Robertson’s Book of Firsts is an endlessly digestible reference, a long, alphabetical list of accomplishments that takes pleasure in bawdy tangents. Motorcycles, naturally, get a mention. We learn that among the first American motorcycles were the inventions of E.S. Pennington, “a somewhat dubious character,” who made wild claims of his machines, took orders in quantity and failed to fill them, then disposed of his patents for an outrageous sum. A note on the first American motorcycle fatality sits conveniently adjacent to one of the first motor hearses.