Reference classifications:
General Interest
Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics  <> Updated April 18, 2013
Air Inlets and Outlets and Engine Cooling
Chassis and Body Construction
Chassis Design  <> Updated January 2, 2013
Engine Theory: Internal Combustion Engines, Two- and Four-Stroke
Engine Performance and Tuning
Material Properties and Stress Analysis
·         Rules and Records

General Interest

Christensen, M. So-Cal Speed Shop, Motorbooks, 2005.

Grubb, Scooter, BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials 2009, published by the author, 2009 (available at, and part of the profits go to SAVE THE SALT).

Hanna, Tim, One Good Run: The Legend of Burt Monro, Penguin Books, 2005.

Jeffries, Wendy, Bonneville Racing News, Hemet, CA, periodical newspaper.

Lague, Dick, Ack Attack Record Breaking Motorcycle: How Much faster Can It Go? Parker House, 2009.

Rosler, Horst, Bonneville: World’s Fastest Motorcycles, Wolfgang Publications, 2007.

Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics

NOTE: Many NACA and NASA reports are available at the NASA Technical Reports Server at URL References useful at typical LSR speeds mostly date from WWII and earlier, before jet engines enabled higher Mach number speeds. Adobe Acrobat Pro software enables you to download the articles in .pdf format.

Abbott, Ira H., “Airship model tests in the variable density wind tunnel,” NACA TR 394, 1932.

Abbott, Ira H., “The drag of two streamline bodies as affected by protuberances and appendages,” NACA TR 451, 1934.

Abbott, I. and A. Von Doenhoff, Theory of Wing Sections, Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1959 (a corrected version of the original 1949 edition).  [Comment: This is a large collection of airfoil shape, lift, and drag data, a classic publication still much used today for subsonic airfoils. Available as an inexpensive paperback.]

Albertson, M., J. Barton, and D. Simons, Fluid Mechanics for Engineers, Prentice-Hall, 1964. [Comment: This is one of many introductory fluid mechanics text books. This particular book is a practical “hydraulics” text that concentrates on methodology for designing fluid systems, in contrast to more “modern” and typically very theoretical fluid mechanics books. The Navier-Stokes equations are never mentioned.]

Allen, J. and G. Nitzberg, “The Effect of Compressibility on the Growth of the Laminar Boundary Layer on Low-drag Wings and Bodies,” NACA TN 1255, July 1947.

Barnard, R H, Road Vehicle Aerodynamic Design, 2nd Edition, MechAero Publishing, U.K., 2001. 

Benson, Tom, “Determining Center of Pressure,” NASA model rocketry website

Dommasch, Daniel O., Sydney S. Sherby and Thomas F. Connolly, Airplane Aerodynamics, Third Edition, Pitman Aeronautical Publications, New York, 1961. [Comment: Includes advice and practical considerations.]

Draley, E. C., “High-speed Drag Tests of Several Fuselage Shapes In Combination With a Wing,” NACA Advance Confidential Report, August 1940.

Dunn, L. G., “The Drag of Stream-lined Bodies,” Jet Propulsion Laboratory Memorandum Report 2-2, November 1944.

Freeman, H. B., “Measurements of Flow in the Boundary Layer on a 1/40 Scale Model of the U. S. Airship “AKRON”, NACA Report No. 430 (date?).

Freeman, H. B., “Force Measurements on a 1/40 Scale Model of the U. S. Airship “AKRON”, NACA Report No. 432 (date?).

Freeman, H. B., “Pressure-Distribution Measuirements on the Hull and Fins of a 1/40 Scale Model of the U. S. Airship “AKRON”, NACA Report No. 433 (date?).

Hoerner, S, Fluid Dynamic Drag, published by the author, 1958.  [Comment: Comprehensive source for drag data and information.  If a streamliner builder has only one or two aerodynamics books, this one, along with Tamai, would be a good choice.

Hoerner, S. and H. Borst, Fluid Dynamic Lift, Second Edition, published by the authors, 1985.

Hoggard, H. P., “Wind-tunnel Investigation of Fuselage Stability in Yaw with Various Arrangements of Fins,” NACA TN 785, 1940. [Useful information for streamliner designers.]

Hood, M. J., “The Effects of Surface Irregularities on Wing Drag: I – Rivets and Spot Welds,” NACA Special Report 76, February 1938.

