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Twist of the Wrist: The Motorcycle Roadracers Handbook Paperback – May 12, 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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  • A Twist of the Wrist Vol. 2: The Basics of High-Performance Motorcycle Riding
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Can you improve yer motorcycle riding skills by reading a book? No doubt about it. Keith Code is founder and director of California Superbike Cornering Schools and has published a number of books on the subject of racing motorcycles on speed tracks. Although most of this book's focus is on handling race bikes, only the last two of its sixteen chapters are exclusively dedicated to racing. The book concentrates mostly on better controlling your speed while maneuvering your bike over varying racetrack conditions. As you'd expect, there is a major emphasis on turning: getting through the turn with increased mph and decreased time spent in [the turn] and [maintaining] adequate control of the bike. Code's overall approach to improving riding skills is to define the basics, and then to investigate the decisions you must make to ride well. He uses a great analogy: Each person has a fixed amount of attention while riding a motorcycle. This is represented as a $10 bill worth of attention. If you spend five dollars of it on one aspect of riding, you have only five dollars left for all the other aspects. Spend nine and you have only one dollar left, and so on. The aspects of riding he talks about are things like: Road characteristics: Constant-, increasing-, and. decreasing-radius turns, crested turns, series turns, positive- and negative-camber turns, and road surfaces. What you do: Riding is one thing; riding plus being aware of what you are doing is quite another. Making an effort to look at what you are doing while you are doing it. Your own evaluation of what you just did and what just happened: Things that can be thought over and changed if necessary. I like his teaching strategy. After isolating several specific principles, concepts, and techniques, each subsequent chapter effectively builds on what was previously presented to the point that if you didn't understand the concept and haven't yet experienced it, you'll want to get back on the road and try it out, read the book some more, then evaluate what you understand. The books's worth buying. --Gary Hayes

Keith Code teaches you to read the road. He explains camber, radius, series of turns, elevation (uphill, downhill, crested track) and straight sections. Observe your products (measureable events) such as speed, lean angle, gear and RPM. Understand you controls: brakes, throttle, handle bar movement and where your body exerts force on the motorcycle. His explanation of Reference Points is invaluable, even if you are a car enthusiast. At speed, location is a moment in time. You have to use the correct control and the correct place. He explains counter steering (push right to go right) in straight forward and easy to understand detail. For the adventurous he explains sliding, hanging off and (you may need this) falling off. My riding improved considerable after reading this book. --rodieroger@earthlink.net

It seems like some reviewers have missed the point. It's the simple, fundamental things that a lot of seasoned riders get wrong. I know-I was one. Take the information and think about what you are reading. Analyse your own riding- see how much better you can do. I had been riding for 20 years when I came to this book. It made me a better rider for the price of 3 tanks of gas. It's that simple. --JohnnyGQ

Keith Code teaches you to read the road. He explains camber, radius, series of turns, elevation (uphill, downhill, crested track) and straight sections. Observe your products (measureable events) such as speed, lean angle, gear and RPM. Understand you controls: brakes, throttle, handle bar movement and where your body exerts force on the motorcycle. His explanation of Reference Points is invaluable, even if you are a car enthusiast. At speed, location is a moment in time. You have to use the correct control and the correct place. He explains counter --JohnnyGQ

Keith Code teaches you to read the road. He explains camber, radius, series of turns, elevation (uphill, downhill, crested track) and straight sections. Observe your products (measureable events) such as speed, lean angle, gear and RPM. Understand you controls: brakes, throttle, handle bar movement and where your body exerts force on the motorcycle. His explanation of Reference Points is invaluable, even if you are a car enthusiast. At speed, location is a moment in time. You have to use the correct control and the correct place. He explains counter steering (push right to go right) in straight forward and easy to understand detail. For the adventurous he explains sliding, hanging off and (you may need this) falling off. My riding improved considerable after reading this book. --rodieroger@earthlink.net

It seems like some reviewers have missed the point. It's the simple, fundamental things that a lot of seasoned riders get wrong. I know-I was one. Take the information and think about what you are reading. Analyse your own riding- see how much better you can do. I had been riding for 20 years when I came to this book. It made me a better rider for the price of 3 tanks of gas. It's that simple. --JohnnyGQ

