CBT Renewal Course

If your CBT certificate is still valid, or expired within 3 months, then you can book onto one of our Fast Track CBT renewal courses. Whilst, we’ll still cover everything that needs to be done, we’ll endeavour to only have other people on your course in a similar position, i.e. other people renewing their CBT which makes the day go a lot quicker! Otherwise, we will allocate you to the first Road Ride, wherever possible, which will have the same effect= faster.


In order to book onto one of these Fast Track CBT courses you will need to book in advance, ideally you should book about 4 weeks prior to when your old CBT certificate expires in order to get it renewed before it runs out.


CBT is not merely a formality. Most CBT riders, due to lack of extensive training and or experience, are riding unsafe. There is sufficient evidence to back this up. Just look at the accident rates released by the Department of Transport involving riders, particularly, novices and CBT riders.


At Mac Motorcycle Training in London, we emphasise on safety. Alongside, exceptional customer service, we have safety at the centre of everything that we do. All our instructors are Fully Qualified DAS Motorcycle Trainers, and most of our instructors are also Advanced Trainers, able to teach Advanced Riding Techniques. Book your CBT Renewal with us, we are 100% sure that you will never regret it. Don’t just take our word for it, read our clients reviews and see it for yourself.


£89.99 – your bike

£99.99 – our bike


You must have & bring with you, your current (or expired within 3 months) CBT certificate
**Online booking required**


Book online now, click here.



Emails us: contact@macmct.co.uk

Office Telephone line (not for booking purposes): 0203 691 8807

What is Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)?

What is Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)?

Are you all set to get your new moped or motorcycle and then hit the road? Prior to all these, you need to take up a preliminary training termed as Compulsory Basic Training (abbreviated as CBT) to attain DL196 certificate. The training is more on the lines of an assessment that was introduced by the United Kingdom’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), and the certificate attained after the assessment is valid for a duration of 2 years from the date of issue.

CBT courses are provided by Approved Training Bodies (ATBs), and recruit instructors who have cleared the Driving and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) Assessment and have instructing areas that have been approved by the DVSA for off-road training. Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) is, based on the following components:

  • Eyesight check

Eyesight of the trainee is checked. As part of the Compulsory Basic Training syllabus, you must be able to read a standard number plate in good daylight, from 20 metres (65 feet). If you need to wear glasses or corrective lenses to do this, you must wear them every time you drive/ride.


  • Element A – Introduction

Preface of CBT and other components of the training are explained in the introduction.

Safety Helmet and the importance of wearing protective equipment are also discussed.


  • Element B – Practical on-site training – this module emphasizes on controls, maintenance, and safety of the vehicle.


  • Element C – Practical on-site riding – the trainer instructs how to balance the bike and other related techniques. During this session, you will learn how to ride a moped and help in accentuating your riding skills. The points that are taken care are pulling away and stopping smoothly, taking slow control, controlled stopping in emergency situations, changing of gears (in case you wish to go for a geared bike), and many other instructions to be followed while riding.


  • Element D – Practical on-road training – another classroom chat, where the instructor will discuss about riding on the road and a brief about the highway codes to be adhered.


  • Element E – Practical on-road riding – this module consists of a minimum of 2-hour duration training, where the instructor assesses if the trainee has progressed well all through the training. You will have to demonstrate that you can ride competently and safely in a variety of road and traffic conditions. Your training will cover how to cope with a range of hazards. At the end of this session you will be assessed. This is the last component that decides if you are eligible to avail DL196 license/form.


Training on each module is, given only when there is a fine progress in the previous one. The above-mentioned components assess both practical and theory skills of the trainee. A motorcycle below 50 cc can be ridden, if you have a full car license that was issued before 1st February 2001, this does not require one to have a CBT. However, if you are planning to ride a moped over 50 cc then, you need to complete a CBT course and only then you are licensed to ride the vehicle on road. Another requirement is, after completion of the training, you need to display ‘L’ plates on your motorbike, scooter or moped. The CBT does not allow you to carry a pillion passenger or ride on motorways.


