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Roadcraft Mastery: Boost Your Skill For The Ultimate Ride

Vic Womersley December 14, 2023

Every motorcyclist craves that perfect ride, but what if there was a way to make it not just perfect but also safer? Enter the world of “roadcraft” – the way to transform your ride from exhilarating to extraordinary. Feeling the power of your engine beneath you, and understanding how to manage each twist and turn is the very essence of roadcraft. 

If you’ve ever wondered how it’s developed, or how to unlock the full potential of your motorcycle adventures, this is for you. We’re about to delve into the heart of motorcycle roadcraft, where safety meets the thrill of riding.

What is roadcraft for motorcyclists?

Enjoying the wind rushing past, with every twist of the road a dance between you and your motorcycle is the magic of roadcraft. It’s an amalgamation of skills, knowledge, and mindset that transforms a ride into an exhilarating, yet safe, adventure. It’s not learned in a day. It’s something that is developed consciously and refined each time you jump astride your machine.

This method for mastering the art of motorcycle control on the road and in traffic is a sure process toward elevating your ride from ordinary to extraordinary.

But how, exactly, do you develop roadcraft? It’s not just about turning the throttle. It’s about understanding the nuances and physics of better riding. That, and the development of your rider instinct about how your machine handles each twist and turn of the road. You do it with practice, training and a little reading too. When you unlock the secrets you’ll become a safer rider who enjoys the thrill of the road.

Practical Tips for Better Roadcraft

Now that we’ve unravelled the magic of roadcraft, it’s time for the nitty-gritty of developing those essential skills. Just like learning the basics of two-wheeled physics, understanding the mechanics of your motorcycle can significantly enhance your handling skills.

Your motorcycle, with its two small contact points on the road, relies on the laws of motion and physics. Understanding Newton’s three laws of motion can help you understand your machine’s behaviour better. Actively moving the wheels under the mass centre of the bike makes for better balance. 

When you lean, your motorcycle naturally follows. The physics behind the interaction of gravity, tire shape, and leaning direction determine the smoothness of your ride. Understanding these principles allows you to initiate turns efficiently.

Anchoring points: your foundation for control

Your footpegs, saddle, and fuel tank are the primary anchoring points on your motorcycle. Being conscious of these points allows you to maintain the optimal riding position and give precise commands to your bike. This awareness is fundamental to a better motorcycle riding technique. It’s an integral part of developing roadcraft skills.

Countersteering: the artistry of control

Initiating turns is an art and countersteering is the brushstroke. By pushing briefly on the handlebars in the opposite direction of your intended turn, you elegantly cause your motorcycle to lean in the desired direction. It’s a technique that becomes second nature with conscious practice. And one that enables you to navigate curves with finesse. Remember, the joy of countersteering lies in working with the natural forces of movement and gravity.

Throttle control: balance is key

Immediate throttle control after a steering command is crucial. It transfers weight from the front to the rear, making your bike more responsive to steering. Good throttle control, combined with steady speed and leaning, enhances road grip and stability. Practice this conscious throttle control to create a harmonious synergy between you, your machine and the road.

As with all skills, consistent and conscious practice is the key to mastery. Practising drills, revisiting the basics and being totally present and conscious of your riding, will all help to transform these techniques into habits. Whichever way you choose, dedicating time to enhance your roadcraft skills ensures a safer, more enjoyable journey on the open road.

Developing rider roadcraft with training

Developing roadcraft skills isn’t just clocking miles and completing drills; it’s about enhancing and developing your skills. To do that, a little feedback can go a long way. Our advanced motorcycle training courses are designed to instil greater confidence and competence in various riding and traffic conditions. Each course focuses on a different element of riding skill.

1.  Enhanced Rider Scheme

The Enhanced Rider Scheme is the gateway to earning an ‘Advanced Rider Award.’ This scheme involves a skill assessment without a formal test. If you need more support, we tailor additional training based on the assessment findings. This training is perfect for new riders keen to develop their roadcraft skill set and returning riders who need a refresh. 

Seven core modules cover a range of essential skills, and achieving the Enhanced Rider Scheme certificate may even qualify you for a reduced insurance premium!

2. Rider Plus Courses

We tailor Rider Plus courses to enhance overall riding skills and craft. If you’re seeking to refine your expertise, these courses offer invaluable insights and expert tuition. The focus is on observation, planning, machine control, and hazard perception to reduce errors and enhance your riding capabilities. Small class sizes ensure personalised attention from our DVSA-approved instructors.

3. BikeSafe: Enjoy a Safer Ride

BikeSafe, a national police-run initiative, collaborates with motorcycle riders in a relaxed environment. It raises awareness of progressing your skill and involves observed rides with police-graded motorcyclists or approved observers. Workshops cover crucial aspects such as attitude, observation, cornering, overtaking, group riding, hazard awareness, and the roadcraft system of motorcycle control.

4. Diamond Advanced Motorcycle Training Courses

Diamond advanced motorcycle training courses are perfect for riders aiming to elevate their skills. With a focus on defensive and eco-riding techniques, they’re just right for those riding for work, aspiring instructors, motorcycle commuters, or anyone wanting to refine their skills further. The course includes theory and practical sessions and a testing phase to demonstrate skills in diverse road and traffic conditions.

Motorcycle mastery and safe riding habits

The roadcraft journey is one with a transformative philosophy that breeds safe riding habits. It’s the angel in every rider’s adventure. Think of it not only as a mindset and skillset but also as the essence of riding well. It stands as the beacon of wisdom, guiding you through the nuanced dance of the road with grace and confidence.

Navigating with wisdom and grace

This thinking-action can help all riders develop road wisdom and grace. Roadcraft isn’t a rigid set of rules; it’s a dynamic approach that moulds safe riding habits.

Imagine yourself confidently weaving through city traffic, effortlessly adapting to changing conditions. This confidence doesn’t stem from recklessness. It’s the natural outcome of roadcraft—a philosophy that intertwines safe riding habits with every twist and turn.
Picture a different scenario: a hidden pothole appears on a dimly lit road. Roadcraft-trained instincts kick in; you swerve skillfully and avoid the potential hazard. These are not scripted manoeuvres, they’re reflections of safe riding habits you cultivate through conscious practice and the continued development of your skill.  Book your advanced course today to power ahead on your journey to skilled, effective and exhilarating riding.

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