Motorcycle Suspension Bible -
Race Tech's Motorcycle Suspension Bible
Thede and Lee Parks
Soft Cover: 254 pages
8.0 x 10.0
Publisher: Motorbooks (Quayside Publishing), U.S.A.
Publication Date: June 2010
From Amazon.com ($23.09)
Book Review by "Burn" for webBikeWorld.com
Highly detailed technical discussion about
motorcycle suspension systems, components and operation with
superb illustrations and photographs.
Probably way more information than is needed by the average
motorcycle owner but would be very useful for a motorcycle mechanic.
This book could easily be used for a Master's degree course
on the subject. One thing's for sure: it is absolutely the "Bible"
of motorcycle suspension, no doubt about it.
Motorbooks has been developing a series of highly detailed,
well researched and superbly illustrated books related to motorcycles
and motorcycle technology. The books are being released as part
of their Motorbooks Workshop series and also as general
Examples of these publishing efforts include Motorbooks
Workshop volumes such as
Modern Motorcycle Technology (review) by Massimo Clarke
which was reviewed recently on webBikeworld. Other topics
in the general motorcycle-related series include books such
Maximum Control (review) by Pat Hahn, also reviewed recently.
Motorbooks is apparently putting a lot of time, effort and
money into motorcycle topics, and they're using some of the
most well-respected authors and illustrators available. And
not to forget -- let's give credit also to the editing and production
staff, all of whom make the difference.
So the bar has been raised, as anyone who has been reading
motorcycle-related books through the years will tell you. In
the past, a publishing firm would have rarely made this kind
of effort solely for the motorcycle market.
We have a pretty big collection of motorcycle books in the
webBikeWorld library, and many of the older books have obviously
been slapped together at minimal cost, simply to exploit a market.
No comparison to what we've seen recently, with books like
Race Tech's Suspension Bible being the latest example.
There's more than a bit of irony here when you think about
it. We're in the year 2010, with the Internet as the dominant
and primary source of information for just about everything,
and a publishing firm decides to pull out all the stops for
their printed editions. Who'd a thunk it possible?
Just about any sportbike, track day and race bike owner knows
the Race Tech name. Their motorcycle suspension seminars, workshops,
products and services are offered all over the world. If it's
about suspensions -- including ATVs, snowmobiles or even cars
-- Race Tech seems to be the go-to place.
Paul Thede, Race Tech's owner, is also the chief engineer,
and he's considered to be the "guru" of motorcycle
suspension. Thede got together with Lee Parks, a name familiar
to webBikeWorlders as the author of the book
Total Control (review)
and the developer of an offshoot project from the book, the
Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic (attended and reviewed
on webBikeWorld by the Editor).
Parks also runs Lee Parks Design, which offers motorcycle
gloves like the DeerTours
(review) and motorcycle apparel.
Sample pages from Race Tech's Motorcycle Suspension
Bible. Part 1 (L) and Part 2 (R).
Motorcycle Books, GPS, Electronics,
Training Videos, Clothing and More
At the wBW
The Motorcycle Suspension Bible is an extraordinarily
detailed and superbly illustrated book that truly is the "Bible"
of motorcycle suspension.
I'm sure there is way more technical information in this
book than the vast majority of motorcycle owners will need,
but it's nice to know it's all there. Anyone with an interesting
in improving a motorcycle's suspension or learning more about
how this mysterious part of the bike really works will find
everything they ever want to know -- and more.
The book is basically divided into two parts; the first part,
Chapters 1-5, covers the basics of motorcycle suspension and
all its parts. "Basics" is not the proper word for
this section at all -- this is a very detailed, sometimes highly
technical description of motorcycle suspension components and
the forces that act on them.
This section is also positively filled with graphs and illustrations
that, while nicely executed, can be somewhat overwhelming and
will take some study to understand in depth.
The second half of the book, Chapters 6-8, starts with a
suspension troubleshooting guide, followed up by a quick look
at the specialized suspension tools that might be needed for
a complete overhaul. It then gets into a very detailed photographic
essay or guide to disassembling and rebuilding a motorcycle
suspension, front and rear. I skimmed through this section,
which consists of 3-4 photos per page with limited text in captions
The average owner will probably never get as far as breaking
down and completely rebuilding a suspension, but again, it's
nice to know the information is available and I think this section
(and the first) will be very useful for motorcycle shop mechanics.
In fact, I'd say that the book will be much more useful for
experienced mechanics and could probably be used as a textbook
to train staff on the ins and outs (or should we say "ups
and downs") of motorcycle suspension intricacies.
Race Tech's Motorcycle Suspension
Bible is a tour de force on this topic. As far as
I can tell, it covers everything you'd ever want to know about
motorcycle suspension theory, design, parts and rebuilding.
It of course focuses on Race Tech products and services, but
the information is generic to the subject.
My only hesitancy in fully recommending the book to all
motorcycle owners is the amount of detail, which just seems
beyond what the average motorcycle owner would need. Perhaps
a "Bible Light" version would also be a good idea
for the non-technical owner?
But anyone with a curiosity about how a motorcycle suspension
works or for serious streetbike tuners, track day participants
and, of course, motorcycle racers, there is nothing else like
Race Tech's Motorcycle Suspension Bible.
From Amazon.com ($23.09)
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