Lessons From Behind the Handlebars
By Ken Condon
A Motorcycle Consumer New Book,
i-5 Press, Publisher
By Steve Tiedman
For subscribers to Motorcycle Consumer News and Motorcyclist magazines, you’ll surely recognize Ken Condon. He is a long-time motorcycle safety author of hundreds of articles. He has also served as an instructor/coach for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and currently operates his own motorcycle training school. I’d guess there must be little that Ken hasn’t seen or done in his 40+ years Behind the Handlebars.
Condon’s new book, Motorcycling the Right Way, is visually appealing. In over 230 pages, Condon uses a mix of high quality photos and clear, concise drawings to supplement his writing. He writes in a way that provides the technical details of the subject in an in-depth, yet easy to understand manner, and then follows with a real-life “Lesson Learned” situation based on that particular subject. This gives the reader the opportunity to reinforce the lesson by discovering how a mistake could be avoided in real life, and how following his tips and advice can help you keep the shiny side up.
Although the book could be read from beginning to end, each topic stands on its own so you could move through the book in your own way. But the book does follow a logical pattern: first, information for newer riders, then
specific skills, and then several sections of advanced information. The book really does cater to riders of all ages and skill levels.
Early topics include determining what kind of rider you are, managing risk, and preventing crashes. The meat of the book covers such topics as motorcycle maintenance, managing traction, and mastering essential skills such as shifting, braking, and cornering. In-depth topics that Condon covers include everyday situations, group riding, returning riders and aging, off-road riding, and track day riding.
I’ve read Condon’s articles for years in MCN and his passion for safety on two wheels always shines through, and for this I can easily recommend Motorcycling the Right Way. New, returning, and long-time motorcyclists can all benefit from Condon’s lessons, advice, and storytelling. Anyone with an interest to start motorcycling, and those who have many years behind the handlebars, would do well by reading this book.