Hood, M. J., “The Effects of Surface Irregularities on Wing Drag: I – Lap Joints,” NACA Special Report 77, February 1938.

Hood, M. J., “The Effects of Surface Irregularities on Wing Drag: III – Roughness,” NACA Special Report 78, February 1938.

Hood, M. J., “The Effects of Surface Waviness and of Rib Stitching on Wing Drag” NACA TN 724, August 1939.

Hucho, Wolf-Heinrich, Editor, Aerodynamics of Road Vehicles, Fourth Edition, SAE, 1998.

Katz, Joseph, Race Car Aerodynamics: Designing for Speed, Bentley Publishers, 2006.

Kuethe, A. and Schetzer, J., Foundations of Aerodynamics, Wiley, New York, 1967.  [Comment: A typical introductory undergraduate aerodynamics text.  Several others are readily available.]

Loftin, L., and K Cohen, “Aerodynamic Characteristics of a Number of Modified NACA Four-Digit-Series Airfoil Sections,” NACA Technical Note No. 1591, June 1948.

Loftin, L., “Theoretical and Experimental Data for a Number of NACA 6A-series Airfoil Sections,” NACA TR 903, date?

Perry, David, Aircraft Structures, McGraw-Hill, 1950.  [Comment: A classic, but get the original 1950 edition, not the later parsed version.]

Raymer, Dan, Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach, AIAA, 2006.

Raymer, Dan, Simplified Aircraft Design for Homebuilders, Design Dimension Press, Los Angeles, CA, 2007.

Schlicting, Herman, Boundary layer Theory, McGraw-Hill, New York, Fourth edition, 1960. [Comment: A classic treatment of a difficult subject for graduate students and engineers.]

Scibor-Rylski, A.J. and D. Sykes, Road Vehicle Aerodynamics, Pentech Press, London, 1984.

Tamai, Goro, The Leading Edge: Aerodynamic Design of Ultra-streamlined Land Vehicles, Bentley Publishers, 1999.  [Comment: Comprehensive summary of relevant graduate-level fluid mechanics, written to be comprehended by the non-engineer. If a streamliner builder has only one or two aerodynamics books, this one, along with Hoerner, would be a good choice.]

Air Inlets and Outlets and Engine Cooling

Becker, J. V. and D. H. Baals, “High-Speed Tests of a Ducted Body with Various Air-Outlet Openings,” NACA ACR, May 1942.

Becker, J. V., “Wind-tunnel Investigation of Air Inlet and Outlet Openings on a Streamline Body,” NACA TR 1038, 1940.

Beeton, A., “A Theoretical Calculation of the Reduction in Drag Obtainable by Ejector Action of the Exhaust Gases when Mixed with the Cooling Air-flow of a Typical Air-cooled Engine,” A.R.C. Technical Report 8697, April, 1945. 

Brevoort, M. and M. Leifer, “Radiator Design and Installation,” NACA Special Report No. 112, May 1939.
Corsiglia, V. and J. Katz, “Full-scale Wind Tunnel Study of Nacelle Shape on Cooling Drag,” AIAA paper 79-1820, 1979.

Davis, W. F. and R. Scherrer, “Aerodynamic Principles for the Design of Jet-Engine Induction Systems,” NACA RM A55F16, February 27, 1956 (declassified 4-14-65). [This report contains an extensive bibliography and a detailed summary of engineering and aerodynamics information regarding subsonic air inlet design.]

Gothert, B., “The Drag of Airplane Radiators with Special Reference to Air Heating (Comparison of Theory and Experiment),” NACA TM 896, 1939.

Hoerner, S., Chapter 9 of Fluid Dynamic Drag, published by the author, 1958.

Kays, W. M. and A. L. London, Compact Heat Exchangers, Krieger Publishing Company, 1998.

Mayer, Hans, “Cooling Systems for Automotive Conversions,” 

Meredith, F. W., “Cooling of Aircraft Engines with special reference to Ethylene Glycol Radiators enclosed in Ducts,” Air Ministry R&M No. 1683, 1935.

Miley, S. J., “Review of Liquid-Cooled Aircraft Engine Installation Aerodynamics,” AIAA Paper 86-2587, 1986.

