What Motorcycle Sports Touring was all about –


Lots of books have been written on the topic of motorcycle touring in the Alps

Lots of books have been written on the topic of motorcycle touring in the Alps. With one noticeable exception, however, they all seem to be written in German - and most of these are more concerned about nice landscapes than what really matters: The roads, the curves, the asphalt.

For me, motorcycling has very much to do with ROADS. It is perfectly OK if good Roads coincide with good nature, good food, and good wine (as they do in the Alps). It is strange, then, that most of the books are preoccupied with nice landscapes.

Here is what I have found to be worthwhile.

The Ultimate Alpen-MC Collection:

  • Denzel: Grosser Alpenstrassenführer  
    The Bible of the Alpine motorcyclist: If I had to buy and bring along only one book, this one would make it. This book has been on the road since 1956 and is now in it's 21st edition. Germans only call it "Der Denzel". It covers everything you would ever want to know between Marseilles and Wien. Although aimed at a general motoring public, a quick glimpse will reveal that this book was really written by motorcyclists for motorcyclists. Worth the weight (a lot!)(in German)

    Check out and buy this amazing book via Amazon.de
  • Motorcycle Journeys through the Alps and CorsicaJohn Hermann:
    Motorcycle Journeys Through the Alps and Corsica
    This is the definitive guide to Alpine motorcycle touring - at least in English. John Hermann has been riding in the Alps since 1980 and clearly knows what he writes about. The book describes 68 individual trips, each lasting about a day. Although great weight is placed on Switzerland (and especially Andermatt), every region of the Alps is covered, plus Corsica and Slovenia. The stuff on Corsica is really a great bonus. I know of no other book that covers this beautiful island: And the riding here is at least as good as in the Alps. If you don't master german, this book is your only choice. And it is not a bad choice.

    Read a short excerpt from John Hermanns book here

    Web: More on John Hermann and his book

    Check out and buy this book via Amazon.com
  • Denzel: Motorrad-Touren in den Alpen.
    Über 100 Rundfahrten
    This book is really a companion to "Der Denzel" above. But here the stuff is classified as a collection of tours, most of which last a day. If you prefer this organization, this book is clearly the most comprehensive and best researched. It may feel too heavy and too comprehensive though. (in German)

    Check out and buy this book via Amazon.de
  • Harasim/Schempp: Lust auf Pässe.
    Die 50 schönsten Pässe der Alpen
    This book is part of a whole series of small, easy to bring-along books. The other books cover the Dolomites, the Lago Gardia, the Italian Lakes, the French Alps, the Austrian Alps, the French Alps, plus more. Good pictures and good maps (especially the latest editions). (in German)

    Check out and buy this book via Amazon.de
  • Rudolf Geser: Alpenpässe - 50 Motorradtouren  
    This is a very nicely laid out book with basic information, maps, and photos on 50 of the classic Alpen passes. A little too big to bring along, but very good for itinerary planning and lustful reading throughout the winter. (in German)

    Check out and buy this book via Amazon.de

The Ultimate MC Riding Collection:

  • Keith Code: A Twist of the Wrist Volume 2.  
    Simply The Best Book on the basics of high-performance motorcycle riding. Although the book focuses on motorcycle track riding it is very easy to translate his advice to sports touring. The whole RoadMC crew of 2001 read this book before and during the journey: We all felt we became better riders.

    Web: Visit the California Superbike School of Keith Code

    Check out and buy this book via Amazon.com
  • Gary Jaehne: Sportbiking: The Real World.  
    Marketed as an advanced rider's handbook this book takes a special twist: It is not an ordinary how-to book. Instead it focuses on actual, real riding experiences.

    Check out and buy this book via Amazon.com

Other links:

Whitehorse Press: These guys publish motorcycle books, and only motorcycle books. Lots of books on touring the Americas, Australia, ++

( to be continued )


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Published 22.05.2004
Last update 08.06.2004

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