Apart from CBT training there are many other moped/motorcycle training courses or lessons ranging from beginners to experienced riders. It is to your discretion what kind of course you want to opt for, and based on that the variety of motorcycle that you can ride. Completion of the CBT course, Direct Access Scheme or Advanced Training; assists in riding the bike with much more assurance. Some centres are also able to hire you the bike for the training in case you do not possess one.


The immediate step after completion of CBT course is procuring your full motorcycle license, and this can be possessed once you pass your motorcycle theory test. This test decides what kind of license can be availed by you. This Compulsory Basic Training is most helpful for the beginners, as you would have a skilful trainer to explain you the instructions and nuances to be looked into and taken care of while riding a motorbike, moped or scooter. As the name says, this basic training can be enrolled by virtually anyone.


Duration of this training lasts from a few hours to one or more days, depending on ability. It all depends on how well you can get hold of the concepts of riding. All throughout the training one requires fundamental knowledge of the UK Highway Code and UK traffic rules and regulations. During the training, the instructor will ask some essential questions about these policies and road rules; this gives a chance to assess if you are both practical and theoretically sound to ride a motorbike on the road. You can easily complete the practical assessment if you know how to perfectly ride a moped, motorcycle or scooter and have the sense of balancing the vehicle. The sense of balancing the vehicle can easily be got if you know how to ride a bicycle and have been riding it regularly.


After completion of Compulsory Basic Training, the trainee is eligible for four different kinds of licenses based on your age and other factors. Following is a detail explanation for each of these licenses:


  1. AM Licence – Moped License:After completion of your CBT course in the UK, you can ride a scooter, moped or a motorcycle up to 125cc with L-plates (if you are 17 years old or older) . If you are looking for a full moped license and to ride with a pillion passenger, then you can also apply for AM license. To be eligible for this license you need to pass a motorcycle theory test followed by two practical tests (Module 1 & 2). Procuring of this license, allows you to ride with a pillion rider, no L plates, and also gives you a permission to ride a 50 cc motorbike or scooter that speeds up to 45 km/h. Before going for this license type, it is recommended to go for an extensive Compulsory Basic Training, which assures you about riding on the roads with much more confidence. AM License can be applied by cadets of Age 16 or over.
  2. A1 Motorcycle License: A1 Motorcycle License is considered the second-stage while getting a license. This can be applied by you if you are aged 17 or above. Once, you are through the CBT and motorcycle theory tests, you need to pass two practical tests to get an A1 license. Attaining of this license permits you to ride a motorbike or scooter up to 125 cc. Added to this; you need not have to place L-plates to your motorcycle and can ride along with a passenger. This A1 license can be considered beneficial, as this would lessen your insurance burden. If you wish to go for more advanced licenses like A2 Motorcycle License then it would require minimum gap of two years, after which you need to attend another practical test – passing of which you are eligible for that license too.
  3. A2 Motorcycle License: As mentioned above; there are two ways of attaining A2 Motorcycle license. One, get your A1 Motorcycle License, wait for duration of two-years, take a practical test and avail A2 Motorcycle License. Second option is, directly apply for A2 Motorcycle License is, if you are aged 19 years or above, then you can directly apply for this license. But, similar to other licenses, you have to pass a Motorcycle Theory Test and two practical tests. The Direct Access route to the license is by passing through CBT, motorcycle theory, and the practical tests.

To have this license gives you consent to ride a motorbike that powers up to 35KW (46 bhp), which means permission to ride a bigger and more powerful vehicles on the road. Similar to other licenses you do not need to display L-plate, and you can carry a passenger and also ride on motorways.

  1. Unrestricted A motorcycle license: This can be said as the most powerful and last license anyone can acquire. If you have attained the age of 24, then you can directly apply for A motorcycle license. Possessing of this license will authorize you to ride a motorbike of any size or power. Similar to an A2 motorcycle license, availing of this license also has two procedures: one, if you are already the holder of A2 Motorcycle License, and have passed two years duration, then pass the practical tests. Another way of getting this license is to complete CBT and pass a motorcycle theory and practical tests. Alike all other licenses, you need not carry L-plates on your vehicle and have the authority to have a pillion passenger while you are riding.

