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Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well
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Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  921 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
Proficient Motorcycling is hands down the best and most complete book ever written on how to ride a motorcycle safely and efficiently.--Fred Rau, Senior Editor, Motorcycle Consumer News. 100 photos, some in color.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Lumina Media (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30)
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Emily
Feb 10, 2012 Emily rated it it was ok
Wade through the dreck and you will be rewarded with some sage motorcycling advice.
Mephistia
Feb 22, 2009 Mephistia rated it really liked it
I am embarrassed to admit that although this book is well-written, informative and descriptive, I haven't read it all the way through.

It functions as both a manual and a guide, an informative text on how to perform certain maneuvers, better your skills and care for your motorcycle.

It offers cautionary anecdotes to underscore the importance of riding with caution and awareness.

It is a great book, but I've been ingesting it in bits and pieces. I tend to pick it up when I've been struggling with
...more
Karl
Aug 23, 2014 Karl rated it liked it
Worth the read even if it was a little dry.
Kevin
Dec 31, 2014 Kevin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not my kind of book. Too much preaching, too much backing off, too much bowing to the inevitability of a situation and not enough control. It's all about not making a cager mad at you and staying far away from them. Dress right and people won't get mad and try to run you off the road. Avoid cities or you will be run over. Give up your space to unaware or aggressive drivers. Basically, walk.

There are very few usable lessons or techniques and each one is hidden within layers of warnings about deat
...more
David
Jun 24, 2016 David rated it it was amazing
I was reminded of this book in a recent conversation, and as it has a place of honor on my bookshelf, I thought I'd review it.

I've been riding for thirty years, and have owned, at one point or another, almost every type of motorcycle. Cruisers. Sportbikes. Standard UJMs. ADV bikes. I ride 12 months a year, in the height of summer heat, and in sub-freezing temperatures.

This is the book you need, if you want to ride well. Period.

Hough's description of optimal riding technique are dead on, and his
...more
Rob and Liz
Jan 07, 2014 Rob and Liz rated it it was amazing
So I have been driving a motorcycle for a year now. If there's one thing that riding a motorcycle has taught me, it's the importance of being alert, focused and well informed in all circumstances. Riding (and life) can be very fun but all arounds us accidents are just waiting to happen. With one careless move we can put ourselves and others in great peril.

Knowing full well the dangers associated with riding a motorcycle, I read this book before even purchasing my first bike. I found this book ve
...more
Michael
Jul 04, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technical, motorcycle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Philip
Aug 22, 2014 Philip added it
This is a necessary read for motorcyclists (and only motorcyclists) but it's difficult to give this book an overwhelmingly positive review. If you haven't taken a motorcycle safety course, take one, and read this book. You will become a safer, more efficient, faster rider (fewer mistakes means more speed.) if you have taken a course (I have) this book will mostly seem like a compilation of magazine columns: not badly written per se, but very repetitive in style, especially when it covers the inf ...more
brook
May 10, 2013 brook rated it it was amazing
This review is written from the perspective of a motorcyclist, not as a reader. If you don't ride, there's no reason for you to read this - review or the book.

This is the best instruction manual on riding I've read. I finally took the recommendation of other veteran riders and did it. It's quick. Even if you are a veteran rider, you will learn more about *why* you do what you do, and how you can improve it. Turns out that, while my cornering was fine, it was less than what I could do. I'd say my
...more
Katsu
Aug 06, 2014 Katsu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: moto
Great book that makes you aware of danger riding motorcycle, but also gives you bunch of advices how to avoid or `survive' each such situation. Great descriptions that make reader more conscious of how motorcycle works in lot of different situations. Such understanding helps with proper reactions.
Bunch of practice exercises which will help you create good habits, and good habits are fundamentals for safe riding. When you ride safe you may ride longer as you avoid tragic situations! So enjoy your
...more
Tom Mueller
Feb 07, 2012 Tom Mueller rated it really liked it
Good skill enhancing tips herein, even if the tips seem a little geeky for the die hard rider.
I'm going to send to my daughter when I'm finished. She hopes to get a MC before too long. I am quite certain she will learn to ride a 'little' differently than I did. My method was to ride as fast as I could, till I couldn't ride quite as fast. ya see, something always slowed me down, or stopped me cold. Sometimes a curb or wet leaves on a fast turn, or maybe a fence at the end of the road . . . or a c
...more
James
Jun 10, 2014 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Man, this guy is long-winded. And boy does he like to explain the hell out of things. But this is a NEEDED book if you ride a motorcycle. A couple of the tips have already improved my riding, and much of the advice could save somebody's life. It's just a little long and too-involved. One of the funniest things to me is that there's actually a section explaining to you how to outsmart a dog that is trying to attack you while you're riding your bike. But hell, it's actually really sound advice.
Steve Fiver
Jan 03, 2013 Steve Fiver rated it it was amazing
This book is a must-read for anyone new to motorcycling. There is a lot of information and it's a bit long-winded at times, but I gave it the maximum rating because it gives real-world life-saving advice for new motorcyclists. It goes over in detail each of the most common types of mistakes that a motorcyclist could make that could cost them their life -and how to avoid them! That was my main takeaway. There is much more to the book though; it's basically a super-experienced motorcyclist providi ...more
KennyO
Dec 02, 2014 KennyO rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Don't sit down to read this like a novel, you'll choke on it. Spread your reading over several weeks and climb onto your bike between chapters to practice. Hough is a rider-writer and knows whereof he speaks [writes]. If you disagree with his approach to an aspect of riding on two wheels you should be ready to argue your case logically and with evidence. Hough pursues perfection better than any motorcycle writer I've read. He's not perfect but it's more nearly within his reach than any rider I'v ...more
elliot leven
Jan 03, 2013 elliot leven rated it it was amazing
This book is a must-read for anyone new to motorcycling. There is a lot of information and it's a bit long-winded at times, but I gave it the maximum rating because it gives real-world life-saving advice for new motorcyclists. It goes over in detail each of the most common types of mistakes that a motorcyclist could make that could cost them their life -and how to avoid them! That was my main takeaway. There is much more to the book though; it's basically a super-experienced motorcyclist providi ...more
Brandon Van Buskirk
Jan 03, 2013 Brandon Van Buskirk rated it it was amazing
This book is a must-read for anyone new to motorcycling. There is a lot of information and it's a bit long-winded at times, but I gave it the maximum rating because it gives real-world life-saving advice for new motorcyclists. It goes over in detail each of the most common types of mistakes that a motorcyclist could make that could cost them their life -and how to avoid them! That was my main takeaway. There is much more to the book though; it's basically a super-experienced motorcyclist providi ...more
Mike Oliveri
Nov 15, 2009 Mike Oliveri rated it really liked it
A must-have book for new riders and a great resource for experienced road vets. The book is loaded with information, covering everything from bad habits riders develop to riding in rough conditions. The chapter on the physics of steering and handling is a bit tough, and Hough occasionally comes off as an aging father delivering admonishing advice, but overall the book is well-written and readers will benefit from the author's decades of experience on two wheels. Highly recommended.
Charlie
Nov 09, 2014 Charlie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I've been an avid motorcycle rider since spring of 2011.

