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Discussion Starter #1
In this day and age I should say E file's yet I like paper books ( Geeto expressed this also in an older post..)

What do you have or have read that has been a helpful addition to your riding experience..Its my thought everyone should already know to have the factory manule to their bike if at all possible but am looking for more...

Be it technical in actual bike building ,an primer to the workings of your bike or its improvement and of course what you can do to become a better rider...

list a few if you can and why they are that great..
Thanks..
 

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Hells' Angels, HST, because it has that primal grit that a big bit of what riding bikes are about. The sad HA lifestyle is not the highlight, but the falling off of HST, and the description of the horde waking up for a run in the Frisco mist. HST in his prime was sublime.

Zen and the art of Motorcycling, Robert M. Persig. If only for the realization that when you work on a bike, the way you approach a repair task relates directly to fixing a fault in your own personal makeup, not the bike.

Engineer to Win, Carroll Smith. It's good to know about serious race engineering, even though it's car tech, it relates to any race machinery with metal. It's more about how to approach scary vehicle's bits with reason, not balls, fashion or a hacksaw the night before a race.

The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand. It's got nothing to do with bikes apart from being focused on the people who do, not watch or just make out they do.

Read a real book, an E-book is just more data consumption, and not a memorable experience.

Remember the most important component of your bike is your brain, and how it functions under stress and adrenaline: feed it.

A couple of owners manuals I've read are very captivating, but the chances of finding a copy of those two is about zero: my win there.
 

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Maybe in the inspirational reading segment of bike building....a good guzzi read The Perfect vehicle Melissa Holbrook Pierson . She used to ride around Philly and hang in Epharata on the first sunday occasionally when the italians parked with the italians , the brits ,with the brits the Krauts with the krauts, very cool,and a great memories.
She describes not a great Guzzi but how it should move your soul,just as a good Cafe build does.
Books ,ahmen!
 

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Agree, "Engineer to Win" is great, especially the metallurgy and bolting/fastening sections.

I enjoyed "The Grand Prix Motorcycle: The Official Technical History" by Kevin Cameron, pretty pictures all around. I would have liked a deeper dive into the bikes and its pretty light on the losers. I like seeing what didn't quite work as much as what wins.

I enjoyed "Inside the Mind of the Grand Prix Driver" by Christopher Hilton.

Has anyone read Cameron's "Classic Motorcycle Race Engines" book? Any good?
 

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Maybe in the inspirational reading segment of bike building....a good guzzi read The Perfect vehicle Melissa Holbrook Pierson .
Sorry, hated that one. I made it about 1/3 through and got sick of the wanking. It took like 100 pages for her to open it past half-throttle.

I liked both of Pirsig's books and got through "Shop Class as Soul Craft" but that one killed my will to live.
 

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Has anyone read Cameron's "Classic Motorcycle Race Engines" book? Any good?
I am in the middle of it now and it's great, but I am an engine nerd. I also have a little bit of an edge is I have had access to some of the rarer mills and the people that work(ed) on them that most people won't have access too. Still, there is so much there and it is enjoyable. To be honest I should have finished it twice over already but I was already in the middle of a Bukowski book and Keasey's sometimes a great notion, plus I like to read each chapter (each engine is a chapter) in one sitting and getting that kind of time is hard these days.

I'll add here "Stealing speed", just because it was a great story.

As far as actually helpful I read both the Keith Code Books "Twist of the wrist" and "Twist of the Wrist II", and then watched the videos for the concepts I didn't get the first time around. I have thumbed through performance riding techniques and I am trying to track down an affordable copy of: Soft Science of Roadracing Motorcycles: The Technical Procedures and Workbook for Roadracing Motorcycles. I skimmed through Lee Parks "Total Control" and found it interesting but I need to find a copy I can afford. I bought my brother David Hough's books when he was learning but I think it may have made him more cautious as a rider than he should be, but then again he doesn't ride as much as I do and maybe practice would make him less timid. They are good books but if you aren't in the right mind frame they can scare you a little.

Also the Honda workshop common service manual was eye opening. Some of the stuff was basic common sense or stuff you have been doing your whole life but even a seasoned person should be able to find something new in there. It is more of a key on how to read honda model specific service manuals. Honda has a basic troubleshooting techniques manual as well that I think should be mandatory reading for any newbie joining with no bike experience. There is also a common carb manual. Both can be found online, I read them through the SOHC4.net forums.

just because I am a nice guy:
http://goldwingchrome.com/Manuals/GL1000/Honda Goldwing Common Service Manual.pdf

I found Zen, Shopclass, and other naval gazing introspective philosophy books entertaining but not really relevant to motorcycles. Fun but you won't be a better rider for it.

