Customer Reviews for

The Perfect Vehicle: What It Is About Motorcycles

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    Bike curious? Start here.

    This book is an ode to the charms of riding a motorcycle. If you call them "donorcycles" you will still enjoy this view of the passion and soul of a literate and expressive writer's experience riding the open road.

    A friend recommended this book, and at first glance, I thought it was too florid, too emotional, too over-the-top. I revisited the free preview, bought the full version, and finished it in a marathon read: Pierson will sneak up on you. Her passion's there for all to see, and she's not shy about literary references, but it all works together so well.

    If this has made you curious, but you've got doubts, do NOT start with a read of the foreword. It is a first-person story, rich in detail and sensations, and really amazing. (The part about seeing your lover riding alongside--so close, and yet so very far--is what I remember every time I ride with M.) I make this suggestion--skipping the foreward as a preview--because it's quite different from the rest of the book, and a real pleasure to come to AFTER reading the rest. For you who might prefer a little emotional distance to get into this book, pick a later chapter to help your decision.

    For you who've sensed the intense emotions that motivate someone like me to put on 10+ pounds of armored nylon at 95 degrees, just for a commute home, then launch right into the foreword, and drink deeply.

    This is a great read, if you're bike curious, you'll be motivated to take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course and know once and for all if you want to ride. If you're utterly against all things motor+cycle, this book will give you an entertaining insight into how rational people can do something you think is crazy. And if you're already a 100k+ rider for decades, this book'll have you smiling and thanking Pierson for her style and skill.

    One final Post Script to those who think we-who-ride are crazy: Pierson wrote a fabulous piece in the MoMA book on their motorcycle exhibit. She focused on the concept of "eustress" which is the exact opposite of distress. You might want to read wikipedia's entry on that word, it explains a lot!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2001

    A very readable study of why we ride

    Pearson made me think about, and understand, why I ride. Her love of motorcycling shines on every page. This book is also a homage to Moto Guzzi. That passion itself is part of motorcyling's mystique and - each to our own brand - part of why we ride. The first page delivers a biker's preparation to ride in fascinating detail and left me a dilemma: turn the page or reach for my bike's keys...the book won

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2000

    A fine writer, perceptive beyond her years.

    My love of motorcycles goes back thirty-eight years, so this is a biased review. I opened 'Perfect Vehicle' with low expectations, expecting fluff. I found instead a life as affected as mine by street-legal two-wheeled g-force generators, and by 'the long ride.' Pierson writes beautifully of her intense times in the saddles of her Guzzis, but more importantly of the human interactions surrounding those times. Thanks for a good read, MHP, and if you happen to read this review, I've a first-edition copy that needs your autograph.

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