Becoming a Better Biker means getting most out of your bike, and the most out of your ride.
You want to become a Better Biker. But what are the best resources, advice, guidance and training schemes that Scotland has to offer?
Training courses available near me
Each of these training courses are available in different locations across Scotland:
There are also a variety of private commercial operators that offer different options.
How can training improve my 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?
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.
Roadcraft – the police rider’s handbook – refers to “progressive” riding and “making progress” - Learn more.
There is a host of training options and providers available for riders across Scotland, including RoADAR (RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders) and IAMRoadSmart (from the Institute of Advanced Motorists) – both 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.
And they are highly experienced bikers and trainers - RoSPA and many IAM RoadSmart examiners are serving or former police officers.
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 a year now, so you’re going to have to check to make sure you have everything in working order.
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.
This video from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service talks you through how to undertake a POWDER check 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?
Check out this RoSPA video with PC Andy Griffiths, 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.