Monday, June 30, 2008


Where have I been and done in June ?

Well, Advanced Motorcycle Training.Com has been on tour..... Meeting clients at Gayden, just off the M40 and spending a glorious day in and around the Cotswolds. I have been down to Abergavenny for a course with a client, birthday treat from his wife. Done some work with the intercoms, now sorted and been doing some Rospa tests. It is great being retired, working for yourself, doing what you want to do. Recommended......

Motorcycle News - DSA Enhanced Rider Scheme

On Thursday 26th June I spent a couple of hours with Alison Silcox from Motorcycle News. I introduced her to the DSA Enhanced Rider Scheme and we spent some time exploring the excellent roads around Melton Mowbray and Stamford. She passed and was awarded her certificate (ERIC).

What do I do at weekends ?

Well this last weekend I spent a couple of days in the Peak District offering advanced driving advice to a group of TVR owners at ROAR 2008. Well TVR Chimeras. What a car from 4.00 to 5.0 litre, V8 music..... No anti lock brakes, traction control and some instances no power steering. My thanks to Julian Smith from Ridedrive Limited who gave me the opportunity.

Enhanced Rider Scheme - How to market your business

Well, where do I start.
I had a package through the post this morning, leaflets and information disc, promoting the scheme. Just remembering this is nearly July 2008. The scheme began in February 2007 and was officially launched in November 2007. We are now 8 months into the scheme and the general take up has been very low. I wonder why, perhaps I haven't been promting the scheme enough. Now let me think, shouldn't the DSA BEING DOING THAT...........
Well in the package this morning they included a glossy booklet called,' How to market your business'.
Here is a short extract from it:'A Website ...... You will also need to add a 'Contact' section; this must include your name and number, but should include your email and business address. If potential clients can't get hold of you they will go somewhere else and that's money lost for you'.
I never thought of that.
By the way the DSA publication is not copyrighted.

Friday, June 20, 2008

DSA Enhanced Rider Scheme Check Test - Observations

Well, where do I start.......

I had to wear a combined single ear piece/ microphone, made by Sonic. I couldn't use my intercom system. The DSA system was uncomfortable to wear and at speed cut out, making the job of giving good instruction advice, frustrating. When I got back I mentioned the 'dirty' mouth piece I had to use - quote-'We use telephone wipes to clean them'. I did all my on road debriefs with my helmet on, not ideal, but I didn't fancy struggling with the Sonic stuff again. Nevermind only 1 hour to do it the corect way.......
I didn't start off very well, as since my initial contact with the examiner, I made him fully aware of the video system on my motorcycle. Just before we went 'on road'-Quote' You will have to wipe the footage after - Data Protection'. I nearly said, Well stuff the check test, it is only voluntary. Having spent 30 years in the Police Force, you bite your lip and go with the system. I could have switched it on halfway round the test route, but could't be bothered. An ideal opportunity of promotion lost as the Examiner who was role playing did a great job. Nothing that wouldn't have been good on video.
As a commercial trainer I wasn't pleased about the length of the assessment, how can you assess in 60 minutes, and that includes 15 minutes messing with the intercom. It needs to be longer.
This may seem negative, but sometimes you have to think, is it worth it......
The scheme is a good thing, but I think it is suffering from lack of direction, which starts with publicity.

DSA Enhanced Rider Scheme - Trainer Check Test

Well I have been done - I did my DSA Enhanced Rider Scheme Check Test this afternoon at the Newcastle under Lyme test centre. The dreaded time, I don't like test these days was 13.30hrs. It was scheduled for 1 hour and then a 10 minute debrief session after. I had already been in contact with the DSA Examiner and had chosen my set lesson, come assessment on Corners/bends, Normal road position and Overtaking/filtering. Before I get into my experience of the test -

The Outcome

I passed with satisfactory in the core competencies at level 4, 1 being the lowest. In the Instructional/Coaching Tecniques I dropped down to statisfactory 3 in Planning and Q/A Techniques. The remaining 5 areas level 4.

I had to ask myself was it all worthwhile as the scheme is still voluntary.......Was it worth the initial investment ?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

IAM, ROSPA and Bikesafe compared the the DSA Enhanced Rider Scheme

What is the difference between ERS and the following Advanced Training Courses?

IAM (Institute of Advanced Motoring)
RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents)
BSM (British School of Motoring/RAC)
DIA (Driving School Association)
We check the quality of the above courses and all involve
training, a test and a recognized qualification.
You can use ERS as an important step in progressing towards
an Advanced Rider Qualification and it is something you may
want to consider.
You will certainly find that your ERS trainer has at least
one of these qualifications and will encourage you to go on
to an advanced level.

