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Old 03-18-2009, 11:05 AM   #21
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Default Re: Motorcycle Books

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Not as much as you'd like. He was an instructor and founder of the "Stayin' Safe" school. Got killed when he hit a deer in the evening. Not much you can do about that, I don't think.
He should have installed a large sweeping blade to the front of the bike to slice through the deer and go right through it. would also work well in neighborhoods against little kids who run out into the street after a ball.
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:00 PM   #22
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Default Re: Motorcycle Books

for me Sports Riding Techniques is the best book to read...
i found TOTW difficult to read
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:25 AM   #23
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Default Re: Motorcycle Books

just ordered this:

Motorcycle Roadcraft: The Police Rider's Handbook to Better Motorcycling
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:03 AM   #24
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Motorcycle Touring: Everything You Need to Know by Dr. Gregory Frazier.

It looks like a generic "touring for dummies" kind of book on the cover, but it's actually a collection of anecdotes and stories from the doctor's many rides around the world, meaning that it's about ten times more entertaining than the standard kind of "motorcycle tips" book. He starts off with a story about his first motorcycle trip in college, which winds up with him in a jail cell full of prostitutes.
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:35 AM   #25
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zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
+1

"You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.

On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it's right there, so blurred you can't focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness."

Full online text here. Edit: nevermind, they took it down, I knew it was too good to last.

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Old 08-24-2009, 12:28 PM   #26
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Default Re: Motorcycle Books

Nice pullout. Read Zen and the Art of Archery back in college but wasn't impressed. This quotation sounds a little more interesting to me; Iay pick it up yet.
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:05 AM   #27
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Flaming Iguanas: An illustrated all girl road novel thing by Erica Lopez. 1997. Simon and Schuster.

Just re-read this one and it still gets me belly-laughing in places. I think the illustrations are cool. It's not your usual 'bike-book' and in places, not really a bike-book at all, more a stream of consciousness. It can be full-on vulgar and sometimes very poignant (if you read between the lines), but mostly a real antidote if (like me) you've started groaning at seeing yet another global explorer with a support crew sitting on the bookshelf.

Very basically, at a loose-end in New Jersey (I think!), 'Tomato Rodriguez' decides to take a roadtrip to see her estranged Dad who is ill in San Francisco. Except she doesn't have a bike and doesn't know how to ride one........

I came across it on E-bay for next to nothing, but I just checked her website and it looks like you can still get a paperback.

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Old 06-21-2010, 12:47 PM   #28
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Default Re: Motorcycle Books

Your description catches my interest. Love the character name "Tomato Rodriguez", and the cover illustration. I may just have to try and find this. Thanks for the odd suggestion!
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:51 PM   #29
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Hahahahahahahahahaha!I just read a pullout from the book on her site. THAT is some fun. Now I gotta have it…and I have a friend or two who will have o have it too…
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:28 PM   #30
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"Sport Riding Techniques: How To Develop Real World Skills for Speed, Safety, and Confidence on the Street and Track"
Nick Ienatsch; Paperback; $16.47

I too picked up this book a few years ago and actually have re-read it a couple more times since. I tend to pick up on something or a concept becomes clearer after the first intial read...kinda like instructions.
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:06 AM   #31
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Thanks for the odd suggestion!
Your welcome.

Has anyone read anything they enjoyed lately that I could try and track down? New or old. I'm back to reading the back of cereal boxes at the moment!!
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:35 AM   #32
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TE LAWRENCE - 'THE ROAD'

Taken from the Vintagent blog as he had pics. Apologies for the underlined words, they are links on his blog. The prose used is very 1920's 'stiff upper lip'. Boanerges is the name of TEL's bike, a Brough Superior SS100, built to his specs. He owned seven of them throughout his life which was cut short at 46, all Nakeds lol.

It's one of my favourite descriptions of the thrill of just riding a bike and I thought some of you might like it. I've abridged it a little to make it fit the posting limit.

Anyway.......







