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Bikers rate skill over speed

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Survey of IAM members uncovers secret to a better ride

Motorcyclists with a need for speed should think again, as research finds going fast without the right skills means a less enjoyable ride – and losing the respect of your peers.

Surveying over a thousand of its members, the Institute of Advanced Motorists found that over three quarters strongly agree that going fast does not mean you are a good rider. Eight in ten (83%) have much more respect for other bikers who are not as fast but have advanced skills, dispelling the myth that bikers are all speed fanatics.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is encouraging more bikers to consider advanced skills courses in order to become better riders.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Riding is unpredictable – the same road can be different each time you ride it. We want people to get the best out of their bikes and enjoy the experience of riding, which comes more easily with more advanced skills. Of those who have taken the IAM’s Skills for Life course, 88% feel more in control of their bike. and nine out of ten (92%) agree that the more advanced their skills have become, the more they have been able to enjoy the ride.”

Top tips for a smoother ride from IAM expert, Geoff Pretty:

1. Take additional training. The more skills, knowledge and experience you gain the better. No matter how good you are (or how good you think you are), there is always more to learn and scope to improve.

2. Slow In - Fast Out. The way to deal with any hazard you encounter. Ease off, assess, plan and execute your manoeuvre before accelerating away. Don't rush into any situation you can't fully see, even if you know the road really well - after all, you wouldn't want to run around your house with your eyes closed, would you?

3. Self Assess. Give yourself an honest appraisal of your performance after every ride. Think of where things could have been safer, smoother, more controlled etc; then work out how to improve next time.

4. Talk to Yourself. An excellent method for maintaining concentration and ensuring you are taking in all relevant information (don't worry - others can't see you behind your helmet!). This is particularly useful when you are feeling tired and need to keep 'switched on,' until you can find somewhere safe to take a rest.

5. Practice. The more you carry out any activity, the better you get (sometimes referred to as muscle memory). The physical act of riding the bike will then become second-nature; this will allow you to devote more brain power to applying the system in a more timely and effective manner.

Go to or BikeSafe today to sign up to the courses. Those who complete IAM’s Skill’s for Life course benefit from one year RAC cover, one year free IAM membership, how to be a better driver’ handbook, and reduced insurance.

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