Advanced Motorcycling

Compiled by The Institute of Advanced Motoring and edited by Ian Webb

Book Review

The soft cover version of this book costs 5p less than £3 which even by today's standards is expensive, particularly as the contents could easily have fitted into a book half the size. This gives the immediate impression that the book is pretentious beyond its contents, an impression borne out by closer inspection.

From the foreword by the Duke of Gloucester and an intelligent introduction by Phil Read, the chapters go on to miss the point completely. All too often basic points are laboured while more advanced items are summarily dismissed by such phrases as "No book could pretend to cover all the intricacies of the situation." Valuable space is wasted on double page pictures of a motorcycle to show the location of mirror, chain, speedometer etc.

As details of techniques become more advanced they also become more curtailed. Some points in the book are at least misguided, diagrams can be dangerously misleading. The chapter containing notes on sidecars is openly hostile to the concept and is subsequently wrong in many aspects.

To the experienced rider this book will present some points of interest but few of instruction. To a novice the book could lead to dangers, not least the belief that the book itself can impart expertise and safety.

Other aspects of the book which can be criticised are its obsession with figures and statistics, its failure to cross reference to other sources, especially the Highway Code, its willingness to present opinion as fact and its contemporary style. As the latter will soon date the book it is to be hoped that a revised version will correct the other faults.

In the meantime the motorcyclists best buy is still the Highway Code and Motorcycle Roadcraft.

The authors have rushed this book to cash in on the motorcycle safety bandwagon.

Ben Crossley

Club Road Safety Officer