I returned to Motorcycling in 2001 at the age of 46, not having ridden anything with two wheels and an engine since I was 16, when I owned a Vespa 150 Sportique!
On passing my test in 2001 my first motorcycle was a Honda VFR800FI, which I owned for five years, replacing it with a BMW K1200S in 2006. In 2008 I bought my first GS (R1200GS), which I replaced with a R1200GS Adventure in 2010. I’m now on my third GS Adventure.
I passed my IAM Advanced Test in 2005, then became an Observer for them in 2008.
I have been a Senior/National Observer since 2010.
I passed the IAM Masters Test in 2014, and the 5 yearly retest in 2019 with a distinction. I am registered as a Masters Mentor.
As I was spending time practising my riding skills and swotting up the theory for Senior Observer Test in 2010, I decided it would be a good time to apply for the RoSPA Test, which I passed with a Gold. I have retained the Gold on my 3 yearly retests since then.
I have been on MBEAM’s Committee since 2009, 10 years of which as the Membership Secretary. I am now the Chief Observer of the group for my sins!
I am also a rider and a rider assessor with North West Blood Bikes Lancs and Lakes.
Observer, Group Secretary & Webmaster
I rode bikes from 16 to my mid-thirties and then had a gap until a few years ago. I passed my test on a Suzuki TS125X and also rode among others a Honda CB250RS, a Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo and a Yamaha FZ600. The most unusual I bike rode was a Honda CBR400RR that had been fitted with a CBR600F engine by a mate who was a mechanic for Honda Racing. I came back to biking a few years ago and bought a BMW R1200RS and I now ride a KTM 1290 Super Adventure S.
I passed my IAM Advanced Rider with a F1rst in 2017 and became an Observer in 2019. In 2017 I also started riding for North West Blood Bikes, Lakes and Lancs.
As things have been slow this year due to Covid-19 I have also decided to take the RoSPA test.
I have also recently taken on the role of Secretary and Webmaster for MBEAM.
Being a fairly late-comer to motorcycling as in eight years ago, I have to make up for lost time! Blood-biking was the catalyst to become an associate member of IAM Roadsmart and I started observing in 2017 or thereabouts, and love the process of passing on ideas, and continuously learning at the same time…
2 Wheels have always been within my soul, initially as a cyclist, then found they come with an engine. After completing University, I bought my first big bike, an ER5. 10 Years later, I passed the ROSPA Programme for Advanced Motorcycling and latterly came to IAM some 23 years after passing my test. I have achieved Firsts for the IAM motorcycle and car courses and joined the MBEAM Observer Team in 2018. Currently, I have a garage of 1290 KTM’s and you can find me on our skills days as the ‘one over there’ going round and round in tight circles. Just don’t ask about Motogymkhana – can spend hours talking about it!
I live in Kendal, a stone’s throw from where I was brought up, on a farm in Old Hutton.
As soon as I was 16 yrs old, I stopped riding in the fields and got a 50cc motorcycle. I later moved onto numerous larger motorcycles, too many to recall! I’m currently riding a Suzuki Intruder 1800cc.
In 2000, I was impressed when Cumbria Police started the original ‘Bike Safe 2000’, so gathered a number of groups and took them to the sessions for support. Although my riding skills improved, my naive youthful attitude didn’t. In 2009, riding around too fast, I hit a car head-on, nearly losing my leg. This was the catalyst for me to join IAM; I gained a F1RST, and then a National Observers’ qualification. I am also Deputy Area Manager for North West Blood Bikes, where I meet many MBEAM members.
I love bikes, bike rallies, and biker people. If I’m not riding a bike, I’m doing one of two things…getting on, or getting off!
I came to MBEAM and Advanced Motorcycle training via the Bikesafe initiative. Enjoying the learning process, the confidence and safety that the system offered as well as seeing how much my riding was improving I became an observer as a way to give something back and to encourage other riders to discover the same. Often seen on my Ducati Multistrada, I own several bikes and enjoy their maintenance and restoration.
