Performance Riding Techniques is a fantastic new book.
It also shows a new direction for Haynes Publishing.
Haynes is most familiar to U.S. motorcycle owners as the publishers of motorcycle repair manuals and guides.
Haynes books have been around virtually forever, guiding owners with repair and restoration info on obscure and not-so-obscure brands for several decades.
A long time ago, Haynes repair manuals were written in an obscure colloquial British-style language similar to English (this a joke folks!).
That meant that U.S. readers had to carefully study each sentence and paragraph to ferret out their true meaning.
The muddy black and white photos in those old Haynes manuals weren’t much help either…
But those days are long gone, and Performance Riding Techniques is as different in its format and presentation as day is to night.
The photos and illustrations are superb and stunning.
Haynes went all out on this one by working with Gold and Goose, the premier motorcycle racing photographers, to provide the photos and Designer Lee Parsons gets beaucoup kudos for the layout.
My feeling is that the British are, in general, experts in design and the presentation of information and this book is a good example of that talent.
It’s a visual feast of fantastic photographs that precisely illustrate the points being made.
Lee Parsons uses circles, lines and other callouts superimposed on the photos to draw the attention of the reader to the salient points, which are succinctly described in both the text and the photos.
The combination of outstanding photos and superb layout makes the book is well worth the price on those factors alone.
You’ll see many unique and original “up close and personal” images of the best modern motorcycle racers in the world doing their thing.
But that’s not all: Andy Ibbott is a professional riding coach, experienced journalist and former road test editor for the UK’s Motorcycle News.
He was the first British coach hired by Keith Code to run the California Superbike School in the UK and, to top it all off, Ibbott is the personal coach of the 2005 125cc World Champion racer Tomas Lüthi.
Ibbott has whipped up a perfect blend of background, excitement and technical discussion along with the instructions.
The book is focused on track riding and racing and would make a perfect read for aspiring trackday riders, racers and yes, street riders too.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn the secrets of motorcycle racing, like which lines to take and why, this is the book.
There’s also a complete dissection of race cornering with moment-by-moment illustrations. Braking, wind-resistance-lowering strategies and much more — it’s all there.
I think I’ll go as far as saying that Performance Riding Techniques is, in my opinion, the best and most useful riding skills book to come along since David Hough’s Proficient Motorcycling.
Performance Riding Techniques is sort of a “Proficient Motorcycling for track riders”.
I’m not sure why the book hasn’t yet been released in the U.S.A., but I can’t believe that it won’t be available soon.
For motorcycle riders who are at all interested in continuous improvement of their riding skills or for those who yearn to understand the intricacies of top-level motorcycle racing, get this book. It’s a must-have!
Publication Date: August 2006
wBW “Flaming Helmet” Rating:
4=Must Have. 3=Should Have. 2=Take it or leave it. 1=Fugeddaboudit.