Study shows training = speed, safety


Now he’s safe … and fast.

Experienced motorcycle riders sometimes act like newbies, but advanced training can make them not only safer, but faster.

Those are the facts revealed by simulator studies in the U.K. recently. The University of Nottingham’s Centre for Motorcycle Ergonomics & Rider Human Factors set up a study using a Triumph Daytona 675 mounted on a custom stand, and displayed images onto a large screen in front of the test subjects. Simulation software was used to project the rider into real-world riding situations and gauge the reactions.

Three different types of riders were used to test not only reaction to dangers, but perception of hazards. Novices, experienced, and trained riders were put through the tests.

In some cases, experienced riders behaved no better than newbies, the study showed. But riders with advanced training rode smarter, safer, and faster.

The study “demonstrated clear differences between the rider groups and potential benefits to advanced training above and beyond rider experience and basic training. Whilst experience seems to help develop rider skills to an extent, advanced training appears to develop deeper levels of awareness, perception and responsibility. It also appears to make riders better urban riders and quicker, smoother and safer riders in rural settings," said Dr. Alex Stedman, a member of the Human Factors Research Group.

Another researcher, Dr. David Crundall from the School of Psychology, said the study showed that “advanced riders were quicker to identify hazards” and were more responsible in sharing the road environments.

But the Institute for Advanced Motorists’s director of policy and research, Neil Greig, said the advanced riders obtained another benefit. They “adopted the safest road position to deal with hazards while still managing to achieve the quickest time through bends.”

You can see more about about this story at the science daily website.


  1. I was self taught and proud of it. There was no training in the North. I rode for 20 years w/o incident. I then moved to the city , got a sport bike and rode too fast for my ability. I crashed twice and considered quiting riding; very depressed was I. I then signed up for a BC Safety Council advanced rider course and wss able disecern my lack of skill and improve. Then I went to a few track schools and that improved all aspects of street skills even more. I do a few track days now. After track days, speeding on the street seems so wrong. Bottom line: any training is better than none. The more the better. What you learn on the track does make you a safer rider on the street. I’m in my 31st year of riding and it’s never been more fun! IT WAS the Training that DID IT!

  2. The “school” that I took my beginner training through offer an experienced refresher course to sharpen or revisit your slow speed control/manouvres, and they offer an advanced rider course that covers higher speed control, braking technique, etc…I’m not ready for that one yet…maybe in a couple of years…I’ll probably take the refresher course when my daughter takes the beginner course…

    But they are available, and I don’t think Red Deer, Alberta has the market cornered on the training…I’m sure the bigger centers have more options than the one that is available here…(although the school here is very good, just no competition…but run by enthusiasts)

    And I’m with Larry…training makes you faster and safer…what a concept…


  3. Out on southern Vancouver Island, a few of the police motorcycle trainers started a “for the public” version of the police training program. Advanced handling and maneuvering, controlled threshold level braking…

    Great course, 2 days of sweat and elation. And more than a few dropped bikes in the process. But by the end of it all, a class of much better riders.

    Training – DO IT!

  4. @ltate9105

    I’m not sure what constitutes an “advanced course” according to the article but there most definitely are schools with courses designed to teach you precisely what they refer to in the article. Hazard perception, road positioning, etc.

    Just a few weeks ago an other motorcycle website, which I won’t plug here, ran a review on Lee Parks’ Total Control school which tours the US. There’s also Pacific Riding School in BC (where I went), TNT Motorcycling in Alberta and I’m sure there are many more.

  5. Brian P, I couldn’t agree with you more. The people I ride with on the street almost invariably have racetrack experience, and I’m ready to argue that as a group we’re faster and far safer than most.

    Doug, the training the article refers to simply doesn’t exist in North America, as far as I know. The U.K. has a huge formal training system of both class and road riding, a lot of the riding training being done by cops who’ve spent their working lives on bikes.

    As for “training and experience make for a better rider” — well, Duh. Who’da thunk?

  6. DougD, your statement makes no sense – a skill is a skill whether its learned on the track, on the street or in a controlled environment course situation.

  7. So what constitues advanced training? Is that track day courses or something more structured towards street skills and accident avoidance?

    I’ve been told by my sportbike buddies to take a track day course because it’ll make me a better rider. I’m not so sure about that, but it would certainly make me a faster rider. I guess that’s why my favourite street riding companions are those with no racetrack experience, but lots of street experience.

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