I’ve been riding since I was sixteen, many years ago! My first bike was a 125cc BSA Bantam followed by a 350cc Matchless both bought out of a necessity for some form of transport. Riding these gave me a taste for a and a love of biking which remains with me to this day. I took a short break from bikes when I discovered cars and women which, of course, lead to marriage and children both activities requiring my time and money for several years. I got back into biking in 1988 and have had many bikes since then – if it’s got an engine and two wheels I’ll probably want it until another one comes along. My current bikes are a 2014 Suzuki V Strom for day to day riding and a 1995 Triumph Thunderbird for dry days and special occasions.
My route into advanced motorcycling was via blood bikes – membership of which required me to take an observed ride to assess my competence. This lead me to the IAM Roadsmart course (because I wanted to not as a requirement!) which I found very helpful and which definitely improved my riding skills. When I found myself with more time on my hands I trained as an observer and have been very pleased to assist a number of associates to gain their advanced riding qualifications.
I have been riding bikes since the 1970s and still ride a Suzuki GT750 to remind me how much they have improved! I did my IAM advanced test in 2010 and quickly moved on to observing which I find very rewarding. Currently, I am a national observer with MBEAM, an observer with ROSPA and an assessor for Blood bikes who I also ride for. I enjoy the variation in riding experience that different bikes offer and might be riding a two-stroke sports bike on one day and Pan European tourer the next. It’s all good.
Observer & Vice Chair
I have been riding motorcycles from a young age, but only got round to taking my full bike test later in life and looked into taking my advance riding test in 2016. The training was really good and I passed with a F1RST, but I got the bug for riding again and to help others so I looked at what other training I could do, so I took the training with MBEAM and became a Local Observer. It has been fun helping others to get to that goal of passing their advanced riding test. Helping others is also helping me with my own next goals to become a National Observer and then do my Masters so watch this space.
I first started riding at 16 in 1980 on a Suzuki AP50 with dropped handlebars and a maximum speed of 53 mph…downhill, it smelt beautiful. As soon as I was 17, I saved £200 and purchased a Yamaha RD250. On the day of my test, the indicators stopped working so I had to completely remove them and then it began to snow. I dropped the bike in front of the examiner and he still passed me. “Well done Steven for switching the emergency stop off”
I have owned many bikes my favourite being the Kawasaki ZZR 1400, a rocket on wheels!
I passed my advanced test around 10 years ago and soon became a National Observer for the IAM. I love to teach advanced riding and watching riders enjoying using the skills I have passed on.
From the age of 9, I remember being on the back of a monkey bike and being bitten with the motorcycle bug, rode my dads Yamaha DT175 in the local fields, then 16 years old on the road with a Honda C50 in lime green, passed my test on a Suzuki ER125 and swapped it for a Yamaha RD350LC and never looked back. I wanted to become a safer rider and met the team from MBEAM at Leighton Hall hill climb, passed with a FIRST in 2017, then wanted to do more so became an observer in 2018 to pass on all the great things I learnt with the advanced course.
Observer & Training Administrator
When I was eight, I had a Raleigh 50cc. This was followed by a BSA 125cc Bantam with knobblies and a Honda 50cc. All ridden around the garden and the adjoining country park, all three cost no more than £5 total.
I have ridden bikes on the road since passing my test on a Honda CG 125 in 1980, with a break 1991 – 1996.
Taking my IAM advanced test in 2007 made me a safer and more confidant rider and I wanted to pass that on, so became an observer in 2015.
Since 2018 I have been on the MBEAM committee, as Secretary and now as Training Administrator.
I started riding in 1968 on BSA D1 Bantam: thought it was “bee’s knees” at the time. I still have the same Bantam, which gets ridden occasionally.
I have had various motorcycles since though with a big period without one in the middle. I now ride BMWs: they have mainly been RTs (armchair on wheels), but now I have a GS which is wonderful: so well balanced and responsive.
I got into Advanced Riding owing to getting caught speeding on the Wirral: 37mph in 30mph zone. I was so angry with myself, largely as I had missed all the formal and informal speed signs. No more! So, after the Speed Awareness course, I decided to do some more training. I’ve done both IAM and RoSPA.
