What Are Your Favorite Motorcycle Books?

Motorcycle BooksREADING ABOUT MOTORCYCLES IS DEFINITELY NOT AS FUN AS RIDING THEM. Regardless, much can be learned from books and magazines to increase your riding pleasure.  Over the years I have continued to digest a quantity of motorcycle magazines each month and I revel with each new issue that I receive.

I have also found occasion to read a number of motorcycle books. Some books are focused on manufacturers and their history. Others are books about places to ride. This latter kind I find enjoyable, although they are not the type of books I would buy myself (they are given to me as gifts), as I prefer to plan my riding adventures by looking at maps.

However, I have been asked which are my favorite motorbike books, and although I own a bunch, and have a few I would call “favorites,” I was more intrigued by the notion of what other riders considered as their favorite motorcycle books, which could prompt an expansion of my motorbike library.

To prime the literary pump, so to speak, here are a few of my favorite motorcycle books and it would be ideal if you would add yours below:

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. Although not really a book about motorcycles, per se, the foundation of the novel is based upon a father and son cross-country motorcycle tour that occurred in the 1960’s. (The book was published in the 70’s and became a critically acclaimed best seller).

A Twist of the Wrist, by Keith Code. Although I own both books (Volume 1 and Volume 2), I was particularly impressed with Chapter 15 in Volume 1 (“How to Fall”) which offers the most unique insight into motorcycle safety in regards to crashing. You can read more about it here: Have You Planned Your Next Motorcycle Crash?

David Hough’s Proficient Motorcycling series: Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well and More Proficient Motorcycling: Mastering the Ride. These books are practical references about riding and rider safety. No matter how experienced and skilled a rider you may be, it’s hard for me to imagine any rider, whether newbie or old-timer, not finding value in these books.

OK, enough from me, add your motorbike books below.

What are your favorite motorcycle books?

53 thoughts on “What Are Your Favorite Motorcycle Books?

  • Riding with Rilke by Ted Bishop
    Elsie and Mairi Go to War by Diane Atkinson
    She’s a Bad Motorcycle edited by Geno Zanetti
    Lois on the Loose by Lois Pryce

  • One Man Caravan by Robert Fulton. A young American of some resources studying in London is advised by his Father to return home to New York traveling East rather than just crossing the Atlantic. He decides to do this by motorcycle. Luckily he was an accomplished photographer and even had a small movie camera with him. Well written, well photographed, and very gripping, all of that adventure in the early 1930s. No slight on modern globe trotters, but this young man did it with no BBC camera crew and support team with him.

  • I would say Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough is pretty good. Also Maximum Control by Pat Hahn. I liked Sonny Barger’s self-titled autobiography for its history value of the fifties, sixties and forward. Good information about the early days when Sonny was a young man. The Proficient Motorcycling by Hough was a little too technical for my tastes, using geometry and percentages and such. It was still an informative book, although I prefer Maximum Control by Hahn. There is a book out called Motorcycling for Dummies, should be Motorcycling BY Dummies. A lot of stupid crap, unnecessary and controversial information (ex. cruiser bikes are no good, just for showing off). I love my cruiser, and not because I show it off.

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