Sacks, A. H. and J. R. Spreiter, “Theoretical Investigation of Submerged Inlets at Low Speeds,” NACA TN 2323, August 1951. [Comment: This report is devoted to the “NACA Duct.”]

Silverstein, A., “Experiments on the Recovery of Waste Heat in Cooling Ducts,” NACA Special Report # 111, May 1939.

Staniforth, Allan, Race and Rally Car Sourcebook: The Guide to Building and Modifying a Competition Car, Haynes Publishing, Newbury Park, CA, 2001. [Comment: A chapter in this book contains NACA duct design guidance.]

Weise, A., “The Conversion of Energy in a Radiator,” NACA TM 869, 1938.

Wilkinson, R. E., “Design and Development of the Voyager 200/300 Liquid Cooled Aircraft Engine,” SAE Technical Paper 871042, 1987.

Winter, H., “Contribution to the Theory of the Heated Duct Radiator,” NACA TM 893, 1939.

Chassis and Body Construction

Finch, Richard, Welder’s Handbook, HP Books, 2007.

Hollmann, Martin, Composite Aircraft Design, Aircraft Designs, 2003.

Hollmann, Martin, How to Build Composite Aircraft, Aircraft Designs, 1993.

Loken, Hal and Hollmann, Martin, Designing with Core, Aircraft Designs, 2003.

McBeaath, Simon, Competition Car Composites: A Practical Handbook, Haynes Publishing, 2000.

Miller, Thomas, A Practical Application of Lessons Learned Studying and Working with High Performance Composites, CreateSpace, 2009.

Sacks, Raymond and Bohnart, Edward, Welding Principles and Practice, McGraw-Hilo, Third Edition, 2005.

Smith, Zeke, Advanced Composite Techniques: Lightweight Moldless Techniques for the Aircraft Homebuilder, Aeronaut Press, 2005.

Chassis Design   <> Updated January 2,2013

Arid, Forbes, The Race Car Chassis: Design, Structures and Materials for Road, Drag and Circle Track Open- and Closed-Wheel Chassis, HP Books, 2008.

Bradley, John, The Racing Motorcycle: A Technical Guide for Constructors, Volume 1, Broadland Leisure Publications, UK, 1996. [Comment: The author is reportedly working on Volume 2.]

Cossalter, Vittore, Motorcycle Dynamics, 2nd English edition, 2006. [Comment: This book was written by an Italian university professor and is extremely mathematical.]

Fajans, J., “Steering in Bicycles and Motorcycles,” Am. J. Phys. 68 (7), July 2000. [Comment: This brief journal article explains counterstseering using mathematics and physics.]

Foale, Tony, Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design: The Art and Science, Second Edition, 2008,

Metz, L. D., “Engineering of a Bonneville Land Speed Record Streamliner,” Proceedings of the 2004 SAE Motorsports Engineering Conference and Exhibition, Dearborn, MI, 2004.

Milliken, William F. and Douglas L. Milliken, Race Car Vehicle Dynamics, SAE International, 1997.

Pacejka, Hans B., Tire and Vehicle Dynamics (3rd ed.), SAE International, April 2012, 672 pages,
ISBN: 9780080970165. [Comment: The SAE website describes this book as the only reliable compilation of information on the subject and the go-to resource for engineers and researchers focusing on tire and vehicle dynamics.]

Staniforth, Allan, Race and Rally Car Sourcebook: The Guide to Building and Modifying a Competition Car, Haynes Publishing, Newbury Park, CA, 2001.

Thede, P. and L. Parks, Race Tech’s Motorcycle Suspension Bible, Motorbooks, Minneapolis, 2010.
Trevitt, Andrew, Sportbike Suspension Tuning, David Bull Publishing, 2008.

Engine Theory: Internal Combustion Engines, Two- and Four-Stroke

[NOTE: These textbooks, intended for engineering students and professional engineers, deal with underlying theory and contain little specific tuning guidance. They are available from SAE and Amazon. I have not used all of them, but all are well-recommended by reviewers. Older books of this type are not necessarily obsolete; it seems to me that the primary (and very significant!) changes in recent years have been in fuel metering, emissions controls, and metallurgy, not basic theory.

