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Becoming an advanced motorcyclist:
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Learning new skills

Do you want to be:

  • better at cornering
  • better at observation
  • better at avoiding hazards
  • better at overtaking
  • riding more safely but still making progress

If the answer is yes, then you've made a great decision to become an IAM advanced rider.

So how does it work? Firstly we will assess your riding as it is today, to make sure you are safe and committed improving your riding.

You are then given a riding plan that will guide you through the 24 skills covering 5 topic areas that are necessary to be an advanced rider:

  1. Preparation:
  2. Pre Ride checks
  3. Fitness / eyesight check
  4. Rolling brake test
  5. Knowledge - IPSGA
  7. Information:
  8. Observation - scanning
  9. Use of mirrors and rear observation
  10. Take, Use, Give (TUG)
  11. Road signs and markings
  12. Anticipation
  13. Hazard identification
  20. Position:
  21. Bends
  22. Junctions and roundabouts
  23. Motorways
  24. Overtaking
  25. Hazard Management
  26. Vulnerable road users
  28. Speed:
  29. Speed limits
  30. Acceleration sense
  31. Limit Point
  32. Braking technique
  34. Gears:
  35. Clutch and gear changing
  36. Choice of Gear
  37. Timing of changes

These will all look familiar to you as a motorbike rider and car driver, but with help you will look at each of these skills in a very different way.

Riding guidance is carried out one-to-one and/or in a small group by experienced Observers who are keen motorcyclists who have been specially trained to share their riding experience, skills and knowledge with you.

The time and duration of an observed ride typically lasts between one and two hours and most people can achieve Test standard after 8 to 10 observed rides.

We will get your riding SAFE, SYSTEMATIC, SMOOTH and PROGRESSIVE; leading to the IAM Advanced Motorcycle Test, a nationally recognised measure of riding skill.

Progressive Learning

Since your learning is progressive you will build on your skills over a period of 3-6 months and therefore you will need to be committed to learn and attend each of your agreed observed rides.

When you are confident and ready, you will take your advanced test, based upon the system of motorcycle control used by the Police. The test is conducted by an Examiner who holds a Police Class 1 Driving Licence.

"For me personally I wasn't enjoying biking any more - commuting 20000 miles a year on a bike meant I was in a hurry to get everywhere and had a couple of near misses. I'd spent £'000s on my bikes over the years, but nothing on improving my riding skills. The relaxed, observed rides around the Dorset countryside made a lovely change and my observer gave me advice and things to think about. I practiced in between the organised rides and over 6 months I became more confident and relaxed - I actually looked forward to going out on my bike again! I passed the Advanced Test and my attitude and behaviour to riding has changed for the better and I was so impressed with the process and what I had learned I became Chairman of BWAM. Join BWAM and become a better rider."
Tony Martin

To get the full benefit of advanced riding, your motorbike must be capable of reaching the national speed limit with ease: this can be anything from a sports bike to a tourer and everything in between.

During the winter months we meet at the Cobham Sports & Social Club, Merley Park Road, Wimborne, Dorset on the third Monday of each month from 7.30pm. During the summer we often hold ride outs to alternative venues. Keep an eye on the Events Calendar for up to date information. If you are considering becoming an advanced motorcyclist, then this would be a great time to come and talk to members about BWAM and the IAM.

There is a strong social element to the club with numerous events and organized rides to various destinations throughout the year, including some continental trips.

Still interested?
Do you want to become an advanced rider?

Dorset IAM Examiner PC Chris Smith explains about the IAM test