I passed my CBT test almost 25 years ago
I passed my CBT test almost 25 years ago and those initial four half-day sessions was the only formal motorcycle training I had. I read Roadcraft for Bikers sometime after but that was still 20 odd years ago. I started on a 100cc two-stroke, moved to a Yamaha XJ600 Diversion and then a CBR600F until I moved away from the UK 10 years later. I had about 12 years off and came back to motorcycling in 2014 and bought a KTM 690 Duke in 2015 as soon as I returned to the UK, mainly to get to and from JLR Whitley before the traffic situation was improved. I’ve also taken a couple of long weekend tours around Wales, The Lakes and last year the North Coast 500 (NC500).
I’d thought about taking the BikeSafe course but never got organised enough but when the opportunity with JLR arose and I jumped at the opportunity.
I currently ride either a KTM 1090 Adventure or a BMW F800R depending on the distance, weather, etc. .
The extra tips from the day were useful
The first part of the day with the discussions around the IPSGA process and how really, safe motorcycling is all about gathering as much information as early as possible, is dead easy to follow and makes total sense. Information is power. Learning to process all the information and then create your hazard plan is what I’ve always tried to do as a defensive rider but the extra tips from the day were useful; for example, ‘closing down the left side to own it when making a left turn’ – thus preventing unexpected cyclist encounters, sweeping the mirrors to alert motorway users to your presence behind, benefits of auxiliary lighting, more roadside furniture the greater the hazard and so on.
After lunch, the on-road part was greatly enhanced by Bluetooth communications, despite the difficulties in getting it working. Having immediate feedback and advice about where to be on the road at the moment the information was relevant was excellent. At first it was a bit daunting having a HiViz bike in your mirrors but then getting into the activity of the ride and concentrating on getting things ‘right’ made for excellent reference riding. The thing about the ride that surprised me most was how quickly and definitely the position changes were made, much faster than I previously would have moved. Maximising visibility is key.
The other messages I took away were:
- ‘Roll Off’, as soon as a hazard appears, you back off the throttle and give yourself a moment more to assess the situation. Instead of thinking and then acting to slow down I’m now training myself to roll off and do the thinking second while decreasing my speed of approach to the hazard.
- ‘More paint, less gas’, as soon as I see the amount of white increase, I’m automatically thinking to slow down.
Altogether it was an excellent experience and I look forward to putting what I learnt into my everyday leisure and touring riding, I’d thoroughly recommend BikeSafe to novice, experienced or intermediate riders. It’s all about getting a few pointers that make the biking experience more enjoyable and with reduced risk.
A huge thanks to everyone involved,
Mik Thwaite – Attended Warwickshire Bikesafe 05/09/20
Great approach, friendly and professional, never patronising
Thank you for a brilliant day. I have been riding on and off road since the age of 13 and some 36 years in total, with riding experience in the UK, Europe and Australia. BikeSafe is the first time I’ve revisited motorcycle training and I have to say I was a reluctant starter, expecting a lot of don’t do this don’t do that. I couldn’t have been proved more wrong. Great approach, friendly and professional, never patronising. Excellent tuition from all Police riders, never critical, always positive and helping you get the best out of your riding. I would highly recommend to anyone who has been riding – no matter how long, to brush up and learn those things forgotten or never taught. The start of my journey to some advanced riding qualifications and safer adventures. Many thanks again and special thanks to Scotty for his excellent tuition!
Dave – attended BikeSafe Warwickshire 05/09/20