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THE MUSEUM ARCHIVE AND BMS TECHNICAL LITERATURE

Published: 19/11/2019

As well as boasting the largest collection of British motorcycles in the world, The National Motorcycle Museum also has an incredible archive of technical literature.   

Bruce Main-Smith Technical Literature.

For over 50 years “BMS” has specialized in producing high quality black and white photocopy sets of manufacturer’s original literature that has gone out of print. Visitors can buy directly from the museum’s archive, whilst our web shop contains an alphabetical listing of the over 5000 photocopy sets available. These include motorcycle workshop manuals, illustrated parts books, annual sales catalogues, and instruction books from the late 1800s to the 1980s.

In addition to our photocopy sets we also stock an ever changing inventory of original motorcycle books, technical literature & sales publications.

 The types of high quality black and white photocopy sets of manufacturer’s original literature, and their uses, can be found below. This literature is invaluable to both restorers and riders of vintage and classic motorcycles.  

Workshop Manuals:

Only generally published after 1940 when they were introduced for use by army workshops. Following the war all the major manufactures began publishing them for use by dealerships etc.

Illustrated Parts Books:

Very useful when searching for missing or replacement parts, often well illustrated using “exploded” drawings, these can be of great help in showing the correct order of assembly.

Annual Sales Catalogues:

Almost every manufacturer issued an annual sales catalogue or brochure of some type. These publications usually illustrate every model in the range for the coming year, and provide useful specifications of the major components.

 Instruction Books:

Varying greatly in content, some are basic, whilst others are extremely comprehensive.

 This summer the museum welcomed a new team member whose job is to help develop the museum archive, as well as administer and expand our BMS operation.

Sarah Bothamley joined us directly from The University of Lincoln having gained an MA in culture & heritage management. Sarah will be delighted to help with your BMS technical literature queries, as well as being the contact for all donations such as books, clothing, helmets and motorcycle ephemera.

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