What is Motorcycle Refresher Training?
The term refresher training has many different meanings within the motorcycle industry. So what is motorcycle refresher training?
Refresher Training has been used as a name to re-train riders who lack skills. Also, a term used for born-again bikers (people who may not have ridden for some time, usually the last time they rode was when they were much younger).
To refresh is to restore, revive, strengthen, and energise to name but a few. But in order for anyone to begin to improve their existing skills, the rider has to make a conscious decision that they want to improve.
Times have moved on rapidly
If you have not ridden for many years and hold a full motorcycle licence, the chances are that you rode an older motorcycle that had nowhere near the same technology that today’s machines have.
Accident statistics imply that it’s the older generation of riders that have accidents on open road rural roads. This is because the motorbike has far more ability than the rider and the phrase ‘single vehicle accident’ is used in many instances.
Fear is not a weakness
Single vehicle accident usually means the rider made a mistake and was the only person/vehicle involved in the incident.
These days, there is no comparison to an older motorcycle to the modern day missile. The bikes now are phenomenal and they all have quick acceleration, stopping and handling capability. What catches most riders out is the sheer power when opening the throttle.
It is not a weakness to admit it can be very frightening indeed on a modern motorcycle. Also the weight of some of the bigger touring bikes is quite daunting too. Taking extra guidance and coaching is probably the best advice I can give.
Slow and deliberate
It is highly recommended that a rider who has taken a break for some years undergoes some refresher training. They really do need to get used to a more powerful motorcycle with the professional guidance of a qualified coach.
This is to revitalise those lost or rusty skills and allow some practice time to restore knowledge at a slower pace. This is to ensure riding skills are set and practised in safety, not only that but the introduction of advanced training will really elevate knowledge and technique.
The training pace should be slow and deliberate. This is to give the trainer the time to really look at the ability of the rider to enhance good riding, highlight weaker areas and give time to practise.
The old motorcycle test was a joke
Development takes time, especially after a long break. It can be like starting all over again from scratch. Sometimes that is exactly what is needed, as most older riders did not undergo professional tuition. They simply rode around for a while and took a motorcycle test.
Back in those days, the test was a joke. The candidate rode around the block a few times in each direction and at some point the examiner would jump out from the kerb forcing them to carry out an emergency stop.
If the rider did not knock the examiner over, they generally passed. You could not prefress to ride to a good standard because you’d passed the motorcycle test back in the archaic days of testing.
Guidance is little pieces of gold nuggets
Refresher Training is all about learning new skills, it refreshes the mind and body. It puts riders back in a position where they can develop, assess risk and be guided. Sometimes that little bit of advice or a check up is all that is required for a rider to become familiar with their riding.
Being given remedial advice at the correct level is imperative to development. It ensures learning is taking place at the correct level for elevated knowledge and understanding. Don’t look at it as criticism, look at it as progression.
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Chose where to train with care
The starting level of every rider should be gauged early on. The training process should start with a good discussion and then a short riding assessment.
Depending on the standard shown the guidance can be given at the right pace for each individual rider. This is a very personal riding journey, one size does not fit all, so make sure you find the best Instructor for you. A good professional trainer will be able to dissect your riding quickly and give you the feedback you need with quality tuition.
Sometimes trainers take riders beyond their comfort zone. Training days are sometimes too long and distances are far too big and demanding for learning to take place. They become an endurance session and riders often lose concentration and then have elevated risk.
Avoid being taken a long way when learning new advanced riding skills, it can be exhausting and people often become extremely tired in the later stages of the day.
Start with a one day course and then progress to further education after that. There are a lot of professional training organisations that have very competent trainers.
So, to answer the question, ‘what is motorcycle refresher training?’ Refresher training is in essence advanced guidance. It will bring a rider with a full motorcycle licence to a higher level than when they started, advancing their skills, ability and knowledge.
This is very often overlooked, as people think it’s like driving a car. Once you pass your test you really start to learn. That may be true in a car but it is fiction when it comes to learning to ride a motorcycle. There is far too much to learn and the DIY approach to getting better is often misguided.
Learn with experts, draw on their knowledge and experience and start to love the rides out instead of being frightened or scared. In most cases riders hide their fear and muddle through. There is no need to do that, you can elevate your knowledge and skill level with a little bit of professional coaching.
We actively encourage new and born again bikers and people who have taken a break to undergo further coaching to ensure that they ‘Keep it on the Black Stuff’.
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