Embrace your passion for two-wheeled adventures with the best motorcycle books that delve into every aspect of the biker lifestyle. There’s no better way to deepen your connection than by exploring the literary treasures that celebrate the world of motorcycles.
Whether you’re a motorcycle history buff or just always on the hunt for your next dream bike, motorcycle books offer an immersive experience to satisfy your craving during those times when you’re not actually riding.
To fuel your enthusiasm, we’ve curated a list of the best motorcycle books, covering everything from maintenance guides and epic journeys to heartwarming tales of biker romance. Discover your next favorite read and stay connected to the motorcycle community you cherish.
We’ve compiled this list of the 10 best motorcycle books. From manuals to epic journeys to motorcycle romance books, you’re bound to find something you love.
Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well
Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well by David L. Hough stands out as one of the best motorcycle books for riders of all skill levels. While hands-on experience is essential for mastering the art of riding, this insightful guide offers valuable wisdom and tips.
Suitable for both novices and seasoned riders, Hough’s expertise as a renowned motorcycle journalist brings credibility and clarity to the book. Combining his writing and photography talents, he presents an engaging, informative, and visually appealing guide that surpasses other dry, textbook-style manuals.
The dynamic images and vivid descriptions make “Proficient Motorcycling” easy to follow and enjoyable to read. Even the most experienced riders can benefit from Hough’s advice on road safety, handling different traffic situations, and preventing accidents. Considering that over 5,000 people lost their lives in motorcycle crashes in 2016, this book equips you with essential safety knowledge to minimize the risk of a devastating accident.
Don’t miss out on this comprehensive guide to riding well – it’s a must-read for anyone seeking to enhance their skills and stay safe on the open road.
Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs
Dive into the notorious world of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang with Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs by Hunter S. Thompson, the acclaimed author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In this gripping nonfiction account, Thompson spent over two years riding alongside the Hell’s Angels, immersing himself in their turbulent lives.
This riveting book documents Thompson’s experiences with the gang, providing a raw and unfiltered glimpse into their brutal acts of violence, organized crime, sexual assaults, drug dealing, substance abuse, and extortion. As a firsthand account, it offers a unique perspective on one of the most dangerous and infamous motorcycle gangs in history.
For readers intrigued by the dark underbelly of outlaw motorcycle culture, Hell’s Angels is a must-read, presenting an unforgettable journey through the tumultuous world of these notorious bikers.
Jupiter’s Travels: Four Years Around the World on a Triumph
Embark on an epic journey with Jupiter’s Travels: Four Years Around the World on a Triumph by Ted Simon, a heartwarming and inspiring tale of exploration and self-discovery. Unlike Hunter Thompson’s experiences with the Hell’s Angels, Simon’s story is filled with personal growth and unforgettable encounters.
Aboard his Triumph motorcycle, Simon set out on a four-year, 78,000-mile adventure across more than 40 countries. This solo odyssey represents the dream shared by many bikers – to ride freely with the wind in their hair, no destination in mind, and embracing the thrill of the open road.
While “Jupiter’s Travels” recounts Simon’s remarkable journey, it also aims to ignite the spirit of adventure in its readers, encouraging them to embark on their own transformative motorcycle quests.
For those seeking an escape from the mundane and yearning for the freedom of life on the open road, “Jupiter’s Travels” will captivate your imagination and inspire you to pursue your own two-wheeled adventure.
Running with the Moon: A Boy’s Own Adventure: Riding a Motorbike through Africa
Discover the healing power of adventure with Running with the Moon: A Boy’s Own Adventure: Riding a Motorbike through Africa by Jonny Bealby. Similar to Jupiter’s Travels, this book chronicles Bealby’s solo motorcycle journey across Africa, but with a deeply personal twist.
Driven by the sudden loss of his fiancée, Bealby leaves his familiar life behind to embark on a transformative odyssey. As he navigates the challenges and beauty of Africa on his motorcycle, he confronts his grief and discovers the strength to move forward.
Running with the Moon is more than just a travel memoir; it’s a poignant and touching story about resilience, healing, and the power of adventure. Bealby’s tale serves as a reminder that, even in the darkest moments, hope and self-discovery can be found on the open road.
Ride Free Forever: The Legend of Harley-Davidson
Both motorcyclists and casual admirers are likely familiar with the legendary Harley-Davidson brand, arguably the most iconic and beloved name in the world of motorcycles. But how much do you truly know about this emblematic company?
Dive into the rich history with Ride Free Forever: The Legend of Harley-Davidson by Oluf F. Zierl, a comprehensive and visually stunning tribute to the Harley-Davidson legacy.