Across availing of all these licenses, one has to keep a keen note that riding safely and sticking to the road policies and highway codes, will not only help in comfortable rides for you and the one along with you. Also, for the other people on and off-the road.

Compulsory Basic Training cannot be the end place for completion of learning or training. Further moped training will help you to understand more about your controlling of the bike and improve your riding skills.

During the CBT training in London, you will be also specified the clothing rules to be followed. Some of which are mentioned here:

  • A motorcycle or scooter safety helmet that is designed based on the European Safety Standards (ECER 22.05) has to be worn. There are some exceptions for not wearing this helmet, like: if you are Sikh and wear a turban.
  • Foot gear or footwear that you wear should be strong and sturdy so that it supports your ankle and provides enough protection while riding the scooter or moped
  • Strong or heavy trousers while riding the vehicle is suggested – this is mentioned because, in case of any road accidents, you would be less hurt or this kind of clothing will protect to certain extent
  • The same above point is applied for upper part of the body. Thick clothed jackets like denim or leather is suggested to be worn
  • Gloves for the palms that helps in better grip of the vehicle.
  • Eye-protection such as a visor or googles is also a legal requirement while riding.

Further to CBT course, there are other schemes that are designed for bike riders with Unrestricted or Full Motorcycle License. One these schemes is the Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS), which was developed by the Driver and Vehicle Standard Agency (DVSA). This is specifically for the riders with good experience in riding the vehicle of any size or power. This scheme does not require the rider to take any test if they meet the expectation. A plus point to this scheme is that, you can also earn discount on your motorcycle insurance.

Apart from the basic trainings, these additional developmental trainings help in enhancing your riding skills and give benefits like reduction on insurance, and many more pros. There are many companies that cater to these trainings and courses; enrolling yourself into one of these is always a best option. It is always good to be assessed and equipped with the right knowledge, rules, codes, and policies before hitting the road, this will not only help in keeping you on the safety ground but others too.

The first bike is always the best

The First Bike Is Always The Best

By Talent.W

Buying a motorcycle is certainly a very special experience. You should be making sure that you are doing your bit to make sure that only the best motorcycle comes your way. Your first scooter or motorcycle will be one of the amazing purchases you will ever make. However, you need to be extra careful as a first time buyer. Most of the people fail to understand the fact that they need to pay attention to every little detail about their machine in order to become a perfect rider. Imagine buying a really high end model of Ducati when you have just started to learn. It is almost like expecting a child to drive a train. It is definitely going to be thrilling for the first two seconds, after which the joy ride becomes a nightmare for most of the riders.

This is the reason why you should be very careful about buying your first motorcycle. As a first timer, you don’t really know the small nit-picks about motorbikes. However, there is basically nothing wrong in this. You are not expected to know it all. However, familiarizing yourself with a few details about the kind of motorbike that would suit you is better. You can learn the basics with ease. All you have to do is focus on getting a motorbike that you really love to ride, instead of the one that everyone else is buying. Before we could move on to the details, we want you to familiarize yourself with the very concept of buying your first motorbike. Take a look.

The basic rules of buying your first motorcycle/scooter or moped

  • It is better to start small…

On most of the occasions, you will try to search for the best bikes in London. You would also check out the list of the bikes that have won the most awards and so on. The approach is wrong here. You cannot buy a 1000cc heavy duty monster right away. It would be making it difficult to learn. Even some of the best motorcycle riders use these bikes sparingly and very carefully because they do not want to hurt anyone, or themselves. You must start with entry level bikes first and then graduate to the higher end makes. In this way, you will keep enjoying your excellent motor biking experience with ease. Bigger bikes need more experienced riders. Make sure that you earn that experience before you buy a new bike for yourself. Begin with a low performance standards bike first. When you become more experienced, you can jump to 1000+cc bikes as well. But not right in the beginning.

