Maximum Control - wBW
Maximum Control: Mastering Your Heavyweight
by Pat Hahn
Soft Cover: 159 pages
Dimensions (in inches): 8.25 x 10.625
Publisher: Motorbooks (Quayside Publishing), U.S.A.
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 of
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 Mark
Brown (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
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
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:
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
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
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 high.
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!"