Lee Gutkind is a professor of creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh and it shows in his hosanna to the motorcycle as the apogee of individual freedom -- ""On a motorcycle all feeling of time, speed and distance dissolves. . . . Time is drunk down like a cold beer on a warm day."" With a friend, Burt, Gutkind crosses the U.S. in 1971 on his BMW 600, a six-week east-west trip which took the bikers into 34 states and ended in a blizzard in the Wyoming Shoshone Mountains -- nothing more eventual than a few spills. Between stops, Gutkind talks knowledgeably about motorcycle lore, law, sport, history, manufacture, handling technique, stunts, gangs, scrambling, choppers, and the current controversy concerning trail bikers and the ecologists. Now and then their ""asses hurt"" and our eyes smarted, but that's all part of Bike Fever -- ""an album of first impressions, snatches of conversation, inadequate pictures of American life."" Mainly of interest to those bound in leather.