  • Understand your need for buying a motorcycle

Anyone can get impressed with a motorcycle that they saw during a music fest. Of course, those motorbikes look great and you really wish to buy them. You might want a motorbike for regular transport. Some others want motorbikes that can take them to the outskirts of London, while some other want super powerful sports motorbikes. There are many people who do not like stock manufactured products and get a customized bike made for themselves. Therefore, before you choose a bike, make sure that you understand your need first. You may want a street bike, a sports bike or even the long haul cruiser bikes. The need would decide the category of bikes you should be looking for. So make sure that you define the category of bikes that you want and then move ahead with anything else. If you feel like 0-60 in less than 4 seconds is your thing, then buying a cruiser bike will never be your choice.

  • Check out the availability

You already know what ‘type’ of motorcycle you want to buy. Now, you simply need to look around and match your criteria with different motorbikes. Every motorcycle is different. A 600cc motorcycle from one brand can be completely different from a 600cc motorcycle from some other brand. Therefore, take your time and research about all the options that can be available to you. Though you will be getting a very wide variety to choose from, there could be times when the availability of a bike in London can become an issue. Some machines are available only in specific regions of the world and no matter how perfectly they match your criteria, it might never be a good idea to import them all the way to London. So be patient with your buying and look for what can be readily available to you. Some bikes come with a low power standard but their blast ability is fantastic. So check out everything that suits you and everything that can be available to you.

  • Don’t forget to buy a bike according to your body type

While you are out on the roads, your bike is going to be an extension of your own body. Therefore, you should be making sure that it is a perfect fit. Ergonomic suitability is really important when it comes to a motorcycle. You cannot expect the same comfort from a moped as you expect from a scooter. So be careful about this feature. Some bikes have very high seats and they could be difficult to balance (a strict no-no for beginners). Some others have balanced center of gravity which can be managed with ease. Cruiser bikes generally have lower seats so that you can drive them for long distances with ease. You will have to take a test ride in order to check whether the bike really suits your body type or not.

  • Check whether you want a new bike or a used bike

A new bike will always cost you more but they usually come with a good warranty. If you make any mistakes while riding and get an occasional dent or scratch, the guilt will be high but the costs will likely be covered. However, when you buy an older motorcycle, the initial costs can be low. The operational costs, however, can rise up with time. Therefore, you will have to make sure that you are buying something that does not need as much maintenance. Remember, there are no warranties involved here. It would be a good idea to start with a moderately used motorcycle as a beginner or while you are undergoing motorcycle training London. When you feel more comfortable in riding, you can always shift to the newer bikes.

  • Consider the extras as well

When you are buying a motorcycle, scooter or moped for yourself, you definitely have to pay a considerable rate of insurance for it. Of course, insurance is not going to come cheap as chips. So selecting a good motorcycle also means selecting the cheapest possible insurance for your motorcycle. You should also be making sure that you are investing in things such as helmets, safety gears, gloves etc. They may appear to be small expenses but they also mean a lot in making your motorcycling experiences better. As a beginner, you must never underestimate the value of these things.

The most common issue to resolve- geared or automatic bike?

The most common issue that people face when they opt for CBT course Edgware is choosing the bike that will make them pass the test. Let us first tell you that CBT is simply a Compulsory Basic Training. Even if you never sat on a bike before, you can be a part of this program. This is not a test that you need to pass or fail. So, first get rid of these apprehensions. Secondly, you can choose any bike for the CBT course Edgware. As a beginner, it will be easier for you to choose the automatic bikes as they are easier to maneuver and control. The geared bikes will need more efforts from your side and you will have to work your way towards shifting the gears of your bike according to the speed and the surface you are driving. This is not a difficult thing to learn. You might just take a few more days to understand the gear system and use it.

There are a few more things that you should understand before choosing a bike. In general, it would be better for you to understand the manual geared biking as well. This is more of a skill that every biker must learn. You can do so after your initial Compulsory Basic Training is over as part of a Gear Conversion Course. The automatic gearbox bikes often cost more and you will definitely have to think about costlier maintenance as well. However, they are a breeze to drive and you don’t have to fret much about shifting gears in your motorcycles anymore. As a beginner, you have to make a choice for yourself. Both the options are great and you should definitely make sure that you know how to drive them both. Be careful when it comes to cruiser bikes. They may come with manual gears only.

