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Discussion Starter #1
Most of us are 'old hands' at motorcycling. Indeed, many of us have silver hair, if any at all! But none of us know everything and we never stop learning and improving.
When I resumed biking in 2005, after a sabbatical of 25 years, I occasionally realised that things that had seemed easy and 'automatic' in my teens were no longer so. Bikes were faster and traffic had changed. I no longer felt indestructible - quite the reverse!
It is absolutely vital that bikers using public roads fully understand all the possible scenarios that can occur, so that none of them take us by surprise. Continual self critique is vital. Familiarity and complacency are our worst enemies.
I thoroughly recommend joining an Advanced Rider club and getting training and education to reduce our vulnerability. I know that it can uncomfortable to be judged, examined and possibly criticised by our peers but that is how we improve. In my experience with RoSpa, the trainers are superbly conciliatory and helpful. Trainers are on our side and have my utmost respect. Since retesting again at RoSpa Gold level, my riding has become smoother, faster, safer and more enjoyable. I am now instinctively in the correct part of the road for safety, stability and view, in the right gear and at the right speed. In the background of my mind is running the huge library of "what if's", that keep me and other road users safe.
The Police Rider's handbook "Roadcraft" is the starting point for both Rospa and the IAM and is essential reading. But one-to-one tuition helps to make better sense of it all.
For your own fulfilment and the safety of all road users you really should consider taking advanced rider training, no matter how experienced you think you are.
Kind regards to all.
 

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Totally agree. I joined IAM NZ in 2011 to get rid of a lifetime of bad habits and safely extend the pastime which I loved so much. My mentor was an ex-UK class 1 cop and once I'd got over initial ego damage, it was a privelege to learn so much. After passing the Advanced Roadcraft Test, I trained as a mentor and became an Examiner 3 years ago. Apart from the safety angle, the enjoyment I get from riding has gone up by leaps and bounds too. We never stop learning.

Good on you and may you have many more enjoyable years. I'm 73 in a couple of months with no plans to give up any time soon :D .
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It’s a slightly dull and humourless publication but has masses of very wise information and guidance. Don’t attempt to read it all in one go - you’ll go brain dead! But continual honest self appraisal runs through every aspect of the book, from IPSGA to I AM SAFE , etc. It’s a masterpiece, compiled by very skilled Police riders. Enjoy.
 

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@Stewart - wise words by @Oldwisedude! It's the one-on-one coaching which goes with it which holds the greatest value. If it uploads ok, I've attached an overview of the NZ process which should be similar to the UK RoSPA and IAM programmes as they all use Police Roadcraft as the core. There was some strong interest from the US a few years ago and I was invited to take part in a conference call by a US friend, David Hough; involving several other US top trainers. Unfortunately, the fact that it's a charity and some legal aspects consigned it to the "too hard" box at that stage . One of the trainers was ex-UK and IAM-qualified.
 

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A 'good' start to advanced riding could be to attend one of the Police run 'Bikesafe' courses. Not only to get some tips from your Police rider 'coach' but also to see, first hand, how good and smooth an advanced rider can be!! It can also save your life!!
I have a current RoSPA gold and was a tutor for a few years and find it very useful to give 'advice' to other riders when out with the (British) Legion Riders groups.
Got the bug now as I'm planning to do the IAM test in my car as soon as things open up......
 

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There's a YouTube video which I particularly like which demonstrates the elements of Roadcraft in a very practical way. It shows how much information the rider is taking in from his surroundings and how it translates to his riding in terms of his road position, speed, gear selection and throttle control. Our friends who ride on the right shouldn't have any problem with the mental switch to the left but the accent may cause the odd problem :D :
 

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Discussion Starter #8
All videos of this type contain gems of wisdom and are well worth watching. Search "Nottingham police motorcycle training videos" in YouTube. You'll enjoy some of those too.
I also recommend the shorter book that Geoff mentioned in his attachment "A brief introduction....", namely the IAM publication "How to be a better rider". This is a much more palatable read and not as daunting as Roadcraft.
Mentoring and tuition definitely makes more sense of it all, in a practical, friendly and meaningful way - you will be amazed what a revelation it can be. Ride safe.
 
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The latest version of 'Motorcycling Roadcraft' is a lot easier to read than earlier ones.....
Another good source of videos for Advanced Training is here Reg Local - Reg was an Advanced Police driving instructor and has recently put up some videos on advanced bike riding. The one on high speed driving in Germany is particularly entertaining!! He explains exactly what he is seeing and how to react (even at 155mph!!)

The one BIG thing to remember is.... you NEVER stop learning! Every day is a school day. Look at every ride you do and say to yourself "How could I have done that better/safer".
For those who like to ride 'quickly'.... try to keep up with a Police rider on his (rather heavy) BMW! He'll probably arrive at the destination before you!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well said. Thanks for the Reg Local link. Excellent
 

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Great Topic. I am Newbie at motorcycling so I am trying to learn as much as I can. I live in USA so speeds are higher on the back roads. Someone mentioned David Hough. His book called Proficient Motorcycling is a great guide.

 

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Great Topic. I am Newbie at motorcycling so I am trying to learn as much as I can. I live in USA so speeds are higher on the back roads. Someone mentioned David Hough. His book called Proficient Motorcycling is a great guide.

Haha - small world! It was correspondence with David Hough that led to me upping my roadcraft skills many years ago. We became good friends and in his later book "Mastering the Ride", we collaborated on a section covering the "older" rider! Although he's in his mid-80's, he still has a bike.

Safe travels!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I too have the Proficient Motorcycling book and it is a significant work. Lee Parks book “ Total Control” also contains lots of valuable advice. But for public road riding skills your best bet will always be tuition with an experienced rider. This will make the advice gleaned from books all gel together in a meaningful and pertinent way. All knowledge is worth having. We never stop improving and learning.
 

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I just took the MSF advanced rider's course again (required to ride on a military base). I've been riding for 25 years (and it was my 4th class) so I they didn't teach me anything new, however it's invaluable to practice the drills. Especially on a new-to-me motorcycle. Going 25mph and stopping as fast as possible 50 times in a row makes a big difference. Got to see the limit of the traction and ABS. Also got half of my chicken strips off the tires. They don't teach how to go fast, but avoiding a traffic accident and maneuvering the bike in an emergency situation.
 
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