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Customer Review

106 of 107 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Clearly written by committee - read with extreme caution!, 6 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Motorcycle roadcraft: the police rider's handbook (Paperback)
It is unpleasant to say, but this new and long awaited revision of such an important and historically venerated book contains substantial errors; not so much typographic, but factual. There are laughable errors over "windows", the "system of car control" and front "wheels" (plural), most likely due to lazy proof-reading and a rushed transfer from the earlier published car version.

More important are the misleading, if not downright incorrect, texts over cornering forces, braking, dealing with slow-manoeuvres and manual-handling. There are likely many more, as I have only just started analyzing it. Try doing what is said on getting your bike off and on the centre-stand and you are likely to end up having to make an insurance claim; medical, vehicle or both. There are also some unclear and misleading texts mixed in with a number of the diagrams (eg. regarding overtaking). People reading this training book as a relative novice (from an advanced rider point of view) will likely read these things and take them quite literally. They could in some instances put their lives at risk by doing so.

It's a real disappointment. This is doubly sad when all in all the design, layout, and general appearance of the book and information within it are without argument an improvement over the last revision (1996).

Apparently at least thirty people, many of them distinguished in this field, sitting on at least three boards or committees, have been involved in this production. I sincerely hope they take note of the many comments they will undoubtedly get on this revision and ensure a thorough edit is carried out before any reprint is envisaged. To reprint this edition "as is" would be adding insult to injury. The PDF and e-Book versions are not published yet. Take note TSO - don't bother. Listen to the many critics that will appear, and get it right beforehand.

My advice at the moment is don't buy this, especially if you are just starting out on your advanced biking career. Get hold of the 1996 edition and use that.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Sep 2013 17:22:22 BDT
Thank you for taking the time to comment on 'Motorcycle Roadcraft'. We take your comments very seriously and would like to discuss them further. We would therefore be very grateful if you could contact us at the Police Foundation on roadcraft@police-foundation.org.uk or 020 7582 3744 (ask for Jon Collins) so that we can find out more.

Posted on 4 Oct 2013 23:07:20 BDT
A. Goran says:
I was going to buy this book from WH Smith. Good Job I didn't.
I have done an advance riding course with one of METs biker. I have learned a lot from the course and I think I am not going to buy this book now.

Posted on 20 Oct 2013 16:57:01 BDT
ScaredyCat says:
Thanks from me too. I'm a new rider with just over a year's experience and was looking to buy this. I think I'll wait for the next edition.

Posted on 20 Dec 2013 20:35:29 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Dec 2013 20:36:10 GMT
Makfai says:
What a shame. This is 'the bible' and, as much as may be said about the positives, the negatives are dangerous. How the 'physics' got to be so wrong when the police are the court experts on these aspects I just cannot understand. Needs a new edition asap. Well spotted to those who first included positive critical feedback on here. This is not a novel - there is NO room for error.

Posted on 2 Jan 2014 15:17:24 GMT
Urbanmeister says:
This was a quality review, thank you. Obviously from someone who not only knows their subject but is also committed to biking. I was going to buy this since it was mentioned in MAG Magazine. However, I, like others, will now wait for the second edition. Hopefully the second edition will have addressed the issues you have so rightly highlighted. Top man.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2014 15:25:14 GMT
Just to let you know, a group of serving police motorcycle riders have reviewed comments on the handbook since its publication and a second impression has now been published that rectifies the proofing oversights and seeks to clarify some elements of the text and diagrams. Just to be clear, this is not, however, a new edition. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on roadcraft@police-foundation.org.uk so that we can try to help.

Posted on 2 Jan 2014 15:30:32 GMT
Just to let you know, a group of serving police motorcycle riders have reviewed comments on the handbook since its publication and a second impression has now been published that rectifies the proofing oversights and seeks to clarify some elements of the text and diagrams. Just to be clear, this is not, however, a new edition. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on roadcraft@police-foundation.org.uk so that we can try to help.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2014 17:02:51 GMT
Thanks to the Police Foundation for this but I have not had a chance to see the changes yet and the TSO have been noticeable in their silence in replying to my request for the respective addendum (since November). Until I see this and the 2nd Impression I'm still not willing to change my initial review and will continue to promote the 1996 version. It doesn't bode well that I'm expected to purchase yet another impression when I'm not being replied to over the changes made. Draw your own conclusions thus far.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2014 16:12:18 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Mar 2014 18:49:22 GMT
Makfai says:
I think that they may have taken your comments on board in the revised edition! BUT what about those who bought the first edition? Will they know it was inaccurate?

Roadcraft was claiming that a 45 degree angle adds 50% to the downward force and so creates an increase of 50% in terms of friction at the point of road/tyre contact.

There was no source quoted for this so we do not know how the figure of 50% was determined. I would like to know the truth in all this.

I THINK what was being said is based on the law that 'the friction between two surfaces is proportional to the force pressing one to the other'. So, if there is an increase in the force pressing on the tyre then there is a similar increase in friction or 'grip' with the road.

I understand that it is generally accepted that a 45 degree angle creates a force of 1g but the first questions in this context are:
a) in what direction is that force being exerted? and
b) how is 1g translated into the 50% Roadcraft claims?

Alternative arguments are
1) that the force is not acting in a downward direction but laterally so there is no increase in friction whatsoever;
2) that the force is not acting on the tyre but on the suspension and that this is at a rate of 41%.

If 2) is correct then it would suggest that if the force is not fully absorbed by the suspension then some must be transmitted to the tyre.

I would like to know what the truth is and see references to the science.

Some Relevant arguments can be found here:
Support Roadcraft
http://www.genjac.com/BoomerBiker/Two%20Wheeled%20Physics.htm
Query Roadcraft claim
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=622000
http://www.stevemunden.com/leanangle.html
http://www.stevemunden.com/friction.html
http://www.msgroup.org/forums/mtt/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1458
Support suspension loading of 41%
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=84hF-qoR5I8C&pg=SA6-PA40&lpg=SA6-PA40&dq=suspension+41%25+at+45+degrees&source=bl&ots=FZE2vHP8Mn&sig=Rid-jIOgg1vmbYJsiAJplYM7XTo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=w3UgU_jwMajH7AbM-IDoBA&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=suspension%2041%25%20at%2045%20degrees&f=false

Posted on 17 Aug 2014 20:49:56 BDT
Bob Stammers says:
With respect to the complaint in this review about centre-stand use. I asked a local motorcycle dealer to show me how he got bikes on and off the centre-stand, he did exactly what Roadcraft said. He's done that every day on several bikes over a 30 year period, good enough for me and that's how I now do it.
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