All motorcycle training has value – it truly does. Whether it’s learning something new, honing an existing skill or identifying those lazy habits that may be forming, it’s all good.
Advanced motorcycle training is little to do with actually how to make a motorcycle move – this you can already do. Mostly, advanced motorcycle training courses are about the art of riding. The more subtle things that we call roadcraft.
Car manufacturers invest heavily in making their cars pools of serenity. Places where drivers are removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and can relax. Perhaps this is one of the contributing factors to why they don’t see us – they are so relaxed they are asleep at the wheel.
Along with many other skills, good roadcraft helps redress this balance, while also increasing the sheer joy that comes from riding a motorcycle. Riding is already an engaging, visceral experience and I’m up for anything that heightens that experience. It beats being brain dead in a car any day.
In the UK we have IAM Roadsmart and RoSPA advanced motorcycle training schemes. Both offer excellent courses that are outstanding value for money. And if you think they are a bunch of flat cap wearing, book bashing, old farts – go try it. Both offer free “taster” sessions.
So, where does one to one training fit in if there are two outstanding training organisations that operate across the country?
It is a topic I’ve touched on before – Motorcycle Training – so rather than keep wondering about it, I got talking to fellow IAM Observer Neil Jewell, who runs Jewell Bike Training and asked him to explain the difference.
Who are you
Perhaps it is best if I first explain who Neil is and why his view is worth listening to. After all, the internet is full of bullshit, so checking the validity of your source is always worthwhile.
As well as holding a cluster of motorcycle training certifications – RoSPA Gold, IAM Masters with Distinction and an A grade from the DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme – Neil also has Certificate in Education (Cert. Ed).
So, to go along with the proven ability to ride a motorcycle at a highly competent level, Neil can also teach. Not a bad set of credentials.
Having established this, I did consider the next question somewhat obvious but asked it anyway.
Why Motorcycle Training?
“The obvious answers are that I love riding motorcycles and I enjoy teaching. From that point, motorcycle training is an obvious conclusion.
If I look a little deeper into “why” it started with my desire to never stop improving. It is one thing to be able to ride at a good standard. It is something else to help someone understand where they can make an improvement. So while the primary focus is helping others improve, I’m also staying sharp and analysing my own riding.”
Why One to One Motorcycle Training
OK, so let’s get to the killer question – Why one to one motorcycle training rather than IAM Roadsmart or RoSPA training course?
“It isn’t as black and white as that. IAM Roadsmart and RoSPA both play an important part in advanced motorcycling. Yet they aren’t the only answer.“
“When someone calls the first thing that I need to do is understand is why they have called.
They might have a single topic that they want to work on. Perhaps they have been told horror stories about the so-called High-Viz Jacket Brigade. Or perhaps they don’t want the formality of a longer course. This list is endless.”
“Whatever their reason for calling, it is important to know what is important to them.”
“If you read any of the great coaching stories, it is never that the coach was the best player. It is the coach’s job to create an environment that allows others to improve. That is what I strive to do. Create a specific environment for that person, so that we can work together on whatever they want to.”
“Even the likes of Rossi and Marques have “spotters” to help them improve. Their spotter works with them to improve a specific section of the track. It is the same for all sports – at some point, you will plateau and not know how to push through (improve). One to one training provides that focused assistance“
“If someone, for example, wishes to spend a day with me working just on right-hand bends, then I can deliver that. IAM and RoSPA are not set up to respond in this way, and that is where one to one motorcycle training fits in.”
Is it fun?
“It had better be. We are out riding motorcycles so that is a great place to start. They will finish the day having worked on whatever their topic of choice was and I get the pleasure of helping someone. So, yes, one to one motorcycle training is fun.“
I’m convinced, and at some point, I’ll take a ride over to Cheshire and spend some time with Neil and get some feedback. Why not? As the man says, I’ll be riding my bike which is an excellent start to any day.
Meanwhile, if you would like to know more you can reach Neil at Jewell Bike Training by simply clicking here.