Scotland has some of the world’s best roads for biking.
Scenic coastal routes, towering mountains, rolling landscapes, and bends and turns that will put all your skills to the test. But how can you make sure you’re enjoying your rides to the max?
We want you to ride sharper, ride smoother, to master your bike and master the road.
Throughout the summer, we’ll be providing training tips and insights to help you become a better biker. We’ll point you to the best resources, advice, guidance and training schemes that Scotland has to offer.
Becoming a better biker means getting a superior reading of the road by improving observation skills, being in the right position through enhanced planning, knowing how to corner to keep your ride smooth and stable, understanding when to brake and when to open up the throttle, and being able to avoid potholes and other surprises.
Becoming a better biker means you’ll be able to get the most out of your bike, and the most out of your ride.
Keep checking back with Better Bikers through the summer, as we’ll be updating the site regularly.
Check out one of our favourite routes – the A816 Oban to Lochgilphead – or there are some great suggestions on the Live Fast Die Old website.
Want to add your voice about what should be included, get training advice, or help others to become better bikers? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
How can training improve your ride?
You’re ready to get out and enjoy the countless beautiful miles of Scotland’s roads. But are you as good as you can be?
Have you thought that you could be getting more enjoyment, more excitement, out of your passion?
Why should you take further motorbike training? Riders in Scotland describe what they get out of it, and how it improves their skills.
Roadcraft – the police rider’s handbook – refers to “progressive” riding and “making progress”. Want to learn more?
There is a host of training options and providers available across Scotland, which we’ll be talking about over the coming weeks, so keep checking back here, or look out for #BetterBikers across social channels.
Two options are RoADAR (RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders) and IAMRoadSmart (from the Institute of Advanced Motorists), which are widely regarded as the best further-training schemes in the UK.
Every year, they put thousands of bikers through their paces on their vigorous training and testing regimes, and provide recognition of their skills.
What’s more, all are highly experienced bikers and trainers. For example, all RoSPA and many IAM RoadSmart examiners are serving or former police officers, so you know that you’ll be receiving the seal of approval from the best of the best.
Have you got what it takes to achieve the top accolades? Start your post-test journey: check out RoSPA’s Scottish groups or IAM’s local groups.
Please enquire with your local group about tutoring and testing availability and capacity.
Unsure about what training is available or what options are right for you? Then check out our FAQs.
Are you ready for the road after lockdown?
Due to lockdown you may not have been on your bike for nine months or more, so you’re going to have to check it over to make sure it’s all in working order.
Our advice – use POWDER to do a comprehensive maintenance check:
When was the last time you topped up the tank? Don’t get caught out on your first trip out after being cooped up for so long
And don’t just check the oil in the engine – make sure everything that needs to be lubricated, is. That means all cables, the chain, and brake fluid levels. Also check for oil puddles. If there is one, where’s it coming from, and what might the problem be?
Like with the oil, check for puddles and any problems that might indicate, and check the levels.
Your bike may have picked up a knock on your last trip out, which could have been made worse while it’s been sitting idle. Give it a proper going over and check. Is everything secured properly?
Check the lights, indicators, the dash, and the horn!
Check the tyres for tread depth and pressure, and to ensure there’s no obvious damage like cracks or anything that could cause a puncture. Also make sure to have a look at your grips, on the handle bars and foot rests.
A POWDER check is vital to ensure your bike is still legal and roadworthy. If you’ve not been on it in a while, check your documentation, like its MoT, too. Remember, if you break down you may not be able to get a ride home from the recovery service, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
This video from Police Scotland and Road Safety Scotland explains the checks you need to do on your bike before every ride.
This video from Police Scotland and Road Safety Scotland explains how you can rebuild your skills after a period where you haven't been on your bike.
Do you know how to corner on a country road? Do you really?
Check out this RoSPA video with PC Andy Griffiths, who’s an advanced police motorcyclist, a motorcycle instructor with Cheshire Constabulary, a pursuit-trained driver and a BikeSafe co-ordinator.
Live Fast Die Old showcases some of the best Scottish routes, alongside some vital safe-riding info.
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