Maximum Control -
Maximum Control: Mastering Your Heavyweight Bike
by Pat Hahn
Soft Cover: 159 pages
Dimensions (in inches):
8.25 x 10.625
Publisher: Motorbooks (Quayside Publishing),
Publication Date: January 2010
List price: $24.99
Book Review by "Burn" for webBikeWorld.com
Well written with clear and precise focus;
excellent photographs demonstrating the tips; lessons with diagrams
and more. One of the best motorcycle riding skills books I've
read in a long time.
Pat Hahn is well known to webBikeWorld readers as the author
Ride Hard Ride Smart (review) and
How to Ride a Motorcycle (review).
Now he's back with this brand-new 2010 book entitled Maximum
Control: Mastering Your Heavyweight Bike.
Pat Hahn has been an MSF riding instructor (or "coach",
as they're now called) in the famed Minnesota system and he's
also involved with the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center, one
of (if not the) best programs of its type in the U.S.
He's also involved in many other aspects of motorcycling
sport, as are the co-authors of this book, Steve Guderian (retired
motor officer and motorcycle safety researcher) and
(retired North Carolina State Highway Patrol and Training Coordinator
for their Special Operations Motor Unit).
It seems like forever since a good new motorcycle riding
skills book has come along; at least one that isn't a re-hash
of the rest, with the stock photos that lazy editors use to
save time and money.
But these three authors (and several others who contributed
to the book) have combined forces to put together what I think
is a tour de force motorcycle riding skills book that
I honestly think ranks right up there with the best available.
The layout of the book is excellent, making it very easy
to read while perfectly illustrating the story. It has very
high quality photos that precisely illustrate the various tips,
tricks, and lessons that these highly skilled and experienced
motorcycle trainers are describing.
That's right -- on top of everything else, the book has many
different "Riding Drills" in each chapter that you
can practice (safely, of course) to improve your skills. Some
of the drills look like slightly disguised exercises from police
motorcycle training schools -- and that's a good thing.
But there's more than just exercises and teaching; the authors
bring a little bit of their own personal experiences and tips
into every section of the book, with information on motorcycles,
clothing and safety equipment, bike setup and more.
It has all been pulled together very nicely and it's apparent
to me that someone with a lot of experience at doing this (i.e.,
Mr. Hahn) has really taken the time to do the precise editing
that is necessary to put over this much information and data
in a way that is both entertaining and useful.
Having been a professional photographer myself, I know that
it must have taken ages to plan, coordinate and execute the
many different photos that are used in the book to illustrate
the concepts. Quite frankly, I'm amazed they were able to pull
this off, knowing what it takes to do it right.
Many of the photos were apparently taken in damp, rainy,
fall weather Minnesota conditions, which actually both help
smooth the contrast but also add a subtle message to the concept
of safe riding. After all, if these riders can pull it off in
the wet on big, heavy Gold Wings, then we should be able to
do equally well in the dry on our tiny Monsters.
Now don't let the "Mastering Your Heavyweight Bike"
part of the title throw you. Every single tip, trick and lesson
in this book is just as valid for a Nighthawk as it is for that
Gold Wing. I'll guess that the "Heavyweight" part
comes from the book's focus on the techniques necessary to build
confidence rather than on-road riding strategies.
As such, Maximum Control: Mastering Your Heavyweight Bike
is a good supplement to David Hough's classic
Proficient Motorcycling (review) and vice-versa.
Highly recommended for every motorcyclist
as a new "modern classic" that provides the latest
thinking on riding techniques and skills, gleaned from decades
of experience in teaching motorcyclists and motorcycle police
how to ride and survive with confidence.
This book is
available from Amazon.com
Review Date: March 2010
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From "B.L." (7/10): "I
bought "Maximum Control" based on your recommendation.
I ride a 1979 Honda CB750K, with a Windjammer, Lowers, Trunk,
Saddlebags, and I ride two-up 90%+. My wife and I tour on this
While I recently upgraded the front, and rear, suspension,
it still handles like it is much bigger, and heavier than it
is (~530 lbs.). I have only applied the most basic techniques
from the book, chiefly leading with the rear brake, in all braking
situations, and riding the rear brake, while slipping the clutch,
to stabilize the bike at slow speeds. I have not yet, practiced
any of the drills in a parking lot.
The difference these
simple, basic techniques have made, is amazing. I have executed
U-turns on the street, riding two-up, at slow speeds, slipping
the clutch, and riding the rear brake... I have never been able
to do this prior to reading the book! I used to either
duck-walk, back-and-forth, or have my wife get off, while I
worked like a dog to maneuver my beastly, but much loved, ride.
The times I have done these types of maneuvers have been
surprisingly frequent of late. I have saved so much time, effort,
and embarrassment by using these techniques! My confidence
has increased slowly, but my faith in the techniques is quite
I have expanded things a bit by leading with my rear brake
at all times. By doing this, I avoid the front forks diving
and destabilizing the bike. The improvement in my level of control
of the bike is considerable.
I would recommend this book to any bike rider, no matter
the size of the bike. Even if you only apply the most basic
techniques, as I have, it is worth the price of the book. The
techniques are solid, the concepts work. It is one of the best
investments I have ever made in my riding. Thank you for the
review, and your recommendation!"