Now OUT OF PRINT
With a Foreword by Malc Wheeler, Editor of Classic Racer and Former TT Rider.
"A brilliant read that you will find hard to put down" The Vintage Motorcycle
"An excellent, interesting and well illustrated autobiography" The Classic Motorcycle
"Essential reading!" Malcolm Wheeler, Classic Racer
"It would be wrong of me to describe in detail what happens; buy a copy and read it for your own pleasure … and pleasure it is, because Ken Sprayson comes across as a man of resolute good humour, a man determined to make the best of whatever comes his way.
It would be easy to dismiss this book, to think 'Oh yes, Ken Sprayson, didn't he weld up some frames?' but that would be missing the point entirely. This is an excellent read. It's packed with personality, anecdote and humour, as well as more motorcycling inside stories than you might imagine. It's really good. Thanks for writing it, Ken, and thanks for publishing it, Rollo!" Frank Westworth, RealClassic (full review and you are more than welcome, Frank!)
Ken Sprayson, the man behind the welding torch at every TT for over 50 years from 1958 to 2008 and whose expertise in the design, fabrication and repair of motorcycle frames is the stuff of legend. Not surprisingly his services were put to good use by many of the leading riders of the day including Geoff Duke, Mike Hailwood, John Surtees, and Jeff Smith who all used special frames made by Ken at one time or another.
Ken was a household name to all TT racers and just about everyone connected with motorcycles. At the Isle of Man TT he repaired the ravages that the circuit wrecked on racing machinery, and also a good few spectator's bikes - always free and always with a smile. He learnt his incredible metalworking and design skills at the Reynolds Tube Company where he also developed his deep knowledge of motorcycle frames, and how to make them light and strong using welded steel tubing. He developed the Earles type forks into the legendary Reynolds Racing Fork and was also constantly in demand from manufacturers such as BSA, Norton, Douglas, and Yamaha amongst others, whilst continuing to build one-off specials for racers up and down the country. But apart from motorcycles Ken was also involved in many other things from designing and building steel yacht masts, flagpoles for tall buildings and, of course, the frame for Thrust 2 the British World Land Speed Record breaking car!
But Ken's life is so much more than this. Completely self taught he epitomises how things used to be in British industry when personal skill, enthusiasm and hard work seemed to be so much more highly valued than they are today. Ken's enthusiasm for making things with his hands shines through this wonderful book and his honest common sense approach offers us a rare glimpse into how things were in British industry and especially Reynolds, one of the UK's world leading manufacturers in post war Britain, alas now no more.