Adventure Rider
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One man caravan review
One Man Caravan
Next to Into Thin Air, this is the greatest adventure-travel book I know. As a young Harvard graduate in 1932, to impress a young lady, Robert Fulton became the first man to ride a motorcycle (a Douglas, which he still owns) around the world. He rode through civil wars & exotic lands, overcoming injuries, breakdowns, bad roads, bad officials--you name it. He is a great writer who considers motorcyclists the closest thing to cowboys in a mechanized era. He's filled with humor, respect for humanity, and a sense of grand adventure.
ten years on two wheels
10 Years on 2 Wheels
This is The Mother of all Adventure Rides by The Essence of Coolness Himself. Helge is the best-known adventure rider on earth, a professional photographer whose book is filled with breathtaking National Geographic-quality shots. And the narrative isn't bad; it would be hard to make the description of 250,000 miles in 77 countries dull. It's got love, heartache, danger, adventure, humor... BMW gave him a new GS so they could place Olga in a museum. Enjoy every delicious page.
Against the Wind
Against the Wind
Can you imagine riding 12,000 miles in 11 days during a nation-wide scavenger hunt? Could you sleep at the "Iron Butt Hotel" (by pulling over and slumping over your handlebars to catch a few hours)? The Iron Butt rally is an epic, one-of-a-kind competition and Ron Ayers did a magical job of capturing the inside story after his remarkable finish. Ron was a top executive at EDS who in his 50s siezed this unforgettable moment. It transcends motorcycling and makes you wonder what a once-in-a-lifetime adventure could await you.
Proficient Motorcyling
Proficient Motorcycling
The most important motorcyling book yet written. David Hough has been the safety columninst for Motorcycle Consumer News for years and nobody knows safety better than he does. He has saved countless lives with his pen; reading this might save yours. I have never met the motorcyclist who didn't learn important stuff when they read Hough's book. His only lapse was the section on conspicuity. You can ignore it because he's already retracted most of it. Turns out conspicuity matters after all.
Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider
It turns out that Neil Peart, drummer for the band Rush, is a great writer and a great motorcyclist. This is not only an account of 55,000 miles on a GS--to Canada, Alaska, Belize, and back--but a very moving story about his grief and his struggle to overcome it after he lost both his 19-year-old daughter, Selena, and his wife, Jackie, in less than a year. You can read what ADVriders said who read the book.
Jupiter's Travels
Jupiter's Travels
Ted went 78,000 miles in 4 years on his 1970s Trimph Tiger. It's a fascinating account of his attempts to avoid highway robbers and prison, but it's more than a travelog: he explained what he was thinking along the way. It was awesome until perhaps the last 50 pages, where it got a little weird. For awhile he thought he was God, logical I suppose when you consider the achievement of surviving a trip like this.
Storm
Storm
Allen Noren is a great writer and seasoned world-traveler. But when he chose to circle the Baltic Sea via motorcycle, the record-breaking rains and Baltic States were just half of his problems; keeping the romance alive with his long-term girlfriend who rode with him was the more interesting half. He inspired me to make this ride some summer with my long-term wife. This book made Sweden, Russia, and the Baltic States come alive with descriptions of the people, their wild parties, their emotions and lives.
The Perfect Vehicle
The Perfect Vehicle
This beautifully-written little book captures the story of a young woman drawn to motorcycles first by her boyfriend and then by the combination of exhilaration, fear, adventure, aesthetics and social life we all have trouble explaining to our friends. And spouses. And parents. And children. She falls in love with Moto-Guzzis and captures the spirit of gatherings, rides, and being part of a small, tight community of bike lovers.
Flaming Iguanas
Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All-Girl Road Novel Thing
Hilarious! I expected a pro-grrrl feminist thing, but it's about two inexperienced women trying to cross the country by motorcyle. Except that one ditches. So that leaves Erika Lopez to take on America, struggle with her sexuality, and write the funniest road trip book ever. It's hard to imagine that anyone, male or female, could put this book down. Better read it where you can laugh out loud.
Art of the Motorcycle
The Art of the Motorcycle
When the prestigious Guggenheim Museum in New York built an exhibit called The Art of the Motorcycle, they stirred up a storm of controversy in the art world. Motorcycles? As art? But motorcyle lovers know...they can be beautiful enough to be erotic. This book sits on my coffee table as a prized possession and I often think of the unimaginable effort and talent that not only went into the book, but the amazing bikes so beautifully photographed in its pages.
Mi Moto Fidel
Mi Moto Fidel
Secret police... Sex... CIA spies... U.S. civilian planes ordered shot down over the straits of Florida. It's all here, crafted in beautiful prose. It's a travel story that reads like a novel worthy of being made into a movie. The author definitely knows Cuba (his Moon Handbooks Cuba is the best guidebook aboiut this unique place). He loves Cuban people and writes with powerful emotion that adds endearing tenderness to the book. He shoots great photos and the ending is riveting, which I won't give away.
Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance
Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
How does a mere mortal like me rate a philosophical masterpiece, an enduring classic like this? On any other page, it would deserve not 5 stars but 7. But I have given it 4.5 because this is a page about motorcycle books, and it's more about Zen than motorcycling. Motorcycling provides the backdrop while we absorb the philosophy, and it's good motorcycling too. But the greatness of this book and its reputation made me know I had to read before I died. And ooooh, am I glad I did.
MotoRaid
MotoRaid
Imagine being an Oregon college student in 1963 and deciding to climb on the kind of BMWs they made then, and riding from Lake Oswego to Chile. Adventures back then were real men's adventures and just about every hair-raising thing that could happen to them did. Keith Thye, who owns Ride West BMW in Seattle, writes with an honest, witty style that makes this a very good read.
Obsessions Die Hard
Obsessions Die Hard
You have to be a die-hard adventure biker to love this book, but if you are you will. Ed Culberson, once an Army officer in Central America, became obsessed with the idea of riding his GS through the Darien Gap in Panama, the most impenetrable mass on earth. Everyone else riding the Pan-American Highway except Helge Pederson takes a ship around the jungle. This guy (ironically a Motorcycle Safety Foundation instructor) attempts the impossible. Some readers feel the book drags a little during all the winching and forest-chopping with machette.
Adventure Motorcycle
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook
Chris Scott should know everything about traveling the world by adventure bike; he's done years of it, through Africa and almost everywhere you can imagine and some you can't. This book is fundamentally a how-to. It covers wilderness riding in North America, Africa, Asia, Latin America and Australia. It has info on bike choices, preparation, and equipment. Complete with maps, photos, and traveler's tales.
Investment Biker
Investment Biker
This is a love it or hate it book that I loved. Wall Street legend Jim Rogers runs off with his gorgeous 23-year-old girlfriend and they ride street bikes through Africa, Latin America, Siberia...on their way around the world. Yes, he's arrogant and full of himself. No, he doesn't know much about motorcycles. But he knows things about the world economy, and like good TV journalists he has plenty of strong opinions to share. And the ride is amazing. How many people do you know could ride street bikes through the most challenging roads on earth?

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