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Advanced Rider Training - Courses To Make You a Better Rider
Tony W · July 21, 2021
There’s an old adage that you “start to learn to ride AFTER you pass your test”, and there is a big element of truth to that. Passing your CBT or Full Licence means you have reached the required standard to ride on the road, but there is of course always lots more to learn.
You will inevitably improve your general riding skills the more you ride but there’s a whole wealth of knowledge and techniques that you won’t be taught by your training school, and this is where Advanced Rider Training comes in.
We’ve pulled together a list of training options that will improve your skillset and therefore make you a safer rider overall. They obviously vary in price and content, so let’s start with the cheapest option and work up.
FireBike Better Biking Course
You can’t get any cheaper than free, which puts this course first on our list. There is a caveat, which is that this course only takes place in Essex. The FireBike initiative is part of the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s Road Traffic Collision (RTC) Reduction Team.
It is a free half-day programme that starts with an initial classroom theory session, followed by an assessed ride to provide practical advice and guidance on your riding. The instructor will highlight your strong points as well as suggesting areas where improvements can be made. You’ll be given tailored feedback on things such as your observation, positioning, gear selection and overtaking. At the end of the course, you’ll get immediate feedback from the FireBike team. You even get a certificate of attendance and a ‘goody bag’, with a concise written feedback report sent to you shortly after the course.
To find out more visit the Firebike website here.
Enhanced Rider Scheme
The DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme checks your riding skills and helps guide you to become a better, more proficient rider. You’ll firstly have a rider assessment in different conditions with the trainer. The amount of time you spend at the training will depend on what you need to brush up on, if the trainer thinks you’re up to scratch you’ll be given your certificate of competency and sent on your way.
This course is great if you’ve just passed, are returning to riding after a break or if you just want to check your riding standard. Completing an ERS could help get you a discount on insurance.
To find out more visit the DVSA website here.
BikeSafe is a national Police run motorcycle initiative that aims to work with riders in a relaxed environment to raise awareness of the value of progressing on to accredited post-test training.
Like the Firebike course, the day involves an observed ride accompanied by a police graded motorcyclist. The courses do vary a little depending on the region of the country, but in general, the workshops aim to cover: rider attitude, systematic methods, collision causation, cornering, positioning, overtaking, observation, braking, hazard perception and use of gears.
The Bikesafe day is heavily subsidised which means it only costs the rider £65, and we think it’s the best £65 you could ever spend on your motorcycling journey. There can be a waiting list, so it’s best to book well in advance.
For more information and to book click here.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is a charitable organisation that offers several levels of training and examination. The training is provided by a number of regional RoSPA Advanced Drivers & Riders groups (RoADAR).
It costs nothing to join a group, and there is usually a nominal fee for the training to cover the instructor’s fuel costs. The four day advanced motorcycle training course leads up to taking the RoSPA Advanced Motorcycle Test. This test is regarded as the most comprehensive and challenging test available to the public and lasts around 45 to 60 minutes.
You will be monitored by a RoSPA Examiner, all of whom are serving or retired Police Officers. The test is unique in that it is graded Gold, Silver or Bronze, with Gold being the highest civilian driving standard available. The fee for the test varies from £68-73 depending on where you take it.
If you want to take things further, there is the opportunity to train for the RoSPA Level 3 Award in Advanced Motorcycle Instructor Training. This five-day DVSA-approved training course will provide you with a coaching qualification to become a qualified motorcycle instructor, allowing you to apply for entry to the DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme. It is obviously a very full and intensive course and has a price tag of £1200. But who knows it could be the pathway to you becoming part of a RideTo Partner Training school!
For more information click here.
Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM)
The IAM are the largest road safety charity in the UK and they have been championing the cause since 1956. Their Roadsmart initiative aims to improve the standard of riding on the roads, improve road safety and offer a nationally recognised advanced test.
Much like RoSPA, they have a large network of local groups around the UK, where training is offered by qualified experts and supported by volunteers.
All of the volunteer observers are accredited by the Institute of the Motor Industry and will shadow you on a number of rides to focus on specific skills. Bike control, observation, timing, road positioning, and the ability to deal with unpredictable roads and other road users’ are all included. The Advanced Rider course leads you into taking the Advanced Rider Test, which if passed will make you a fully qualified Roadsmart rider. It may also save you money on your insurance premium! The course costs £149, but that price also includes an IAM Roadsmart membership. The IAM has a social element to it too, and once a member there are quite a few events within the regional groups. If this sounds like your thing then you can find more information here.
All of these courses mentioned will improve your riding and confidence enormously, and they are huge amounts of fun too. So what are you waiting for? Getting clicking and book yourself onto a course. We at RideTo guarantee, you won’t regret it!