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The Motorcyclists' Section


As a motorcyclist, you will no doubt already know that you are among the most vulnerable road users in the UK!

Though you may have done your CBT, standard motorcycle training and test, this training rarely prepares you for the challenges and hazards that you are likely to come across at some point in your riding career

If on the other hand you are a rider of considerable experience, then it's inevitable that you will have picked-up a few bad-habits along the way - we all do

You have probably seen many advanced motorcycle training courses being advertised in various places, especially the Internet

Maybe you have thought about taking one, maybe someone you know has been on one, maybe, you don't think they are worth it? Whichever category you fit into, read on to find out how advanced motorcycle training could greatly improve your riding experience.

When you take the decision that you want to take advanced motorcycle training, you need to make sure that it is the right one.

Follow the link below to visit the National IAM website and join up today.

For information on SAMM Rideouts and Cafe Stops Please Click Here


 

What Will I Learn?

All advanced riders aim to be:

Safe, but not bored
Positive, but not aggressive
Relaxed, but not casual

We want to help you develop

Observation skills
Anticipation
Ride planning

Especially we're looking for

Good road positioning
Selection of right gear at right time
Appropriate acceleration
Appropriate speed
These will result in a ride that's

Safe
Systematic
Smooth and Progressive

Don't be daunted - Focus on

Using your learning aids
Listening to and acting on your observer's advice
Enjoying your riding!


 

The Benefits


So What Are The Benefits Of Advanced Motorcycle Training?

Our celebrated "Skills for Life" programme will benefit you in many different ways:

Increased Riding Ability and Safety:

Many of the hazards that road conditions and other road users cause, can be managed by motorcycle riders. In some cases they can even be completely avoided, providing the rider has the necessary knowledge to identify and react to the risks correctly. Having this ability and knowledge will not only make you a safer rider, but will also increase your enjoyment of riding, due to the resulting rise in confidence.

Reduced Insurance Premiums:

Many insurance companies give reductions in their premiums for riders who have completed advanced motorcycle training. They recognise that by going on the course you will be aware of, and know how to avoid many of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.

Economy:

One aspect of advanced riding that many people overlook is how to ride economically. Riding well isn't just about being able to remain in control at high speeds. Understanding how your bike works and how to ride it, makes the most of your fuel and tyres. This is a very useful skill that will save you a lot of money over time. It is an area, which is often covered in advanced motorcycle training courses, and an aspect which many find very useful.

So there is no reason to put it off! Taking advanced motorcycle training will improve the way you ride, and how much you enjoy riding.

For most of us that is something that will benefit us for many years to come. Putting it off is simply depriving yourself of that enjoyment.

When you make the decision that you want to take advanced motorcycle training, you need to make sure that it is the right one.

Doing It Right

It is widely accepted that becoming a ‘Police Class One Rider’ is the highest accolade afforded to a rider. Just watching videos of these experts in action, seemingly gliding through congested traffic safely but whilst making good progress, is a sight to behold!

Just like police riders, we also follow "The System", as explained in Motorcycle Roadcraft the Police Rider’s Handbook to Better Motorcycling’ which is available from the IAM, priced around £12 and highly recommended for further developing your advanced riding skills


 

The Process


To aid Associates joining us to progress toward taking the IAM Advanced Test we have a team of Group Qualified Observers keen to pass on their knowledge of Advanced Riding. An Observer is allocated to each new Associate and observed runs are arranged at the convenience of the Associate and his or her Observer.

What is an Observer?

The IAM does not use the term instructor. An instructor (think back to your L-plate days) is also a supervising driver who is expected, if circumstances dictate, to assume control of the vehicle. This is why driving school cars are fitted with dual controls.

Candidates for the Advanced Riding Test are not learners, and often have many years of experience. They do not need that kind of supervision and we do not have lessons, we have observed runs using your own Bike.

An IAM Observer follows you on these runs to offer support and advice, but is not a supervising rider and never takes control -- all decisions are those of the rider alone.

Similarly, you are not a pupil but, right from the start, an Associate Member of the IAM, becoming a full Member on passing the test.

All Observers are qualified to IAM national standards, and are re-tested at intervals by the IAM to ensure consistency. Examiners are all serving or retired Police Class 1 riders and drivers with experience in the traffic section.

All our Senior Observers and Observers have passed the IAM advanced test and are trained to work with Associates. They're called observers rather than instructors to emphasise that (like everyone else in the Group) they are unpaid volunteers.

In progressing to the advanced test, we work on a one-to-one basis. Mostly, but not always, your Observer will follow rather than lead. Each time you ride out with your Observer, you will be asked to donate a contribution of £10 towards the running costs of their bike.

After your first observed run, (an assessment run), the Observer will chat with you and offer advice on what you need to do to reach the advanced standard. They'll also record on a progress sheet (used by all SAMM Observers), a summary of how they rate various aspects of your riding.

