The 12 Best Motorcycle Books You Need to Read

We often hear about the dangers of riding, but there’s a reason we’re willing to take the risk. Riding a motorcycle can create some of the best memories of a lifetime — or some of the worst if we’re not prepared! 

Check out these TOP 12 Motorcycle books that you need to add to your collection. You’ll learn about incredible journeys, lifesaving tips, essential motorcycle repair, and you could even become inspired to plan your next big motorcycle trip. Check it out!  

The 12 Best Motorcycle Books You Need to Buy

Proficient Motorcycling by David L. Hough

Described as “the ultimate guide to riding well,” Proficient Motorcycling one of the best selling motorcycle training books on the market. Journalist and riding expert David L. Hough provides a detailed manual for experts and novices alike. This is the perfect book to pick up if you’re planning a motorcycle trip, trying to further your training, or just brushing up on crucial skills.

Total Control: High Performance Street Riding by Lee Parks

Building your motorcycle library should start off with a solid foundation of educational books — and Total Control by Lee Parks is the perfect way to do that! Total Control is the next step up in street riding skills, and helps riders navigate the ins and outs of high-performance street riding.

Why We Ride by Mark Barnes, PhD 

“A Psychologist Explains the Motorcyclist’s Mind and the Love Affair between Rider, Bike, and Road.” Why We Ride is one of the most unique motorcycle books you can buy. In it, Dr. Barns explores both sports psychology and psychoanalysis of the riding experience. A master storyteller, Dr. Barns uses his 20+ years of experience as a columnist for Motorcycle Consumer News to create compelling stories and helpful insights. 

Leanings by Peter Egan

Peter Egan is arguably one of the most iconic motorcycle storytellers of all time. Leanings, and it’s sequels Leanings 2 and Leanings 3, feature the best of Peter Egan’s stories from his time at Cycle World Magazine (which began in 1977!). 

A Twist of the Wrist by Keith Code

Many motorcyclists regard this book as the “ultimate riding manual.” Whether you’re a beginner or expert, or ride a sportbike or cruiser — this book is guaranteed to help you be a better, faster, more educated, and safer rider. 

McQueen’s Motorcycles by Matt Stone

“Racing and Riding with the King of Cool.” If you’re a Steve McQueen fan you will love this book! McQueen was once quoted in saying “Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting.’ — and his motorcycle adventures prove he believed it. Travel back in time to witness this Hollywood star race the Baja 1000, Elsinore Grand Prix, Mint 400, and more. 

The Essential Guide to Motorcycle Maintenance by Mark Zimmerman

Any rider should have a book like this in their library! This practical maintenance guide covers all brands, styles, makes, and models of motorcycles and features easy-to-follow instructions of even complex tasks. This book is designed to help all riders learn how to fix, and maintain, their motorcycle. 

Discovering the Motorcycle by Armand Ensanian

Discovering the Motorcycle: The History. The Culture. The Machines is a comprehensive history of motorcycling from 1867 to the present. This massive book features over 1,000 photos and illustrations devoted to the incredible history of the motorcycle. 

Classic Motorcycles: The Art of Speed by Pat Hahn 

Motorcycles are sometimes called “rolling art,” and this book dives into the beautiful and complex story of their history. Classic Motorcycles: The Art of Speed uses beautiful imagery to cover “the history of motorcycling as told through the most significant, iconic, classic motorcycles of all time, with both period photography and modern portrait photography.” 

Ride Out!: Motorcycle Road Trips and Adventures by Gestalten

Edited by Gestalten, Ride Out! is a collection of riding experiences and advice from around the world. Readers will learn about motorcycling in California, South Africa, Japan, China, Patagonia, and more when they buy this book. Perfect for planning your next big trip!

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

No motorcycle book list would be complete without this cult classic! This book is the narration of a motorcycle trip between father and son. Despite the title, this fascinating book is more about life philosophy than motorcycle maintenance. 

Jupiter’s Travels by Ted Simon

Last but not least, Jupiter’s Travels: Four Years Around the World on a Triumph is another book about incredible motorcycling adventures. Follow the story of Ted Simon, who rode around the world during the 1970’s, covering 78,000 miles (125,529 Km) and visited 45 countries. This book is sure to inspire you to plan your next big motorcycle trip!

Motorcycle books can inspire, teach, and bring us to different worlds. They’re the perfect choice for continuing education, planning a trip, or disappearing into a story. 

We hope you picked a few of these amazing selections to add to your motorcycle library, because not only are stories like these fun, they’re also important for future safe riding. 

Check back often and sign up for more great content, and Ride Vision exclusive deals and announcements! 

You may also be interested in:


Are You Ignoring Your Bike’s Safety Systems? A CMC Study Sheds Light on the Issue, but Ride Vision Offers a Comprehensive Solution


5 Motorcycle Safety Tips You Didn’t Know

For many motorcyclists, riding is something they can’t live without – but it does undoubtedly have its risks!  

Safe Motorcycle Riding: How to Get it Right

Riding a motorcycle can seem intimidating at first.  For an “outsider” the two-wheeled world can seem complex and mysterious. There’s a different set of vocabulary to learn, new skill sets to acquire, gear to buy, licensing, and of course… the purchase of a bike to consider.

Let’s hit the road

Ready to Ride? Talk to us

Thank you!

We will be in contact with you shortly.

Ready to Ride? Talk to us

Ride with us