Learning to ride a motorcycle is exhilarating
Whilst biking is an exhilarating pastime, increasing numbers are learning to ride a motorcycle for economical reasons. On the whole, motorcycles are less expensive to purchase, tax, insure and maintain compared to cars. Taking into account the cost of learning to ride, they also offer a significantly less expensive route to getting mobile for the first time. Parking is generally easier and less costly for a motorcycle, plus motorcycles can offer more time efficient travel, by allowing riders to minimise the frustrations of traffic congestion. There is also a good case for motorcycles being a greener alternative to other forms of transport and an awareness that more motorcycle riders could significantly reduce congestion on UK roads.
Rider responsibility is key to motorcycle safety
Whilst the above are good arguments in favour of learning to ride a motorcycle, on the flip side new and existing riders must recognise and take responsibility for their own safety on the road. This requires an investment in good quality protective clothing and a commitment to on-going motorcycle training. Rider responsibility is key to motorcycle safety on today’s faster, increasingly congested and more demanding roads. This demands the highest levels of observation, concentration of intuitively reading the road and anticipating the actions of other road users.
Basic motorcycle training sets minimum standards
Following on from Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), riders who successfully pass their Module One (MOD1) and Module Two (MOD2) practical tests, can (from age 24) gain an unrestricted motorcycle licence. This basic motorcycle training sets minimum standards for novice riders, allowing them to ride unaccompanied, it is effectively the lowest measure of rider skill and safety.
This observation is supported by statistics that attribute a disproportionate number of motorcycle accidents to rider error and, more specifically, to insufficient levels of rider responsibility. This does not apportion blame to motorcycle riders, but does demonstrate that significant numbers of accidents could be avoided if more motorcyclists would apply defensive riding and other advanced motorcycle riding skills.
CBT, MOD1 and MOD2 do not tick all the boxes
For new motorcycle riders reading this, we suggest that CBT, MOD1 and MOD2 do not tick all the boxes of ‘learning to ride a motorcycle’ and are to riding, what a yellow belt is to Judo! As such, novice riders should take to the roads with care, responsibility and with a commitment to levels of ongoing and advanced motorcycle training.
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