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31st January 2003

Danny Liska's utterly stunning Two Wheels To AdventureBest Book?

Some questions are just too difficult to answer. When Rowena asked which bike book is my favourite, but I couldn't choose anything by authors who appear on this site … well … that is indeed a tough one. No Steve Wilson? No Dave Minton? Blimey.

Here's a confession. I really enjoy reading manuals. Do not laugh. Some of the real factory manuals show exactly what was in the minds of the bike's designers and production engineers when they were planning how to make their machines. It helps if one of the bikes in question is sitting before you in your shed as you read its manual, but it's not essential. So, favourite manual? The Norton Commando Mk3, available from Norvil and read in conjunction with the Norton OC's most excellent service notes, is a fine read. All of the Commando's great ideas (and there are a lot of them) are there for you to consider and to understand. All the oddities which make the Commando The Best Brit Twin are there, laid bare. And so are the compromises, fiddles and production problem-solvers, too…

But that's not my favourite bike book. Nor quite is Clare Sheridan's Across Europe With Satanella (which is a hoot!), or Roy Battson's truly moving The Land Beyond The Ridge, which almost moved me to buy a Matchless 250!

My Best Book? It's got to be Danny Liska's utterly stunning Two Wheels To Adventure, which I think you can still buy. Read that, and understand that popping off on a short Land's End to John O'Groats trip is a bit feeble!

There are a lot of good books about motorcycle journeys, but this is my own favourite. Danny Liska didn't ride around the whole globe, but trekked across just a single continent. But, well, this is a real epic - read a copy, and you'll see what I mean. Humbling isn't the word - but staggering surely is!

Frank Westworth

Two Wheels to Adventure by Danny Liska is published by Bigfoot Publishing Co in hardback, ISBN 0 9762203-0 X. Available from the American Amazon site for $59.95

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