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IAM training and test


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Question for those who have undertaken this IAM training. Whilst I appreciate that it is different for everyone, what is a reasonable amount of time to allow for training and test?


I am planning to do some serious riding in August this year and would like to get my IAM out of the way before starting trek around the country. Allowing for test, what would you consider to be the latest I could start the training. Don't really want to be doing it in the freezing winter weather but worried if I wait till the warmer spring months I may not have sufficient time to acquire the necessary skills.


Those who have taken the IAM course, what do you think?

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As an examiner, I would recommend that now is a good time to do your training.


Not only will you develop skills you never realised you had, but you will also find t easier to dvelop your concentration levels, and then come the spring and the warmer weather things will really start to click into place and become easier.


Of all the riders I test, winter trained riders tend to give a much better performance than summer trained riders.


Time wise how long is a piece of string? It all depends on your capacity to take on board and then put into practice new techniques and become comfortable with them. I have trained some riders who have attained a ver good standard in 3 or 4 days and others who even after 6 months are still struggling.


If you join a group, then your observer/assessor will be able to give you an idea on time, but the learning curve also comes down to the ability and competence of your instructor.


Also consider the RoSPA test as well as ther IAM test


If you need advice or help the feel free to PM me

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After doing Bikesafe with North London Bill, I signed up with the IAM Skills for Life in February 2005 my (then) local group, Cadam, were rather busy with training and I had to wait. The (then) Chief Observer arranged with me and another chap to have a 4 day intensive course in the May where he rode with both of us. Sometimes me leading, and then somtimes other chap.

Each of us trainees had an ear piece so we could both hear from the Chief when riding.

Initially we did a bit of classroom knowledge sharing and bike checks, mostly we rode. One day was 280 miles. The Chief was a stickler and rightly so. The pressure was relentless and the concentration intense.

I passed on the 4th afternoon, the other guy the next morning.

Worth it? Not half.

A couple of weeks later I rode to Florence for the Mugello MotoGP. First foreign ride. First 500+ mile day. A breeze.

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Thanks for this, Clive. How does the test breakdown. I assume 90 minute ride or so with all the usual motorway, dual carriageway, town and country roads. Is commentary compulsary? I tried it once and made a right pigs ear of it. I can't speak fast enough to get it all in!


I will definitely want to spread it over a period of time. Workload is crazy at the moment and I only really get a few hours on a Sunday to do anything.

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Thanks for this, Clive. How does the test breakdown. I assume 90 minute ride or so with all the usual motorway, dual carriageway, town and country roads. Is commentary compulsary? I tried it once and made a right pigs ear of it.

 

The test will last about 90 minutes. You will be given a briefing in respect of how the test is conducted and how the test will be controlled.


Not all of us as examiners use radios. I tell candidates to follow the road straight ahead unless road signs or my indicators dictate otherwise. This allows me to see how good your rear observatins are and also to be flexible with the route. I tell all candidates to ignore my position and ride for yourself as I will be varying my position to look at varying aspects of your ride, In other words apart from watching for the change in direction, ride as if I am not there.


The other reason I do not like using radios is because there is nothing worse at this level when you are trying to concentrate and you suddenly have someone yacking in your ear.


The route covers a variety of hazards and types of roads. A class, B class, Motorway, junctions, as many variety of roads as is possible.


If the ride is dangerous, it will be terminated (I have done that about 6 times out of around 1,000 tests I have conducted over the years) but conversely in many cases 10 minutes into the ride I will tell them that they have passed (subject to them not doing anything stupid) now go and ride because ocan tell when someone is really nervous.


Unless I think there is a real problem with slow riding control, I don't worry with things like U turns or anything like that (but I keep my options open), I am simply looking for a smooth, safe well thought out ride making good progression when circumstances allow.


At the completion of the practical element I will then take the lead and lead us into a local cafe where I can do the debrief over a cup of tea or coffee and ask a few Highway code questions. I have failed candidates on their lack of HC knowledge.


In respect of the RoSPA test I will then give their grade and talk them through the ride and critique it overall wich is then reflected in the report that is prepared and sent with the certificate and all the other stuff you get when you pass.


I do not want a commentary on the bike test, I only do that when I am conducting a car test.


Every examiner is different. I always conducted IAM tests in the same way as the RoSPA test as I look for exactly the same standards., but by and large we are looking for the same things, although many newly qualified class 1 riders are softer and not as demanding as some of us old sweats.

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Thanks for this, Clive. How does the test breakdown. I assume 90 minute ride or so with all the usual motorway, dual carriageway, town and country roads. Is commentary compulsary? I tried it once and made a right pigs ear of it. I can't speak fast enough to get it all in!


I will definitely want to spread it over a period of time. Workload is crazy at the moment and I only really get a few hours on a Sunday to do anything.

 

The test breakdown was pretty much as TC1474 explains. No commentary.

Myself and the other chap both ran our own businesses and so we could "engineer" our week with the Chief. Most convenient for all of us.

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Thanks TC and Clive. Much appreciate it.


I need to get myself sorted now. The only aspect of this ride that worries me at the moment is my speed on country roads. I know that I ride much slower than I could. I think I am just about happy with the positioning (in terms of knowing what I should be doing) but know that I could get some improvement in there. I just don't have the confidence to be doing these high speeds into bends I can't see round. I know this is about training and learning to 'see' what is out of sight by using all the available information. I have done two bikesafe courses now and both gave pretty much identical feedback.


'Good obs and control in traffic with no panic braking, nice junction approach and control, excellent (got an excellent) attitude to other road users and nice control at higher speeds but could trust myself more and push a bit on the windy bits.'


One officer told me that his granny could probably go faster around the bends. He did say it with a laugh!

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Thanks TC and Clive. Much appreciate it.


I need to get myself sorted now. The only aspect of this ride that worries me at the moment is my speed on country roads. I know that I ride much slower than I could. I think I am just about happy with the positioning (in terms of knowing what I should be doing) but know that I could get some improvement in there. I just don't have the confidence to be doing these high speeds into bends I can't see round.

 

Advanced riding is not about high speed through the bends, it is about being safe and safety is always the underlying factor of any tutorial or test. Anyone tells you different then refer them to me and I will put them in there place for you.


Riding to the conditions and based on what you can see are the 2 key elements, and some of the best riders are also in real terms some of the slowest riders, but they are so smooth the reality between points A and B they are 30 seconds later than the fast guys. It is not about speed, it is anout safety.


The other aspect is, if you are self taught, then then an independent assessment is vital because in Roadcraft there are certain aspects that are open to interpretation or people can take the contents in a literal sense.


You need someone who is fully conversant with Roadcraft to assess your ride so that you get a constructive critique before you go for test.

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I keep pondering advanced training the problem for me is my free time Weekends and week days are best described as random.. It can be hard to commit to far in advance it was hard enough getting it sorted to do my test...

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