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4 Essential Motorcycle Books All Riders Need to Read

Take a break from the road with these moto reads • Credit: iStock
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4 Essential Motorcycle Books All Riders Need to Read

How many of them have you read?



The sky is blue, the streets are clear, and when I'm not out riding I’m dreaming about riding. For those days when I just can't get out and hit my favourite routes, loops, and events, I manage my cravings by indulging in one of these superb motorcycle books.

Check out these 4 essential reads that will make you long to hit the road—and ensure you are mentally ready for the long summer days ahead.

1. More Proficient Motorcycling: Mastering the Ride by David L. Hough

For the rider who wants useful tips from an expert

Author David Hough is a professional motorcycle journalist who writes with the authority of decades of experience, and has clocked nearly as much time behind a word processor as he has on his BMW. Hough’s first book, Proficient Motorcycling, has become something of a bible for new and experienced riders. His sequel, More Proficient Motorcycling, continues to showcase his talent for balancing practical safe riding tips with real-world appreciation for the art, technique, and pure joy of motorcycling. Hough is a very engaging writer and he makes his potentially life-saving points through vivid stories that aren’t just excellently told, but effectively memorable.

2. Motorcycle: Evolution, Design, Passion by Mick Walker

For the rider who likes to know their history

There is no better way to appreciate the engineering, the ride-worthiness, and the aesthetics of a motorcycle than to understand the history of the machine. Walker’s book is full of great images covering steam-powered bicycles of the 19th century, modern superbikes, and everything in-between. After reading this book you’ll never look at a bike quite the same way again.

3. Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga by Hunter S. Thompson

For the rider who wants a crazy, classic tale about bike culture

Legendary journalist Hunter S. Thompson tagged along with the Hell’s Angels for almost a year in 1965, and in the process crafted both a landmark book of “gonzo journalism” and an American literary classic. Thompson’s book pushes back against the demonization of biker culture by mainstream journalism, but is also unflinching in its depiction of the uglier side of the world’s most famous biker gang. Essential reading.

4. The Motorcycle Diaries

For the revolutionary at heart 

When he was 23, medical student (and future revolutionary) Che Guevara embarked on a cross-continent road trip with a buddy of his from school. The year was 1952 and the two rode (and crashed) their vintage Norton motorcycle all over Latin America. The trip was a definitive one for Che and it captures the epic, electric charge that accompanies the adventures we have when we're young better than any book before or since. 

Keep Going

Better yet grab a copy of your favourite moto book and hit the road: plan a Northern Ontario trip itinerary.

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