4 classic motorcycling books you should read:
The above books are the definitive guide on better motorcycling. You must read them to know how much of an improvement you can potentially make in your daily riding, just by following what is written in them.
Here’s what Keith Code, the author, had to say about his books:
“My primary objective was to communicate to riders that there is a definite technology to riding. The bike wasn’t designed by opinions or good advice and riding is the same, there are technical points that need to be understood. That’s the message and focus of this book. Once a rider gets the idea there is a technology then and only then can he conquer his fears and uncertainties on cornering and at that point improvement is virtually unlimited.”
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is the self-told story of a middle-aged man and his son, Chris, who go on a motorcycling trip accompanied by an adult couple. They journey from Minnesota to California, taking the back roads and sleeping overnight in motels or camping. The man describes what it is like to hear the wind moving across the plains, to see birds rise up from marshes next to the road, to ride through a ferocious storm, and to breath the fresh air of a mountain above the tree line. He tells also of the people that they meet, the towns they stop in, and the quarrels and conversations of the journey.
This is a book to read while on a trip of your own, or when you find yourself at a crossroads in life. Easy to read, although not always easy to understand, it is inspirational in a no frills way. What is the meaning of the title? Zen is a form of Buddhism that does not look towards great enlightenments or ecstasies, instead suggesting that the soul grows through actively engaging with life as it is. In this case it is the narrator’s maintenance of his motorbike that intriguingly expresses his understanding of how to approach life.
In January 1952, Ernesto Guevara is a medical student in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His friend and fellow medical student, Alberto Granado, suggests that the two of them take a motorcycle trip through South America together, with the ultimate aim of seeing the San Pablo Leper Colony in Peru, in which Alberto is professionally interested. The men repair Alberto’s old motorcycle, which they affectionately and mockingly name “La Poderosa” (“The Powerful”), say goodbye to their families, and set off from Buenos Aires.
The men travel for some days and stop in Miramar, Argentina, to visit Ernesto’s girlfriend, Chichina, and her family. Although he and Alberto are setting out on a youthful adventure, Ernesto finds it hard to tear himself away from the comfort and excitement of his romance. He stays for eight days and gives Chichina a dog named “Comeback,” showing his intention to return to her side (although he never does).
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Motorcycles are an extension of the rider…
To be free and still be involved at the same time is a different feeling…
To be on the ground and still be flying is so liberating…