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Top Dead Center: The Best of Kevin Cameron from Cycle World Magazine (英語) ハードカバー – 2007/7/15
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With short introductions to each piece, Cameron puts his on-the-spot writing on motorcycle racing into context, and offers a quick, clear history of the best on bikes.
Cycle World, September 2007
“Clear your schedule, tune up your brain and get ready for a major trip through motorcycle racing and technical history … is compendium of his best work.”
(from message board) “Hot and tired from my motorcycle-habit-supporting-day job, I figured that I'd check it out for a few minutes, and then grab a much needed shower. I was still at the kitchen table reading, when my wife arrived an hour later. For anyone who has ever twisted a wrench, fired up a torch, or wondered what really happens behind the scenes at the bike races, this is for you. TDC is a collection of Kevin's writings and columns dating back to `71, each with an introduction (all insightful and tinged with a true motorcyclist's humor), and filled with history.”
RoadRacing World, January 2008
“Anyone who has ever road raced, is racing, intends to race, goes to or watches the races, in any serious area of the sport at any level, must absorb TDC. You will learn more in this book than in decades at the track.”
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Cameron has a knack for exploring technologies not only current, but also in their inception and race applications. It isn't uncommon for him to take a look at a mechanism that comes as standard equipment on today's bikes then to jump back to the earliest records of its inception (be it military or civilian), discuss the concept's trial and error evolution, get into how it affected race-bikes in the early 1980's, then relate it back to today's stock iteration. And all of this is a single paragraph of one article.
It is clear his thirst for knowledge is rivaled only by his desire to educate others in what he's uncovered. But realize that unlike Egan's works, this can hardly be considered light reading. Cameron rarely spends time penning fluff or downplaying advanced concepts so that younger readers/ beginners can follow along. His columns dive right into the technicalities and continue to pull the reader along whether they're ready or not. I often find myself reading a paragraph over and over in attempt to separate the flood of interesting facts presented into smaller bits. Having KC's works chronologically organized into a single volume turns a solid monthly editorial into a piece of reference literature worthy of any coffee table; Whether it belongs to a meachanic, rider, or otherwise.
But, please, I want a collection of Kevin's articles on technology. There are a lot of writers who cover racing well. There is no one else who covers technology the way Kevin Cameron does.
BMW Club of Southern California
Enter Kevin Cameron with TDC, tracing his racing experience over a 35-year career as perhaps the most knowledgeable and capable man in the field, certainly among its finest writers. Individuals may exceed his skills in narrow areas but no one has assembled the 'package' Cameron brings to the task. The book is a four-part selection of 51 of his writings in CYCLE WORLD from 1973-2005, with current, brief introductions, and helps us understand why he is essential reading for serious enthusiasts.
In his first section, THE RACING LIFE, Cameron analyzes where most racers are coming from: privateers with limited means, the moments and signposts that created today's scene (e.g. 1974, year of the 'slick'), the art of crashing, the two-stroke/four-stroke conundrum, frames, suspensions, disk brakes (remember drums?), pioneering riders, some of the appalling incidents that doomed many racing efforts. Ever slept in a van, worked 36 hours straight fueled by coffee and junk food? He has. You can, um, smell it on the page.
With his second grouping, RACERS, he appraises the great riders--attitudes, character, what enabled them to win: Mick, Wayne, Eddie, Freddie, KR, Kevin. Even if you don't know racing's past greats, their strengths and weaknesses, rendered insightfully by Cameron, resonate today throughout the sport--Colin and Casey, Nicky and Vale. New names and faces, sure, but similar human nature propelling the agony and ecstasy, the triumphs and disasters.
MOGULS, MAVENS AND MECHANICS examines some great characters such as Soichiro Honda, John Britten, Jeremy Burgess, Robin Tuluie, Robert Muzzy, Eraldo Ferraci. These are not sketches but insights into the characters, behaviors, skills and motivations that drove these men. He understands not just their external, public personas, but their minds and hearts.
In INNER WORKINGS, the last selection, Cameron returns to his roots: what the machine is doing, how to understand it. He has the uncanny ability to reach down to molecular levels to explain what is happening inside machinery and convey it with dazzling simplicity. Anyone can write turgid, complex descriptions of complicated physical processes, and many do. Few can render esoterica in simple, elegant terms comprehensible to average minds. No wonder the NEW YORK TIMES turns to Cameron, often. We're still not plumbing his depths: he's expert in many areas, including aviation and the amazing radials of WWII.
Anyone who has ever raced, who is racing or who intends to race, in any serious area of motorsports at any level, or just go to the races, or merely watch them on TV, must absorb TDC. You'll learn more in this one book than in decades at the track, at $26.95 (retail) the least expensive learning and life wisdom you'll ever find. It is The Word. Cameron is motorsports' national treasure and our essential mentor.