This expansive volume serves as a veritable Harley-Davidson bible, filled with captivating images and insightful commentary that delve into the fascinating story of one of the top motorcycle brands in the world.
Not only will it expand your knowledge, but it also makes for an impressive decorative piece for those who are passionate about motorcycles. Display it proudly on your bookshelf or as a conversation-starting coffee table book, showcasing your enthusiasm for the open road without having to bring your bike indoors.
Rebuilding the Indian: A Memoir
For enthusiasts who love working on custom rides or are simply intrigued by the process, Rebuilding the Indian: A Memoir by Fred Haefele is an exceptional read. Going beyond a typical “how-to” manual on restoring a classic Indian motorcycle, this book delves into the author’s personal journey of self-discovery and healing.
In a similar vein to Running with the Moon, Haefele’s story explores a man’s transformation through a challenging period in his life. While Running with the Moon follows the protagonist on a travel adventure as he grapples with loss and change, Rebuilding the Indian showcases Haefele’s dedication to restoring a 1941 Indian motorcycle as a means of rebuilding his own life.
Facing the rejection of his novel, the arrival of a new baby, and the disintegration of his marriage, Haefele chronicles his struggles through a series of diary entries. These intimate glimpses reveal not only the challenges of reviving a vintage motorcycle but also the resilience and growth that emerge from his personal trials.
Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World
Embark on an unforgettable journey with Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World, a captivating account of friendship and adventure on the open road. Unlike the solo travels featured in previous motorcycle books, this tale highlights the unique bond formed between buddies on an epic trip.
Actor Ewan McGregor and his friend Charley Boorman set out on a nearly 20,000-mile journey from London to New York, traversing Western Europe, Russia, Canada, and the United States on their motorcycles. This book masterfully blends emotional depth, humor, and excitement, keeping readers enthralled with each new challenge and discovery.
From perilous off-roading escapades and harrowing injuries (like gasoline spraying in one’s eyes) to exploring peculiar and fascinating corners of the world, Long Way Round is a must-read for anyone captivated by the thrill of adventure and the power of friendship.
One Man Caravan
Continue your journey through travel literature with One Man Caravan by Robert Edison Fulton Jr., an engrossing account of a daring post-World War II motorcycle adventure. Fulton, an inventor, journalist, and adventurer, embarked on an ambitious trip around Europe shortly after graduating from college.
Riding a customized motorcycle, he experienced a series of remarkable encounters, from being shot at and spending nights in jail to evading bandits. This compelling narrative not only offers a thrilling travel adventure but also provides a deeply personal and intimate look at the post-WWII European landscape.
One Man Caravan is the perfect way to delve into the fascinating life of Robert Edison Fulton Jr., a true Renaissance man whose daring exploits and unquenchable curiosity make for an unforgettable tale.
While many of the books on this list cater to a wide audience, motorcycle romance novels occupy a unique niche in the genre. Among the countless options available, Reaper’s Property by Joanna Wylde stands out as the top motorcycle romance book on Goodreads.com, earning its place on our list.
The story follows Marie, a woman recovering from a tumultuous divorce from an abusive husband. Enter “the Horse,” a bad boy motorcyclist from the “Reapers” gang who insists she joins him on the back of his bike. This racy, exhilarating romance capitalizes on the allure of the “motorcycle bad boy” stereotype.
While Reaper’s Property might not be everyone’s cup of tea, its titillating and provocative storyline promises an entertaining read, whether you’re fully embracing the narrative or indulging in a little guilty pleasure.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values
No list of best motorcycle books would be complete without Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. This iconic classic, written by Robert M. Pirsig, takes readers on a philosophical journey that explores the concept of “quality” and delves into the intersection of Eastern and Western thought.
Following a father and son’s motorcycle trip from Minneapolis to San Francisco, the book uses the backdrop of their journey to engage in a deep and meaningful discussion about life, values, and the importance of mindfulness.
A profound and captivating read, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance transcends the motorcycle genre and remains a timeless piece of literature. It’s a must-read for any motorcyclist interested in contemplating the deeper aspects of their passion and the human experience.
Must-Read Motorcycle Books
Each of these motorcycle books offers a unique perspective on motorcycle culture, perfect for fueling your passion during those off-riding times, like winter. Delve into these captivating reads and let them inspire your upcoming summer riding adventures.
As you plan your next ride, be sure to explore our recommendations for the best routes and rides worldwide. These motorcycle books will keep the spirit of the open road alive, even when you’re not physically riding.