In this article, which applies to both car drivers and motorcycle riders, I will discuss: Corner Force Slip Angles The Rolling Cone Effect Lateral Force Shear Stress in the Contact Patch Dynamic Stability for a motorcycle in a bend Negative and Positive Slip Forces Drifting It is hoped that both [...]
Why does a motorcycle sit up and run straight, if the front brake is applied in a bend?
Why does a motorcycle sit up and run straight under heavy front braking? This article, which is in two parts, explains why: • Part A: This gives a non-technical description of what happens; • Part B: This gives a more technical description of what happens, and why it happens. Those [...]
IAM RoadSmart Car Handout #6: The Advanced Driving Test
The test is the culmination of your training, it is your opportunity to show how good you are and justify your observer’s faith in you. A little bit of nerves can be a good thing. Stay focused and try to enjoy it. The perfect driver has not yet been discovered [...]
IAM RoadSmart Car Handout #5: Communications
Mobile communication and GPS is becoming more commonplace in cars, this hand-out offers advice for using this technology to complement your driving. It is not exhaustive but touches on the following areas: Satellite Navigation; Mobile Phones and the Internet. Click for more [...]
IAM RoadSmart Car Handout #3: Driving at Night
Night driving presents unique challenges drivers, the limit of vision is dictated by the performance of your headlamps, your windscreen and your eyesight. This handout covers legislation and some practicalities regarding driving at night. Click for more [...]
IAM RoadSmart Car Handout #2: In Car Technology
In-car technology which was once only fitted to luxury or high-end vehicles is now becoming more commonplace. This hand-out offers advice for using this technology to complement your driving. It is not exhaustive but touches on the following areas: auto gearboxes; ABS (Anti-lock Brakes); auto headlamps; cruise control; ESP (Electronic [...]
IAM RoadSmart Motorcycle Handout #13: The Advanced Motorcycle Test
The test is the culmination of your training, it is your opportunity to show how good you are and justify your observer’s faith in you. A little bit of nerves can be a good thing. Stay focused and try to enjoy it. The perfect rider has not yet been discovered [...]
IAM RoadSmart Motorcycle Handout #12: Emergency Vehicles
Emergency vehicle responding to calls and using warning equipment would like to pass you but will not expect you to put yourself or others in danger to facilitate this. This handout applies a common sense approach assisting where possible. Click for more [...]
IAM RoadSmart Motorcycle Handout #11: Inclement weather
This handout offers advice for riding during inclement weather. With each season comes a range of riding challenges all of which need to be managed safely. This article discusses the effects of riding in: Rain, Snow and Ice, Bright Sunlight, Fog and High Winds. Click for more [...]
IAM RoadSmart Motorcycle Handout #10: Riding at Night
Night riding presents unique challenges for riders, the limit of vision is dictated by the performance of your headlamps, the condition of your visor and your eyesight. This Handout discusses: Legislation, Practicalities of Driving / Riding at Night, Practicalities of Lighting and Limit Point Analysis. Click for more [...]
IAM RoadSmart Motorcycle Handout #8: Filtering
The manoeuvre known as ‘Filtering’ if done correctly, allows the advanced motorcyclist to make progress whilst the motorist suffers delays. It can however, place the motorcyclist in a position of extreme danger if not done correctly and safely. This handout sets out some basic principles for making filtering as safe [...]
IAM RoadSmart Motorcycle Handout #7: Picking up a motorcycle
Motorcycles are big and heavy with little stability when stationary. On uneven ground or if your foot slips on the surface there may come a point where you are unable to keep the motorcycle up as it starts to lean further from the upright. The safest thing to do in [...]
IAM RoadSmart Motorcycle Handout #5: Ancilliaries
Motorcycles are often used for holidays and various items of ancillary equipment are often fitted to make this use more pleasurable. The items discussed in this Handout are: Satellite Navigation, Hands Free Telephone, Luggage, Tank Bag and Map Holder. Click for more [...]
IAM RoadSmart Motorcycle Handout #2: Rider Learning Styles
We each have a preferred Learning Style. Some people learn better through a ‘hands on’ approach, the Haptic Learner. Others learn better by ‘seeing or writing things down’, the Print Orientated Learner. We each have a tendency to two learning styles and this article describes some of those that may [...]
IAM RoadSmart Motorcycyle Handout #1: Pre-Ride Checks
Before setting off on any journey, it is important to ensure the machine is safe to ride and all systems are operating correctly. This handout describes how to conduct a pre-ride check, how to go through a systems check and then the start up procedure to be used prior to [...]
Acceleration remains constant throughout the speed range: True or False?
This statement is False. At first sight it would seem logical that your bike has constant acceleration across the speed range, but this is not the case. More work must be done to push air aside as speed increases, because Aerodynamic Resistance, also known as Drag, increases rapidly with speed. [...]
