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Risk Hierarchy: Information - Rider Ed - Driver Ed - Conspicuity - Bike Defect - Ultra-Defensive Riding - Crash Avoidance - Injury Mitigation - Crash Scene
Advanced Rider Training.
Basic training and Experienced Rider Course, with some additional study and practice, will get us over the first few years of riding. By the time we have 10,000 miles or so under our belts, maybe it's time to expand our horizons. Locate advanced training here.
Professional bikers tend to fall in four groups - Competition racers, motorcycle cops, bike couriers and product testers. Of these, race types and motorcycle cops provide advanced training. I'd love to see training by London bike couriers, and I have talked to some of them. They have a great attitude to safety, but don't do special training, as far as I know.
Motorcycle police style training is a tougher, tighter version of the sort of range exercises you already saw during Basic Training. Most bike cops get some of this training every month or so. The main benefit is to build up confidence and allow you to perform maneuvers and emergency evasions without fear. You are unlikely to be able to take this training every month, like a bike cop, but you can take the training at a vendor like 'Ride like a Pro' or buy the book or video, and practice in an empty parking lot. All it takes is a tape measure, some chalk and markers - half tennis balls do fine. If you get up on these skills, and practice them fairly often, you will have good emergency skills.
Race-based training has several flavors, and are generaly focussed on getting around turns more efficiently. Some of it is actually performed on a track and is intended for sports bike enthusiasts, but courses like Lee Parks Total Control tailors the techniques for regular riders and the training is usually done in a large flat area. It is counter-intuitive, but being able to get your bike around a turn, racer-style, can enhance safety and leave you a large chunk of road in case you run into an emergency. Or you could just do it faster without screwing up, if that's your preference. There is a value to that skill. There are also more advanced, even higher-level training courses available.
MSF has created an advanced riding course, the MSRC, for the military (Army and Navy), aimed at sports riders. It is working on its civilian Advanced Rider Course, Sportbike Techniques(ARC-ST), which will be aimed at all types of motorcycles,despite the name. So far, most of the activity has been in training the trainers, with some pilot and early-adapter sessions in Troy, NY, Colorado, North Carolina and various other places. The MSF claims good results from its military courses, and prelimnary comment about the one-day ARC-ST is very positive. We'll be watching this development closely as it rolls out. Here's a review from DucatiNewsToday.com.
There is also touring-based training, where the training is imparted during a road trip.
Training plans are very personal, and advanced training is an adventure, and fun too. There's a lot out there and no reason not to enjoy them all.
Other possible sources for advanced training include trainer training (getting educated to be a trainer in a safety organization like MSF) or lead rider training in a riding group.
See our clickable state map to find advanced training providers.
Hubris still applies.