I’m a huge proponent of dual sporting. It really is the most fun you can have on two wheels and there’s no better way to hone your street skills than riding off-pavement. It’s July and the height of the dual sport season in the U.S. At this time of year you can still find cool days and you will find cool nights in my favorite place to ride - the Pennsylvania mountains. Here’s a review of the book where I found some good tips and explanations of several topics I’d never seen covered before and I’ve been dual sporting for twenty years. Enjoy!
Thanks to Ridin’ Ralph for the pics.
Book Review -
The Essential Guide To Dual Sport Motorcycling, by Carl Adams
Published by Whitehorse Press 2008
192 Pages - 8-1/4”x10-1/2” - $24.95 (List Price)
Available at Amazon Books - $18.35
by Robert H. Miller
© 2014 RHM Co. Intl
The author describes his book as “Everything you need to buy, ride, and enjoy the world’s most versatile motorcycles” and he does a good job of covering that vast territory. Where the author ventures into new material is with his chapters specifically on dual sport riding, describing the types of dual sport motorcycles, how to buy a dual sport motorcycle, tire selection, suspension tuning, mental preparation, long-distance dual sport touring, route mapping, and navigation.
The author evidently has a huge amount of dual sport time, but he doesn’t ever mention the complete dual sport experience of riding to a weekend event, participating in the event and riding home from the event all on your dual sport motorcycle. Perhaps it’s something he’s never done. He briefly covers dual sport touring in the opening chapter and then deservedly covers it much more comprehensively at the end of the book where he lists how to plan, what to take, and how to maintain your dual sport for extended rides. This is all very useful information seemingly never before published in book form. The book is sprinkled with these words of wisdom as well as loaded with full-color photos that are especially helpful in the tire selection, suspension, and navigation chapters.
In the third chapter, “Matching A Dual Sport To Your Needs” the author is right on target with the chapter’s title. Once a rider decides what he wants a dual sport motorcycle to do, and how much he wants to pay, it’s easy to choose which is the right one. The chapters on tires, suspension tuning, mental preparation, training, techniques, mapping, navigation, and touring trips are excellent. The author goes to great lengths to explain how a motorcycle suspension works off-pavement, how to troubleshoot off-road suspensions, the physics of off-road motorcycling, and techniques that are important to practice.
The author’s extensive dual sport experience is evident when he addresses the overlooked topics of “Riding With Others”, “Heat, Cold, and Dehydration”, and “Strong Body, Sound Mind”. The “Suggested Riding Apparel” paragraphs in the “Personal Riding Gear” chapter are especially helpful with their lists of gear for varying terrain, temperatures, and circumstances. The author’s effort is a very good first dual sport book. The only thing missing is coverage of East Coast dual sporting. There’s no mention of it. A beginning reader may think dual sporting can only be done in the desert West. A Foreword by an eastern rider may have helped here.
In the book’s introduction, the author makes a prophetic statement when he says, experienced off-road riders, especially those that have raced, “expect dual sports to be racing bikes with license plates and (they) miss the rich possibilities of dual sport”. This could only be said by someone who’s been there and done it. With credibility running this deep, you can’t go wrong with this read.