How does the Bikesafe scheme differ from ERS?
Bikesafe is an initiative run by the police forces who
work with the biking world to help lower the number of
motorcycle casualties. They use police motorcyclists to
provide assessment rides and advice on safer riding.
If you do need training, they will advise you to use
accredited instructors such as those on our Register of
Post-test Motorcycle Trainers.
ERS: quality-assured training leading to exciting
and safe riding for life

The Enhanced Rider Scheme Update from DSA

Extracts from the new DSA leaflet on the Enhanced Rider Scheme:

'We, along with the motorcycle industry, have put
together a new package of training known as the
Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS).
The scheme is beneficial to all bike riders who have
a full motorcycle licence, no matter what size of bike,
or the experience level of the rider. There is no test
involved and you may not need to take any training if
your skills are assessed as satisfactory. You will also
earn discounts on your insurance as a result!

How does it work?

We, along with training experts, have developed
a training scheme designed to assess your riding,
reduce risk and improve your skills.
• There is an ever-expanding network of approved
trainers across Britain ready and waiting to assess
riders and carry out any recommended training. Visit and click on Find Nearest
RPMT trainers and Enhanced Rider Scheme info.
The first step is to visit your local accredited
trainer to assess your riding skills.
• If you have no significant areas of weakness, the
trainer will give you a DSA Certificate of Competence.
You will then qualify for the Enhanced Rider Bonus
insurance discount from one of the many insurers who
have signed up to support the scheme.
• If you do have areas that would benefit from further
training, you would qualify for your certificate after
successfully completing the recommended training.
By having your riding ability assessed, trainers can
tailor a development programme to suit your needs.
Many of the leading motorcycle insurance companies
have signed up to this scheme and are prepared to offer
substantial discounts to riders who have shown they can
ride to the ERS standard and have therefore qualified for
the Enhanced Rider Bonus. The insurance brokers and
direct insurers currently sponsoring the scheme are:
AA Insurance, Bennett’s Insurance, Bikesure, Carole
Nash, Chandler Direct, CIA insurance, Devitt, Direct
Choice Insurance, E Bike, Hastings Direct, MCE
Insurance, Lexham, Motorcycle Direct, Norwich Union
Direct, Express Insurance, Rampdale, Premium Choice
and Swinton Insurance. The scheme is supported by
the following insurers: AXA, Chaucer Insurance, Equity
Red Star, Groupama, Highway, KGM, Link, Zenith, NIG,
Norwich Union and Royal & Sun Alliance. This list is
continuing to grow.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Update on October Normandy tour 2008

The trip is fully booked, but due to continual enquiries, I am looking at doing another on i April 2009

I have been on my travels....Not a tour

With the internet being a worldwide showcase for my training, I get enquiries form all over. Atthe beginning of the year I had a enq from London, so in June we met up at Gaydon, in Warwickshire and spen a sessio around he Cotswolds. This last weekend I spent a day in South Wales, having met up with a rider at Abergavenny....
These excursions are not one offs and I do not mind travelling to meet up if you are. In the near future I have a rider from Cambridge, who is prepared to tracel to Melton Mowbray. Wathc this space for more updates...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A tale of insurance or no insurnace with Bennetts

I insured my motorbike on-line with Bennetts on 14th April this year (2008). Or at least I thought I had.... I have an Email confirmation telling me so...

After waiting a week for the certificate, and discovering that my insurance details were not on the UK database, I contacted them by telephone, and after a huge struggle, by Email, (Bennetts, we are told, can not accept Emails). This means WILL NOT receive Emails - plainly, they can...

Not having a certificate, and not being on the database, meant that the bike was not taxable, and therefore not useable. After more phone calls it transpired that the insurance certificate number on my confirmation of insurance was in fact incorrect - it was some other persons policy. It appeared that I had no insurance at all. Bennetts told me that their system had failed, and that I needed to re-apply and re-purchase insurance, and that they had not taken the money from the original application. Having lost two weeks use of the bike, I then made a second application, which went through fine.

However, the first payment was in fact taken - over £180. So I phoned the customer service people at Bennetts who could plainly see that they had made a mistake, and said that they would refund the money taken in error. But they did not. I have made repeated telephone calls to the help desk - the supervisor is almost invariably and conveniently in a meeting, and sorry, nobody else can help, but we will send an Email to the finance department, and they will refund your money, which we have incorrectly helped ourselves to... And no - you can't speak to the finance department directly, as thay are unable to take your call (of course - they do have a phone line so I guess that means that they REFUSE to take my call).

So now two months have gone by, by which time I conclude that Bennetts have decided to steal my money, as a refund should take as long to organize as the initial payment. Even the most charitable conclusion would include 'grossly incompetent and negligent' in the description. My last contact with Bennetts was 13th June 2008. I was told to expect a supervisor to call back. it is no surprise that I received no such call. And Bennetts still have my money.

The reason that this came to light is that the motorcycle was not taxed at the time the insurance was purchased – and insurance is required in order to obtain road tax. Had this not been the case, the problem would not have been noticed, and I would have been riding an uninsured vehicle. Many others may be doing just that as a result of the incompetence of this company. The help line operator said that many others had been affected in the same way. The company recognises the error, and has had plenty of time to refund the money. They have not done so, and have not returned my calls when they have promised to do so.

Peter Carnes