Here you can findout more about the Advanced Motorcycle Group and the Advanced Test
The objectives of the motorcycle section are to encourage interest in road safety and improve riding standards.
We aim to provide high quality training that will enable Associates to pass the RoADAR Advanced Motorcycle test at the highest level.
If you are looking to improve your riding skills then look no further. We are a friendly group who are here to help develop your abilities through the application of the Police system of motorcycle control as detailed in Roadcraft.
On joining our group you will be assigned an Tutor who will work with you at your pace and at times convenient to both of you. All training is on a one to one basis and typically lasts 2 – 21/2 hours.
We recognise that such training can be daunting but it is designed to be as much fun as it is safe. We know that if you don’t enjoy it you just won’t do it – and neither would our Tutors. Feedback tells us that the vast majority of people who join our group not only value the improvements in their riding but also look forward to each training session. Why not become part of our success?
All our Tutors have passed the advanced test at the highest (Gold) standard and undergone further training to hone their tutoring skills. Some also hold the prestigious RoSPA Diploma. They are all volunteers but they are also very professional.
Once you have joined the Group by sending off the completed application form and a cheque the Chief Tutor will assign an Tutor to you.
Your Tutor will make contact with you and arrange a date and time for your first meeting where he will explain the process in detail.
Basically you go for rides where the Tutor will give you feedback on your riding and will also give demonstration rides to show what is meant. As you progress through the preparation for the test the sessions will become more and more coaching versus training.
Each observed ride session is normally about two and a half hours although you can, of course, agree with your Tutor longer or shorter sessions depending on your needs.
The training process is very much a two way discussion rather than a straight teaching period since you will be encouraged to adopt principles and put them into practice versus being taught mechanical techniques and ride like an automaton.
All of the tutors have radios and it is your choice whether they be used. You cannot reply to your Tutor but you can hear them. They may be using the radio simply to provide route directions or to inform you of what is happening on the ride.
At the end of the session a full feedback discussion will take place and plans made for the next session.
If you are able to ride regularly then the sessions can be a week or two apart. If you ride infrequently then the gap is longer so that you can practice any improvements identified.
All the tutors are volunteers and we ask that a contribution is made towards the tutors running costs for each training session to cover fuel, tyres etc of £10 or £15 depending on the mileage covered.
RoADAR motorcycle members can benefit from a 10% discount on motor insurance from Devitt Insurance Services. Details on how to obtain this are available at Devitt Insurance website. You will be asked to show a copy of your valid RoSPA Advanced Motorcycle Test Certificate.
Examiners will do their best to set you at your ease. They will expect your vehicle to appear roadworthy and the view through your helmet to be clear. Before starting you should be prepared, if asked, to carry out or describe the daily or weekly checks that you do on your vehicle. Shortly after moving off you should carry out a moving brake test if conditions permit. The examiner will consider the skills you demonstrate in the following areas:
Use of Controls
You will be expected to use all controls smoothly and with finesse.
This should be smooth and controlled The examiner will watch to ensure that you can manoeuvre at low speeds, and at higher speeds in line with safety and speed limits.
Your use of the clutch should show smoothness, delicacy and timing with the gear change lever.
The way you use the gearbox will tell the examiner a lot about your ability. He or she will consider the way you make the change, your ability to match engine revolutions to road speed and how you use the gearbox when slowing to a stop.
Your use of the brakes will play a big part in the examiner’s final assessment. S/he will look for smoothness, early braking at the right place in the system, a careful balance of front and rear brakes to avoid pitching and skidding. The examiner will look for the progressiveness of the brake pressure used to bring the motorcycle smoothly to a stop.
The throttle mechanism is spring loaded to its closed position. You must accustom yourself to this to achieve smoothness. The examiner will want to see you displaying acceleration sense and, most important on a motorcycle, varying the power transmitted according to changes in road surfaces.
Rear observations play a big part in the system. It is important that the rider is aware of conditions to the rear as well as to the front to enable the early formulation of a riding plan. The examiner will note the timing of rear observation as you use mirror and shoulder checks. These should be made only when the act of looking away from the front is not in itself a hazard.
The examiner will note audible warnings. The horn should be sounded only when necessary, when all other safety features have been implemented.
It is essential to have clean mirrors, windscreen and helmet visor. It is important that the visor is clear of scratches and heavy tints. You must also use demisting fluids and polishes to keep a clear view in the rain.
