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Motorcycling Excellence: Skills, Knowledge, and Strategies for Riding Right [Paperback]

Motorcycle Safety Foundation , Hector Cademartori
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 1995
Here is a book for the motorcyclist who wants to do it right--the most complete, authoritative book ever published on safe riding techniques and strategies. Statistics indicate that a substantial percentage of motorcycle accidents involve riders with limited experience and training. Prior to 1973 there were few organized programs to instruct beginners and experienced riders in safe motorcycle operation. Since that time, over one million students have completed courses developed by the MSF. This book is the culmination of what they have learned about teaching students of all ages and experience. It is the perfect refresher for anyone who has taken an MSF course and will be an eye-opener for those who have not yet discovered them.

In a clear, engaging style with detailed diagrams and extensive full-color photographs and illustrations, the book covers rider attitude, proper dress, performance, maintenance and troubleshooting, as well as basic and advanced street skills. Included are tips on how to stop quickly when necessary; avoid traffic hazards; apply evasive maneuvers; countersteer for better control; travel skillfully in a group; identify and fix mechanical problems; ride more smoothly at high and low speeds; maintain momentum in off-highway riding; and much, much more. A remarkable source of riding wisdom, this book is certain to become the definitive reference for the sport. It enables brand-new riders to learn safe riding habits from the start while veterans can perfect their performance to reduce accident risk.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses have been responsible for sparking in many people a lifelong passion for motorcycling. As they claim, "The More You Know, The Better It Gets!" Motorcycling Excellence provides the opportunity for every motorcyclist to discover for him or herself the thrills of "riding right" by getting the best from self and machine.

Product Details

Product Description


"A welcome resource for both beginning and experienced riders." -- Kansas City Star

"Excellence covers the field at a basic level comprehensively, and offers something for all riders, but is especially good for novice and new riders.

"In this book, MSF has made available the basics of its two rider courses. Now you can access fundamental riding theory and techniques wherever you live, whether or not you are near a rider training site. Whitehorse and MSF have produced in this book a winner that should benefit motorcyclists for years to come." -- BMW Owners News, April 1995

"If you have taken a course, this book will help you recall what you learned and refine your mental riding strategies . . . a winner that should benefit motorcyclists for years to come." -- BMW Owners News

"If you take your motorcycling seriously, don't hesitate, get a copy. You won't be disappointed [in this] invaluable resource tool that will help any rider become a better rider." -- Street Bike

"Includes almost everything a truly proficient street rider should understand and master." -- Motorcyclist

"Now all motorcyclists can have instant access to an extensive resource on motorcycling safety, compiled by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). Motorcycle Excellence: Skills, Knowledge, And Strategies for Riding Right is a book that comprises much of what the MSF has learned in the last 21 years." -- Motorcycle Shopper, December 1994

"The most authoritative book ever published on safe riding techniques." -- Iron Works

"This book covers everything from beginner to expert; really! It has 176 pages and some really nice photographs; my favorite is on page 18 showing a lovely Connie turning in. If you fell asleep in Physics 101 in high school (maybe it was college for me. . .) this text has lots of theoretical stuff on why the round things at either end of you bike behave the way they do. It is a good reference to lend out to beginning family members or friends to get them started on the right foot." -- North East Area Concours Owners Group

"Though no book is a substitute for taking an approved motorcycle safety class, this one will improve your riding whether you've been throwing a leg over trusty two-wheelers for decades or are contemplating it for the first time. Even if you only pick up one gem of wisdom (and you'll likely pick up more), that tip could well be the one that saves your hide some day. Remember, the more you know, the better it gets." -- Motorcycle Times, Mar/Apr 1995

"When you're riding your motorcycle in traffic, what are three easy things you can do to increase your visibility? What percentage of your attention should be given to scanning in front of you and how much behind? How much of the available traction is consumed when you apply maximum braking?