Training and the system etc was a revelation. It leads to much better riding (skills and enjoyment) as well as much improved judgement. I still make poor decisions sometimes, but they just serve to improve future judgement.
I really enjoy observing, supporting associates in their development towards areas they want to improve.
My Motorcycle experience:
Riding since the mid 70s Started on a Honda CB250, other bikes 550 Kawasaki, Yamaha XS1100, Honda Blackbird, BMW R1200GS, BMW R1200RT, Honda Crosstourer, and at Present R1250GSA
Advanced Rider training:
3 Honda Mac courses one was free with a new Honda Blackbird in 1999 did another in 2000 and another 2001
IAM pass 07/12/2015 F1rst achieved.
ROSPA Gold Pass 02/03/2020
A Yorkshireman at heart but lived and worked in the Morecambe Bay and Lakes area for most of my life. I got my first motorbike when I was 14 and in the 40-odd years since then I have had too many to list; but a range of sport, touring, cruiser and trail/enduro bikes. Got in involved with advanced motorcycling as I believe there is always something to learn and it grew my enjoyment of biking. Enjoyed it so much that I thought I’d become an Observer and help to support others to get the most from their biking if I can.
Building and working on bikes has always been as enjoyable as riding them for me. I restored my 1st bike at 16, an old Vespa 50 and modified various others. I ride a ‘92 BMW r100r, last of the airheads and a BMW 70’s cafe racer. The best rides always seem to involve a brew stop and 5 minutes to tinker with the carbs….
Why advanced biking? I lacked confidence cornering and faffed on overtakes – IAM observed sessions moved all that on, passing with a F1RST in 2018. Supporting as an observer has already proven to be a great way to see folks improve and get more enjoyment out of their riding.
Observer, Chair, Events Coordinator
At sixteen I had to choose between an FS1E or a TY50 and so the die was cast as I went with the TY50, a trail style bike which ultimately led, predictably to a GSA which is my main bike today. I have never really been into sports bikes, preferring to keep my head above my bottom when riding! In the intervening years, I have tended toward trail style machines, except for an interlude with an R100RT.
I have also had several dalliances with trail riding as a member of Cumbria Trail Riders Fellowship, a fabulous group I am privileged to ride out with today for which I use an orange device.
Latterly I have succumbed to the fad for retro bikes and got myself a Royal Enfield Interceptor which is a great base for tinkerage and the attainment of Zen!
My particular interest is combining bikes with travel, and I am fortunate enough to have done several trips to foreign climes. Travelling on a bike is a visceral thrill on its own, doubly so when you are venturing into different landscapes and cultures.
The IAM Advanced programme and Hopp Rider training at Cadwell Park are the two things that have brought my riding on most significantly, making me at once safer, quicker, and hopefully a little more elegant!
Since passing my advanced rider test in 2010, I have enjoyed riding my bike more and wanted to give back to the club. I joined the Observer team and have had a great time passing on my skills to other bikers with great success to date. As I retired early, I am able to share my time between Cumbria & Daventry allowing me to be flexible on when I can get out with my Associates.
I started riding on a field bike (James Captain for those of a certain age) when I was 14. As soon as I was 16 I got an ex Post-Office D1 Bantam which had been painted in Dulux gloss and taught me a lot about spannering. Since then I’ve had a wide variety of bikes including British, Japanese, Italian, German, & Austrian. I did a bit of racing in the 90s and when I packed that in and got more time to spend on road biking on a Honda Blackbird I thought I better tidy up my road skills. I did my IAM car test and followed that up with my bike test shortly after.
Despite initially being a bit doubtful about what I’d learn from IAM I have to admit that it completely changed the way I ride. And it’s fair to say that I’ve enjoyed my riding a lot more since I learned how to read the road and plan ahead properly.
Having always preferred bikes to cars I thought I’d pass on all the good stuff I’d learned and become a bike Observer nearly 20 years ago, then National Observer not long after. The fact that I’m still doing it now probably tells you I’m still enjoying it and still learning too!