Written By Daniel Rika
Published Apr. 22, 2020

Do you dream of taking your bike out on an epic cross-country adventure? Or perhaps you’re struggling to get that rebuild project started. Motorcycle books can provide you with the answers you need.

Motorcycle books can also let you vicariously live through other people’s adventures. They can help you hone your riding skills and learn the more complicated mechanics of your bike. Check out these popular motorcycle books, and find the one that interests you the most.

The Best Motorcycle Book

Whether you’re brand new to riding or getting back into it after years of being away, this book will help prepare for any situation that may arise. The author addresses many situations that you may encounter while riding. This includes everything from inclement weather to unusual road traffic patterns. 

This book is ideal if you want to learn how to handle all riding situations. This is helpful for both new and experienced riders as it covers circumstances that you may not have encountered yet. The book also offers several helpful resources.

Key Features
  • Author: David L. Hough 
  • 288 pages
  • Learn to handle anything while riding
  • Revered motorcycle author
Specification
  • Model ISBN-10: 1620081199
  • Weight 2.2 pounds
PROS

Be prepared for all situations

Useful for new and experienced riders

Offers several helpful resources

CONS

A bit doomsday in tone

Offers basic tips

Very outdated statistics

Take a motorcycle journey with a young Ernesto Che Guevara long before he became the Cuban political revolutionary that we are familiar with today. The book reads like a travel diary as you make your way over the countryside and through small towns.

This version features additional stunning photos that were previously unpublished. The story will come alive as you read his eloquent writing. This book gives you a chance to learn about the man behind the image on the famous t-shirt.

Key Features
  • Author: Ernesto Che Guevara
  • 175 pages
  • Travel diary
  • Photos & maps from the original journey
Specification
  • Brand Ocean Press
  • Model ISBN-10: 1876175702
  • Weight 8.8 ounces
PROS

Includes previously unpublished photos

Brilliant and eloquent writer

Insight into a revolutionary’s mindset and development

CONS

The author is a controversial political figure

The bike is broken for a majority of the book

May be boring for some

This large coffee table book contains stunning full-color images of the most incredible motorcycles ever made.

The photography is incredibly well done and full of rich details. The bikes featured in the book are unique and stunning examples of motorcycles throughout history. There is also a short explanation of each bike.

Key Features
  • Author: Pat Hahn
  • 224 pages
  • Art approach to classic motorcycles
  • Coffee table style book
Specification
  • Brand Motorbooks
  • Model ISBN-10: 0760351791
  • Weight 4 pounds
PROS

Beautiful photography

Unique, classic bikes

Information about each bike included

CONS

Not in-depth reading

Bulky in size

Limited appeal to those interested in classic rare motorcycles

Ewan McGregor, the famous actor and avid motorcycle enthusiast, dreamed of riding a motorcycle around the world. So, he grabbed his trusted friend, Charley Boorman, and they headed off on an epic tour around the world.

They hopped on their BMW GS adventure bikes and planned a trip that took them through Russia, North America, and Europe. The book features original diary entries, maps, and mileage charts from their trip. You also get to see tons of photos from the trip.

Key Features
  • Authors: Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman
  • 320 pages
  • A ride around the world on a motorcycle
  • Autobiography
Specification
  • Brand Atria Book
  • Model ISBN-10: 0743499344
  • Weight 10.4 ounces
PROS

Original diary entries, maps, and mileage charts

Tons of photography

Written by famous actors

CONS

They didn’t do it on their own, had a support crew the whole time

Authors whine about missing their family a lot

Poorly written

This book will tell you everything you need to know about improving your riding style and skills. It has the foundation that will give you the confidence and the ability to corner better.

As you read this book, it will help you reflect on your current riding style and identify any bad habits. It will especially help you maintain total control while cornering. The information is clear and accessible.

