The 10 Best Motorcycle Books

Updated July 22, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

The Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Archive
The Ride
Leanings 3
We spent 26 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you know someone who loves to travel on two wheels, you may want to consider giving him or her one of these informative and educational motorcycle books. Our selection includes editions covering just about every type of machine and biking adventure, as well as some more technical tomes for true gearheads. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best motorcycle book on Amazon.

10. The Vincent in the Barn

The Vincent in the Barn tells the stories of 40 motorcycle hunters' dreams coming true, sharing how they each found a vintage bike rotting away in a shed, barn, or basement. It's a noteworthy collection of short pieces that make it an easy read.
  • great for classic bike enthusiasts
  • wide variety of biographical essays
  • not a professional writing style
Publisher Motorbooks
Model n/a
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Two Wheels Through Terror

Equally as engaging for a travel junkie as a bike enthusiast, Two Wheels Through Terror details one rider's odyssey through South America. It's the kind of book that will motivate you to take your own trip, just maybe not in Colombia.
  • story of author's capture by rebels
  • engrosses the reader
  • ending seems rushed
Publisher Two Wheels Through Terr
Model n/a
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. Essential Guide to Motorcycle Maintenance

Written in a comfortable, conversational tone, the Essential Guide to Motorcycle Maintenance features lots of easy-to-understand explanations on how these machines work. It also includes a thorough index of parts and terms that is great for newbies.
  • teaches you to fix your own bike
  • covers all makes and styles
  • diagrams are haphazardly placed
Publisher Whitehorse Gear
Model n/a
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. The Ride

The Ride is all about the concept of taking boring old machines and turning them into completely customized extensions of your personality. It highlights and depicts a number of real-life bike transformations from their original forms to their new manifestations.
  • tons of great photos
  • interviews with builders
  • focuses mostly on cafe racers
Publisher imusti
Model n/a
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

6. Leanings 3

Leanings 3 by Peter Egan is filled with stories, observations, and true tales of great journeys from one of America's premiere riding journalists. It is written in an engaging and fun way that will get you itching to hit the road yourself.
  • features author's philosophy
  • each article includes a new forward
  • the best of his three books
Publisher Egan, Peter
Model n/a
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. The Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Archive

The Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Archive focuses on one of the most iconic manufacturers of our time, and showcases a century of its bikes to bring its two-wheeled history to life. It starts from serial number one, built in 1903, and runs through to the latest touring models.
  • includes previously unpublished info
  • amazing collection of photos
  • binding isn't very strong
Publisher The Harley-Davidson Mot
Model n/a
Weight 6.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Classic Motorcycle Race Engines

Only for true gearheads, Classic Motorcycle Race Engines is the definitive guide and analysis of the last eight decades of fast power trains. It gives invaluable insights into the technology employed in a wide variety of speedy machines.
  • written in a highly digestible style
  • packed with technical details
  • chapters can be read in any order
Publisher Haynes Publishin
Model n/a
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. McQueen's Motorcycles

In McQueen's Motorcycles: Racing And Riding With The King Of Cool, Matt Stone takes us through a chronology of the great actor's extensive collection of bikes, including those from his days spent leisure riding to his later years racing.
  • forward by a legendary racer
  • lots of pictures throughout
  • ideal gift for a triumph owner
Publisher McQueen's Motorcycles
Model n/a
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Adventure Motorcycling Handbook

The Adventure Motorcycling Handbook is for the intrepid travelers out there gearing up for their own big trip. It's designed to help you turn your dream into a reality and is the same publication that Ewan McGregor used to prepare for his round-the-world journey.
  • lots of practical information
  • ratings for 10 excursion bikes
  • tips for dealing with borders
Publisher Adventure Motorcycling
Model n/a
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

Robert Pirsig's Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance takes readers on a journey across the American Northwest and into the troubled mind of its protagonist. It confronts you with questions of maintenance that apply to your soul as much as they do your bike.
  • beautiful riding descriptions
  • strong father and son story
  • philosophically deep
Publisher Zen And The Art Of Moto
Model n/a
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

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Last updated on July 22, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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