Mastering the Ride: More Proficient Motorcycling, 2nd Edition

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Best-selling author David Hough is the anti-bad ass of motorcyclists, a serious down-to-earth master of two- (and three-) wheeled street rods who is interested in the safety and road smarts of his fellow motorcyclists. Mastering the Ride is his follow-up book to one that put him on the map, Proficient Motorcycling, and it goes one better. For motorcyclists ready to take their rides to the next level, Mastering the Ride is an exhilarating course in skills, safety, and common sense. Hough’s writing style is ...
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Mastering the Ride: More Proficient Motorcycling, 2nd Edition

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Best-selling author David Hough is the anti-bad ass of motorcyclists, a serious down-to-earth master of two- (and three-) wheeled street rods who is interested in the safety and road smarts of his fellow motorcyclists. Mastering the Ride is his follow-up book to one that put him on the map, Proficient Motorcycling, and it goes one better. For motorcyclists ready to take their rides to the next level, Mastering the Ride is an exhilarating course in skills, safety, and common sense. Hough’s writing style is straightforward and conversational, never professorial, preachy, or boring. With instructional color photographs and drawings, the book covers improving the rider’s skills of speed and passing on superslabs, mountain roads, and city streets; anticipating and handling street and road hazards, from treacherous tar snakes to lane-weaving drivers; and learning the limits of sight distances, executing quick stops at sudden hazards as well as curves. The book devotes two full chapters to the skills involved in mastering cornering, with specific advice about rolling on and off the throttle, shifting, braking, countersteering, body steering and positioning, and cornering lines.

In the chapter “Mastering the Art of Conspicuity,” Hough recommends riders understand and employ conspicuity, that is understanding how motorcyclists and car drivers see their surroundings and getting others to see you on the road by use of hi-viz clothing, LED lights, and other gear. The key to safety rests in increased situational awareness—the topic of the next chapter—the ability to predict how road events will unfold by thinking through the possibilities way before a potential hazard presents itself. Thanks to Hough’s direct and specific instructions to riders for what they need to know, to improve, to avoid, and to do every time they get on their bikes, this chapter and the skills it describes are nothing short of life-saving.

In short, Mastering the Ride is a crash course in how not to crash—that is, after all is read and done, what every motorcyclists must avoid for his own life and the lives of others on the road. As Eric Trow, a motorcycle safety journalist and instructor states on the back cover, “Mastering the Ride should be required reading for every road-going motorcyclist and become the companion of any rider serious about advancing his or her road craft.” Voni Glaves, the record-setting million-mile BMW rider, is a long-time Hough fan who relied on Hough’s “wisdom” back in the 1970s when the author was a columnist. “The latest from David brings together his years of experience and his unique analysis to make the case for mastery in a conversational way that makes [Mastering the Ride] impossible to put down. The breadth and depth of the information…is astounding.”

A section on the aging rider, including ways to compensate for older riders’ slower reaction times and readapting their skills, is included in the appendix, as is a travelogue of Hough’s road trips to some of his favorite locations. A glossary, resources section, and index complete the book.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935484868
  • Publisher: i5 Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/10/2012
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 363,272
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

David L. Hough is a longtime motorcyclist and journalist who has traveled extensively by motorcycle throughout North America and Europe. David’s daily motorcycle commutes through city traffic for twenty-five years led him to write articles about riding skills and accident avoidance tactics. His work has appeared in numerous motorcycle publications, but he is best known for the monthly skills series “Proficient Motorcycling” in Motorcycle Consumer News, which has been honored by special awards from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

David has been employed professionally as a technical illustrator, photographer, and instructional graphics specialist, so it is natural that his articles are profusely illustrated by photos and drawings, all of which he creates himself.

In his spare time, David has produced the world’s first comprehensive training system for sidecar operators. He has also served as a consultant on motorcycle safety and training for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the American Motorcyclist Association, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, the State Motorcycle Safety Administrators Association, and too many other groups to mention, both here and abroad.

