After reviewing a number of different motorcycle books, I have boiled down that list to several books that have stood the test of time. Some of these can truly be called evergreen or true classics in a certain sense.
But not all books on motorcycling are created equal. Some books are just neat stories—and there is nothing wrong with that—but beginners will benefit most from books that teach different things about riding a motorcycle.
You want books that offer plenty of in-depth and real-world examples, lessons, and data provided by real experts in the field. This will allow you to improve further your knowledge base and understanding of riding on two wheels. Best of all, you can do it at your own pace.
And this is what I was focusing on offering you here; the top books on motorcycling that are worth reading if you are a beginner. These books can help you avoid many mistakes, save you money on costly repairs, and quite possibly save one’s life one day.
If you are a beginner, these are the perfect books to get you started.
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Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough
This is a great book for everyone who is new to motorcycling.
In this book, you will find a lot of information about riding in different conditions and traffic situations, how to stay safe on the road, and the intricate physics behind everything. There is also plenty of interesting data, illustrations, great explanations of different scenarios.
This book still has some areas that need improvement, however. There is some repetitiveness and wordiness, but nothing too excessive. Overall, it is an excellent read, filled with excellent information.
Total Control by Lee Parks
This book focuses more on developing the right attitude, the rider’s psychology, and the general physics of riding a motorcycle. There is a lot of information about riding techniques and everything a new rider should know and understand, covering topics like throttle and brake control, body position, tire pressure, dealing with different road conditions, understanding high-performance riding, and so much more.
It gets into plenty of detail and can seem a little too technical at times. However, that only makes the book feel more complete.
Total Control gets a little more in-depth and continues where Proficient Motorcycling left off. Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough and Total Control by Lee Parks are probably the two best books for beginner riders worth buying together.
Twist of the Wrist by Keith Code
This book is among the best motorcycle books that a beginner rider can read.
What you will find great about this book is that it is very informative. Everything is explained in simple language, and there are plenty of graphics and photos.
The book is very well-structured with no unnecessary frills. It starts with the very basics explaining how the motorcycle controls work, how to operate them, recommended ways to operate them, and then gradually builds up exploring the different situations and environments a rider my experience.
It focuses more on professional racing techniques and skills and not as much on everyday street riding and traffic. It is also a perfect book for any beginner rider interested in track racing. Nonetheless, it can further improve the understanding of the mechanics of riding a motorcycle and is a great introductory guide to riding, even for beginners not interested in racing.
Twist of the Wrist Vol II by Keith Code
Riders will find interesting the differences in techniques between the first volume and the second volume of this book series. Volume 2 of this book series goes more in-depth and fills many of the gaps that were left in the first volume.
The information in the book is fantastic and very detailed delving deeper into things like throttle control, angle of approach, survival reactions, acceleration, braking, and so much more.
The only downside to this book is the editing; it is almost infamous for the many—usually fairly commonplace—words that are surrounded by asterisks and later defined.
However, if you can look past that, this book is among the best in its category. Riders of all skill levels will find something of value in it.
Motorcycle Dynamics by Vittore Cossalter
This is an excellent book for the riders that want something that delves a lot more into the physics and theoretical aspects, handling, characteristics, and behavior of motorcycles, including various equations and so much more.
This book will help you understand why certain techniques are necessary and how the physical forces and laws work and affect your ride. You will also find diagrams and graphs that further explore and explain the science behind everything.
Not all readers may find it interesting, though, but those who really want to geek out and want to learn anything motorcycle-related will find it incredibly eye-opening and useful.
Sport Riding Techniques by Nick Ienatsch
This book can be placed in the same category as Twist of the Wrist II. However, this book focuses a little more on storytelling, which not all readers may find interesting—especially those looking for more concise and to the point information.
Nonetheless, it is not a bad book by any means. It is filled with excellent insights, pro tips, great illustrations, photos, and useful diagrams.
This book delves deeply into how to control and handle your motorcycle in real-life situations both on the road and on the track. There is a big focus on the rider’s safety, urban survival, pacing, and developing a deeper understanding of how motorcycles handle and behave.
Motorcycle Roadcraft: The Police Rider’s Handbook
This book is made to serve as a guide to police riders. As such, it focuses on issues and topics that are often not addressed in other books. It also focuses a lot on things like safety, how to look for possible hazards and dangerous situations, assessing risk, and motorcycle physics.
The only downside is that it is intended for British police officers, so USA riders must keep that in mind while reading it. It can also be considered a motorcycle riding 101 type of a book, so it does not have a lot of information on more advanced techniques. As a result, some riders may find it a little lackluster.