The Road:

Nightly I’d run up from the hangar, upon the last stroke of work, spurring my tired feet to be nimble. The very movement refreshed them, after the day-long restraint of service. In five minutes my bed would be down, ready for the night: in four more I was in breeches and puttees, pulling on my gauntlets as I walked over to my bike, which lived in a garage-hut, opposite. Its tyres never wanted air, its engine had a habit of starting at second kick: a good habit, for only by frantic plunges upon the starting pedal could my puny weight force the engine over the seven atmospheres of its compression.

Boanerges’ first glad roar at being alive again nightly jarred the huts of Cadet College into life. ‘There he goes, the noisy bugger,’ someone would say enviously in every flight. It is part of an airman’s profession to be knowing with engines: and a thoroughbred engine is our undying satisfaction. The camp wore the virtue of my Brough like a flower in its cap. Tonight Tug and Dusty came to the step of our hut to see me off. ‘Running down to Smoke, perhaps?’ jeered Dusty; hitting at my regular game of London and back for tea on fine Wednesday afternoons.




Boa is a top-gear machine, as sweet as most single-cylinders in middle. I chug lordlily past the guard-room and through the speed limit at no more than sixteen. Round the bend, past the farm, and the way straightens. Now for it. The engine’s final development is fifty-two horse-power. A miracle that all this docile strength waits behind one tiny lever for the pleasure of my hand.

Another bend: and I have the honour of one of England’ straightest and fastest roads. The burble of my exhaust unwound like a long cord behind me. Soon my speed snapped it, and I heard only the cry of the wind which my battering head split and fended aside. The cry rose with my speed to a shriek: while the air’s coldness streamed like two jets of iced water into my dissolving eyes. I screwed them to slits, and focused my sight two hundred yards ahead of me on the empty mosaic of the tar’s gravelled undulations.

Like arrows the tiny flies pricked my cheeks: and sometimes a heavier body, some house-fly or beetle, would crash into face or lips like a spent bullet. A glance at the speedometer: seventy-eight. Boanerges is warming up. I pull the throttle right open, on the top of the slope, and we swoop flying across the dip, and up-down up-down the switchback beyond: the weighty machine launching itself like a projectile with a whirr of wheels into the air at the take-off of each rise, to land lurchingly with such a snatch of the driving chain as jerks my spine like a rictus.

Once we so fled across the evening light, with the yellow sun on my left, when a huge shadow roared just overhead. A Bristol Fighter, from Whitewash Villas, our neighbour aerodrome, was banking sharply round. I checked speed an instant to wave: and the slip-stream of my impetus snapped my arm and elbow astern, like a raised flail. The pilot pointed down the road towards Lincoln. I sat hard in the saddle, folded back my ears and went away after him, like a dog after a hare. Quickly we drew abreast, as the impulse of his dive to my level exhausted itself.



The next mile of road was rough. I braced my feet into the rests, thrust with my arms, and clenched my knees on the tank till its rubber grips goggled under my thighs. Over the first pot-hole Boanerges screamed in surprise, its mud-guard bottoming with a yawp upon the tyre. Through the plunges of the next ten seconds I clung on, wedging my gloved hand in the throttle lever so that no bump should close it and spoil our speed. Then the bicycle wrenched sideways into three long ruts: it swayed dizzily, wagging its tail for thirty awful yards. Out came the clutch, the engine raced freely: Boa checked and straightened his head with a shake, as a Brough should.

The bad ground was passed and on the new road our flight became birdlike. My head was blown out with air so that my ears had failed and we seemed to whirl soundlessly between the sun-gilt stubble fields. I dared, on a rise, to slow imperceptibly and glance sideways into the sky. There the Bristol was, two hundred yards and more back. Play with the fellow? Why not? I slowed to ninety: signalled with my hand for him to overtake. Slowed ten more: sat up. Over he rattled. His passenger, a helmeted and goggled grin, hung out of the cock-pit to pass me the ‘Up yer’ RAF randy greeting.

