Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well

( 24 )

Overview


This best-selling book is also “#1 book in motorcycle safety” (Nielsen BookScan) and essential reading for all motorcyclists regardless of their years of experience. Author David L. Hough, a revered motorcycle author, columnist, and riding-safety consultant, lays out a clear course for all riders who want to sharpen their handling skills and improve their rides. This second edition, expanded and now in full color, offers new riders and road warriors the exact kind of advice they need to be prepared for anything ...
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Overview


This best-selling book is also “#1 book in motorcycle safety” (Nielsen BookScan) and essential reading for all motorcyclists regardless of their years of experience. Author David L. Hough, a revered motorcycle author, columnist, and riding-safety consultant, lays out a clear course for all riders who want to sharpen their handling skills and improve their rides. This second edition, expanded and now in full color, offers new riders and road warriors the exact kind of advice they need to be prepared for anything when on the road, how to avoid accidents, and how to handle the unexpected. Hough, who began motorcycling in the 1960s, tackles every imaginable topic—from the mechanics of the bike, selection of the right-sized bike, and basic riding skills to night riding, group outings, and advanced survival tactics. In the chapter called “Motorcycle Dynamics,” Hough spells out the equipment needed and basic skills required to control a bike, and specifically keeping the rider’s safety and ability to avoid potentially injurious or fatal crashes. The author is outspoken and direct when it comes to safety, and he emphasizes the importance of the rider’s braking abilities and spells out how to improve them. The chapter offers six tried-and-true techniques for quick-stop tactics, critical for every rider to understand and master. He also addresses other vital skills that riders need to evaluate and improve, such as turning, maintaining balance and stability, and steering. He defines, compares, and analyzes the ins and outs of steering and control: direct steering, countersteering, push steering, out-tracking, coning, u-turns, and directional control. The chapter called “Cornering Habits” is a virtual master class in acceleration, deceleration, use of weight, throttle, leaning, and handling challenging terrain. Hough’s skill as a photographer and illustrator adds a graphic element to his books that leads to immediate understanding of the concepts he explains. The detail offered in each section of the book can only come from decades on the road, and the author is the consummate instructor, assigning homework to the readers in the form of exercises to practice and improve specific techniques that he outlines and illustrates in the text. Any rider who would venture out on the road without David Hough’s voice in his head takes an unnecessary risk with his own life.

Proficient Motorcycling takes riders from long, snaking country roads right into the traffic of the big city, and Hough offers the best advice for riders dealing with the most challenging conditions, whether it’s road construction, snap-jawed intersections, skateboarders, or suddenly slippery road surfaces. A critical section of the book offers riders advice on how to deal with automobiles, including aggressive car drivers, oblivious SUV drivers, or “blind” truck drivers. The book offers the kind of first-hand experience that can literally save riders’ lives, as illustrated in the chapters “Booby Traps” and “Special Situations,” which offer evasive tactics and advice to avoid and handle everything from slick surfaces, curbs, and construction plates to ferocious dogs, hazardous wildlife, and difficult weather conditions. The final chapter of the book, “Sharing the Ride,” is geared toward experienced riders who travel together in groups or who travel with a second passenger on the bike. Topics covered are formation, packing for trips, communication between riders, sidecars, trikes, and more.

The book concludes with a resources section of organizations, training schools, educational tools, and websites; a glossary of 80+ terms; and a complete index.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
An anthology of articles from with abundant photos and clear line drawings. Hardly a word of wisdom here is a surprise to a rider with any experience; but every word of caution is worth revisitation. If heeded<-->unnatural for the adolescents<-->Hough would save many lives & acres of skin. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620081198
  • Publisher: i5 Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/12/2013
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 108,485
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 14.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


David L. Hough: David L. Hough is a longtime motorcyclist and journalist. He began motorcycling as a means of commuting to work. He is the author of numerous articles, columns, and books. In 2009 he was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
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Table of Contents

Foreword 6
Preface 9
Introduction 10
Risk!
Motorcycle Dynamics
Dynamics
Urban Traffic Survival
Booby Traps
Special Situations
Sharing the Ride Resources 251
Glossary 252
Index 254
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 24, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    If you ride, read this

    Lots of helpful advice to get you thinking about riding safely. Hough's humor and experience make this an enjoyable read that helps you ride better.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2012

    Solid riding advice for short attention spans

    Having taken the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Ridercourse, I can't say I got my money's worth from Proficient Motorcycling. The overlap was pretty much complete and chapter to chapter, there is a tremendous amount of repetition. The author was a columnist for Motorcycle Consumer News [magazine] and Proficient Motorcycling reads, in fact, almost like strung together monthly articles. That's not to say that the content isn't worth reading; to the contrary, if you pick up anything you didn't know before, it's worth reading. Though extremely repetitive (and some people need that), it's all good advice.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    MUST HAVE RESOURCE for Motorcyclists!!