Why we use a 3 second gap on a dry road surface
Why do we leave a 3 second gap on a dry road surface? Highway Code Rule 126 embodies the well-known phrase: Only a fool breaks the two second rule! Why then do Advanced Drivers leave a 3 second gap when driving in dry conditions? The simple answer is that the [...]
Does changing down for a bend reduce the risk of understeer?
Does changing down on approach to a bend reduces the risk of understeer? A moving conventional vehicle experiences Engine Braking Force, which always opposes motion (I.E. it tries to slow the car!) On steering into a bend, the car begins to accelerate ‘Centripetally’, that is it accelerates towards the centre [...]
Torque generated by Driving and Braking Forces
Effect of Driving and Braking Force Torque. Torque is ‘the turning effect of a Force’. It is the vector product of an applied Force and the Distance over which the Force is applied. ‘Vector’ simply means that the product of the quantities takes account of their direction, as [...]
The importance of vision
The Importance of Vision The SYSTEM of Motorcycle Control consists of processing Information, superimposed over four Phases I.E. Position; Speed; Gear; and Acceleration. We constantly: • Take; • Use; • and Give information to other road users. When riding a motorcycle most of the Information we receive is visual, therefore [...]
Top 10 tips for driving abroad with children
Top tips for driving abroad with children Taking a child on holiday is an exciting and a new experience for first time parents. But it can be stressful so make sure you plan ahead of time. Our head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, has put some helpful safety [...]
Leaning over the tank improves cornering, but how?
Explanation of why placing the upper torso on to the tank of a motorcycle in a bend, helps it to negotiate the bend. When a motorcycle takes a bend at speed, both wheels slip sideways away from the centre of the bend. This sideslip is essential as it provides most [...]
Martin Hirst National Observer Master Rider is now officially a member of the ‘Iron Butt Association’
Where do you go after IAM RoadSmart National Observer and Masters? A few months ago, I was reading through a magazine and came across an article relating to a long-distance motorcycle ride. The ride was called the Royal British Legion Ride and is run by a group called the Iron [...]
Does Lean Angle affect Grip when a bike is in a bend?
Does the angle at which a motorcycle leans off the vertical in a bend, affect the grip between the tyres and the road surface? This article explains how tyre grip varies as a motorcycle leans off the vertical, when taking a bend. There are two parts to the article: • [...]
What is ‘Positive Steering’ and how does it work?
What is ‘Positive Steering’ and how does it work? When riding a motorcycle through a bend at speed, you use ‘Positive Steering’, whether you are aware of doing so or not. In this article I will explain what we mean by the term ‘Positive Steering’, which used to be called [...]
Masters (car) Tips and Mnemonics by Sam Quigley Local Observer (Car and Motorcycle) Masters (Distinction)
Masters Tips (Car) and Mnemonics by Sam Quigley I was very fortunate to have Chris Hudson for my IAM Car Associate training, and through his mentoring I achieved a pass at First standard. I wished to progress my driver training to Masters standard, and Robin Bell was recommended. Robin mentored [...]
What is Superelevation?
What is ‘Superelevation’? Most roads are ‘Crown Cambered’ that is, they are higher in the centre than at the edges to allow water to drain towards the kerbs. However, Motorway bends are ‘Superelevated’, which means they slope gently from one side of the Motorway to the other across both carriageways. [...]
Why every bend in the world should be taken under light acceleration!
Why every bend should be taken under light acceleration Whether driving a car or riding a motorcycle, every bend should be taken under light acceleration. We tell drivers to ‘ease and squeeze’: I.E. when ‘easing’ the steering wheel in to the bend; gently ‘squeeze’ on the gas pedal! We [...]
Centrifugal Force, fact or fiction?
Centrifugal Force: fact or fiction? Why do Physicists refer to Centrifugal Force as a ‘Pseudo Force’ or a ‘Fake Force’? Afterall, if I’m sat on a moving train going through a bend, I can feel myself being pulled out away from the centre of the bend: is that not Centrifugal [...]
Camber gives an advantage in a left bend: True or False?
Camber gives an advantage in a left bend: True or False? UK roads are generally ‘Crown Cambered’; that is, they are high in the centre and lower towards the edges, as this helps water to drain from the road surface. Note: Motorways are ‘Super Elevated’. Look at the Blog on [...]
Does the weight of a bike affect the angle it leans in a bend?
DOES THE WEIGHT OF A BIKE AFFECT THE ANGLE AT WHICH IT LEANS IN A BEND? This seems like a reasonable question: if you take a bend at a certain speed when two up, does the bike lean more than it does when one up? Well the answer is NO. [...]