Moving off and stopping must be smooth and safe. You must give good shoulder checks before moving off. You should be able to control the machine at low speeds. The examiner will expect a careful balance of throttle and brakes. He or she will note which foot you put down when stopping. The thinking rider will be able either to place both feet on the ground or to balance with one foot while the other works a control. To prevent the machine from rolling when stationary one of the brakes should be kept applied where appropriate.
The examiner will expect to see you demonstrate your understanding of the system as outlined in Motorcycle Roadcraft, and the correct sequence of your riding actions. He will observe your hand and foot actions for balance and the timing of your signals. To do this the examiner may not be in the position behind you that you may expect. Do not be disconcerted. S/he may be checking that your rear observations are really to seek information and not just habitual or reflex actions. Do not treat the examiner as ‘following traffic’ when considering whether or not to give a signal.
The use of the system as described in Motorcycle Roadcraft is the cornerstone of advanced riding and inconsistencies in using it will affect any grade awarded. To achieve a gold or silver grade you should apply the system consistently throughout the test. A bronze grade may be typified by inconsistencies in its use.
The examiner will note how you position your machine for safety, stability and view on the approach to hazards both on the open road and in urban areas. S/he will also note your use of lanes.
You should be able to position the machine in order to obtain the best view that is available all the time. You should also understand that at times a position for view or speed will have to be sacrificed for the sake of safety.
When you are riding round bends and corners, and not overtaking, you should not cross marked centre lines and you should not cut corners when entering marked junctions. RoADAR believes that to do so is potentially dangerous. Such actions may be the result of entering the hazard too fast and may confuse oncoming and following traffic. This view is supported by The Highway Code. If anything untoward happened during such a manoeuvre the rider might be seen to be at fault and might then blame RoADAR for teaching or condoning this action. If there are no centre markings then some movement over the centre of the road may be acceptable.
We emphasise again that the mark of an advanced rider is always to be able to place the machine precisely where it belongs under all conditions and that it should be in the right place, travelling at the right speed and with the correct gear engaged.
The examiner will watch how you ride around corners and bends in both urban and rural areas. He will look at the line you take to ensure that it gives the best view and safety margins. You will need to demonstrate that you are correctly applying the principles and safety features of cornering.
You should always remember that signals are the language of the road. You will need to consider using signals to warn other road users of your presence and intentions. They should therefore be given clearly and in good time. Arm signals should be given when appropriate to reinforce any mechanical signal. The examiner will note all these points and will also be observing your reactions to traffic signs.
Advanced riders must be capable of controlling their machines at speeds up to the maximum speed limit where it is safe to do so. While the use of speed must at all times be safe and legal, the examiner will want to see a brisk ride with good progress being made where possible.
A riding plan that relies on exceeding the speed limit to complete a manoeuvre is unacceptable. If you consistently exceed the speed limit the examiner will stop the test and you will fail.
While overtaking manoeuvres are inherently dangerous they are a necessary element of the concept of good progress. However, they must be conducted safely and within the speed limit.
Examiners will expect you to overtake if it is appropriate but remaining in the overtaking position for long periods may indicate that you are not looking far enough ahead or may be interpreted as being aggressive. They will look for evidence that the many safety features have been applied, the main one being your ability to regain your correct position on the road before any approaching vehicles - seen or unseen - could come into conflict with you. Exceeding the speed limit in order to complete an overtake is unacceptable.
Rider and machine must blend harmoniously at all times. The controls should be adjusted so as almost to become extensions of the rider’s limbs. Posture should be natural and comfortable. Lying flat on the tank or hanging off the seat when cornering should be treated as unnecessary for the road rider. Quiet efficiency is the hallmark of the good rider. Your consideration for other road users and your self discipline will reveal itself, as will your temperament, which, at least when riding, should be calm and relaxed but alert and decisive.
We expect association members to respect their machines and develop motorcycle sympathy to the benefit of the current and future rider.
One of the principal differences between the novice and the advanced rider is the huge amount which the latter sees and applies when developing a riding plan. You will be expected to actively seek information about changes in the short, medium and distant views. It is not enough merely to acknowledge a change as the examiner will wish to see evidence of observation links and how you cope with what you have seen.