About the Author

Andy Ibbott is an experienced journalist and former road test editor of Motor Cycle News. He was the first British coach employed in the UK by the California Superbike School, which now operates motorcycling courses at Silverstone, Rockingham and Cadwell Park. He has coached a number of up-and-coming 125cc and 250cc riders on the MotoGP scene.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 117 pages
  • Publisher: California Superbike School; Revised edition (May 12, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965045013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965045018
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.5 x 10.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Can you improve yer motorcycle riding skills by reading a book? No doubt about it.
Keith Code is founder and director of California Superbike Cornering Schools and has published a number of books on the subject of racing motorcycles on speed tracks. Although most of this book's focus is on handling race bikes, only the last two of its sixteen chapters are exclusively dedicated to racing.
The book concentrates mostly on better controlling your speed while maneuvering your bike over varying racetrack conditions.
As you'd expect, there is a major emphasis on turning: getting through the turn with increased mph and decreased time spent in [the turn] and [maintaining] adequate control of the bike.
Code's overall approach to improving riding skills is to define the basics, and then to investigate the decisions you must make to ride well.
He uses a great analogy: Each person has a fixed amount of attention while riding a motorcycle. This is represented as a $10 bill worth of attention. If you spend five dollars of it on one aspect of riding, you have only five dollars left for all the other aspects. Spend nine and you have only one dollar left, and so on.
The aspects of riding he talks about are things like:
Road characteristics: Constant-, increasing-, and. decreasing-radius turns, crested turns, series turns, positive- and negative-camber turns, and road surfaces.
What you do: Riding is one thing; riding plus being aware of what you are doing is quite another. Making an effort to look at what you are doing while you are doing it.
Your own evaluation of what you just did and what just happened: Things that can be thought over and changed if necessary.
I like his teaching strategy.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This race-oriented book focuses on providing a methodology to analyse any racetrack allowing you to select and ride the lines that best suit you and your bike. Very little here for streetriders ... Flick of the Wrist II has much more on actual riding technique. If you're new to racing, buy it. If you don't plan on racing, don't buy it unless you're curious about racing strategies.
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Format: Paperback
It seems like some reviewers have missed the point. It's the simple, fundamental things that a lot of seasoned riders get wrong. I know-I was one. Take the information and think about what you are reading. Analyse your own riding- see how much better you can do. I had been riding for 20 years when I came to this book. It made me a better rider for the price of 3 tanks of gas. It's that simple.
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Format: Paperback
Keith Code teaches you to read the road. He explains camber, radius, series of turns, elevation (uphill, downhill, crested track) and straight sections. Observe your products (measureable events) such as speed, lean angle, gear and RPM. Understand you controls: brakes, throttle, handle bar movement and where your body exerts force on the motorcycle. His explanation of Reference Points is invaluable, even if you are a car enthusiast. At speed, location is a moment in time. You have to use the correct control and the correct place. He explains counter steering (push right to go right) in straight forward and easy to understand detail. For the adventurous he explains sliding, hanging off and (you may need this) falling off. My riding improved considerable after reading this book.
Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Keith Code has a unique approach to instruction, which is reflected in this book (and also its sequel, A Twist of the Wrist 2).

Rather than providing a recipe for motorcycling success, Keith presents his experiences and provides them as food for the reader's thought. He frequently asks the reader to answer questions regarding the most recently covered topic and its applicability to the reader's riding.

This style can be a little frustrating if you're looking for a highly technical treatise on high-performance motorcycle riding, but it does make the material considerably more accessible.

The book itself covers many nuances of motorcycle riding (particularly on the race track, but with applicability to the street as well), ranging from topics such as cornering to braking to vision and body position.

I view this book as providing a nifty bag of tricks for riders who want to up their performance on the track or on the street.

If you're going to buy just one of Keith Code's books, I'd recommend buying the sequel (A Twist of the Wrist 2) because it covers some of the same ground and is updated to more modern riding styles.
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Format: Paperback
This book puts many techniques familiar to experienced riders in a technical context such that it becomes easier to improve your riding and analyse and change bad habits. New riders will gain an enormity from reading it too. It is highly recommended to take the knowledge learned from these pages to a track and apply the techniques in a safe yet challenging environment.
If you have the patience to stay with Mr. Code's oblique approach to the subject you will learn not only a treasure trove of techniques but also the fundamental tools of analysis to be able to continue improving on your own.
Get this book (or Twist II) and revisit it again and again, you will probably never need another text on riding.
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