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Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well Paperback – April, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 242 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: i5 Press; 1st edition (April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1889540536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1889540535
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

David L. Hough (pronounced "huff") and his wife Diana reside in the Port Angeles area of Washington State, about 80 miles northwest of Seattle. They have toured worldwide on both two and three-wheeled motorcycles.
Dave took up motorcycling in 1965 as a means to commute to work. But he quickly discovered that there wasn't much information available to help a new motorcyclist. So he started gathering what he could find, and after several years began sharing "safety tips" with the Boeing Employees' Motorcycle Club.
That led to a long career of writing skills information for Road Rider magazine, Motorcycle Consumer News, BMW Owners News, BMW Motorcycle Magazine, and other commercial magazines. In 2000, after 40+ years of riding and writing, Hough selected the best of his work for publication as the book "Proficient Motorcycling", followed by two other books, "Street Strategies" and "More Proficient Motorcycling." Proficient Motorcycling is now in it's second edition in English, and is also published in Russian, German, and Polish. More Proficient Motorcycling has been extensively updated and now has the title "Mastering the Ride."
To help riders learn how to handle a sidecar combination Dave wrote the book "Driving A Sidecar Outfit", which later evolved into the Sidecar/Trike Education Program currently in use nationwide.
In 2013, with 48 years and more than a million miles of motorcycling experience, David wrote a new book, "The Good Rider." "Street Strategies" was completely rewritten in 2014, reformatted into a handy pocket-sized booklet, and renamed "Street Rider's Guide."
Hough is one of only a few motorcycle journalists who has also been a certified motorcycle safety instructor, and is possibly the only journalist in the world who has designed and taught both two-wheeled and three-wheeled motorcycle courses.
Hough has been honored by awards from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and the BMWMOA Foundation, and was inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame in 2009 in recognition of his efforts toward motorcycle safety.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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As a born-again motorcyclist (22 years ago I gave up the saddle when my daughter was born, after 8 years of self-taught riding), I read everything I could find about riding technique, style, and strategy. Including the Dummy books, superbike/ego books, brandname books, and a host of others. I re-discovered some old friends from Road Rider magazine, which had morphed into the consumer-oriented Motorcycle Consumer News. There I also discovered David Hough's "Proficient Motorcycling" column, which immediately appealed to me on several levels: he's an unassuming writer with understated yet direct style; his topics were relevant to all skill levels; and, he discussed the minutiae of riding with clarity, consistency, and conciseness. Everything I'd been looking for to re-educate myself on the now unfamiliar world of motorcycling. When I learned this book--a compilation of years of articles and updates--was pending, I immediately pre-ordered it. Yes, this time around I've signed up for the MSF course--but this is the book I'll keep for reference and review.
If you are a born-again, or just starting out on a motorcycle, this book will go far toward putting everything into a natural perspective. For the cost of about four issues of Motorcycle Consumer News, I have decade's worth of words that help me intimately understand exactly what I'm doing on two wheels.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best general introduction to safe street riding techniques on the market -- even better than the MSF's "Motorcycling Excellence," though new riders should read that too. Based on the long running "Proficient Motorcycling" column that appeared first in "Road Rider" and then in its spinoff "Motorcycle Consumer News," the book covers everything from the physics to the gear to the protocols of group riding. The author is a much better writer than the typical bike scribe. The information is sound throughout. It should be on every biker's bookshelf, and I strongly recommend reviewing it at the beginning of each riding season. This man's advice has undoubtedly saved lives. Make one of them yours.
Comment 67 of 68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Until recently, I've never had the desire to ride a motorcycle, mainly because I was afraid of becoming an organ donor. However, that suddenly changed a couple of months back, probably due to turning 37 and sitting through a marathon viewing session of "American Chopper" episodes. So, I began to shop around for a bike that would fit me, and at the same time I tapped into all the informational sources I could find about motorcycling (friends, the Web, etc.). "Proficient Motorcycling" was one of the first books I read, and I bought it based on the good reviews I saw on Amazon.com.
It was my desire to arm myself with as much knowledge and hands-on riding skills as possible before swinging a leg over the motorcycle I finally settled upon (a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy). I signed up at a local Harley-Davidson dealer for a "Rider's Edge" class, and "Proficient Motorcycling" was an excellent supplement to the MSF course materials. Indeed, Mr. Hough recommends taking an MSF course, and frankly I can't imagine a novice trying to ride without formal instruction.
The techniques that Mr. Hough advocates in "Proficient Motorcycling" have made me a better AND safer rider. I feel more confident riding my new H-D, and therefore I'm able to enjoy my road-time that much more. I've already started reading the book's sequel "More Proficient Motorcycling: Mastering the Ride" to build upon what I've learned so far. If you want to be a good motorcyclist (and not a "donor-cyclist"), then by all means dive into "Proficient Motorcycling."
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Format: Paperback
...by the insight of a rider who's put more seat-time on various bikes in the last 30 years than most 5 people do in a lifetime of riding!
I've ridden for 40 years and found content in the book that made me understand what I (fortunately) had been doing right for many years - but didn't know why.
If you are a newer rider, this book will help you learn to gain in proficiency. If you are an experienced rider, IT MAY HELP SAVE YOUR LIFE!
Simple as that: There are techniques that you've used and habits you've picked up that will DO YOU IN! Mr. Hough helps you understand some of the impact of your habits (that you probably don't realize are dangerous) and motivates you to work at being a safer rider.
His writing style makes what is essentially a textbook seem like a series of short articles that guide the reader through the complicated process (Yes, not everyone has the mental skills to do it well) of safely operating a motorcycle on the streets and highways.
The source for most of this information is a series of articles he wrote for Motorcycle Consumer News over the years and addresses most of the important (and misunderstood) dynamics of turns and braking - along with thorough discussions of various types of road hazards and dangerous traffic situations.
In a friendly and often blunt style, he will help you realize that you are the captain of your two (or three)-wheeled ship and need to take responsibility for compentent operation - thinking well ahead of your speed and sight picture.
You will not regret buying this book and will likely be delighted with feeling that you are making a conscious effort to give yourself (and your passenger) a safely edge.
Buy it!!!
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