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Motorcycle 101

New book by Dave Preston offers common sense and a light hearted perspective

Longtime Sound RIDER! columnist, Dave Preston, has finally come up with something many readers have been looking for from him � a book about motorcycling.

As a regular columnist for Sound RIDER! and other motorcycle publications, Preston has long been bantering about his love of motorcycling and sharing his armchair philosophies with all styles of riders. Little did anyone know that a few years back Preston crafted a book specifically with the intent of introducing his son to the world of motorcycling.

Motorcycle 101 is 18 chapters packed full of wisdom that applies to both new and seasoned riders alike. Preston covers the basics like buying a bike, what to wear and how to go about playing the insurance game.

Preston culls wisdom from four decades of riding, his experience working at dealerships, and more recently, his hosting of The Motorsports Show heard on KKNW every week in the Northwest. Preston has lived motorcycles since his teens and now shares his past and present with others nearly every hour of his working day.

There's quite a bit of sage advice throughout the hundred plus pages of the book. In his "Ten Tips" chapter Preston describes a broken love affair during college where he stormed off on his bike for five miles only to realize he wanted to keep the bike for a long time, and the love affair with his girlfriend was history. He opted to slow down, get control of himself and at this point realized the importance of not riding when upset.

There are a number of comical photographs shot by Tom Mehren, principal for the books publisher, Mixed MEDIA. Mehren spent a few hours with Preston onsite at a Seattle area dealership putting together the shots used in the book. The opening chapter shows Preston giving an undecided shrug trying to choose between a V-Rod or a scooter. "How to buy footwear" shows Preston's stocking clad feet as the clothing salesperson nearly passes out from the odor. Then there's the "Cleanliness is next to godliness" chapter where Preston is hosing down a cruiser looking more like a European statue than a carwash kid. The back cover shows Preston mounting a Moto Guzzi V11 Sport, which he had recently test ridden. To date Preston has ridden more than 150 motorcycles.

The story of how the book came about is interesting in it's own right. Mehren actually went to Preston with the intent of reproducing some of his monthly Sound RIDER! columns into a book. That's when he found out about the Motorcycle 101 transcript. "Dave told me he had crafted this book for his son, but only had a printed first draft and a floppy disc copy � "but the disc had not been formatted so the file didn't exist" says Mehren. We took the printed copy, scanned it using optical character recognition and brought it back to life in a digital Word file, which Dave edited over the December holidays and put the finishing touches on." SR!

Ted Knecht/Winter 04


Autographed copies of Motorcycle 101 are now available in paperback through the Sound RIDER! online store .

Non-autographed copies are available at the following locations:

  • Cafe Veloce, Kirkland
  • Cycle Barn - Lynnwood & Smokey Point
  • Elliot Bay Book Company, Seattle
  • Gervasi's Motorcycle Service, Everett
  • Renton Motorcycles, Renton
  • Seattle Cycle Center, Seattle


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