Motorcyclists kick bad habits to the kerb

Motorcycle training instructor Clive Chapman watches and communicates with bronze course participants as they practise slow manoeuvering skills in the playground area at the Ashburton Learning Centre.

Motorcycle owners have been brushing up on their riding skills and knowledge at a training day held in Ashburton.

Run through Ornsby Motorcycle Training, the full-day Rider Forever bronze course was given by local instructor Clive Chapman, an experienced motorcyclist.

His class of six ranged from people returning to motorbiking and others wanting to get their full licence.

The Ride Forever courses are an initiative by ACC to help up-skill riders and improve road safety. ACC covers most of the cost of attending, with the bronze course costing the participant $20.

Typically the format begins with a sit-down session discussing the topics covered in the course.

That is followed by an instructional session of practical skills, and then an on-road group ride where riders are linked via intercom with the instructor.

Mr Chapman took riders through a number of key aspects of riding on the bronze course including braking, steering, smooth cornering, road positioning, risk management and slow manoeuvering skills.

Two hours in the classroom at the Ashburton Learning Centre was followed by three hours on the roads around Ashburton and further afield.

Holly Ornsby from Ornsby Motorcycle Training said the company had operated in Ashburton for the last 12 months and was looking to build awareness of the courses it offered both here and in Geraldine.

Fully qualified instructors provided beginner-to-advanced road and track rider training services, competency-based training and assessment and one-on-one training, she said.

“Whether you’re an absolute beginner and don’t know a throttle from a piston, or have been riding for years but feel you have some bad habits and need a refresher, we can cater for everyone.”

There are five Ride Forever courses and each course focuses on specific skill areas.

The bronze, silver and gold courses are designed to be undertaken in that order, however experienced riders may choose to skip the bronze and go straight to the silver.

Urban and scooter survival courses were also offered as stand alone modules and were a good option for all levels, including college-age scooter riders, Mrs Ornsby said.

There are around 160,000 registered motorcycles and more than 30,000 registered mopeds in New Zealand.

National road crash statistics show that 56 per cent of accidents involving motorcyclists are caused by bikers themselves.

Most fatal accidents involve large motorcycles that spend more time travelling at high speeds on the open road.

For more information on motorcycle training visit the website

-By Mick Jensen