What is Advanced Driving/Riding?
Advanced Drivers/Riders use a systematic approach to negotiating hazards. Using such a system means you pass the hazard in a controlled way without leaving anything to chance.
We use the Police system for driving/riding which consists of five different phases, these are

  • Information - This phase is constant throughout the system as you take in and give out information such as indicators signals and brake lights.
  • Position - Your position on the road is vital to passing a hazard safety. This phase also gives out information as you wouldn't position to the left for a right turn - would you?
  • Speed - Once you are in position you need the right speed to negotiate a hazard this is usually achieved by braking smoothly and progressively to the appropriate speed.
  • Gear - Once you have the required speed you change gear, this is done after braking so you are not braking and changing gear at the same time, you also don't move down the gearbox, the correct gear is the gear that matches the engine revs and road speed.
  • Acceleration - The correct amount of acceleration allows you to leave the hazard safely.

What is a hazard?
A hazard is anything which causes you to alter speed or change direction, there are three types of hazards

  • Static Hazards - Such as roundabouts as these are a feature of the road and in itself will not change. Traffic lights are also a static hazard as these may cause you to brake and slow down.
  • Moving Hazards - These can be other road users and pedestrians.
  • Road and Weather conditions - Wet and muddy roads are conditions which may cause you to drive differently, a pot hole might cause you to change direction. Driving in the dark and in fog are also a hazard as these impede your view of the road

What is the IAM test like?

The IAM test normally consists of an observed drive/ride, given by an IAM examiner. The test lasts for about an hour and a half and covers as many types of roads and traffic conditions as possible. The total distance will normally be between 30 and 40 miles. The Examiner will be a police Class 1 qualified driver/rider, the most highly qualified in the UK.

Before taking the test, you'll need a full UK driving licence, a valid certificate of insurance and a vehicle capable of sustaining a speed of 70mph. Effectively, for motorcyclists a modern bike of at least 200cc. The vehicle, and your gear, should be in good, safe condition.

The examiner will assess your driving/riding to see if you ride in a safe yet progressive manner. There is no need for fancy tricks, exaggerated slow speeds or excessive signalling, just a good, workmanlike drive/ride. The institute cannot condone breaking the law, so things like speed limits must be strictly observed.

At the end of the test, the examiner will review the drive/ride with you, commenting on both the good and not-so-good aspects. Their aim is to help you improve your driving/riding. Therefore, regardless of whether you pass of fail, you will receive some constructive tips on how to improve your driving/riding, from the very best drivers/motorcyclists in the business.