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MotoIntell Academy

Difference between “advanced rider” and a “novice rider”.

The psychology.

One of my favourite subjects. Most people associate advanced with time in the saddle and novice with lack of time in the saddle. This is one of the biggest misconceptions I have ever come across. I have seen riders with 20+ years riding experience that might as well have got their licence yesterday. Or even worse, shouldn’t have a licence today. I have seen novice riders with less than 12 months experience show maturity, understanding and bike control well beyond there perceived experience. (And I am not talking about people who have been riding prior to their licence)

Advanced riding is a state of mind, a level of maturity that understands the environment around them with the ability to act accordingly to any situation that is presented to them. An advanced rider will be able to act with restraint and calmness when required or speed and assertiveness when called upon. They feel it, and they know it, but they have no desire or need to show it.

Just because a rider has had a licence for X years does not mean he is a safe or competent rider. That rider most likely has no idea of how good or bad their riding ability might be. Chances are they would not pass a modern motorcycle test. A common excuse for not taking any further motorcycle training is “ive been riding for x years and never had an accident” or “I’m not that type of rider” or “I’ve been around long enough to know I don’t need any training” whatever the excuse is I’ve heard it all before. The reality is fear. None of us like to be told how to do things, especially ride our motorbikes. It touches with our pride too much and we will not risk putting our pride on the line even it does mean not learning new riding techniques and safety awareness instincts.

The issue is they have been riding in their own style for decades and the truth be told learned nothing else. They have been surfing the probability stakes for years now and it has always turned out well. They are convinced that further motorcycle training is not for them, but for more novice or even younger riders. But what they don’t recognise is that probabilities have a canning ability to eventually become true. Afterall that’s what probabilities do.

The only thing I know for sure is we can all learn more, practice more, build more, because our ability always has room for more improvement. Always.

Machine control 

True mastery is the ability to make difficult manoeuvres look easy and the easy manoeuvres look difficult.

One of the first things I ask anyone attempting an advanced qualification is a simple left, then right circle but handlebars on full lock. The basics are usually overlooked, but without a solid foundation how the hell are you going to build a skyscraper. Balance, throttle and clutch control are just some of the machine tools you need full mastery over to be even considered an advanced rider.

One of the most contrasting differences between novice and experienced riders are braking distances. An “experienced” rider will be able to stop in almost half the distance the “novice” rider will. This all comes about because of experience, but also comes about because of the trust in the tyre the ability to read the tarmac surface and the knowledge of just how much pressure can be applied on the brake lever. This single manoeuvre could make all the difference in a real live road ride situation.

But the biggest difference between novice and experience is road awareness.

Imagine a pilot with his flying card, recording his flying hours.

I never forget Nicholas, a client who once having successfully passed his practical motorcycle exam said to me, “I get it, I get it now. you get to see things sooner than I do”. Nicholas hit the nail on the head 100%.


There is a difference between teaching and learning. Teaching is showing whilst learning is doing and I am only successful if I get you to learn. If anything, I want to inspire you and awaken your curiosity. I want you to think beyond what you believe are your limits and discover new talents you never though existed.


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