Can you improve yer motorcycle riding skills by reading a book? No doubt about it.
Keith Code is founder and director of California Superbike Cornering Schools and has published a number of books on the subject of racing motorcycles on speed tracks. Although most of this book's focus is on handling race bikes, only the last two of its sixteen chapters are exclusively dedicated to racing.
The book concentrates mostly on better controlling your speed while maneuvering your bike over varying racetrack conditions.
As you'd expect, there is a major emphasis on turning: getting through the turn with increased mph and decreased time spent in [the turn] and [maintaining] adequate control of the bike.
Code's overall approach to improving riding skills is to define the basics, and then to investigate the decisions you must make to ride well.
He uses a great analogy: Each person has a fixed amount of attention while riding a motorcycle. This is represented as a $10 bill worth of attention. If you spend five dollars of it on one aspect of riding, you have only five dollars left for all the other aspects. Spend nine and you have only one dollar left, and so on.
The aspects of riding he talks about are things like:
Road characteristics: Constant-, increasing-, and. decreasing-radius turns, crested turns, series turns, positive- and negative-camber turns, and road surfaces.
What you do: Riding is one thing; riding plus being aware of what you are doing is quite another. Making an effort to look at what you are doing while you are doing it.
Your own evaluation of what you just did and what just happened: Things that can be thought over and changed if necessary.
I like his teaching strategy. After isolating several specific principles, concepts, and techniques, each subsequent chapter effectively builds on what was previously presented to the point that if you didn't understand the concept and haven't yet experienced it,
you'll want to get back on the road and try it out, read the book some more, then evaluate what you understand.
The books's worth buying.