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 [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]