Product Review: The Art of Riding Smooth

Sep 25, 2017 View Comments by

Among some motorcyclists, there’s an old joke that beginner motorcycle training courses teach new riders how to ride safely … in a parking lot. The skills necessary for safe street riding, with other vehicles around, are usually acquired over time through on-road experience. But riding in mountainous terrain is more challenging than just going to Starbucks for a latte. Most serious touring motorcyclists are committed to a lifetime of continuous improvement in their riding skills.

Jim Ford’s new book, The Art of Riding Smooth, is intended for riders who have already learned the fundamentals of motorcycling and want to take their expertise to progressively higher levels of both enjoyment and safety—on mountain roads, in particular. If you watch professional racers, they display the very embodiment of smooth riding. But, as Jim points out, riding curvy mountain roads swiftly and safely requires a somewhat different skill set than racing around a closed circuit track.

Some of the key areas of focus in the book are: proper riding posture, reading the road to anticipate and avoid potential problems, how to minimize risk in negotiating blind curves, appropriate motorcycle leaning techniques for real-world street riding, and managing the motorcycle’s momentum with effective engine and other braking techniques. By practicing the skills he recommends, riders can achieve a smoother, safer, and more enjoyable motorcycling experience. As a bonus, his book includes a 2,000-mile turn-by-turn route through some of the best roads in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

As the founder of the Rider’s Workshop, Jim also offers on-road motorcycle training courses in Maryland, Virginia, and beyond. He has been coaching riders for more than a decade and has hundreds of thousands of mountain miles under his belt.

The Art of Riding Smooth: Plus the Best 2,000 Miles Ever!
Price: $25


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