Why Advanced Riding?
Most of us know deep down there are two uncomfortable truths about riding our bikes:
There is a danger of hurting yourself quite badly when riding a bike
Our bike is more capable than we are
An advanced course sets about reducing the risk of you having an unfortunate incident whilst at the same time improving your road and bike control skills so you can get more out of your bike.
So what is Advanced Riding?
Advanced riding is simply about riding well. It is summed up by the 4 S's we teach as part of our course.
Everyone's first concern on a bike should be for their own safety and that of everyone else's. It sounds simple but keeping yourself out of A&E means being aware of what is around you and acting appropriately!
The advanced course is as much about thinking about how you ride as it is about riding technique. By taking a more systematic approach to what you find on todays roads you will have more time to react to the dangers.
Everyone who has completed the course notices that their riding style looks and feels more graceful and fluid. This is because you learn to react in good time so there are no sudden, panicked manoeuvres. The observers pass on many techniques which make riding your bike easier.
We do not train people to ride fast, but what we do find is once our members have mastered Safety, System and Smoothness, progress (Speed) on the road becomes very natural. They do not brake unnecessarily for corners, they carry out safe overtakes without hesitation and they can read an unfamiliar road and ride it well first time.
How do we help?
Once you sign up, you will be assigned an Observer who will make contact with you. They will try to meet at a mutually agreed place and will look after your development from start to finish.
For the practical part of the course each member will generally need about 6 observed rides but this will be dependant on individual ability and the amount of practice you put in between observed rides. Observed rides last approximately 2 hours and are 1:1 trainee to Observer ratio.
The first observed rides will be an assessment ride where your Observer will identify areas of development and work with you to draw up a riding development plan. As the course progresses you will focus on different areas of your riding; working towards the test standard step by step.
Emphasis is put on mental training as well as practical machine control. If you are to develop a systematic approach to your riding you need to know the system. You also need to know how to read the road and what to look for. The only way to do this is through study then practice.
To help with this we offer a theory class where we run through the elements of advanced riding through a mixture of presentation and question and answers.
.....but you should also consider studying 'Motorcycle Roadcraft' and the 'Highway Code' throughout the course
One thing you will need to commit to is plenty of practice. We think that between each observed ride you will need to do at least 200 miles of riding on unfamiliar roads in order to improve (i.e. not on the roads you use to go to work!).
HBAM does have regular social rides to help with this but there is no better method than getting out on your own and putting into practice what you have learnt. You are free to make your own mistakes without anyone looking over your shoulder and you will really get to grips with your riding and become more confident.
How much does it cost?
The IAM RoadSmart Advanced Rider Course
We deliver this course to anyone in our area who has purchased this course from the IAM, which costs £149.
That includes all the course materials, all the time that our team spend helping you improve your riding, your test fee (when you are ready to take it) and access to all the courses and events that HBAM run for one year from the date you join.
The only extra costs will be a contribution towards the cost of your observer's expenses for riding with you, typically £10 per ride.
After the first year you will need to renew your IAM RoadSmart membership, and your membership of HBAM, if you want to continue to enjoy all the benefits we offer. The IAM annual membership costs £33.75, and HBAM £15.00
We don't think you can find better value for rider training anywhere else, and that's only possible because everyone in HBAM gives their time for free.
What are the benefits?
As an IAM RoadSmart member, you get access to a range of benefits. These include discounts on clothing, motorcycle tours, Silverstone tickets, 15% off at Bikestop (Stevenage), security and safety equipment, and access to IAM LiveSmart, offering a programme of discounted events and experiences.
You are also likely to obtain lower Insurance costs as a rider with a recognised advanced qualification with the IAM Insurer, Surety, or with other providers.
As a member of Herts & Beds Advanced Motorcyclists you receive all the help you need to pass the Advanced test, as well as access to supplementary training courses, social events, and Group rideouts.
Once you have passed, you can undertake refresher training to keep your skills up to date and continue to attend our social events and rideouts, including those which we tailor to existing advanced riders. And if you want to develop your skills further there are plenty of opportunities to do so. You might want to become a Ride Leader, organising and leading rides for other members to enjoy, or become an Observer, and pass on your skills to your fellow riders. We can even help you advance your skills to achieve the highest recognised civilian motorcycling qualification, the IAM Masters.
Once you join, its entirely in your hands to decide, and we will help you achieve your motorcycling aims!