by Dr. Gregory Frazier
159 pages, $24.95
Motorbooks Publishing, copyright 2005
by Sev Pearman
Most riders enjoy trips on their motorcycle. From their first day rides, to annual big rides carefully tailored to fit allotted vacation time, there is nothing better than spending back-to-back long days on your bike.
If this sounds like you, put down that accessory catalog and pick up this month’s title, Motorcycle Touring, Everything You Need to Know by Dr. Greg Frazier. Whether you’ve ridden to… Los Angeles, CA or Los Angeles, Chile; Odessa, MN or Odessa, Ukraine; Hudson, WI, or Hudson Bay, …there is something for you inside.
Dr. Greg Frazier is to motorcycle touring what Cher is to musical touring. Neither can seem to stop and both have “signature” hairstyles. Dr. Frazier is the only rider to have successfully completed five trips around the world on two wheels. He has ridden in just about every country and to every place you have ever heard of. He has been bitten by snakes, crashed, shot at by rebels and imprisoned by unfriendlies. He is an accomplished motorcycle racer and is the author of eleven books on motorcycling.
In Motorcycle Touring, Dr. Frazier covers motorcycle-touring basics. Chapters include: Equipment, Pilot and Passenger Readiness, Keeping Warm Dry and Cool, and Maintenance and Repairs on the Road. Advanced topics include international travel, language and customs, and extended tour logistics. He advises stealth and the ability to keep a low profile.
The author explains how to load and deploy a “throw down” wallet should you ever find yourself in a sticky situation. The author rails on GPS and other electronic devices. He calls them thief bait and makes a strong case for traveling under the radar.
Dr. Frazier is also an award-wining photographer and Motorcycle Touring contains hundreds of beautiful color photos from his travels around the world. Images of treacherous roads and wrecked vehicles are balanced by shots of beautiful vistas and smiling people. Local readers may recognize a few riders and machines on page 132.
After 40 years on the road, Dr. Frazier has formed a few opinions and doesn’t hesitate to share them. While MMM shares his opinion of night riding in the developing world, we feel it is manageable here in the US. We couldn’t agree more with his open mocking of deer whistles and other talismans. Some riders may bristle at his abrupt tone, but there is no better teacher than experience. Motorcycle Touring is loaded with humorous stories of lessons learned.
Motorcycle Touring encapsulates the wisdom and experience of a lifetime on two wheels. Greg Frazier can come across as prickly, but the man has the miles to back it up. There is no better book on motorcycle touring. Buy this, dig out your maps, and get planning. Three-and-a-half cylinders.
Verdict: First Bike – Learn you will. Yoda will teach you.
McBagger® – Dirt roads are your friend.
Over-farkled GS – Frazier has already been there. Many times.
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