Key Features
  • Author: Keith Code
  • 117 pages
  • How-to informational
  • Experience-based riding instruction
Specification
  • Brand Code Break
  • Model ISBN-10: 9780965045018
  • Weight 1 pound
PROS

Identifies bad habits

Improves cornering abilities

Makes information accessible

CONS

More road racing and track focused

Not technical

Tips are common sense/redundant

Follow one man’s travels around the world on his Triumph. Ted Simon rode his Triumph over 78,000 miles and through 45 countries in the 1970s.

Experience the journey with Simon as he creates vivid descriptions through easily readable text. You get a good insight into the rider’s mind and the mental fortitude it takes to ride long distances on your own.

Key Features
  • Author: Ted Simon  
  • 456 pages
  • Four year, 78,000 miles, 45 countries 
  • Autobiography
Specification
  • Brand Jupitalia Productions
  • Model ISBN-10: 0965478521
  • Weight 1.2 pounds
PROS

Vivid descriptions

Easily readable

Insight into the rider’s state of mind

CONS

A little outdated

Author complains a bit

Lack of culture and landscape descriptions

Best Motorcycle Books Buying Guide & FAQs

Motorcycle books enrich your life on several fronts. They can provide useful information, escapism, and education. You can enjoy your passion for motorcycles in more ways than just riding, and books help you do that.

Reading about motorcycles can inspire you to do something that you’ve always thought about but never pushed yourself to do. Maybe you have a broken-down motorcycle that you’ve been meaning to restore. Or perhaps you’ve always dreamed of hitting the open road, just you and the motorbike.

Books open your mind to the possibilities that you’ve never allowed yourself to seriously consider. So, crack open a book and go on a motorcycle adventure of a lifetime.

Types of Motorcycle Books

There are a few genres that motorcycle-centric books tend to fall into. While other genres will have a motorcycle appear here and there, they aren’t the central theme to the book. The genres listed here include books where the entire storyline or subject matter is about a rider’s experience, how to ride and work on your bike, or the historical culture of motorcycles in general.

Informational/How-To

If you’re looking for more information about motorcycle maintenance or how to get the most performance out of your superbike, then a how-to book is what you need. You can find books that will go into detail about how to take a bike completely apart and put it back together. Then there are others that go into the finer points of riding.

These books are fact-based and provide you with knowledge that compliments your passion for riding. To get the most out of your book, make sure the subject matter is about your type of bike and riding style.

Fiction

Sometimes you just need to escape reality for a little while, and a fictional book can help you do that. These fanciful stories transport you to another time and place with fictional characters and how they experience their lives.

Fiction is a broad category, and you’ll find everything from realistic sounding stories to extreme sci-fi. The type of fiction you choose depends on what you enjoy reading about. Maybe you’re looking for an epic romance where the main characters fall in love while riding their motorcycles. Or perhaps you’d prefer to read about a hero crime fighter that defends Earth from a band of invading space aliens while riding his futuristic motorcycle.

Autobiography/Biography

There are some pretty amazing people who have some thrilling stories to tell about their adventures while riding motorcycles. An autobiography or biography gives you a chance to step into someone else’s shoes and experience those thrills with them. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll experience the journey every step of the way with them.

In some of these stories, it’s the journey that is the true main character. In others, you’ll read about someone who’s famous or culturally significant. The easiest way to find one that’ll appeal to you is to read reviews or ask fellow readers what stories they enjoyed.

Audio and Digital 

If old-school books aren’t your style, you can find audio and digital versions of books. These give you an alternative to the bulky paper books that can get lost or damaged. The advantage of audio is that you can listen anywhere you want. This enables you to do other tasks while enjoying your book.

Another option is digital, where you would read the book on a device such as a kindle or even your phone. This also gives you more freedom to read your book anywhere at anytime without having to carry it around with you. If there’s more than one book you want to read, this is a great way to have them all with you at the same time.

Our Top Pick

Our top pick for the best motorcycle books is Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well. This comprehensive guide covers various situations that you may encounter while riding and discusses what you should do in those circumstances. Reading this book is a sobering reminder that motorcycles are dangerous, but with the right skillset you can have fun and avoid many hazards. Everyone from beginners to experienced riders will find something useful in this book.

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