The more recent Motorcycling Excellence, 2nd Edition is more successful than the original, which was rather disjointed in its approach. “How To Ride a Motorcycle: A Rider’s Guide to Strategy, Safety, and Skill Development” addresses this market gap by providing a relatively complete guide for anyone just beginning to think about entering the sport.
The book covers just about every aspect of safety and strategy, with an emphasis on choosing and wearing protective gear, acquiring skills and developing the network of friends and resources that is such a wonderful part of the sport.
The book is divided into 7 chapters:
Each chapter addresses the most basic levels of knowledge necessary to start learning about motorcycles and how to ride them. As an experienced rider, I found myself scratching my head trying to remember whether I knew some of these rules or not when I started riding. The lessons seem so basic that I find it hard to believe that they allow beginners to ride without knowing some of this stuff! Pretty scary…
There’s a ton of information here, which is great, but it does make for a slightly claustrophobic layout, with multiple fonts, highlighted tips and lots of photos. More rather than fewer photos is usually a good thing, but some of the images used in the book could probably either have been reduced in size (do we really need a 1/4 page photo of a tachometer and an iceberg to illustrate a tangential point?) or eliminated entirely to smooth the flow. I realize, of course, that this is personal preference, and not everyone will agree.
Many of us older riders were probably self-taught, and we survived with some wits but with a large dose of luck. But with the advent of niche publishing, the Internet and the super-efficient transfer of information in the 21st Century, there’s no excuse for not becoming completely versed in at least all of the theoretical knowledge necessary to become a safe motorcycle rider. This book is a good start and I will definitely recommend it to any prospective motorcycle riders as something to read before they spend their first dollar.