Motorcycle Books

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Motorcycle Books

Post by mogu83 on Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:16 pm

Cross post from the Beemer list:
I posted this on the Beemer list and thought some of you guys might enjoy it.  Take a few minutes to read the article it refers to, it's worth it.

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On a Yahoo group I subscribe to a poster noted the passing of  Robert Pirsig author of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” I was surprised to see that most of the responses echoed my feelings about these types of books.

MY Post:
Glad to see some other people feel the same as I do about these kinds of books. Usually written by someone that never threw a leg over a bike till he/she was in their thirty's and filled with words I could never spell and could barely pronounce.  If I want to read about motorcycles I'll stick to Hunter Thompson and Peter Egan.   Strangely enough another guy that 'got it' was TE Lawrence, he wrote some good stuff about motorcycles and why people ride them.  
Naturally IMHO


I thought I'd share Lawrence with you guys.  Renowned for his exploits in WW I he later led a rather bohemian life style making a modest income as a writer.  His book on the Near East  'Seven Pillars of Wisdom' is as relevant today as it was in 1926 when it was first published.  The reason I bring him up here is he was a dedicated motorcyclist and a proficient one at that.  More importantly to us he wrote about his love and insight into the sport in letters and a few short articles.  Without using words  with five symbols or intoning theory's that one needs a PhD to understand, he seems to capture the base reason why motorcycling is so enjoyable.  His machine of choice was the Brough Superior, and he owned a few of them.  In the mid thirties he had a 100 mile commute to work and he usually made it in less than an hour over English country lanes.   It was on one of these commutes he met his untimely end, maybe an accident, maybe self inflicted and some think something else.  The bike he was on (Brough Superior SS100 #CW2275) was restored and is now in the Imperial War Museum.  Many consider it the most valuable motorcycle in the world.
Here's a link to one of his articles 'The Road'   [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

My two favorite T.E. Lawrence quotes:

"“A skittish motorbike with a touch of blood in it is better than all the riding animals on earth"

"To explain the lure of speed you would have to explain human nature; but it is easier understood than explained. All men in all ages have beggared themselves for fast horses or camels or ships or cars or bikes or aeroplanes: all men have strained themselves dry to run or walk or swim faster. Speed is the second oldest animal craving in our nature, and our generation is fortunate in being able to indulge it more cheaply and generally than our ancestors. Every natural man cultivates the speed that appeals to him. I have a motor-bike income."


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mogu83

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Re: Motorcycle Books

Post by veltro_nero on Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:03 am

I don't think that most of the people that quote the few motorcycle related quotes in Zen have actually read the book.
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Re: Motorcycle Books

Post by egschade on Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:53 pm

As a high school kid absolutely nutty about motorcycles I received Zen as a gift from an Aunt. First rainy day I thought I'd get into it. Oh, the disappointment as I read a few pages and realized it really had nothing to do with motorcycles! Well, maybe it did but I never gave it a second chance.
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Re: Motorcycle Books

Post by Kev M on Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:32 am

RIP Pirsig, but Zen was the most pedantic BS I ever read and I was a friggin' English major with a Psych Minor.

No thanks.

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Re: Motorcycle Books

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