The examiner will note your ability to judge distance and the way you relate this to the speed of your own and other vehicle's, together with the way you link this ability with your braking and acceleration.
Motorways and Dual Carriageways
Joining the motorway can be from either lane of the slip road and will depend on traffic conditions and which lane gives the best view of the motorway. You should use acceleration sense to achieve an appropriate merge speed. Speed and following distances should be appropriate for the conditions.
At the end of the ride you will be asked several questions on The Highway Code, Motorcycle Roadcraft and basic motorcycle mechanics. You must be familiar with these two publications. There are a few things about how motorcycles work that every rider must know. Your motorcycle handbook should provide sufficient data for this part of the test. Know your subject well and you will not go far wrong.
It is worth mentioning that through membership of RoADAR local groups you are likely to have many questions answered by the members who have already taken a test. It is unusual for a rider without some form of advanced rider training to obtain a high grade. Local group tutors can help and their advice and support is free.
"Advanced driving is the ability to control the position and speed of the vehicle safely, systematically and smoothly, using road and traffic conditions to progress unobtrusively with skill and responsibility. This skill requires a positive but courteous attitude and a high standard of driving competence based on concentration, effective all round observation, anticipation, and planning. This must be coordinated with good handling skills. The vehicle should be at the right place on the road at the right time, travelling at the right speed with the correct gear engaged and can always be stopped safely on its own side of the road in the distance that can be seen to be clear..." (DSA RoADA IAM 1997).
It is difficult to lay down precise specifications for the Association's three gradings, as it is very much a matter for the expertise and overall judgement of the examiner. It is important, however, to provide guidelines on how the various grades are determined to ensure consistency, understanding, and above all, confidence in the grading system.
The grade decided by the examiner will not be changed although any appeal will be reviewed by the Chief Examiner, who may offer a retest or comment in writing on any points raised.
Examiners operate under strict national guidelines to ensure that the Association's very high standards are maintained. The following guidelines about the requirements for each grade are intended to help you understand better the criteria applied when awarding a grade.
This grade is recognised as the highest driving award available to the public. It will be awarded only to the polished systematic driver, who displays a complete understanding and appropriate application of the principles outlined in Roadcraft. The candidate will display a confidence and ability throughout the whole test which leads the examiner to consider that, if given the opportunity the candidate has the potential with the basics already in place to do well on a police advanced course. The candidate's performance must be consistent throughout the whole of the test and so any lapses may result in a lower grade. Awards of this grade must therefore be reserved for the very best drivers.
This grade will be awarded to drivers who are well above the average. These drivers will produce consistently safe and systematic drives but perhaps without the final polish, flair and smoothness of the Gold driver. They will demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the system of car control. Candidates must be able to drive up to the permitted speed limit where it is safe to do so but vary speed according to circumstances and conditions. It must be emphasised that Silver is an extremely high grade and a commendable achievement.
This grade will be awarded to drivers whose driving performance is significantly above the standard required to pass the 'L' driving test. These drivers will show a basic knowledge of Roadcraft but lack the ability to apply the system consistently throughout the test. The drive should be entirely safe, observing traffic signs, responding correctly to hazards and should display advanced driving techniques.
Candidates who fall below the minimum pass will be classified as 'fail'.
Once you have passed your test, you will be required to maintain your standard of driving by taking a re-test every three years – this is free to Members. When your retest is due we shall send you a reminder and booking form. You must take your retest within a reasonable time of the due date in order to keep your Membership.
Possible reasons for not passing the test or for a lower grade.
Drivers will fail if they display potentially dangerous faults, persistently infringe speed limits, commit violations of Road Traffic Law or the rules contained in The Highway Code. If the candidate fails to reach the pass standard, the examiner will offer advice on improvement and encourage further training or guidance from a local group.
Occasional minor infringements with a perceived acceptable reason should not result in failure on their own, but may be a reason for a lower grade. As a general rule, the examiner will consider whether the candidate is a driver worthy of displaying the badge of an advanced driver, i.e. someone who will consistently drive according to the principles of Roadcraft.
What to do if you fail?
If you fail your initial test you may take a re-test between three and six months later for which you will be expected to pay a fee. The cost for a re-test can be found here
If you wish to improve your standard we do suggest that you join a Local Group. You will then be in touch with other members who will advise and perhaps offer tuition.