"The answers to these and other questions critical to safe motorcycling are to be found in a new publication from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation entitled Motorcycling Excellence: Skills, Knowledge, and Strategies for Riding Right. "Through the years the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has served as something of a safety braintrust for the motorcycling public by gathering the best riding practices, tips, and tricks, and then combining them with proven techniques for safe riding into materials for motorcycle safety courses across the nation. Much of what Motorcycling Excellence contains will be familiar to those who have attended their beginning and advanced safety courses. However, it also covers topics that are often treated lightly, or not at all, in the rush to get students through a one day or weekend safety program. "The 176 pages of Motorcycling Excellence are divided into four sections and seventeen chapters. The first section, 'On Your Mark' discusses reasons why people enjoy motorcycling, basic riding skills, mental preparation, protective gear, the effects of alcohol (a message that still has not gotten through a few thick heads), and more. Section two, 'Get Set' covers street riding strategies, how to handle special situations, and group riding. 'Advance Theory' discusses the riding techniques that will help all riders improve their understanding of the physics of motorcycling. The last section, 'You're On Your Way,' gives a brief but interesting treatment of off-road techniques and serves as a segue to finding a riding course for real world experience.

"So you say you've been riding for thirty years and you'll bet there's nothing this book can teach you? I'll take that wager. The discussions on proper cornering techniques and the relationship between the forces acting upon a bike are alone worth the price of admission. You'll also benefit from a detailed chart on the T-CLOCK inspection method that serves as an excellent check sheet for prepping your bike, whether for a day ride or a long-distance tour.

"Know someone who is considering taking up the sport? Do them a favor - buy them this book and then encourage them to enroll in a safety course to practice the skills it covers. What the book does especially well is serve as an intelligent introduction to the world of motorcycling. It will help a person understand the risks involved in the sport and how to minimize them. -- i

