In an effort to keep current with what?s happening for motorcycle beginners, whenever I?m in a bookstore, I scour the motorcycle section for new books (if you?ve checked in many bookstores, you know this is an effort that usually takes less than a minute). When last my wife and I visited the local [book store] I saw there was a tome with which I was unfamiliar.
I bought A.J Drew's The Everything Motorcycle Book (Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2002) in the hopes that it would be something different than just a rehash of the currently available books for motorcycle beginners. It both is and isn?t such a rehash. The material in it is like both the Complete Idiot's Guide and Bennett's Complete Motorcycle Book (both of which I recommend). Unfortunately, it's neither as well written, nor as complete as either of those two books.
While the Everything Motorcycle Book contains about as many pages as either of the other two books, there is less text in it, a ruse made possible by the use of a substantially larger typeface than those used in the two books I've recommended. Further, there are several appendices, including what appears to be a complete list of motorcycles offered by many of the major manufacturers for the 2002 model year, and what appears to be the list of clubs sanctioned by the AMA (American Motorcycle Association).
I think, however, that what put me off the most from this book was the illustrations, or lack of them. There is a picture every five to fifteen pages. They are, however, ALL historic motorcycles, in static, studio shots, and they have nothing to do with the text. And in those cases where the text would benefit from some sort of illustration (e.g., the description of different types of bikes), there is nothing.
A look in the back of the book shows that this is one in a series of dozens of The Everything ???? Books, which are probably being sold as a package in the huge bookstores (in fact, where it is rare to have more than a single copy of any motorcycle book in our local [book store], there were four copies of this at the time I bought mine). The series appears to be trying to ride the coattails of success of the Complete Idiot's Guides and ??? for Dummies series; there are highlighted text sections and asides in this book, similar to those. This book, however, has neither the information nor the humor that those did.
Save your money for some bike toys, or buy a book that's better than this one.