    This book should be a requirement for every motorcyclist to read, understand and reference. Filled with an abundance of practical and insightful analysis, countless situational examples from rider experience, thorough technical explanations, and vivid images "Proficient Motorcycling" is a valuable resource for anyone who rides 2-wheeled machines. I'm convinced that there could be life-saving information in this book for those who take to the time to accept and apply it. If you ride, you must read "Proficient Motorcycling" today! And, tell your riding buddies about this book--it could save their lives, too!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2007

    newrider

    This should be required reading before riding a bike and every salesman worth his weight in salt should give a copy to any customer they sell a bike to. Read it. It could save your life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2007

    'the' motorcycling riding reference book

    This book is the best piece of motorcycle instructional reference material in print. I'm a 20+ year riding veteran and I read it every year, cover to cover, to help me brush up between riding seasons. David explains not just how, but also why motorcycles ride and handle the way they do. Applying the knowledge from this book will make anyone, from beginners to long term vets, a better rider.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2005

    Don't even think

    Just buy this book. Free yourself of all you have known about motorcycling, and of everything you heard and read this book. It WILL make you a better and safer rider!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2003

    Must Reading if You Ride a Motorcycle and Value Your Life

    I had not ridden a motorcycle in over 30 years. I bought Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well and it is fantastic. I have read it twice, cover to cover. I am going to buy his new book, More Proficient Motorcycling: Mastering the Ride, as soon as I can get to the book store. David Hough tells you in easy to understand language everything you should know about riding on todays busy streets and highways. Eveything from hazards to watch out for to what to wear for different types of weather. If you are a new rider or even if you are a veteran motorcycle rider, this book is worth reading. I had ridden before but I learned things about how to handle a motorcycle properly that I never knew. I am surprised I didn't kill myself when I was younger. The only reason I probably didn't was because traffic was a lot lighter in those days and I was riding a Honda 350 and not the Harley Softail Heritage Classic I am riding today. David goes into great detail in the beginning of the book on the dynamics of how a motorcycle works. Most people think you just turn the handlebars and the bike turns. That is true, but a motorcycle uses counter-steering which is backwards from what most people think. If you want to go right you turn the front wheel to the left and vice versa. It is all about leaning the bike in the direction you want to go. He uses a lot of pictures and graphics to get his point across and the book is very easy to read. He covers how to handle curves using standard, early and late apexes. If you don't already know, he also tells you what an apex is. Want to know how to handle twisties in the mountains? He tells you. He also tells you what hazards to look out for while doing it. In fact, there isn't much he doesn't cover. I guess what he doesn't cover is in his second book. He tells a lot of stories, many from personal experiences, that are quite amusing and show the author learned the hard way on several occasions. I highly recommend this book and it is a must for new riders. If you are thinking about getting a motorcycle, read this book before you take your motorcycle training course. You will get a lot more out of the course. It is also a great refresher book to keep in your library. Enjoy and ride safe.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2003

    A must read

    Fantastic book, I read it over and over again. Go for a bike trip back and read it again...Then you realize the tricks that he mentions makes so sense. Great book EVEN if you are not a novice..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2000

    The best motorcycle safety book I've found

    I'm one of those riders who didn't pay much attention to safety from ages 17 to 26, sold my motorcycles when I had sons, and started riding again 3 years ago when I turned 44. Pure luck got me through those early years. Perhaps I became fascinated with safety because my three closest friends were killed in separate automobile accidents. I have taken the MSF course, I try to keep up to date by reading various online accident post-mortems, and I've read 3 books on motorcycle safety and skills (including Keith Code's Twist of the Wrist). This is by far the best book I've read about safety. I heard about it from positive messages in motorcycle forums. I learned something important about cornering in the first chapter that I never knew, so I resolved to read to the end. I ended up buying three copies as gifts for friends. Two things make this book great: (1) It's graphically rich--full of photos and illustrations on almost every page to illustrate the point. (2) The author has been writing a safety column for MCN for years. He gets feedback from his readers, he writes well, and he's accumulated a ton of experience. One disappointment is he doesn't seem to believe that being conspicuous has any bearing on safety. It seems odd that advances in such things as large brake lights placed high and separated from tail lights could have so much quantifiable effect on truck, car, and bicycle safety, but not for motorcycles. Why do they spend so much time on it in Motorcycle Safety Foundation classes? Anyway, he dismisses it in this book. I have to admit I didn't read every word. 60-70% of it seemed to cover stuff I know. But it's easy to skim sections you know because the graphics allow you to see at a glance what's what.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    Highly Recommended

    This book should be required reading for anyone who rides a motorcycle. Although a little winded and repetitive in places, the book is very well written and easy to understand. Some fairly complex subjects a clearly explained. It may also help some "unlearn" bad habits from previous experience. The author is an illustrator as well, so the drawings and photos are very clear and easy to comprehend.

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  • Posted July 22, 2013

    Excellent resource

    This book is well-written, with many detailed explanations for both new and experienced riders. Both thorough and easy-to-understand, it's a guide that serious motorcyclists should review at least once each year as a reminder of how to stay safe on the road. Highly recommended as a must-have book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Just Excellent

    I've been riding for five-years and had no idea how much safer I can ride. After reading 90-pages I love all the pictures and clear explanations. There's really a lot to both think about and to have as an automatic skill in a crisis. This book spells out A LOT and teaches you how to develop these automatic skills.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2011

    Must read before ridding

    Outstanding book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2003

    'stayin alive'

    Without scaring the hell out of you and taking all the fun out of biking, David manages to help you to think all the time you're riding; Focusing. I thing it's great

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2001

    for all skill levels of motorcycling

    this book covers all aspects of cycling and will touch on issues most people forget about. I would highly recomend it! you will not regret purchasing this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews

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