Soon after, you'll be paired with an Observer, who will work with you over the next few weeks or months. During each ride, there will be a discussion or two about how the ride went. The Observer will leave you with two or three targets to work on in your own time before the next ride out. Your progress sheet will be updated to record your progress.

Occasionally, you may find a third bike joining you. This will be a Senior Observer, who will be there to monitor and assess your Observer. They won't be there because of concerns about you! Their role is to observe the observer, to help us give the best possible service to our associates.

The group also holds “Group Observed Rides” every other Saturday running between March and December, whereby you will have the chance to meet up with fellow Associates and Observers alike, and can “ring the changes” and go out with another Observer should you so wish.

This is entirely voluntary, but many of our members tell us that they enjoy the chance to get a “second opinion” on their progress.

The Debrief

After an observed ride you will be given a debriefing by your Observer – usually over a nice cuppa!

These sessions are not coach and pupil, but rather a discussion of what the ride involved, stressing the good bits and the bits that could have been done better.
Observers will systematically take you through from the absolute basics of survival and safety through to the more refined elements of your riding such as positioning, smoothness and the progressive aspects of your ride.

Your Observer will prepare a run sheet - a detailed written assessment of your progress that day, with recommendations on any areas requiring attention. You will have a copy to keep and work on. Total time required for each session will, therefore, usually be about two hours.

The Pre Test Run

When you and your Observer agree, your Team Leader will arrange for you to have a pre-test run, which will be conducted by a Senior Observer. This is a final check before you take the Advanced Test itself, which is conducted by an IAM examiner. The Senior Observer might refer you back for more training but, usually, will give you a few last minute tips and encouragement and will advise you to apply for the test.


 

The Advanced Motorcycling Test

Applying For The Test

When your application was accepted by the IAM they would have sent you a form for applying for the test. These needs to be completed and the form returning to the IAM. State clearly that you want to take your test with a local Examiner. The Examiner will contact you directly, usually by phone, to arrange a mutually convenient time and date for the test. This takes about 90 minutes, including a briefing and debriefing and takes in a range of road and traffic conditions.
The Examiner will expect you to:

Obey the law

Act on advice in the Highway Code

Show that you ride systematically and as coached by your Observer

They are very agreeable people who are adept at making people feel at ease. They really want you to pass your test and join the ever-growing ranks of safer, skilled, advanced road users.

The best way to take the IAM Advanced Test (and with the greatest degree of success) is to go through one of the many IAM Groups (such as Shropshire Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists) via the Skill For Life Advanced Motorcycling programme This is an ideal way to prepare for the test because we know precisely what the examiner is expecting and can prepare you for it.

Passing your test

There is no rush to pass your advanced test!

Your Observer will guide you through the process at a pace that best suits you. In the final stages of your coaching your Observer will arrange a Pre Test The test itself will be so much like all of the observed rides that you will have become familiar with.

By the time you take your test the actions, planning and skills you have developed that make you a safer, smoother and more progressive rider will be second nature.

Tests are carried out by the most well trained, highly skilled set of riders available to the IAM. In other words, off duty, serving, Class One Police riders, who themselves have a passion for biking and driving. The tests are informal, friendly and the tester will do all he/she can to put you at ease.


 

Afterwards - Advanced riding and beyond


When you pass your advanced test, please let your Observer and the Membership Secretary know as soon as possible. You will become a full member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and a full member of Shropshire Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists. All social events are open to you, before and after passing the test.

You may also wish to become an Observer yourself and help others to pass their tests. This can be a very rewarding activity as you can be sure that, by coaching others to become better road users, you are improving their safety and significantly reducing the chances of being killed or seriously injured. SAMM has a structured coaching program to bring riders up to the standard to become a group Observer, sets a high standard for its Observers and is particularly proud of its achievements.

Finally, available to anyone who has passed their test is the IAM Special Assessment; this is the highest level of advanced riding assessment available to a civilian and represents the pinnacle of advanced road skills.

What you can expect from us

Advice, support and honest appraisal

Help to lift your driving standard

Guidance to enable you to reach the IAM standard

What we expect from you

On the Skill for Life course, you must

Practice between runs -- this is essential

Tell your Observer, as early as possible, of any difficulties or concerns

Study the course material as well as the Highway Code

Why Should I Bother?

Research has shown that riders who have passed their advanced test are 3 to 5 times less likely to have an accident. That sort of improvement alone should be enough to convince you. Your experience on the road will be so much more enjoyable as will that of your passengers

The Boring But Essential Bits

At all times you are responsible for your own riding or driving and it's consequences.

You must have a full current licence, current insurance certificate and current MOT if applicable.

Your vehicle must be in good, roadworthy condition.

Motorcyclists must, as a minimum, wear a helmet, gloves and boots.

Have plenty of fuel and be sure oil, tyre pressures, etc, are OK.