Once you’ve gained your licence to ride, it’s a good idea to actively work to improve your rider skills. Taking a motorcycle safety course can help you do this. The first logical step is learning to use motorways, carry pillion passengers or the Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS) course.
There are lots of benefits to improving your safety as a rider on the road – not least of all keeping you safer and out of trouble. Below we’ll take a look at the motorcycle safety qualifications that are recognised by some insurers and what you should be doing before and after you’ve passed your course.
Depending on the licence level you start riding a motorbike with, you may or may not be allowed to use all types of UK roads. Lower licence levels such as AM licence holders and DL196 certificate (CBT certificate) aren’t allowed to ride on motorways.
Similarly, other licence holders might be competent on their own but wish to take along a friend on occasion. Learning how to carry pillion passengers isn’t in DAS training or other licencing courses. Taking someone else’s life into your own hands – literally – is a BIG responsibility. It’s wise to learn how to do this safely before you let someone climb onto the back of your bike.
ERS courses are taken by DVSA-qualified instructors. These courses are the first step to obtaining an Advanced Rider Award. Holding an Advanced Rider Award shows you know your stuff when it comes to riding and it may reduce your insurance premiums. ERS courses are just one of the many advanced skills courses that Phoenix offers. You may be able to take your safety training with the same school you trained for your licence with.
In some locations, you might have to check for other Phoenix schools that offer ERS advanced rider courses near you. Check our Phoenix schools to find a centre offering ERS training.
Once you’ve passed your motorcycle safety course – whether that’s learning to carry a pillion passenger, use motorways or filter through traffic on the ERS course – it’s time to put your skills into practice. As the saying goes you need to ‘use it, or lose it.’
Continue consciously practising the safety skills you’ve learned on the training course; being conscious or mindful about your riding helps to strengthen the neural pathways in your brain used for riding a motorbike. Eventually, safer riding becomes second nature and automatic when getting on your motorcycle.
As well as continuing to practice what you’ve learned, it’s time to speak with your motorcycle insurer. If you got your Advanced Rider Award through the ERS course, you could get a cheaper premium. The company you’re insured with and their policies dictate whether your premium can be reduced and by how much. It’s worth checking this out online and shopping around for the best policy for your individual needs and skill level.
Other advanced rider certifications may also be recognised by some insurers. This includes Blue Riband training, RoSPA, and IAM motorcycle tests.
Insurance isn’t the only reason to improve your motorcycling skills though – or even the primary reason. Motorcycle safety courses help you brush up on rusty skills, increase your enjoyment of riding, and help build specialised skills. They can even reduce your fuel costs. Not least of all, you’ll be safer on the road and less likely to become involved in a life-changing accident. That has to be the best benefit of all.