I had a real cheap copy of "grand prix motorcycle racers" which was entertaining because it detailed some of the issues some of the 80's superbike racers had transitioning to GP.

Why am I not surprised whitworth recommended Ayn Rand. They are good entertainment but if you are finding deep introspective self improvement in them then you may need to re-evaluate your life. you could read Aristotle and Plato and get equal cerebral value and entertainment without any of the new conservatism recruitment shtick. Basically if you don't come away from the fountainhead saying "what a bunch of selfish pricks" then you might need to have a moral gut check.
 

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I didn't recommend The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand as a self improvement manual or a template for a good life: It's quite a dystopian vision. It is an interesting observation, to ponder, on the fact The World relies on private capital and the creativity and high-functioning productivity of very few people. So many live their lives by proxy out of the moment, and relying on the productivity of industry from distant horizons. A whole lot of cogs in the system of humanity are basically idler gears churning consumption, that's not a value statement, just factual reality. A good question to ask oneself is: " Am I a cog, brake or idler gear in the scheme of things? , Am I an engine? " .

Being in the moment and relying on your own skills and efforts is what riding a bike well is all about. That's why I mentioned the old "my free welfare coffin" Ayn Rand lady.
 

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Robinson is a bit like Foale, but easier to gut down:

51hXSoE17mL.jpg

This one is very brand-specific, but indispensable for me:

Passion-for-the-Sport-book.jpg

And I would also add that Keith Code's books taught me good riding skills; nothing revolutionary but mostly how to mentally identify and undo some bad habits I had picked up learning to ride on my own.
 

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I didn't recommend The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand as a self improvement manual or a template for a good life: It's quite a dystopian vision. It is an interesting observation, to ponder, on the fact The World relies on private capital and the creativity and high-functioning productivity of very few people. So many live their lives by proxy out of the moment, and relying on the productivity of industry from distant horizons. A whole lot of cogs in the system of humanity are basically idler gears churning consumption, that's not a value statement, just factual reality. A good question to ask oneself is: " Am I a cog, brake or idler gear in the scheme of things? , Am I an engine? " .

Being in the moment and relying on your own skills and efforts is what riding a bike well is all about. That's why I mentioned the old "my free welfare coffin" Ayn Rand lady.
Point taken. I guess I am knee jerk with how many uber conservatives use it as the gateway to the "tea party". It isn't a hard concept to understand though, either I am a do-er or a talker. A person will be both in their life at different points about different things however so there are no absolutes.
 

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I am in the middle of it now and it's great, but I am an engine nerd. I also have a little bit of an edge is I have had access to some of the rarer mills and the people that work(ed) on them that most people won't have access too. Still, there is so much there and it is enjoyable. To be honest I should have finished it twice over already but I was already in the middle of a Bukowski book and Keasey's sometimes a great notion, plus I like to read each chapter (each engine is a chapter) in one sitting and getting that kind of time is hard these days.
Great stories, or great info? I'm honestly at the point where I'd rather read some SAE papers than another overview of the Otto cycle.

I'm usually reading several books at any given time. Right now it's "Six Frigates" and the Aubrey-Maturin series so I'm getting both views of the War of 1812, sort of. I've also decided to build a bad-ass cafe racer, sell it, and buy a frigate.
 

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Mix of both. Discussion of the important bits that make it special but also the environment that led to its development. To be honest I like the stories better because I like seeing what drives innovation than what is actually innovative.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the replys...
Wanted to start some sort of thread that took into account a noobs need for good solid literature on motorbiking in general and possible higher technical literature a seasoned owner may also learn from or enjoy ..
I personally was looking for more on how to improve riding, be it with how you react to situations while on the bike or what could be done to improve your bike according to what you are feeling its doing ( i.e. what to look for) .

With that said, amazon was my friend in buying a pile of used books from library depository sell offs.. (you can get them a whole lot cheaper than new..)

I picked authors that have been mentioned here on CR in other various threads.. These are books on sport bike performance and techniques on riding instruction ..Most are made up of the author's collected cycle magazine series...
 
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