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on March 7, 2001
This book combines step-by-step repair and maintenance and troubleshooting sections with chapters on choosing a motorcycle (mainly a series of pictures of different bikes with short comments), choosing riding clothing, accessorizing your bike, and other miscellaneous topics. It's written in an opinionated first-person style. I found it somewhat superficial.
For learning how a motorcycle works, I would recommend "Motorcycle Basics Manual" published by Haynes; for repair step-by-steps, get the manual for your make of bike; for souping up your bike, "Sportbike Performance Handbook" is more informed and explains the why and how behind the conclusions; for riding wear and technique, I'd recommend Hough's "Proficient Motorcycling." After reading these, if you just have to read something else, this book is not bad.
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on February 20, 2000
This is a "must buy" book for anyone who rides a motorcycle. There are two reasons for this statement. First, if you are the kind of person who takes pride in keeping your bike running at its best, then there are chapters on everything from changing your oil to doing your own tune ups. Even if you hate the idea of getting grease under your fingernails there are chapters on the best way to breaking in your new engine. (Something I could not find in my owners manual!) To the best way of keeping your machine looking like new. And much more. There is also a wealth of information on planning trips and buying the proper gear. By all means take this book with you on all trips greater than one day. I would hate the idea of trusting my life to some lawnmower mechanic in some small town. The second reason is the name Chilton. For 30 years, the first purchase I have made after getting a vehicle has been a Chilton manual. My manuals always seem to end up grease stained, dogged eared, and swollen from moisture, but they have always keep me on the road and saved me money. All Chilton manuals, this one included, are well organized, easy to understand with clear photos and drawings. And all of them contain an extensive troubleshooting sections. This alone is worth the price of the book. How many times have you be hit with a large repair bill for a part you could of changed in ten minutes and only cost 5 dollars?
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on January 9, 2003
This book, like all the other Chilton books I've purchased in the past, are informative and well illustrated. It contains many photographs, but often they are fuzzy or dark, and the parts shown are often not clearly depicted and not placed in context very well. It would help if you were already a mechanic, and knew the machine in question. Not an adequate book for the amateur trying to perform an appendectomy on the first try.

This one is no exception. It is a generic motorcycle book, and not specific to any particular motorcycle, but it is helpful and a lot cheaper than the Clymer books that do cover specific bikes and model years.

I think it is a book that everyone who has a bike should have in their library, for reference. ...
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on July 13, 2000
Chilton's Motorcycle Handbook is a very good resource. It is, however, very broad in range and narrow in scope. Which is to say that a wide variety of topics are covered, but none of them are incredibly detailed. If you are in the market for a book on general motorcycling, I'd recommend The Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Guide to Motorcycling Excellence. If, however, you want information on how and why your bike works as well as maintenance tips, there is no substitute for a shop manual or, if the shop manual is unavailable, a Clymer book for your model. This book would be of interest if you are interested in killing all those birds with one stone using a less adequate substitute.
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on July 10, 2002
This is about as basic a book as you will find on motorcycle mechanics without being too trivial to be of use. Plenty of pictures and diagrams for the visually-inclined. The troubleshooting section ("what do I do if the bike does this...?") is excellent. The book also covers the wider aspect of motorcycling like what to wear, what kinds of equipment you should carry on your bike, etc
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on June 16, 2000
It's chock-full of information, with answers for all those "stupid" questions you're too embarassed to ask anybody else. Plus, great general info on basic repairs and maintenance.
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