In that first year I had two crashes
I started riding motorcycles when I was 16 years old, I took my full motorcycle test on my 17th birthday (April 1980) and passed it first attempt. The old test was so poor it was actually difficult to see how you could fail! It was all done in a 30mph speed limit, four circuits of a housing estate, while the examiner walked around, I doubt I was in his view for more than 50% of the time!
In that first year I had two crashes, both times sustaining small injuries and had a visit to the local hospital. That’s what happened in those days, no such thing as motorcycle training, you taught yourself by trial and painful error.
I had motorbikes continually for the next 10 years, big fast and loud. But kids and mortgages came along and motorbikes soon became a thing of the past.
Bad habits & not riding to full potential
I resumed my motorcycling in 2018, at the young age of 55. I bought myself a Honda CB500X. It had been so long since I had ridden a motorbike and I had never been properly assessed to anything like a modern standard. So I decided to undertake some professional training and guidance with a local motorcycle training school.
At first I undertook a one-day training control course that was part funded by a local authority. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to continue and take further motorcycle training to improve my standard. The next step to progress my skills was to enrol onto the DVSA Enhanced RiderScheme, I signed up straight away.
As I suspected I had some bad habits and wasn’t riding to my full potential. My road positioning wasn’t very good,, my approach to corners was not the best and I wasn’t even holding the bars properly! I had loads of experience but experience in repeatedly doing it incorrectly, I had set a number of bad habits and knew instantly that my riding was pretty poor.
You are never to old to learn
With the instructors guidance over a few days and my own individual private practice, I really noticed the difference in my riding. I now feel much safer, I feel there is actually a ‘system’ in place rather than just riding around aimlessly and learn as you go idea!
I even went out and purchased a bigger bike. I went out and bought a BMW 700 GS and even went on a guided training tour to Normandy in France with a training school that provides Riding Abroad, Group Riding and other Enhanced Rider Scheme modules on the Continent.
I can’t recommend The DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme enough. It is for new riders or as the saying goes born-again riders like me, you are never to old to learn. If you think you are a good rider, I guarantee that with the right instructor and correct professional guidance you will improve and definitely won’t regret it.