6 Sept 2012

Motorcycle Post Test Training - Part Three

Now, how many of you have tried the Police run motorcycle training course, known nationally as BikeSafe? If not, why not?! Do you view the Police as the common enemy? There’s actually no real reason why you should, as the majority of roads policing officers are actually keen bikers and share a love of motorcycling just like the rest of us!

The scheme has, believe it or not, been around for at least 15 years.

Norfolk Constabulary’s version, called the Safe Rider scheme, is a partnership project between Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Constabulary but is still run as a Police Course, by Police motorcyclists.

The course is intended as an introduction to defensive riding practices; and to be perfectly honest, with the amount of traffic on the roads today we have to be more alert and ready to take avoiding action more than ever. It also deals with the correct lines to take around bends, linking bends and safe overtaking techniques.
I know that probably sounds boring, but how many of you have arrived at a bend and ended up slamming on the anchors; or ran wide onto the verge because the bend tightened up too quickly? Most of us have to be fair, because as a rule we usually aren’t taught how to read the road at CBT or Test level! If you can link bends correctly, you end up riding faster, safer and you enjoy the ride far more – you can also improve fuel economy and tyre wear by using the right gears and transferring your weight more around the bike. And when you consider the cost of petrol and rubber nowadays, any advice from a professional is worth taking on board!
I’m just as guilty as anyone, especially with overtaking – I’ve lost patience and overtaken a slower vehicle near a road junction, which (after the event) I’ve realised was potentially a very dangerous thing to do, as being a motorcyclist I have a very narrow profile, and a motorist pulling out of a junction just may not see me approaching on the wrong side of the road; you can imagine the aftermath if I’d ridden into them…and I would’ve been at fault.

The BikeSafe/Safe Rider course itself consists of one or two evening classroom sessions (this depends on the county you live in, as Norfolk Constabulary only provides one) where a group of riders and Police officers will discuss and read the Police Motorcycle Roadcraft publication; followed by a 5 hour 3:1 road session, on a Saturday or Sunday, with a Police rider. Drink/food stops are accommodated within the duration of the road session, and the whole day is treated as a fun outing, whilst learning some invaluable skills along the way.

For more details, visit www.bikesafe.co.uk or call 08444 151206 to find your local course provider.
The cost is only £30, which frankly is a tiny amount considering the time you will be spending with the Police out on the road – I happen to be doing the course at the end of September, so I will report back on my personal experiences as soon as I can!

©Angela Freeman