by Sev Pearman
Despite the snow on the ground, now is the time to get ready for the riding season. There is still time to improve your machine, your body and your brain. A great way to tune up your mind is to read the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Motorcycling Excellence, one of the best all-around books on motorcycle riding.
The MSF has published Motorcycling Excellence for many years and it continues to sell thousands of copies. While the first edition is still an excellent resource, it is getting somewhat long-in-the-tooth. This new edition brings it up to date. The core MSF content remains the same but is energized with expanded text, a brighter layout and photos of current bikes. There are even scooter-specific sections.
If you have taken an MSF Basic Riding Course, you may recall that, while much material was presented, there wasn’t a lot of extra time available to answer questions or expand on the topics. Each chapter in this new edition contains tips and strategies beyond that of a BRC course to make you a better rider.
You will learn beginning and advanced riding techniques, mental preparation, pre-ride inspection, traction management, countersteering and much more. Even if you recently passed the BRC, there is enough additional material here to justify the purchase.
Motorcycling Excellence is further sweetened by sidebars written by moto-luminaries including Nick Ienatsch, Freddie Spencer and Reg Pridmore. The segment penned by suspension guru, Paul Thede, alone makes this new edition worthwhile. It is like getting personal lessons from these engineers and racers.
Finally, the book contains three appendices and a useful index. The first appendix is a throwaway, nothing more than an advertisement for the MSF and its products. The second is an expanded explanation of the T-CLOCS pre-ride checklist. It details each step of the inspection, tells you where to look on your machine and what to look for. The third appendix is a glossary with clear definitions. Hey – not everyone understands terms like “low side” and “petcock” when they first learn to ride.
MMM heartily recommends Motorcycling Excellence. We give it four-out-of-four cylinders. Read and enjoy this manual. By the time you finish the snow will be gone and you will be ready to face the road ahead.
Thinking About Riding?—Read this book and take a class.
Recent MSF Graduate—Read it to deepen your understanding.
Road Warrior—Brush up on a point or two, then pass it on to a newbie.
MMM Disclosure: Sev Pearman is an MSF Instructor. As with all our book reviews, he did not receive any compensation of any kind from either the MSF or the publisher, Whitehorse Press