I was looking forward to having a look at this book when it came out. As practical ‘how to’ guides on adventure motorcycling are a bit few and far between so it’s nice to see another title for people to pick-up when they start planning or even dreaming about a long trip.
On first impressions the book is nicely presented. It’s a full colour hardback that’s typical of many recent Haynes titles. The look and feel makes you want to pick it up and thumb through it looking at the stunning pictures that are included. I found myself settling down with a cup of tea almost straight away and looking forward to a quiet afternoon dreaming about a long trip on a bike.
The book starts with a good introduction that highlights some of the pioneers of adventure motorcycling from the early days to more recent travelers like Grant Johnson and Ted Simon.
Robert Wicks has divided his book into 3 parts, Before Leaving Home, On The Road and finally Typical Adventures. It’s nice and straight forward and each section contains a good level of detail on the sort of things you need to consider prior to the off and when you’re on the road.
Each section contains small packets of useful information interspaced with inspiring photography from around the world. It’s a nice mix that’s easy to take in and isn’t heavy going at all and it’s all rounded off nicely with 3 ‘typical adventures’ which describe 3 different trips from a short two week jaunt to a mammoth 3 year adventure. There’s also a nice section that points you in the direction for finding further information.
And this is the thing with the Haynes Adventure Motorcycling book. You can find quite a bit of information about planning a trip but without the depth you might need that you’d find in other titles on the subject. And this is the crux of the matter. Whilst it’s a great introduction for people starting out in the planning of a bike trip it’s not going to be enough for anyone looking for a bit more depth.
When you look at the photo’s the other thing you notice is that it makes a lot of use of supported trips on the latest machines. To me and many others the idea of doing a trip like this on the latest kit is a dream but the reality is that any bike will do and it would have been nice to see some of the more everyday types of bikes featured too rather than just the photo credits looking more like advert.
Thinking about whom this book is designed for it’s great for those who aspire to do a long distance trip by motorbike and provides a useful starting point for when you start the planning process. However it doesn’t have the depth of information you might need and instead points in the direction of where you might find the additional information elsewhere
So on whole a nice looking book that I found to be a great read and certainly made me wish for my departure date to be a lot closer than it is. As Ted Simon says in his forward if you read this book it will sharpen your appetite to discover the road ahead.