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Rodent Of Unusual Size
Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 1054
| Posted 9/21/2006 11:10 AM (GMT -7) |
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Guide to Motorcycling Excellence—Second Edition
192 pages, $24.95
DataDan’s rating: ****
If you’re like most new motorcyclists (including me many years ago), you’re finding that for every question you find an answer to, two or three more pop up. What kind of bike should I get? What should I look for in a helmet and other riding gear? How do get the knowledge and skills I need to ride safely? Each of these questions opens up a realm of knowledge you might not have been aware of before you decided to take up motorcycling. What you need, you say to yourself, is a basic source of knowledge on many aspects of the sport. Enter MSF’s Guide to Motorcycling Excellence.
For those who don’t know about MSF, it is the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, a non-profit organization supported by motorcycle manufacturers. MSF designs the motorcycle training curriculum used in most states, and they train the trainers. They also have written an excellent introductory book. The first edition of Motorcycling Excellence, published in 1995, was very good and came at a time when few riding technique books were to be found. The updated 2005 second edition improves on the original with additional material and broader focus.
The main focus of Motorcycling Excellence is, of course, riding. Like MSF training, the book starts out with the most basic knowledge: where the controls are, what they do, and how they work. But it progresses quickly into the techniques and strategies you need to survive on the street. Chapter 7, "Street Strategies & the Visual Edge", chapter 8, "Street Strategies At Work", and chapter 9, "Special Situations", are the heart of the book. While much of the material covered in those chapters overlaps with the MSF’s Basic RiderCourse, it complements the course with more depth.
But the book’s real strength lies beyond the course basics. Chapter 5, "Protective Riding Gear" will answer questions about helmets and apparel. Chapter 6, "Inspection, Care, & Troubleshooting" explains the inspections and adjustments needed to make sure your motorcycle is in safe running order. Chapter 10, "Group Riding" introduces practices to make a group ride run smoothly. For those interested in more technical aspects of riding, chapter 12, "The Traction-Pie Analogy" and chapter 13, "Countersteering" get into nuts and bolts that will help you get the most out of your riding. The book also includes a 9-page glossary defining nearly 200 motorcycling terms.
An innovation that distinguishes the second edition of Motorcycling Excellence from its predecessor is a series of sidebars by prominent motorcyclists covering topics that, in some cases, go well beyond the basics:
- Nick Ienatsch (moto-journalist and author of Sport Riding Techniques) on choosing a first bike. A 6-page piece covering the different styles of motorcycles available and factors a new rider should consider.
- Kevin Schwantz (former 500GP world champion) on safety gear.
- Paul Thede (Race Tech) on suspension technology.
- Erik Buell (Buell Motorcycle Company) on suspension geometry.
- Keith Code (California Superbike School) on countersteering.
- Freddie Spencer (former 250 and 500GP world champion) on trail-braking.
Motorcycling Excellence isn’t just a good newbie book; it’s a good book for riders at any experience level. Though it covers a wide range of topics with different degrees of sophistication, it’s organized to allow a reader to find what he needs now and leave the rest for later. Printed on heavy stock and lavishly illustrated with color photos and drawings. DataDan gives it four stars.
edit, 1/24/09: updated link
A superior rider uses superior judgment to avoid problems that would demand his superior skill.
Post Edited (DataDan) : 1/24/2009 11:24:46 PM GMT
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2
| Posted 1/11/2007 4:04 PM (GMT -7) |
Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 234
| Posted 1/14/2007 2:25 PM (GMT -7) |
|Not a book, but I purchased the Ride Like A Pro series, by Jerry "Motorman" Palladino. I got the basic vid "Learn to ride the easy way" as well as the next one "Ride Like A Pro IV" the next one. I am glad I got both. The first was very basic for the non-rider, a good review, but I have ridden before so the next one was very helpful in stepping up the skills I needed.|
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Date Joined May 2004
Total Posts : 1021
| Posted 6/9/2007 3:01 AM (GMT -7) |
I can't believe no one mentioned what I feel is the best book ever written on motorcycle riding techniques. That is Nick Ienatsch's "Sport Riding Techniques." ISBN # 1893618072. It sells for a paltry $16.47 at Amazon.com. I guarantee you if you buy it and Hough's "MORE Proficient Motorcycling," you will have the best material ever written about how to ride. BTW, I like Hough's "MORE Proficient Motorcycling" better than the original because it covers all of the good stuff in the first edition plus some more advanced techniques. If you buy both at the same time, you can also get free shipping. Hough's book is ISBN # 1931993033 and sells for $16.47. It'll be the best $33 you will ever spend as long as you ride. Hope this helps. Cheers, Jack
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 6845
| Posted 1/24/2009 12:27 PM (GMT -7) |
|Rode pillion on Reg's bike years ago at Sear Point...the man was smoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooth as we passed most everyone on the track...and I couldn't feel him shift a gear.|
Scared the bejeezus outta me though I knew I was in no danger; I HATE pillion...much more frightening than riding.
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