BikeSafe could make you a better rider

Yes, you are seeing right, that is a BMWS1000RR, one of the most potent superbikes on the planet, in police livery.

The bike has been supplied to the Metropolitan Police BikeSafe team to encourage more bikers to take their course. The plan is they become better at using their own machines more effectively and safely.

Having done the course myself, I know you come out a better rider. That’s said I probably still have a bad habit, pointed out to me on the course, that I ride at the wrong angle to the vehicle in front. Maybe I’ll do a refresher

An example of better road craft

We know that the quickest way around a corner is to take the inside line, right? Makes sense, as by straightening the line of entry and exit you can maintain a higher speed, get on the gas quicker and for what it’s worth travel a few feet less around the bend.

Here’s another way to look at that bend. Instead of using the ‘racing line’ – hug the left-hand apex of a left-hand bend, instead, you stay on the right of the bend, increasing the amount of visibility you have of the whole of the bend, including your exit point. As you aren’t on a race track, the speed you’ll be going will be just as quick, but you’ll be in a much better position to maintain that speed as you’ll have quicker sight of any oncoming danger, such as a very tight bend after this one, or an oncoming car in your lane.

Riding with advanced police motorcyclists will improve you corner positioning

As you’ll see in the video above, the advanced technique for road positioning is to go left, stay right; go right, stay left. It feels counter-intuitive at first, but once you have done it a few times you quickly see the benefit.

It’s just one of the techniques you can learn on a local BikeSafe or ScooterSafe course. 32 local police forces in the UK offer BikeSafe courses – you can find your local courses here:

There’s also an annual local show, most recently held at the Rockingham International race track, where bikers can be taken round the course by advanced riders from a number of forces. We haven’t been but it sounds like a great crack.

What to expect from a course

Although the courses are called BikeSafe the aim of the instructors, all bikers themselves, is not just to keep you safe but to ensure you know how to ride with progressive speed. And that’s a really important point to bring out – they understand you are going to want to ride as quickly as the road conditions will allow – they want you to do it as effectively as possible.

There is a theory presentation in a workshop before you go out on an observed ride after which the officer will go through your strengths and weaknesses. They’ll also advise on further training you can take, under the ‘Bridging the Gap’ initiative. The theory is that, even if you ride daily and have been doing so for years, there are advanced riding techniques that could help you raise your game and enjoy your riding even more.

Get yourself sorted:

Book a course near you now.

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The Author

Ian Malone

Ian Malone

Ian is the Editor and a co-founder of Biker & Bike.

He is obsessed about bikes to the point that he often starts conversations with new people by saying, "Please don't get me onto the subject of bikes. We'll be here all day."

Inevitably, the next question asked is nearly always, "What bike have you got, then?"

He's 'down' to three bikes at the moment:

'97 Triumph Daytona T595
'11 Triumph Tiger 800
'13 Triumph Speed Triple R

He's not even a huge Triumph fan, it just turns out that's how the stable is filled at the moment.

Having been on every continent except Antartica (as long as Cuba kind-of qualifies as South America) he is a big fan of travelling. However, to his deep but hopefully not eternal shame, he's only ever explored Europe on two-wheels and only started doing this a few years ago.

His main mission now is to explore as much of the world on two wheels as possible, at the same time as trying out as many new motorcycling experiences as he can and go on to inspire other bikers to do the same.