Cobham, Surrey. Which initially made me nervous as I do not know the roads round there. But a trusted observer said to me that it can be an advantage, which made me feel better – in hindsight he might have just been saying that. Anyway all’s well that ends well as I passed.
Coldish and wet.
What type of bike did you use?
Triumph Street Cup, basically a Street Twin with some pretty bits. Interestingly (??) Guy, the examiner, was on the same bike – not literally of course.
How did you feel at the start?
A bit nervous and wet. I had just ridden for about 45 minutes, mainly on the M25, in very heavy rain. Even the pinlock was struggling to keep my visor from misting up.
What questions were you asked before the test and if so what about?
None really, Guy explained how the test would be conducted and explained the route in detail, which wasn’t much help as all I remembered was come out of the car park and turn left.
How long was the ride?
About 45 minutes. As you’d expect it was a nice route with a mix of roads, some town sections, etc.
What hazards did you encounter?
Three lots of roadworks and some roadside maintenance.
How did you deal with them?
The roadworks were traffic light controlled. One comment Guy made at the end was that I should consider a life saver/head check when moving off from the lights. For the roadside maintenance he also suggested that I should have backed off earlier for the hazard – but I was loving the rain easing up a little being on a national.
How close was the examiner?
He held back quite a distance, which could be because of the wet conditions or thinking about more likely because he was nervous about my riding !!
Were you asked any questions after the test and if so what about?
Lots of questions about SMART motorways – not something I am an expert on as I consider motorways as evil places to be on two wheels, but my training kicked in “expect the unexpected” and I blagged my way through with a few helpful prompts from Guy.
What errors did you make?
I thought the ride was OK – but then I was told otherwise. For example : I started an overtake and had to abort at the last moment as the broken white was in fact a dirty and worn out solid white, caught just in the nick on time, phew! Positioning on the exit for left handers, something Norton mentioned in my pre-test OR, and the other points already mentioned – head checks and barrelling into hazards. Oh and not having waterproofs that actually were waterproof – now remedied !!
What did you do well?
In the training, what most prepared you for the test?
Sounds blooming obvious really but listening to the advice from Norton (my observer), then practising getting those things right before the next OR ……
Did you enjoy the test?
A couple of people have asked me that. I rode my normal ride (albeit a bit more disciplined than usual). Enjoy is not a word I would use as I did not totally relax – I really did not want to miss a speed limit change or any indications from Guy.
Do you feel I am a better motorcyclist as a result of undertaking the training and test?
Yes, 100%. More training = safer = smother = more enjoyment.
What was your overall view of the training and test? What worked well and didn’t? Your chance to tell it as it was, warts and all.
I cannot fault the training. Norton is a fantastic observer, he picks up on everything, the debriefs are through and his demo ride showed me that there is still definitely room for improvement.
What tips would you give others?
Do as much training and practising in all weather conditions as possible. Be very self- critical, learn from your mistakes, ride your own ride.
Do you plan to undertake and further test/ training and if so what?
Yes. As member of the other advanced rider organisation I have a repeat test in 18 months.
Thanks for taking the time to do this. Thank you for all the time and commitment from LAM.
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