The following information is reproduced here in a one page summary to assist those preparing for their test.  Remember according to DVLA we drive motorcycles and we have a driving licence, therefore the word drive is used in this text rather than ride.

What the Examiner Expects

Is Your Drive "Safe" ?

Without the safety aspect, there would be no need for the IAM Test. Advanced driving is an arena to improve driver safety and education. Even where optimum progress would be 'nice', position and speed must always be put aside and sacrificed for safety. SAFETY COMES FIRST. Most Examiners have a policy of, "If you put the motorcycle in danger, you fail". Safety is the most important aspect for any motorcyclist to achieve and is the reason why we undertake the IAM Test.

Is Your Drive "Systematic" ?

Advanced drivers use a way of driving called "The System" which is derived from the Police "Roadcraft" system of motorcycle control. The System of motorcycle control is a way of driving that allows the Test candidate to approach all situations and negotiate all hazards in a safe and methodical way that leaves nothing to luck or chance. The candidate throughout their guidance will be shown and guided using the Police System of Motorcycle Control which the IAM use. Using this system allows the candidate to use all their skills to allow them to deal with any environment or situation, in enough time to allow them to decide on the best position, speed and gear of the motorcycle to allow them to negotiate all hazards safely.

Is Your Drive "Smooth" ?

If the candidate uses the System of Motorcycle Control efficiently then their handling skills are properly co-ordinated, along with observation. The drive should also be smooth, as well as safe and systematic. Every move the driver makes should be in good time, allowing them to make best use their skills. The motorcycle should be stable with little bounce or roll on the road (machine sympathy). Any passengers should be comfortable on the machine and have the utmost confidence in the driver's ability (after all their life is in the driver's hands!). Nothing the driver does should look or feel rushed or hurried.

Do You Use "Speed" correctly and appropriately ?

One aspect of advanced driving is something that these days has made many stories in the Press. Speed. The ability to make best use of speed to make good progress when safe to do so is an important skill that an advanced driver should possess. Remember though, SAFETY should NEVER be compromised. It should also be noted that even though speed may be used to give a brisk drive, it may only be used when safe and appropriate to do so. Any excessive speed above the statutory speed limit or if the use of speed is inappropriate for the circumstances regardless of any limit, are dangerous and is unacceptable. It must be remembered that speed limits are exactly that. Limits - not targets. Advanced drivers use their skill and awareness to decide when they should impose their own speed limits, below the statutory speed limits depending on the circumstances. Advanced drivers never speed, and are not above the law.

Does Your Drive Show Sparkle ? (The 5th 'S')

'Sparkle' is the term that is used to describe the overall drive of the candidate. If all the above criteria are met, the drive should exhibit the quality of Sparkle - a safe, progressive, smooth and polished drive. The driver ensures that the vehicle is always in the right place on the road, travelling at the right speed, in the correct gear for the speed, and can always stop the machine safely in the distance that can be seen to be clear.

Out in all weathers
Enjoying a bag of chips in Grantown on Spey, sheltering from the rain during a Weekend Run around the North of Scotland, June 2006 with Senior Observers from the Glasgow South IAM Motorcycle Group.

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