The opportunity to review this book came at the best time. Being I'm a newbie rider I truly learned a lot from Sonny Barger's wisdom. One might think that Mr. Barger would have a ride it like you stole it mentality but he really gave very sensible advice in this book. He was very truthful and didn't sugar coat the risks involved with riding.
In the introduction of the book Sonny writes...Back in the 1970's people used to say: "Ride Hard, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse." People said a lot of stupid things back then. I'm in my seventies today, and that saying seems even more idiotic to me now then it did back then. I've got a better plan: ride smart, live long, and die of old age.
This book has page after page of useful information. Each chapter takes you on the journey that you may take when you finally decide to ride and helps you figure out what type of motorcycle you should consider for your first bike. Sonny covers different parts of a motorcycle and the fundamentals of riding. There is great information on evaluating a used motorcycle and when to walk away from purchasing the motorcycle you are looking at. This book covers just about everything you possibly need to know and things you would never think about as a new rider.
Chapter Six is about Advanced Riding Techniques. I read that chapter a couple times and plan to read it a few more. When you are a new rider there is so much to remember and at times you find yourself getting caught up in the moment, so reading that chapter again and again will remind me of all the things I need to remember to do when I'm out there on the road. Even seasoned riders would benefit from reading the Advanced Riding Techniques chapter.
What I really liked where the bullet points at the end of the chapters that summed up some of the knowledge you should have taken away from what you just read.
- The engine gives the motorcycle its character.
- Horsepower might win races, but on the street torque is king.
- The more comfortable your bike, the more you enjoy riding.
- Helmets not only protect your head, but they make riding more comfortable.
- Everyone else on the road has the potential to kill you at any time.
- Avoid financing if you can help it because it makes buying a motorcycle much more expensive.
- Don't worry about what everyone else thinks; pick the bike you like.
- You need to prepare your body and your bike for the rigors of a long trip.
I would especially recommend Let's Ride: Sonny Barger's Guide to Motorcycling How to Ride the Right Way for Life to anyone considering getting on two wheels or anyone that has just purchased and is learning how to ride on two wheels. I have to admit, I was truly shocked at times on how totally sensible and safe Sonny Barger is in his thinking. He is definitely an ICON of the motorcycling world and he offers so much of his knowledge in this book. You will also laugh at the humor he throws in throughout the book. I enjoyed his straight forward way of looking at things. As I said at the beginning of this post, he doesn't sugar coat a thing about riding. Motorcycling is fun but it should be taken seriously and respected and Sonny reconfirms this in each chapter.
If you are attending the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally you can meet Sonny Barger and get a signed copy of this book. He will be at the Local 81 Bike Shop on Aug 9 from 10am to 3pm and on Aug 10 he will be at the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum from 1pm to 4pm.