by Sev Pearman
Oh great—another book by some racer telling me how to go fast. Why bother? Listen up, Junior. This month’s title is penned by three-time AMA Superbike Champion and AMA Hall of Fame member, Reg Pridmore. Reg Pridmore raced professionally all over the UK and the US for over 20 years. He has successfully competed at Daytona, Laguna Seca and the Isle of Man. In this book he shares his observations from over 50 years on two wheels.
Mr. Pridmore believes that all motorcycle inputs are governed by attitude, smoothness and control. Without mastering these principles, you will never be able to ride at your best. Mr. Pridmore shows you his race-proven techniques to smooth throttle management and precise braking control.
The author takes the controversial stance that body positioning is the primary input that steers a motorcycle. Mr. Pridmore doesn’t dismiss counter-steering completely, but subjugates it behind body steering . Is the author right? Are his detractors wrong? You’ll have to read this book and try his techniques to find out for yourself.
Subsequent chapters delve into cornering lines street strategies and riding at night and/or in the rain. If you are uncomfortable riding in either of these conditions, then this book is for you. Like a psychiatrist, Mr. Pridmore will aid you gradually build your confidence.
The exercises are clearly illustrated with graphics and full-color photos. We like the illustrations that show cornering lines, traffic positioning and apex choice. Smooth Riding contains over 150 full-color illustrations that detail Mr. Pridmore’s techniques and advice.
Like many former racers, Mr. Pridmore isn’t short on confidence. A full 22 pages are devoted to the author’s bench-racing. Some readers may enjoy these tales but we feel they are better served in an autobiography. Likewise, we could do without the two pages on the author’s airplane collection. We’d have preferred additional theory or exercises.
Smooth Riding is a sharp arrow for your riding quiver. Mr. Pridmore explains the real life benefits of control, smoothness and his controversial but unfaltering belief in body steering. Buy this book and see if your riding doesn’t improve. Foul one plug for all the race stories. We give it three-out-of-four cylinders.
Newbie—“…but the MSF says that counter-steering is real…”
First Track Day —Smoother equals faster.
Knee Dragger—The best part is that you can always improve.
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