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Table of Contents

1.0 Mastering the Ride
The Professional Attitude
Airplanes and Motorcycles

1.1 Your Mission Today Is…
Traffic as Combat
The Checklist
The Mission Plan
Combat Tactics: OODA
Becoming Skilled

1.2 The Right Machine for the Ride
Friendly Advice
Is Bigger Really Better?
You Might Be Ready for a Three-Wheeler

1.3 Cops and Robbers
Risk vs Scofflaw Behavior
No Passing Zones
Different Rules
Fast Traffic
Speed vs. Risk
The Truck Tango
The Speed Enforcement Game
Radar Detectors

1.4 Wimpophobia
Not Just a Big Rally Problem
Ride Your Own Machine
Single File in the Twisties
Riding Skills
Hold On…Are You Talking About Me?
Avoiding Wimpophobia

1.5 Passing
To Pass or Not to Pass?
Look Before You Leap
When In Doubt, Back Off
Getting Passed
Lane Discipline
Traffic Speed
Group Rides

2.0 Riding in the Real World
You can Lead a Horse to Water
Do What I Do

2.1 Public Roads vs. Race tracks
Controlling the Situation

2.2 When In Rome…
Legal vs. Acceptable
Stock is Good
Regional Booby Traps

2.3 Street Hazards
Follow Me
Reading the Signs
Reading the Surface
Edge Traps
Tar Snakes
Seal Coating
Slick Paving
Riding Tactics
The Distracted Driver
Aggressive Kids
Irresponsible Drivers
Commercial Trucks

2.4 Expert Eyeballs
Eyes Up
Dense Traffic
Bike Follows Nose
Vision Tricks
What Are You Looking For?
Hints and Clues
Seeing is Believing

3.0 Are You Fit For Duty?
Vision Problems and Eye Exams
The Hearing System
Doesn’t a Helmet Reduce the Noise?
Strength and Stamina
Familiarity with the Machine
Aging Motorcyclists

3.2 Quickest Ticket to the Daisy Farm
Uh Oh, Preacher Dave
A Second Opinion
Down the Hatch
Down the Drain
I’m Not Too Ride to Drunk
Alcohol Content of Drinks
Come On, Dave, How Serious Can it Be?
So, What’s My Safe Limit?
DWI Cues
But I Don’t Drink
Let’s Make it a Taboo
Optional sidebar: The Long Arm of the Law

3.3 Spring Training
Put Your Brain in Gear
Automatic Reactions
Steering Practice
Slow, Look, Lean, and Roll
Braking Practice
The Braking Chute
Speed Concerns
Quick Stops in Curves

3.4 The Rider Training Dilemma
Other Training Courses
Three Wheeler Training

4.0 Developing Muscle Memory
The Subconscious
Post Notes for Yourself

4.1 Mastering the Throttle
Front-Rear Weight Bias
Traction vs. Suspension Feel
Throttle Steering
Throttle-Brake Transitions
What About Hills?
So, What’s Your Technique?
But, I Just Ride a Cruiser…

4.2 Shifting
The Smooth Shift

4.3 Countersteering vs Body steering
The No BS Bike
Strange Steering Geometry
Steering Practice
Speed Wobbles
Body Position
Front End Pivoting
Pushing Forward or Down?
What About Body Steering?
Perception vs. Reality

4.5 Quick, Stop!
Stopping Distance
Quick Stops in Curves
Built in Limits
Different Bikes, Different Braking
Do Powerful Brakes Produce Quicker Stops?
Making it All Work
Braking Feedback
Avoiding Panic

4.6 Cornering Lines
The Trendy Delayed Apex
What’s a “Delayed apex”?
Real World Observations
Tricks for Delayed Apexing

4.7 Feeling the Bike
Riding Experiments
What’s the Point?

5.0. Seeing and Being Seen

5.1 Why Don’t They See Us?
How Humans “see” Our Surroundings
Seeing = Focusing On the Details
Visual Priorities
Inattentional Blindness
Multi Tasking
Judging Speed and Distance

5.2 Conspicuity Tactics
High Visibility Jacket
Headlight On
Seeing Is Believing

6.0 Know When to Fold ‘Em

6.1 How Do You Know When to Quit?
Social Crisis
Debit or Credit?
Find Someone to Lean on

6.2 The Aging Rider
Average Age
I Don’t Want to Talk About It.
Going Out in a Blaze of Glory
Healthy Aging
Dealing With the Youngsters
Compensating for Age

6.3 Breakdowns
Panicky Paul
Moto Mack
Beemer Bill
Different Strokes
Different Reactions
When the Whatsisframus Goes Blooey
The King is a FINK
What’s the Problem, Anyway?
The Options
Help ‘N Hands
Anonymous Directories
Motorcycle Emergency Road Service
Medical Emergencies

6.4 Biker Bill’s Last Ride
The Road
The Road Disappears
What Happened?
Closer to the Edge

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2014

    Excellent book, expands on Hough's first book Proficient Motorcy

    Excellent book, expands on Hough's first book Proficient Motorcycling. The explanations, photos and diagrams are very clear and easy to understand. Anyone concerned about motorcycle safety should read this book. 

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