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Buy This Other Book Instead May 24 2002
By Mark C.
Though this helped me to learn how to ride, I'm glad I bought "Proficient Motorcycling" by David L. Hough at the same time. (Thanks Amazon for recommending it!) It includes everything in this book and more. I found much of this book to waste too much time on theory that really didn't help you learn how to drive a motorcycle. The traction pie charts on the cover are an example--interesting, but how do apply it when I'm sitting on the bike! Just go with David Hough's book and save yourself a few bucks.
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I've always advocated that there are two types of people on motorcycles: riders and accidents waiting to happen. If you are taking the time to look into proper rider education, I congratulate you on your decision to become one of the former. This book contains priceless information for riders. There really is no good substitute for knowledge and practice; and this book is an excellent source of knowledge. And take my word for it, this is the best book on the market. But, if you have not already done so, I'd STRONGLY recommend taking at least one of the MSF's courses as well. The second critical part of the equation I mentioned before is practice. And the supervised drills offered in the MSF courses are second to none for low speed practice. I've taken two myself in addition to owning this book. Having both the classes and the book for reference has been extremely helpful, to say the least.
To summarize, this is a book that belongs on every motorcyclist's bookshelf. I'd also recommend taking the classes. With those resources, you will find motorcycling more enjoyable as well as safer. It's saved my skin more then once, and I'd say that I've gotten at least a ten fold return for my time and money. And it's better then needing "First Aid for Bad Riders", "101 Ways to Fall Off Your Bike Gracefully" or "An Idiot's Guide to Compound Fractures" on your shelf. You will be an exponentially better rider if you buy this book, study its contents, and practice its techniques.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but a little light on info. Jan. 12 2004
After taking the MSF course I bought this book and others as a follow-up. My main disappointment with the MSF Guide to Motorcycling Excellence is that it little farther than the booklet that came with the course.
The information contained in the book is obviously valuable and correct (given that MSF are the subject matter experts on motorcycle safety) but there is not a lot of depth to the material in the book. It is written in a push button manner lacking sufficient exmplanations of the "why" of the techniques it describes.
If you are looking for a simple to read, basic guide to motorcycle safety this book is probably for you. If you know nothing about motorcycling then this is a good (if a bit expensive start).
If you want to learn more, are detailed oriented, or need to really understand something before you can apply it, I would recommend looking for one of the other books on motorcycling that are available.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book can save your life! *REALLY* June 24 2000
If you ride a motorcycle, you need this book. Period. Buy it now, get it, read it, and commit what it says to reflex-memory - it can literally save your life. It is not, however, a substitute for taking one of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's 3-day beginner motorcycling courses.
If you are concerned with becoming a better (safer) rider, I recommend you do the following: get this book and read it. Enroll and take the MSF course (they provide helmets and motorcycles and it's cheap). Re-read this book. Practice what you have learned in class and read in this book on an ongoing basis. If you do the above (and always wear a helmet), you will reduce the chances of accident and injury. Yes, motorcycling is more dangerous than riding in a "cage" (that's a car, for you non-motorcyclists). But, with proper training and safety equipment, you can improve your odds significantly.
Just do it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive. Life supporting. A must-have. May 7 2002
By John
There's something for everyone here, beginners and experienced riders alike. There are practical street strategies based on statistics from the USC - Hurt Study. There is plain talk as well as technical discussion (for example, the physics of traction complete with free-body diagrams of tire forces) for those who want that. Nothing is left out, from cornering, to collision avoidance, to how to select a helmet and other gear (including a first motorcycle!), to primers on off-road riding and motorcycle care, plus a good index, glossary, and spreadsheets of state requirements. Many points are clarified with quality color illustrations and photos. It's as much as one can learn from a book, all in exchange for one of the ... bills in your wallet. Call it cheap insurance, excellent value, or whatever you want, but *please* read this book!
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This book is great. I was planning on taking the advanced class again this spring, but alas, they are booked up through September in my area. So, I picked up this book; it's a great supplement to the class, and an excellent refresher-read for those who have taken the course in the past. The drawings that illustrate the techniques are excellent, and sound safe-rider advice is prevalant throughout. The text is clear and easy to understand, and the book is organized very well. The chapter on counter-steering is the best I've seen.
Not as good as taking the class, but valuable just the same.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read to refresh and review
Good material, excellent for review, presented very well. Makes good sense to read up from the experts when you can't actually take a course.
Published on Aug. 27 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Guide to Motorcycling Excelle
A review of the MSF course I took. A lot of technical explanations I couldn't get, such as degrees of lean angle. I would have preferred this to be an easier and simpler read.
Published on Nov. 28 2002 by Shirley Jensen
4.0 out of 5 stars Get started right
A good book, aimed primarily at the beginner, though experienced riders may find it useful as a refresher.
Published on July 10 2002 by Suman M. Subramanian
5.0 out of 5 stars Comments from a novice...
I just started riding in February 2002. They say "nothing beats experience". This is true. If you learn it right! Read more
Published on June 14 2002 by Skip
2.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Buy This Other Book Instead
Though this helped me to learn how to ride, I'm glad I bought "Proficient Motorcycling" by David L. Hough at the same time. (Thanks Amazon for recommending it! Read more
Published on May 24 2002 by Mark C.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Supplement to Active Motorcycle Safety Training Class
Rated this "German Officer's Manual" of Motorcycle Safety Training 5*'s because I consider it to be unique and singular, in concert with Hough's other volumes on the... Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2002 by Chuck Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and Effective
The book covers all that there is to know about the basics of motorcycling in an extremely analytical approach, thus providing the reader with the truth, the whole truth and... Read more
Published on Dec 26 2001 by Moshe Reuveni
3.0 out of 5 stars Take the course!
This book is an incomplete presentation of the material the MSF covers in their basic riding course. Read more
Published on Nov. 6 2001 by Carleton Black
4.0 out of 5 stars Good starting place
This is a good book to start with for the first time rider. The born-again rider will find that it is fairly lightweight. This book does not replace the MSF beginner course. Read more
Published on March 12 2001 by D. Dimick
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