Professional or Amature Motorcycle Trainer?
Most riders do not take further motorcycle training or any kind of development after passing the basic motorcycle test.
This is because there is a riding and driving culture in the UK that suggests, you only start learning once you have passed your practical test.
This is totally wrong and puts vulnerable road users in a predicament of learning by mistakes and trial and error. Some riders are unfortunate enough to only make one mistake at the start of their journey and this can be life-changing, forever!
Don’t ignore further training
Taking further guidance and getting professional help shows the strength of character and not a person’s weakness. Peer pressure plays its hand here when a rider tells their mate they will teach them how to corner faster, or they will teach them how to overtake, and the only thing they do is go in front and show them what they are doing.
This is not training or development, it’s showing them what they do, but not actually giving any meaningful tuition. To learn you must be with an educator, someone who can break down into finite detail what you are doing wrong, what you need to change, and how you need to change it.
There are plenty of riders on the road in the UK, who are more than willing to give their own advice and coaching but they do not have the qualifications to do so.
Don’t rely just on magazines
Articles in magazines give advice on what to do and how to do it, this is an extremely dangerous way of learning new skills. It only tells you some of the picture and not all of it.
The articles are made for readers and to sell the mag, so it might only be skimming the surface of a riders problem. For a rider to read an article and then try to apply the techniques on the road, on their own without guidance, could end badly.
Then there’s the guidance from other bikers who are only too happy to tell other riders how to do it. Their advice might be given with their best intentions but if they have never undertaken professional courses themselves and achieved the very best standards and techniques – is it correct advice or just their opinion?
Trial and error
On the whole riders learn by trial and error in their early riding days or months. A close call here and there, a bit too fast into a few corners where lack of ability is soon highlighted. Traveling too fast or too close (to other vehicles on the road) to react safely and in good time are all too common and makes a rider realise their lack of ability skill. Yet they do nothing about it and shrug it off.
They are still happy to continue this type of learning process by trial and error. Riders blame everyone or everything else and do not put the blame for mishaps at their own door.
This is a cultural problem that needs to be addressed because riders think they are far better than they actually are. The issue is that riders who do not think advanced training is necessary, poison new riders into thinking they can learn by just riding.
Although there is an element of truth in getting miles under your belt to improve. If you only practice bad habits you will perfect poor riding skills. And it isn’t until you come a cropper, that you realise, self teaching is not the best way to develop skills. A bad habit will get bigger with speed, let’s hope it is not mid corner that pushes you towards the outside of the curve!
Riders need guidance
New and uneducated riders need guidance and a helping hand almost straight away after passing a basic motorcycle test. The sooner they get their first taste of basic Advanced Training the better.
By having the first taste of real-life riding skills, a ‘new’ or ‘back to biking’ rider is better prepared for their future on two wheels.
Learning the basics with a professional trainer is imperative for the correct start. It will teach new road positioning techniques that can be practiced daily. It will give advice on using a new formula to approach hazards and dangers, cornering advice can be given early and overtaking techniques will save lives.
By having better advice before riding thousands of miles, it gives all riders the knowledge to ride safer.
There are other areas where people go to get advice and guidance but it is not always with professional motorcycle trainers. There are some great organisations that work hard to improve road safety, however they are charities and have enthusiastic people giving training under the guise of being observers. There are some very good coaches and some are professional educators.
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Do your research
The term observer takes away the name of the instructor but in reality that is exactly what they are doing. Any situation where one person is giving guidance to another rider is mentoring. A play on words but they do watch, assess, critique, give feedback and suggest ways in which to improve – this is teaching and it is instruction.
Therefore they are instructors and all training should be given under radio contact. This way they would be able to give clear and early advice if things are going wrong. Unfortunately, this has not been a preferred method of training for many years.
The only issue with undergoing training with unqualified people or volunteers is that it is not consistent between one trainer and another. It can be a little bit hit-and-miss as to whether you get a good trainer or not. And being as riders are generally quite weak when they attend, they do not know what good looks like.
There is a place for this type of guidance but it is not at the very beginning of learning advanced motorcycling skills. Learn with professional advanced trainers, get the best start you can, and then top up with another organization if you still want to develop. But when choosing a professional trainer, do your research because not all are the same standard.
Professional or amature?
Professional or amature motorcycle training, that is the question?
If you liken motorcycle training to the Regular Professional British Army and the volunteer Territorial Army (TA) then you start to get the picture. If you want to feel really protected in a time of crisis and war, you’d want the professional full time British Army and not the weekend part timers.
This is because the training is much more vigorous, they do it for a living, it is a chosen profession and they are better at it because it’s their full time job. They may not be as enthusiastic as a part-time hobbyist but they still have full-time commitment.
This is the same as finding a professional Enhanced Rider Scheme Trainer. They will be able to give more dedicated guidance in a shorter space of time because they are professional trainers who give motorcycle training advice on a daily basis. They also have a set syllabus to work with rather than ad hoc training.
High-level professional advanced motorcycle trainers are pretty hard to find, after all, there are less than 2,200 professional instructors in the training industry. Not all of them are qualified advanced trainers, some are only part-time instructors at the weekend. Many full-time instructors are Direct Access Scheme (DAS) trainers and only the cream of the instructors are DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme qualified.
Finding one in your area is easy, you can look for a DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme trainer on the DVSA website by entering your postcode and a list of local trainers will appear. But then start to do your research, before you jump in with two feet to elevate your skills.
Ride safe and Keep it on the Black Stuff.