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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2010
The subheading "ultimate street strategies for advanced motorcyclists" gives the target audience away immediately. Hahn's book is aimed squarely at the road rider.

Hahn starts by looking at where riders get hurt, and spends at lot of time breaking accidents down into how, where and why. This is a key approach if we're to understand good riding - take out the bad and you're left with the rather better. It may still not give you the perfect solution to safer riding, but learning machine control technique only goes so far - however good your control, you still have to know when you're about to do something stupid, even if you can do it perfectly!

Having studied what goes wrong, Hahn moves onto looking at risk. Riding isn't safe, it can't be but the level of risk depends on:

* who we are
* what we're doing
* where we're doing it

The chapter "Good Times, Bad Times" explores the theme by sifting a whole raft of data on the influence of time of day, time of year, holiday season, emotional and mental state and more on risk, and opens up a way for the individual to be self-aware of potential problems before they happen. There's also an excellent section on visibility and the need to see and be seen. These two sections together form the core thinking behind a very good exploration of "Trouble Areas" where Hahn identifies and finds ways out of a range of scenarios that spell risk to riders. As a long-time courier who spent some time finding easy ways round London, I particularly like the way he suggests looking round for alternative, simpler routes that avoid trouble spots, rather than simply bulling through them when you don't have to.

Hahn considers the powers of sports psychology and the technique of visualisation so that `practice makes permanent', something else I've been talking about for some years now, and I also find his approach to changing the attitude of other road users to bikes by the way we ride a refreshingly different perspective to the "they're all out to kill us" slant we're usually fed by the biking media.

Hahn finishes up with a unique concept of the road as a river, explains how that can help us predict problems ahead, and suggests a few other distractions we should be aware of that can put riders at risk - group riding, temperature extremes, medication and passengers to name a few. There's also a short but useful section on how to deal with a rider who's just been upset by a minor crash - something I've never seen treated anywhere else.

Overall, the text flows nicely even if it is a bit heavy going in places, and the illustrations and box-outs correspond neatly to illustrate points in the main text. Hahn's thinking processes are clearly laid out, but at no time are they dogmatic - he leads you to water, it's up to you if you drink. The style is conversational and mildly amusing, without the "canned laughter" jokes I found so irritating in David Hough's book.

In summary, if you're looking for a track riding book, don't even open the cover. If you want to know about machine control techniques even for the road, ditto; leave it on the shelf. It's not a "how to deal with deer/gravel/traffic/bends/whatever" starter book in the way that Proficient Motorcycling is, or an overview of defensive riding like Motorcycle Roadcraft.

But if you've looking for a book that really makes you think twice about some of the commonplace things we do on a bike every day, a book that opens your eyes to risks in activities we can too often take for granted, and a book which makes you constantly re-evaluate what you thought you understood, this one is the one to expand your thought processes.
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on 21 August 2013
Not really a lot of books on "advanced riding" so i picked this up with ambitious expectations.
My opinion is that its really a collection of criteria based upon statistical analysis; but i don't really work on these as we all ride different and USA is totally different to the UK also.
Its not a bad publication, just a bit too analytical for my preference.
Worth reading though, but i will pass this book onto some associates who may find some content informative.
The key to all this advanced riding in my opinion, is just to get out there, ride often and be self-critical and disciplined!
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on 29 March 2013
I know this is based on American research and the diagrams are based on American roads & "intersections". It is an interesting read. Sometimes it was a bit confusing and I got a sense of de-ja-vu when the text I'd read on one page was then repeated on the next page. Worth a read on these long boring not worth going out on the bike days
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on 6 January 2011
If you ride a motorcycle and want to improve your skills (why wouldn't you?) then buy this book.
It uncovers the theory behind advanced riding techniques found in other books.
Pat has a clear and consise style and a wealth or experience in rider training.
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on 4 November 2012
most of the book translates to english but the usa influence keeps coming out- worth the read but not a classic one
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2008
Ride Hard, Ride Smart is a well-written, easily digested book that covers a number of techniques to improve your riding. Setting aside the American perspective, this is a good book for UK riders too.

However, other books cover the same material far better.

Motorcycle Roadcraft remain most comprehensive and best book on how to pre-empt the hazards presented by other road users, with a wealth of invaluable tips on everything from cornering to overtaking. Motorcycle Roadcraft offers many valuable tips to new and experienced riders alike.

When it comes to bike handling, either Kenny Roberts' Performance Riding Techniques or Lee Parks' Total Control would offer more comprehensive advice, building on Keith Code's original work. Blue Riband, IAM, RoADAR or OCN accredited riders may find these books compliment their roadcraft.

My recommendation would be to read Motorcycle Roadcraft plus one of Performance Riding Techniques, Total Control or A Twist of the Wrist 2. This combination would cover everything in Ride Hard, Ride Smart and more. Whilst no book is a substitute for advanced training, the right books can speed up learning and deepen knowledge.
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on 24 October 2014
brilliant
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