News about Roy Bacon

June 2015


Motorcycle | Author | Monographs | Niton 


Roy Bacon author and journalist

We rarely report any news unless and until we've checked the facts with two or three sources. But on this occasion, we're going to take what we've heard at face value. Why? Because we've been expecting this for some time (see Sump June 2011).


The upshot is that Roy Bacon, prolific motorcycle author has died. The last we heard, he was living on the Isle of Wight, his home for many years. Indeed, he lived in the village of Niton which gave its name to Niton Publishing, Roy's company.


He was also a great fan of the BSA Bantam and for many years he both raced the bikes and flew the promotional flag. One of the great appeals of Bantam racing was, to Roy, the fact that it could be done on the cheap. Not that he was a cheap man. But he was realistic to know that not everyone had deep pockets and money to burn. And most guys liked to race.


Roy Bacon Monographs


He wrote hundred of motorcycle books and developed a well known series entitled: Monographs (images immediately above). There are still plenty of them kicking around, and at reasonable prices. The production of his books was never great, and was often poor. Additionally, there is plenty of crossover between titles leading to duplicated copy, and there was a lot of confusing repackaging of the core material.


But he was always well respected, not least for his accuracy, and his prodigious output helped many riders make the right choices with their motorcycle acquisitions.


Roy Bacon wrote for one or two of the classic bike magazines, but journalism was not really his forte. He was primarily a book author and preferred to work at his own pace and driven by his own interests.


We never met him, but on numerous occasions we spoke to him on the phone. He was always genial and helpful, but it was clear that he was slowing down and had better things to do with his time than repeat information that was printed in black and white in his books, if you just cared to ferret-out the info.


A few years back we tried to catch up with him, but he'd moved home. He was still living on the island, but had moved into a new home (close to Ventnor, we think). For many years, he offered a machine dating service and was recognised as an expert by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).


Beyond this, we can't tell you anymore about the circumstances of Roy's death, and if we knew the details, we'd keep most of them to ourselves anyway. Some things are personal.


If you were a friend or acquaintance of Roy, you can explore your own thoughts and feelings. If not, you can simply accept that he was a decent bloke, and now he's gone.




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