Reasons for taking the Advanced Test
To improve your general standard of riding.
To become a safer rider. To reduce the risk of being involved in an accident. To become a more confident rider. Other reasons were:- Get rid of bad habits. To demonstrate to others that their riding is of a high standard and to influence other people’s riding. Gaining insurance discounts. Improving fuel efficiency. For your job.
The Main Focus
of the group is to improve your standard of riding to an advanced level through comprehensive training with our observers. DAM is actively supported by the Cleveland / Durham Police Motorcycle Section and many of our observers (trainers) have been trained by their Police Motorcyclists. Research has shown that advanced motorcyclists are between 3 and 5 times less likely to have an accident. You may well be a good rider but our training will make you a much safer and smoother rider than you already are. You will be taught how to ride to the IAM’s book “Advanced Rider Course” book.
The programme teaches the five phases of advanced riding, known as IPSGA; Information, Position, Speed, Gear and Acceleration. Regardless of whether you’re riding in country lanes, busy roads, or tackling the challenging British weather, you will have the skills and knowledge to remain confident and in control. Safety is a big part of the advanced riding programme, but it also encourages you to feel confident on the road, to make good progress and to get even more enjoyment from the experience.
Advanced motorcycling is the ability to control the position and speed of your bike safely, systematically and smoothly, using all road information to make good progress with skill and responsibility. This requires a positive but polite attitude and a high standard of riding competence based on effective all round observation, anticipation and planning. All this must be done with good handling skills. The bike will always be in the right place on the road, travelling at the right speed, in the correct gear and with the ability to stop safely within a distance that can be seen to be clear. We have over 25 years of experience in training to the IAM standard and have had over 1000 passes. Riding your bike is one of lifes great pleasures. However, regardless of whether you’re new to biking, returning after a break or have many years experience, our advanced riding courses can make you a better rider and bring even greater enjoyment and confidence to your riding. Whether it’s about improving your own standards or reassuring a loved one who struggles to share your enthusiasm, our Skill for Life programme can make you a better and safer rider.
What We Do
The Observers (Trainers)
The training section of the group is run by volunteer members who are there to promote approved advanced riding techniques as detailed by the IAM. Training to become an Observer involves on-road sessions and classroom studies which ends with written exams to become a qualified IAM Observer. This qualification is reinforced by an observed road test every year. DAM's National Observers are retested by IAM every 5 years. All Observers give their time freely except for a contribution from the Associate towards their petrol and running expenses. Currently £10.00 per training rideout.
The Associate (You)
All observed runs are on a one-to-one basis and consist of briefing and discussion sessions and observed runs. Runs are typically up to 50 miles or 2 to 3 hours. The Observers will give as much help and encouragement as possible but it’s up to you (the Associate) to study and practice between observed runs. Good knowledge of 'The Highway Code’ and ‘Advanced Rider Course’ handbook is essential. Another worthwhile read is 'Motorcycle Roadcraft: The Police Rider's Handbook to Better Motorcycling'. Always bring your driving license to an observed run and your bike must be road legal. Your Observer may cancel a session if he/she feels that your bike is unsafe for use on the road or if you are not suitably clothed.
How does it work?
Once the IAM have processed your application, you will receive a pack containing member information and your ‘Advanced Rider Course’ book. Please inform the DAM Group Secretary that you have received your IAM paperwork. You will then be contacted by one of our National Observers and an initial assessment ride will be arranged, at a time to suit you both. The purpose of the assessment is to establish a ‘starting point’ to prepare you for the test. It’s quite likely that several aspects of your riding will already be close to test standard. The National Observer will discuss your riding with you and offer advice on areas to develop.
When your Observer feels that you are riding to the required standard, a Pre-Test assessment with a National Observer will be arranged for you. The National Observer will decide whether you are ready for the IAM test or require further training with your Observer.
When you are ready for the IAM test, DAM will arrange for the examiner to contact you directly to arrange a mutually convenient time. Before the test the examiner will have a chat with you and will answer any questions you may have. The test route takes about 50 minutes depending on traffic conditions and you will be told by the examiner immediately at the end of the test whether you have passed or not. With the impressive success rate we have, we feel pretty sure you will pass first time.
Most insurance companies will give IAM members a 10% discount which can be very attractive. IAM use an insurance company called Cornmarket which offers extremely competitive rates. They are always willing to try and match any other quotes you may have found. Their quote will also include RAC Recovery. IAM members can click here for a quote.