If you live in a part of the world where there’s a “riding season”, then you understand how long the “off season” can be and are likely chomping at the bit (during that dark time) to find ways of reuniting yourself with motorcycling. A good book isn’t as good as a ride on your favorite twisty road, but it’s a good way to brush up on your technique and revisit aspects of the sport we love so dearly.
Here’s a compilation of 3 great reads we can handily recommend, all of which are available on Amazon or on your favorite ebook store:
A Twist of the Wrist by Keith Code
Although the original edition was written back in 1997, ATOTW is largely considered to be “the bible” of motorcycle riding books, its fundamentals still ringing true and serving as great summary of both basic and more advanced motorcycle riding techniques. Short from taking a course, the 2 book series (and instructional videos) is probably the best study of fundamentals for turning a motorcycle, with chapters on line selection, body position and proper braking techniques, among others. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the author Keith Code is generally recognized as one of the foremost authorities in sport riding, is an ex-racer with 49 world titles to his name and runs the California Superbike School at Laguna Seca (and abroad).
Total Control by Lee Parks
Using a similar “encyclopedic” approach to Keith Code’s series, Total Control is specifically focused on street riding techniques and delivers 20 chapters of insightful teachings that range from the physics of tire traction, through to rider fitness (and everything in between). Being no tourist to motorcycling, Lee Parks is another former racer who has his own school (Total Control Advanced Riding Clinics) with courses throughout the US and Canada. Of our 3 book selections, this one is the most beginner-friendly and would serve as a good introductory read for the uninitiated.
Performance Riding Techniques, Andy Ibbott
The fact that this book carries the Moto GP logo should serve as a hint about its intentions. Published in association with Dorna, and focused purely on track riding (but with principles that can also help street riders), this more advanced read delves into the techniques and fundamentals of track riding from the premier class’ point-of-view. Covering topics such as race start techniques, types of overtakes and even how to (safely) crash on a racetrack, this book will appeal to the trackday enthusiast and would be the most advanced read of our 3 recommendations. At the very least, for a Moto GP fan, this book will shed some light on the principles at work that make Sundays on the grid such a rush to watch.