They were hoping I was a flash in the pan, giving them best. Open went my throttle again. Boa crept level, fifty feet below: held them: sailed ahead into the clean and lonely country. An approaching car pulled nearly into its ditch at the sight of our race. The Bristol was zooming among the trees and telegraph poles, with my scurrying spot only eighty yards ahead. I gained though, gained steadily: was perhaps five miles an hour the faster. Down went my left hand to give the engine two extra dollops of oil, for fear that something was running hot: but an overhead Jap twin, super-tuned like this one, would carry on to the moon and back, unfaltering.

We drew near the settlement. A long mile before the first houses I closed down and coasted to the cross-roads by the hospital. The Bristol caught up, banked, climbed and turned for home, waving to me as long as he was in sight. Fourteen miles from camp, we are, here: and fifteen minutes since I left Tug and Dusty at the hut door.

I let in the clutch again, and eased Boanerges down the hill along the tram-lines through the dirty streets and up-hill to the aloof cathedral, where it stood in frigid perfection above the cowering close. No message of mercy in Lincoln. Our God is a jealous God: and man’s very best offering will fall disdainfully short of worthiness, in the sight of Saint Hugh and his angels.

By then my belly had forgotten its lunch, my eyes smarted and streamed. Out again, to sluice my head under the White Hart’s yard-pump. A cup of real chocolate and a muffin at the teashop: and Boa and I took the Newark road for the last hour of daylight. He ambles at forty-five and when roaring his utmost, surpasses the hundred. A skittish motor-bike with a touch of blood in it is better than all the riding animals on earth, because of its logical extension of our faculties, and the hint, the provocation, to excess conferred by its honeyed untiring smoothness. Because Boa loves me, he gives me five more miles of speed than a stranger would get from him.

At Nottingham I added sausages from my wholesaler to the bacon which I’d bought at Lincoln: bacon so nicely sliced that each rasher meant a penny. The solid pannier-bags behind the saddle took all this and at my next stop a (farm) took also a felt-hammocked box of fifteen eggs. Home by Sleaford, our squalid, purse-proud, local village. Its butcher had six penn’orth of dripping ready for me. For months have I been making my evening round a marketing, twice a week, riding a hundred miles for the joy of it and picking up the best food cheapest, over half the country side."

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Old 11-28-2010, 03:35 AM   #33
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Probably get torched for this one, as it's not even a book on motorcycling, never mind improving your riding. Mods - I can delete this post and start a new thread if you like.

Ghost Riders - Travels with American Nomads by Richard Grant. 2003. Little, Brown (in UK).



Just read this (again) and really enjoyed it, so I thought I'd put it up. It's not a book about riding, or even mentions bikes, but if you've ever been riding down a road and caught yourself smiling at the sheer sense of freedom, then I think you'll get this writer and this book. A book for bikers?

The writer (he's an englishmen), ended up aimless on a council estate (projects) and not looking forward to yet another grim winter. He eventually thought, f*ck it!, got his money together and went off to have a look at America. 14 years or so later he put his personal 'tales of the road' in to this book.

He basically writes about the human need for freedom and tries to make some sense of it using his own experiences. He covers everything from the 16th century conquistadors being led in circles around Texas and Arizona to the modern day retired rv'ers, with indians, rodeo riders, freight train riders, drifters and the rainbow family in between. He ties it all down nicely with historical referencing and his descriptions of the characters he meets.

You'd think there would be a lot of navel-gazing, as is the fashion, but there's not really. He's a decent storyteller and for me, sitting out a Scottish Winter, it gets you back on the road (in your head anyway). It would be interesting if anyone over the pond has read it, as I have to take his tales as true, not really knowing otherwise.

Just checked Amazon and it's still current. Worth a read.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:00 PM   #34
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I'd like this thread to become a library of riding/motorcycle related books. I'll start with my favorite book. I really liked this book and read it from cover to cover. I HIGHLY recommend you read it. Especially if you're a new rider.

Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well
by David L. Hough
Im on page 150, about half way through, good stuff thanks for the recommendation.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:22 PM   #35
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I have a copy of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Motorcycles" I'll mail it to anyone for the price of postage. It's written for the absolute newbie novice. Really basic. Simple.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:52 AM   #36
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I'll cover your postage on that. PM me? Thanks, NVP!
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:58 PM   #37
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I'll cover your postage on that. PM me? Thanks, NVP!
Book sold to vthoky. Will mail tomorrow.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:31 PM   #38
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Ghost Riders - Travels with American Nomads by Richard Grant. 2003. Little, Brown (in UK).

It would be interesting if anyone over the pond has read it, as I have to take his tales as true, not really knowing otherwise.
Flaming Iguanas didn't really strike a chord with me. Tho the author exhibits gumption and a willingness to speak frankly about sex and her own crimes and misdemeanors, the book had little else to offer for me. Still, it's a short read and has it's moments.

I think Ghost Riders is outstanding, the only thing I regret about this book is that I didn't write it myself. Certainly I agree with it's insights, some of the passages early on look like drafts of my own essays, as I too have been exploring the dichotomies of nomad and agrarian, raider and sodbuster, Esau and Jacob. Clearly the author and I have covered much of the same ground, both metaphorically and on pavement.

Richard Grant brings both erudition and genuine bonhomie to his exploration of that divide between the wanderer and the settled citizen. He explains better than I can why I have always preferred to take longish trips through the mountains rather than just day rides from a base cabin. His writing is both epic and intimate, universal yet personal. Highly recommended.

I note with interest that he is a Grant. Damn fine story tellers them Grants.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:44 PM   #39
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Whoa... I'm sorry, jongrant. I initially thought your comment was work of an elaborate spam bot. And then upon further review, I realized it wasn't!

I also apologize to anyone else who is subscribed to this thread.
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:23 AM   #40
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Flaming Iguanas didn't really strike a chord with me. Tho the author exhibits gumption and a willingness to speak frankly about sex and her own crimes and misdemeanors, the book had little else to offer for me. Still, it's a short read and has it's moments.

I think Ghost Riders is outstanding, the only thing I regret about this book is that I didn't write it myself. Certainly I agree with it's insights, some of the passages early on look like drafts of my own essays, as I too have been exploring the dichotomies of nomad and agrarian, raider and sodbuster, Esau and Jacob. Clearly the author and I have covered much of the same ground, both metaphorically and on pavement.

Richard Grant brings both erudition and genuine bonhomie to his exploration of that divide between the wanderer and the settled citizen. He explains better than I can why I have always preferred to take longish trips through the mountains rather than just day rides from a base cabin. His writing is both epic and intimate, universal yet personal. Highly recommended.

I note with interest that he is a Grant. Damn fine story tellers them Grants.
Ha! Yeah, the Grant clan have carved their rightful place in Scottish history. I think Flaming Iguanas worked for me (and still does) because I new quite a few Tomato Rodriguez's when I was younger. They didn't dream of doing things. They just went and did them, in the main, because no-one had suggested they couldn't or shouldn't and they did it without the self-consciousness of being out of the mainstream, more in the fizzing search for excitement, the chance to be themselves, to live life, and to be young. Free spirits, borne often out of tragedy and a determination never to go back there. For many, learning to ride takes planning, money, training, choosing the right bike, choosing the right gear, reading up, taking lots of advice and conscious decision making, possibly starting on a small bike and moving on. There's a planned progression. For Tomato, the process commenced when she got on the bike she'd managed to get hold of with her stuff for the first time and headed out across America on it. She became competent when she stopped falling off. I like people like that and find myself cheering them on whenever they turn up in a book, or indeed in life! It reminded me of the travel writer Dervla Murphy, who as a very young woman, bicycled from Ireland to Afghanistan in the 1950s, for no other reason than she got a mind to do it.

I'm pleased you liked Ghostriders. Your take on it is just how I found it myself and it's good to know the writer wasn't being too fanciful. God, it makes me want to have a ride around the mid-west and take a look.

If you like the mountains and Ghostriders floated your boat, you could do worse than take a look at Mountains of the Mind by Robert Macfarlane.


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