Heywood, J. B., Internal Combustion Engine Fundamentals, 930 pages, McGraw-Hill, 1988. [Comment: This is a classic, a top choice for professional engineers and persons with a serious interest in internal combustion engine theory and practice.]

Obert, E., Internal Combustion Engines Analysis and Practice, International Textbook Company, 1950. [Comment: This was my 1965 undergraduate text on the subject. I still have and use it, but it is not a modern top choice.]

Pulkrabek, W. W., Engineering Fundamentals of the Internal Combustion Engine (2nd Edition), Prentice Hall, 2003. [Comment: A good choice for students and non-engineers.]

Stone, R., Introduction to Internal Combustion Engines, 641 pages, SAE, 1999. [Comment: A better choice for students and non-engineers.]

Taylor, C. F., The Internal Combustion Engine in Theory and Practice: Vol. 1 - 2nd Edition, Revised: Thermodynamics, Fluid Flow, Performance, 584 pages, MIT Press, 1985. [Comment: This is a classic, a top choice for professional engineers and persons with a serious interest in internal combustion engine theory and practice.]

Taylor, C. F., Internal Combustion Engine in Theory and Practice: Vol. 2 - 2nd Edition, Revised: Combustion, Fuels, Materials, Design, 800 pages, MIT Press, 1985. [Comment: This is a classic, a top choice for professional engineers and persons with a serious interest in internal combustion engine theory and practice.]

Van Basshuysen, R. and Schafer, F., editors, Internal Combustion Engine Handbook: Basics, Components, Systems, and Perspectives, 868 pages, SAE International, 2004.

Engine Performance and Tuning

Bell, A. G., Forced Induction Performance Tuning, Haynes Publishing, 2002.

Bell, A. G., Four-Stroke Performance Tuning, Haynes Publishing, 2006.

Bell, A. G., Two-Stroke Performance Tuning, Haynes Publishing, 2007.

Blair, Gordon, Design and Simulation of Two-stroke Engines, SAE, 1996.

Cameron, Kevin, Sportbike Performance Handbook, Motorbooks, 2008.

Coombs, Matthew, Motorcycle Basics TechBook, Haynes Publishing, 2002.

Dixon, John, The High-Performance Two-Stroke Engine, Haynes Publishing, 2005.

Draper, K., The Two-stroke Engine, Foulis and Co., 1966.

Gorr, Eric, Motocross & Off-road Performance Handbook, MBI Publishing Company, 2000.

Hartman, Jeff, How to Tune and Modify Engine Management Systems, Motorbooks, 2003.

Jennings, Gordon, Two-stroke Tuner’s Handbook, HP Books, 1973.

Robinson, John, Motorcycle Fuel Systems Techbook, Haynes Publishing, 2000.

Robinson, John, Motorcycle Tuning (Two-Stroke), Butterworth-Heinemann, 2001.

Material Properties and Stress Analysis

Baumeister and Marks, Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers, McGraw-Hill, 1967.

Hodgman, C., CRC Standard Mathematical Tables, 12th Edition, Chemical Rubber Company, Cleveland, 1959.

“Materials,” Machine Design magazine 1988 Reference Issue Series, 1988.
Metallic Materials and Elements for Aerospace Vehicle Structures, Military Handbook, MIL-HDBK-5G, 1994.

Oberg, E. and F. Jones, Machinery’s Handbook, Industrial Press, New York, 1973. [Comment: The machinist’s bible. Rather expensive but worth the price.]

Rektorys, K., Editor, Survey of Applicable Mathematics, MIT Press, 1969.

Rorak, R.J. and W.C. Young, Formulas for Stress and Strain, McGraw-Hill, New York, Fifth Edition, 1975. [Comment: A classic mechanical engineer’s desk reference.]

Singer, Strength of Materials, Harper and Row, 1962. [Comment: There are many engineering textbooks that teach basic strength of materials. This is an old one that I just happen to have.]

Spotts, M., Design of Machine Elements, Prentice-Hall, 1961. [Comment: A classic, very practical.]

Rules and Records

AMA Racing Supplemental Regulations, BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials, 2010.

Bonneville Nationals Incorporated (BNI) Certified Bike Records, updated annually.

Southern California Timing Association, Rules and Records, updated annually.

Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), “Technical Appendicies for FIM World Records & International Road Racing Meetings,” 2010


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