There is a plethora of information in various books and on the internet about how to ride, what bike is the best, how to outfit a bike for your type of riding – any subject you wish to know about is out there. But is that info complete? Are all of these articles written by someone who actually knows the ins and outs of motorcycle riding and what it takes to be a competent and efficient rider for your style and adventure destination?
Chris Scott, a world traveller and author of motorcycle related content for 40 years, knows what he’s talking about. The simple fact that his 440-page paperback book titled Adventure Motorcycling Handbook is in its eighth edition since 1991 speaks volumes about the knowledge he conveys to his readers. This latest edition is as up to date as possible, with information about Covid-19 and the world today as it relates to motorcycle riders.
Don’t be confused by the book’s title and think this book isn’t for you just because you aren’t about to embark on a ’round-the-world, multiyear adventure. While the book does delve deeply into what Scott calls the AMZ – the Adventure Motorcycle Zone, which consists of Latin America (Central and South America), Asia and Africa – and includes common routes through those areas, the first half of the book talks about the lead-up to getting on the road. And that’s where the book applies to the regular rider.
Whether you are planning a trip for a week, a month or a year, close to home or to far-flung lands, this book is a must-read for any adventure motorcycle rider. It’s the motorcycle bible you need to read.
The book begins with planning and preparation, covering topics such as creating a plan, time and budget, and where to find information, to name just a few of its planning segments.
The book then moves into describing no fewer than two dozen types of bikes best suited to adventure travel – big or small, engine size and configuration, comfort, mechanical or electronic complexity, parts availability, and more.
If you were to take off tomorrow on an extended trip, would you know which modifications and equipment are best suited for your adventure? Even such simple items as air and fuel filters are covered in the book, but so are many aftermarket accessories to make your bike as capable as it can be. Items such as chains and sprockets, tires, lighting, seats, suspension, fuel tank size, the pros and cons of various types of luggage that is best suited to your type of travels, heated clothing and seats – and what that means to your bike’s charging system – and so much more are covered.
The chapter on life on the road is especially useful and comes from personal experience. This section includes matters such as essential paperwork and documents, border crossings and checkpoints, bribes, health and first aid, maps and GPSes, bike maintenance and troubleshooting, and the stresses of setting off on your first or umpteenth adventure.
This conveniently sized paperback is easy to travel with and is filled with hundreds of colour photos, 97 informative information boxes to drill down to the nitty-gritty of each subject, and first-hand accounts and advice from other world travellers, such as Steph Jeavons, Lois Price, Grant Johnson and Noraly Schoenmaker, to name a few.
This is a book that should be in every adventure motorcyclist’s pannier.
Available at Chapter/Indigo for $35.95.
ISBN – 13:9781912716180