The design evolution of the world’s fastest motorbikes from the 1930s to the present day is the subject of a covetable new volume by Phillip Tooth and Jean-Pierre Praderes from Universe.

The Art of the Racing Motorcycle traces the development of the sport bike, from the earliest French motorcycles to the dominance of British machinery in the 1930s, the exotic Italian motorcycles of the 1950s and 1960s, the influence of American racing in the 1970s and 1980s, and today’s Japanese superbikes.

A cool new book illustrating the design evolution of the world’s fastest motorbikes

More than 50 classic motorcycles of the past 100 years, from Harley-Davidsons to Peugeots, Velocettes, BMWs, Kawasakis, and Ducatis, come chronologically illustrated with stunning studio photographs and archival images.

Pictured above is the wicked 1956 Moto Guzzi V8, capable of 180 mph, which was almost too fast for its own good.

Check out a preview below. All images by Jean-Pierre Praderes courtesy Universe; click to enlarge:

1924 Harley-Davidson 8 Valve on the cover

1931 MGC 250 N3BR (France)

1933 Rudge TT

1986 Cagiva C10/V

2010 Yamaha YZR-M1