Durham Advanced Motorcyclists

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 three 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 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.

‍You will then be paired with an Observer. You and your Observer arrange sessions together and work on the ‘development targets’ highlighted in your assessment ride.

‍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 have an insurance company called Surety 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.