The paper book seems better than the kindle edition.

I can finally understand counter steering as more than just pushing the handlebar down and it works. the mechanics of how to ride well are covered in detail. I feel as though while the writing could be improved some (hard to follow in some areas) it's altogether a great tool for any rider.
Dodd Martin
May 22, 2012 Dodd Martin rated it it was amazing
I would highly recommend this book to any new motorcycle rider. If you gave taken an MSF class, some of the information will be review, but when you ride, you should never stop learning. There is a ton of information for old and new riders alike. Everything from how to brake (review - with additional physics and information), to how to pack for a long ride, to how to ride 2-up.

The style is very easy to read and many examples are given throughout to emphasize the main points.
Benjamin Newland
Jun 07, 2010 Benjamin Newland rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
A collection of articles published in Motorcycle Consumer News. The writing style was conversational and above average quality. Topics were apropos for new riders or anyone looking to be a better rider. From time to time you could tell that these were originally stand alone articles and they suffered a bit from close proximity, but on the whole the editing was pretty well done. I'd really encourage anyone who owns or would like to own a motorcycle to read through this book.
kk
Sep 09, 2012 kk rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Yes
This book helped me understand why motorcycles fall down through corners and turns. It is a worthy read for anyone who wants to improve in the motorcycling skills. As winter nears the end and with the approach of spring I will pick this book up again to brush up on a few worthy tips the book has to offer.
Eric
Apr 05, 2014 Eric rated it it was amazing
If you ride, or want to ride motorcycles on public roads, this book is for you. It sums up all you need to know about road riding to get you starting to train yourself to be a better, safer rider. Covers it all from lane choice to dog defense through riding on snow and how to deal with road ragers.

A must read!
David
Aug 07, 2008 David rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: motorcyclists
Shelves: motorcycles
This book gives a pretty thorough overview of the handling dynamics of motorcycles as well as dangers that you are likely to face on the road. This is a must read for anyone on a motorcycle. The author's work has been very influential on the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
John
Sep 18, 2013 John rated it liked it
I read too many of these type books prior to this one. The book is very comprehensive but gets tedious when you get about 3/4 done. It's a compilation of past motorcycle consumer news articles and the book would be an easier read if each article were identified.
Contains very solid motorcycle safety info and I think it is a good reference resource to keep around.
Don
Oct 23, 2007 Don rated it really liked it
So far (I'm only a third of the way through) the advice has been good, but the writing isn't great, the editing is terrible (It's a sort of mashed-up compilation of the author's magazine articles), and the physics is just plain wrong. But despite the bad physics and writing, the riding techniques work and the advice is useful. So I'll keep reading it.
Amanda Rafuse
Mar 18, 2010 Amanda Rafuse rated it it was amazing
It's almost that time of year! The bikes are out, and it's almost warm enough for my comfort, so brushing up on my skills. This guy is one of the pioneers of motorcycle safety. The chapters (so far) read like his magazine articles -- very clear and concise. Nothing is a surprise yet (thankfully!), but it is a great book of reminders.
Meowbie
Oct 19, 2011 Meowbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this a couple of years ago now, as a bathroom book (i.e. one page at a time in the loo). I learned a lot from it, although some instructions need to be reversed for left-lane countries such as Australia. Will be reading it again cover to cover - so important to respect these powerful machines we ride, and the hazards we face every day among the "cages".
Dave
Jun 21, 2016 Dave rated it it was amazing
Great overview of common and not so common sense advise and instruction for motorcycle control and general riding. Hough does a great job of breaking down the physics of motorcycles, differentiating them from other vehicles and applying those physical rules to real-world situations to explain how to prepare for, avoid, and deal with emergency situations.
Regan
Mar 12, 2013 Regan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm riding for my second year. I'm reading the book in bits and pieces and am learning a lot that I didn't know but maybe should have. I see that I have been picking up some bad habits. I'm working on those but never would have really understood just how bad those habits are without this book. This book may have just saved my life. So yes, 5 stars.
Kristen
Nov 17, 2009 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this book does go over items that I already knew, it was a good refresher and it brought up items I didn't know. It has everything from the physics of riding to how to deal with elk who enter your path. A must read for all riders, novices and pros. Apparently my riding has improved from reading the book, according to others.
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