I’ve read lots of interesting bike related books over the years, and thought I’d start to share some reviews and recommendations.
Jupiter’s Travels by Ted Simon
Many people see Ted Simon as the founding father of the global adventure motorcyclist, with his epic journey around the world between 1973 and 1977. One of the very interesting aspects of the book was the existence of a global motorcycle brand in the form of Triumph, although somewhat diminished by the increasing market share of he Japanese manufacturers.
Ted’s adventure was sponsored by the Sunday Times newspaper, which culminated in Jupiter’s Travels. For me, the book manages to bring the travelling experience and spiritual experience together when Ted faced challenges and enlightening moments in new places.
If you are looking for a really enjoyable read or perhaps inspiration for a motorcycle adventure, Jupiter’s Travels is a must have book in your collection.
I first found out about Mondo Enduro when I happened to come across a mini series of the same on the TV during the 1990’s. Mondo Enduro is an amazing book because it tells the story of a group of guys with regular jobs who decided to take the brave step to travel around the world on motorbikes. I’m sure that most bikers have exchanged ideas about travelling the globe over a pint in the pub, but these guys actually managed to get motivated, organised, and get on the road.
They also had no official sponsorship or backing, and travelled on a limited budget, which meant having to rough camp along the roadside. The merry band of bikers all rode the Suzuki DR350, with various modifications for luggage, and hidden areas for money and travel documents.
Not all of the bikers made to the end, either caused by work commitments or running out of funds, but I’m sure this was an amazing adventure for everyone. One of my favourite moments was Austin bringing the wrong documentation for his bike, and having to overwrite his vehicle registration information with a pen, and to everyone’s surprise it got him across the border!!
Mondo Enduro is a great read, and I can also recommend the DVD set which captures some great moments of the trip, and feels like you are watching your friends biking adventure, with all the ups and downs of motorbike travel. This is another must have book in your collection .
Twist of the Wrist 1 & 2 by Keith Code
The Twist of the Wrist books by Keith Code were the first books I’d read which really started to explain how the rider and the motorcycle work together. Like most people who ride bikes, I got in to motorcycling by passing my motorcycle test for riding on a public road. The supporting lessons for riding on the road and the subsequent test to obtain your license teach you very little about how to interact with the bike to build confidence and stability, primarily because modern public roads are designed to be safe with the main concern being other road users rather than difficult sections of a race track.
Keith Code has worked with many famous motorcycle racers over the years, and also founded the California Superbike School, which provides tuition to riders wishing to improve their skills on the track and the road. Twist of the wrist 1 & 2 provide some really useful techniques for understanding how your bike should be setup, rider positioning, and approach. When I was learning to ride bikes in the early 1990’s, concepts such as counter steering were never discussed because it was primarily used within the racing fraternity. If I had read Twist of Wrist before trying to wrestle some big four cylinder bikes from the late 1980’s around my local twisty back roads, my technique would have been a lot smoother, less scary, and less prone to error.
Twist of the Wrist 1 & 2 are must have books for anyone who is serious about improving their riding technique, and getting more out of the motorcycle. I always looked forward to each weekend after reading another chapter to see if could improve my technique or setup my bike a bit better for my favorite road.