and talk stuff down. Knock yerself out!

  28. 28 Terence Tory Jul 23rd, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Jezza,Exercising choice and offering better options is not “hater”.I suggested a preferable title.

  29. 29 Jezza Jul 23rd, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Yeah, fair point Terence. Hater was too strong a word. You’re as entitled to your opinion as I am. I just disagree with it. Peace!

  30. 30 Jeff Decker Jul 29th, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Tom Zimeroff’s book wasn’t worth 6.95.

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