Saturday, February 28, 2009, 05:15 AM - Reviews

The bible of safe riding- this book could save your life, or your buddy's life.

For years Seattle rider David Hough has been writing columns in Motorcycle Consumer News about riding safety. In each one he describes a risky riding situation and challenges you to think about how you would handle it. Then he goes into analysis of what can go wrong and how to avoid it.

This book contains a large number of these chapters, each one studded with diagrams and photographs of actual examples (many of them familiar to Seattle riders).

Also included is a lengthy analysis of the Hurt Report, which famously analysed injury statistics and determined the three things riders can do to best increase their changes:

1. Use the front brake. Riders who fail to do this- or who fail to cover the brake and have to hunt for it- crash.

2. Wear a helmet with a chin bar. Rider who crash without one get broken jaws.

3. Get in the habit of dropping 5mph at the first sign of danger or risk. This equals six feet less distance every second- and in most cases if you had six more feet of room you would be able to avoid a collision.

Finally, Hough speaks out against the biggest contributor to motorcycle accidents: drinking. While many riders wisely would never touch their bike when they're impaired, for many driking and riding is a lifestyle. Ironically, no injury or safety statistics about motorcycles take this factor into account, suggesting that if you ride safely, sober, your safety on two wheels will in fact be considerably higher than the stastics claim. Friends who work in ER tell me the same thing.

This is one book EVERY rider needs to have on their bookshelves- if you're a veteran rider it's fun to challenge yourself to see if you have room for improvement. And once you've read it you'll wind up lending it out numerous times, because, well, you can't bear the thought of a buddy riding and NOT knowing this stuff.

It could be the perfect gift- good entertainment that could save your life.

And now there's a second volume! Don't pass up the chance to learn something new that increases your safety!

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