Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well Paperback – May 1 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
It was my desire to arm myself with as much knowledge and hands-on riding skills as possible before swinging a leg over the motorcycle I finally settled upon (a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy). I signed up at a local Harley-Davidson dealer for a "Rider's Edge" class, and "Proficient Motorcycling" was an excellent supplement to the MSF course materials. Indeed, Mr. Hough recommends taking an MSF course, and frankly I can't imagine a novice trying to ride without formal instruction.
The techniques that Mr. Hough advocates in "Proficient Motorcycling" have made me a better AND safer rider. I feel more confident riding my new H-D, and therefore I'm able to enjoy my road-time that much more. I've already started reading the book's sequel "More Proficient Motorcycling: Mastering the Ride" to build upon what I've learned so far. If you want to be a good motorcyclist (and not a "donor-cyclist"), then by all means dive into "Proficient Motorcycling."
The graphic story at the beginning (a sort of wake up call) reminds the rider that he is very vulnerable when participating in this "sport." The scenarios, with accompanying photos and drawings alert the novice to the dangers of cycling.
For those who have been riding for years, the book serves as a reminder of dangers long forgotten. After reading this book, the long-time rider will look at his or her next ride through different eyes. There will be a sense of empowerment to tackle whatever is encountered.
David discusses bike and rider center of gravity, and how these two are interrelated and change with varying bike loads, turns, and rider positions.
The section on proper braking (always use both brakes) conveys information on the amount of traction available at the wheels under varying conditions.
Traction? Learn about the "contact patch" and how it changes with lean and braking.
Learn how to gain maximum forward visibility maneuvering inside and outside turns by using David's windowing technique.
Mr. Hough's final word of advice? Practice. Practice. Practice what is in the book.
I would have given the book a five star rating, but I found some of the material in this collection of articles redundant. This may be a good thing for the novice, but I was distracted by it. I suggest the publisher eliminate this redundancy in future editions.
This book was a cover-to-cover continuous read for me, and very few books have been that for me except good fiction. The subject matter is of utmost importance and not fiction at all. David writes in an entertaining manner that does not talk down to the rider. Cyclists of all ages and persuasions will gain something from this book...it's that good. Paradoxically, you will discover that you will be much freer to ride your own ride after reading it. And very likely, you'll want to periodically pick it back up and do a little re-reading, too.
The cost of the book is inexpensive when you consider the potential for picking up some truly priceless wisdom. The saying "Learn from the mistakes of others...you can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself" is no truer than in motorcycling. All the best to you.
That's a lot of motorcycling, and in his case, judging by the two books of his that I've read, I believe him. He is obviously a very experienced rider, and his advice is very good. He is passing along his experience and wisdom on avoiding road rash, and it would be well to heed it.
His other book which I have read and recommend, is Street Strategies. It is sort of a condensed version of Proficient Motorcycling. There will be another one out shortly, they say, which will be titled More Proficient Motorcycling. I will buy that one, as well.
To learn from others is wiser than to have to learn everything yourself from your own experience, especially when the most important lessons are usually the result of bruises, or worse. When I bought my first motorcycle--a Honda CB250 "Hawk" back in the mid-'sixties, I had a totally inexperienced instructor--me. My next was a (very) used 1946 74 cu.in. Harley-Davidson knucklehead, with a suicide clutch and a tank shift. I have also owned a little trail 55cc Honda. Today, I ride a 2000 90 cu.in. Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad. How times have changed! I'm signed up for a motorcycle riding class, because I figure there are still a lot of things to learn.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Basically self tought, motorcyclist for over 50 years, I figured I would make the best of my few riding seasons left by being a bit more street wise. Read morePublished 23 months ago by francois duveau
Very Informative, and teaches alot about defensive driving techniques! You can use these tips for driving all vehicles, not just motorcycles!Published on March 22 2013 by Lisa Andrews
Great glossy cover for a useless 60's-era manual. If aren't sure that rain jackets will keep you drier or that gravel may cause a wreck, then this is the book for you. Read morePublished on July 1 2004
Outstanding wealth of motorcycling knowledge. Teaches you way more than the MSF class (but not a substitute for it). Pretty easy read and entertaining too.Published on March 26 2004 by MG
Before I bought this book I had completed an MSF motrocycling course but the paperwork required to get my license took nearly 3 months. Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2003 by Michael F. Frey
Nothing beats this book when it comes to motorcycle safety. If you are planning on taking your first motorcycle course or lesson, read it prior to getting to class or on the road. Read morePublished on Aug. 25 2003
Very easy to read and very informative. Each of the chapters can be read on their own but you may want to read the first chapter on the first reading. Read morePublished on July 28 2003 by Edward H. Welbon