Proficient Motorcycling book is a favorite read

By: On: August 14th, 20111 Comment »Updated: July 20, 2013

Proficient Motorcycling Book by David Hough If I could recommend just one book for motorcycle riders, it would be “Proficient Motorcycling” by David Hough. Reading this 288 page book has really helped me on my journey to become a better rider.  It is loaded with real-life situations that us street bike riders encounter.

Excellent teaching examples include how not to handle certain riding conditions.  Many of these we, as weekend warriors and motorcycle commuters, encounter all of the time.

There is no doubt that every motorcyclist, whether just starting to get a motorcycle license or at an advanced skill level, will benefit from studying this book. Experienced riders will get more out of it than a novice though.  I say that for two reasons.  First, experienced riders may have witnessed, or may more easily relate to some of the riding situations that the book provides throughout as examples.  Second, because the book provides a good amount of technical motorcycle info to help explain the dynamics of motorcycles.

Improving riding skills requires an open mind, which is perhaps the best way to approach this book.  Whether you are new to motorcycles or have been riding all your life, there is always plenty to learn if you aim to be a proficient motorcyclist.

Proficient Motorcycling bookFor beginners, there are many paths to learning how to ride and eventually becoming a good motorcycle rider.  My journey began on a friend’s Honda Z50 Mini Trail about 35 years ago and continued with gradually larger off-road, then eventually street motorcycles.  Today, I ride an 1100 v-twin Moto Guzzi California. My point is that pure number of years riding does not actually make a person proficient at riding, especially on the street.

Ok, this may sound a bit dramatic, but riding a motorcycle on the street really does present motorcyclists with an actual endless array of challenges and dangers.  These challenges continuously test our proficiency every time we put our kick-stand up, turn the key and push the start button.

No one likes to admit it, but we all develop habits over time that aren’t always beneficial.  Something I really like about the Proficient Motorcycling book is the new opportunities it has provided me with.  I feel that I am learning and developing better habits through the examples it provides.  The best thing as that I am noticing a difference in my riding that

Riding proficiency, as explained in the Proficient Motorcycling book, is way more than just knowing how to operate a motorcycle.  That by itself can get anyone into trouble quickly.  Every rider needs to develop the proper habits and techniques that through constant practice form a foundation for riding proficiency.  As Mr. Hough mentioned on his dedication page, “the content of this book is really a collective wisdom gleaned from fellow motorcyclists and the school of hard knocks”.

Excellent examples of the most common motorcycle riding mistakes are shared throughout the book. The problem is that no one can teach themselves all this stuff without attending “the school of hard knocks”.  That is one riding school I personally try to avoid.  The examples of mistakes are extremely valuable, sometimes are funny, but sometimes sobering – like fatal crashes.

I’m closing this article with a simple request.  If you are anything like the squid GSXR rider I witnessed yesterday during my ride home from work, please get this book and adjust your riding attitude before it is too late for you.  The combo I watched was shorts, t-shirt, sneakers, backpack and GSXR street bike.  Not uncommon at all.  However, the fast weaving in heavy traffic and the constant tailgating was as if he was attempting to set a record lap time.  He screamed the revs past tightly packed cars in a double-yellow 45 mph school zone.  I was about 4 cars behind him on my Guzzi watching all this.

The last view I got of him was the sudden left turn he made directly in front of quickly oncoming traffic that had to hit the brake while he slid his rear tire through the turn in front of them.  He had to get off the throttle for a second to stop the slide out.  I was actually embarrassed for him.  So, read the Proficient Motorcycling book and practice what it teaches.  Don’t be like the guy I saw.

About John Clay

John Clay is the author of MotorcycleInfo.Org. He and his family reside in North Carolina in the United States. A graduate of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course, he enjoys riding his Moto Guzzi in charity rides and serves as a volunteer motorcycle marshal for an annual bicycle charity event in the Carolinas.

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1 Response

  1. Selva says:

    I have been riding since 1980, I leaenrd how to ride on a 1979 1000 cc Sportster, which was my husbands. I then graduated to my own Honda 450. It was great riding back then, I was one of the first women to start riding my own bike. The looks I got when riding in the 80 s were really meaningful. It is great to see how women evolved and ride their own. I have owned personally three Harley Davidson bikes. My current ride is a 2010 Hertitage Softail. I love riding with my daughter, husband and friends. I am really proud of my daughter, who grew up on bikes, who rides her own 2006 Heritage Softail, which she bought new.