As the book's tag line states “The essential guide to preparing a bike for the journey of a lifetime”, it cannot get any simpler than that. After a foreward from Grant “Horizons Unlimited” Johnson, including an introduction from the author himself, it even has Austin “Mondo Enduro” Vince himself giving a few words too, all good stuff from the guys’ who’ve been out there and done it, the hardback book then proceeds to give a brief history of adventure travel throughout the ages. With wonderful photographs of pioneers’ past bikes from Max Reisch’s 1933 stunning 250cc Puch to Paul Pratt and his Triumph Thunderbird all giving a sense for what has past and laying open the taste of things to come.
Split into eight chapters from “The modern adventure motorcycle” to “Choosing a motorcycle” and with luggage systems sections to personal equipment information and two case studies that give an in-depth analysis of “Pre-departure modifications” too, also, a personnel account of the times and tribulations of two wheeled adventure.
“Choosing a motorcycle” is an interesting spec’ driven analysis of thirty-nine bikes all ready and willing to get the job done and is, so far, up to date that it even includes the new Yamaha’s XT 660z Ténéré and its sibling the 1200 Super Ténéré to old-hands such as Suzuki’s DR-Z400S to Kawasaki’s KLR 650. Chapter eight is for those Rally Raid enthusiasts and gives an insight into this sport and with great pictures and information of Rally Raid machines and the necessary extras needed to build your own.
It can feel a little biased in that its contents leans, favourably, toward Touratech and BMW, while there are many other brand names to consider too, “Building the ultimate Adventure Motorcycle” takes the most popular and obvious and exploits their potential to explore this avenue of wanderlust. We see accessories, gadgets, tools and all the vital and important and necessary survival equipment that one needs here.
With information of who, how, where and what you will need to get yourself going. It is, and feels very much like, a Beginners’ Guide to adventure biking and does give some vital information, tips and advice to those wanting to find out more on this genre and lifestyle, and why not, there are other books out there too, and this is just as competent. Its got it all; tents, tools, boxes, bikes, web sites, GPS and much, much more; “Building the ultimate Adventure Motorcycle” is a worthy adversary to all that is out there and worth a look. Robert Wicks' large hardback 176 page book is for those who want to travel far & wide on two wheels but on the level of a novice, an introduction so to speak, where then you would expect to up-grade to the hardcore such as Chris Scotts' “Adventure Motorcycling Handbook” for example.
“Building the ultimate Adventure Motorcycle”, printed by Haynes, is a relatively simple book, well put together and not at all shoddy nor is it amateurish and is respectful of its subject; tonnes of great colour photographs and miles upon miles of good advice that can only bring encouragement, adding it to your collection will, and can, only enlighten the way for that incredible journey...give it a go.