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Total Control: High Performance Street Riding Techniques

Lee Parks

The speed and capabilities of modern motorcycles now far exceed the average rider's abilities. In fact, the difference between stock street bikes and full-blown racing superbikes is a tiny fraction of that between sports cars and their racing counterparts. This has created a need for more and better rider education.

Alex kindly donated this book to the Carolyn and Peter library, and it's been a real treat to read. Similar to fellow Motorcycle Consumer News writer David Hough, Lee Parks uses a lighthearted writing style coupled with clear diagrams and pictures to get his points across. The result is an instructional book that's so fun to read that you barely notice that you're learning things.

Learn, however, you will. Parks covers motorcycling from every angle: chassis dynamics, mental dynamics, body dynamics, machine setup, rider setup. Even though the book is ostensibly for "high performance street riders", the illustrations use all sorts of motorcycles, from a Hayabusa to a GoldWing to a fully dressed Harley -- emphasizing that the skills learned in this book can be applied to any street rider, anywhere, on any bike. A lot of points that I learned originally from David Hough's Proficient Motorcycling are repeated in Total Control, which I think is wonderful. Hough, and now Parks, make superb -- and very accessible -- suggestions.

It's really the book's well-rounded attitude that puts it towards the top of my list. While I'm always on the lookout for more ways to improve my lines and quicken my turns, I really appreciate a book which tells me flat out that attitude is just as important as lap times. Even my personal favorite non-motorcycling motorcycle topics, fitness and ergonomics, are covered in Total Control Though now I have even fewer excuses to procrastinate those sit-ups...

Buy it from Whitehorse Press

Did you know that Lee Parks founded a motorcycle gloves and accessories company in 2001? I didn't either.