The Best Motorcycle Travel Books
Welcome to our Motorcycle Travel Books library. Here’s a selection of some of our favourite tales of two-wheel adventure, endurance, feats of madness and beautiful stories from a wide selection of motorcycle travellers.
Lone Rider by Elspeth Beard
Elspeth Beard’s epic 35,000-mile, two-year ride is the stuff of legends. No modern-day technology or support, solo and only 23 years old. Elspeth left London in October 1982 to ride round-the-world for the next two and a half years. Told with honesty and wit, this is the extraordinary and moving story of a unique and life-changing adventure.
Way to Go by Geoff Hill
Geoff Hill is one of my all-time favourite authors and you'll love his books. This book brings together two epic motorcycle journeys, from Belfast to Delhi on a Royal Enfield, and from Chicago to LA on a Harley-Davidson. It's a thoughtful, hilarious, off-beat adventure story. Check out 'The Road to Gobblers Knob' and 'In Clancy's Boots' too.
Into Africa by Sam Manicom
Sam Manicom’s first travel book 'Into Africa' takes you on an enlightening, yet daunting journey across fourteen countries between Cairo to Cape Town. It’s completely upfront with the adventures, mishaps, dust, heat and the thrills of overlanding. You’ll find that Sam’s perceptions of people, places and the various predicaments have real depth and texture.
Uneasy Rider by Mike Carter
A broken heart and a moment of drunken bravado inspires middle-aged, and typically rather cautious, Mike to take off on a life-changing bike trip around Europe. Never mind that he hadn't been on two wheels since an inglorious three-month teenage chapter involving a Lambretta, four crashes and an 18-month ban for drink-driving
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
Zen caused a sensation when it was first published in 1974. Pirsig's story, his son Chris and their motorcycle odyssey from Minnesota to California profoundly affected an entire generation. Both personal and philosophical, this book is a compelling study of relationships, values, madness and, eventually, enlightenment.
One Man Caravan by Robert Edison Fulton Jr.
A twenty-something Robert Edison Fulton Jr. was on his way home to the USA when he jokingly said he was going to motorcycle the rest of the way at a party in London. His bluff was called and the head of Douglas motorcycles offered him a bike, so he left two weeks' later to ride round the world solo from 1932 to 1933.
Jupiter's Travels by Ted Simon
In the late '70s Ted Simon rode 63,000 miles over four years through fifty-four countries around the world. Through breakdowns, prison, war, revolutions and disasters, he travelled into the depths of fear and reached the heights of euphoria. Jupiter's Travels is highly regarded as the seminal book on motorcycle travel.
The Rugged Road by Theresa Wallach
This is a remarkable story of two women who became the first people in the world to ride the length of Africa, and the first to cross the Sahara on a motorcycle. Theresa Wallach and her friend Florence Blenkiron rode their motorcycle and sidecar from London to Cape Town at a time where there were no roads, back up or garages in 1934.
The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Guevera
In 1952, two young men set out to explore South America on a 500cc Norton. One of them was the 23-year-old Che Guevara. Written 8 years before the Cuban Revolution, these are his diaries, full of disasters and discoveries, high drama and laddish improvisations on a tour through Argentina, Chile, Peru and Venezuela.
Long Way Round by Charley Boorman
This book needs no introduction. Ewan and Charley's series ignited the adventure bike whirlwind back in 2004. Their 19,000-mile, four-month trip from the UK to New York was documented in the series and in this book full of photographs and fascinating diary entries. It's the story of two friends riding RTW and realising their dream.
10 Years on 2 Wheels by Helge Pederson
Helge Pedersen travelled over 250,000 miles around the world on a BMW R80G/S between 1982 and 1992. He recounted his incredible 10-year journey in this book including his 20-day crossing of the infamous Darien Gap - a 66-mile journey through the lawless, dangerous and remote jungle separating Colombia and Panama.
Two Fingers on the Jugular by Lawrence Bransby
This is the story of Lawrence Bransby's three-month, 12,500-mile journey across the Russian far east and through one of the most remote regions on earth. Lawrence rode the Road of Bones (one of the world's most dangerous roads) - twice, alone, on an old DR350 that had been stored in a shed in Kyrgyzstan for two years.
Lois on the Loose by Lois Pryce
Lois packed in her career to motorcycle solo from Alaska to South America. Armed only with the Spanish words for 'caution' and 'cheese', Lois was rather under-prepared for multiple bear sightings, bribing her way through borders, spending a night in a Mexican brothel and crashing her bike in the wilds of Patagonia.
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook by Chris Scott
While the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook may not be a travel tale, it would be unjust not to include it in this list. It's prime reading for anyone dreaming of travelling the world on a motorcycle. The latest eighth edition by legendary author Chris Scott tells you everything you need to know on how to ride Africa, Asia and Latin America.
In Search of Greener Grass by Graham Field
Destined to appeal to anyone with a passion for bikes, travel and adventure, this book is a fascinating account of Graham's adventurous travels by motorbike and his life as a whole.
It covers the pitfalls of pedantic preparation to the dilemma of disposing of a bike with which Graham formed a deep bond on the way to its journey's end.
Old Man on a Bike by Simon Gandolfi
Following two heart attacks, 73-year-old Simon decided to ride the length of South America on a 125cc motorbike. And why not? His wife may have plenty of reasons why, but used to the intrepid septuagenarian's determination to complete any plan he comes up with, she shrugs her shoulders and waves him goodbye.
These are the Days that Must Happen to You by Dan Walsh
Dan has travelled the world on his BMW F650 GS Dakar and this book is a collection of his reports. "I get my bum pinched by a tranny, my pocket picked by a grifter and get a gun pulled on me by a one-eyed, one-armed midget who's upset cause I winked at him. These are the days that must happen to you." How can you read that and not buy the book?
The Long Ride Home by Nathan Millward
The Long Ride Home tells the story of Nathan's impromtu journey across the world on a retired Australian postal delivery bike (Honda CT110). It was a journey of 18 countries, 23,000 miles and 9 months on the road after just three days of planning. The book begins in Sydney before heading off on a journey to England overland.
2Up and Overloaded by Tim Notier
Tim and his fiancée Marisa take a leap of faith and quit their jobs to circumnavigate the globe on their KTM 1190. You'll feel the wind in your hair as they make their way across the United States and head south through Mexico and Central America. It's an inspiring, witty, sometimes-harrowing, and always gripping adventure story.
Our Ridiculous World Trip by Matt Bishop
This fast-paced, often-humorous travel book tells the truly ridiculous story of how two British friends, Matt Bishop and Reece Gilkes, became the first people to circumnavigate the globe on a scooter with a sidecar. Their world-record-breaking 34,000-mile-long journey took them through thirty-five countries and across five continents.
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4 thoughts on “The BEST Motorcycle Travel Books”
Fantastic selection of books. I’ve read quite a few of them and now have a few more to order!
I already have four of these books in my collection. I think my next one is going to be Robert Fulton’s One Man Caravan.
Hi Nate, once you’ve read Mr Fulton’s book, make sure you also watch his film – it’s incredibly impressive!
I’ve read all of Lois Pryce’s books and thought they were brilliant. I don’t know which one to go for next haha there’s too many.