The New vs. Used Dilemma

Buying a motorcycle has never been a difficult task for most of us. However, making sure that you are buying a bike that is useful enough for you will definitely help you a lot. As a stark beginner, an old bike can always turn out to be a better option, simply because you will not get a heartache each time you see a dent or scratch on these bikes. They will also be a smaller investment for the beginners and if there are maintained well, then the high operational costs can be avoided too. The new bikes comes with a lot of advantages. You will get a completely new machine to drive that is also covered under a warranty for damage. However, if you are not careful, then get ready for a mini heart attack. We would always advise you to get started with an older bike first. When you feel confident enough, opt for a new build. That shall be really helpful for you.

In case you want to buy a new scooter, moped or motorcycle, then you must look for the authorized dealers of these motorcycles in your area. There are many manufacturer’s dealerships where you can buy from. In case you wish to buy used motorcycles, then GumTree and EBay will be good places to buy. You can also buy on Auto Trader. Additionally, if there is someone you know personally who would like to sell his motorbike, then you can go ahead with that purchase as well.

Is the brand everything you need to focus on?

While you go to buy your first scooter, motorcycle or moped, you want to make sure that you are buying something that is as powerful as it is learner friendly. In such cases, you get to make another choice i.e. the choices between established brands and the lesser-known brands. The biggest brands that are making bikes for you are Piaggio, Suzuki, Yamaha and Honda. Some lesser known brands include Lexmoto, Sym and Direct Bikes. It might not be difficult for you to make a choice if you have already decided on the brand that you wish to choose. However, if you are facing a dilemma, then we suggest you to opt for the bikes that give you more quality and those that are reliable as well. Here is a small comparison between the two:

Established Brands: quite reliable in terms of performance and quality. However, the price could be intimidating as most of the top brands are imported. Finding the parts from the dealers is also not difficult, but the prices could again be quite high. However, they provide you more customer support and are generally quite well known for the quality of even the spare parts they provide. They boast of innovative designs and new technology even in the beginner bikes so that you can get the best that the industry has to offer.

Lesser known Brands: though they are great in terms of parts availability and prices, they do not have as great technologies as the more established brands. However, pricing can definitely make you get attracted towards the motorcycles that they have to offer. You will find a number of such motorcycles at the spaces offering motorcycle training London. They are fairly reliable as well and you definitely get a lot of value for your money.

As a matter of fact, buying a beginner friendly motorbike from some of the lesser known brands at a smaller price will always be an advantage for you.

Following the tips given above, you would be making sure that you buy the best motorcycle for you. Remember, biking is a passion and you need to follow it from the bottom of your heart.

Can I carry a child as a pillion passenger on a motorcycle?

Can I carry a child as a pillion passenger on a motorcycle?


You can carry a child as a passenger on a motorcycle, providing legal requirements are met. The motorcycle must have a pillion seat and footrests that the passenger can reach with their feet. The child must be able to sit astride the machine safely and hold onto the rider, the pillion hand-holds or bar.

The child must wear a suitable, well-fitting helmet and preferably protective clothing (gloves, boots, jacket and trousers in a suitable material). Preferably child and rider should wear some high visibility clothing. Protective clothing can be expensive, so RoSPA recommends sourcing second-hand equipment (but helmets should always be purchased brand new).

The child must be able to understand how to react to the motorbike’s movement, especially acceleration, braking and cornering. They must pay attention to what is going on, and as children’s attention spans can be short, they should only be carried on short journeys. The rider must be aware of the danger of the child falling asleep, and that children need extra stops to go to the toilet and eat regularly.

Parents need to be confident that the child is mature enough to understand what is required of them and to remain alert and play their part in ensuring safety.

The rider should be trained and experienced with sufficient skill and ability to carry a pillion safely and deal with the following:

  •  Altered handling of the motorcycle and changes in centre of gravity
  • A pillion tends to shunt forward under heavy braking; the helmet can clash with that of the rider, so the rider should be prepared for this
  • Extra weight, particularly on a smaller motorcycle, requires more throttle and clutch control and earlier and harder braking
  • Riding downhill requires an increase in braking distance, as does riding in the wet
  • More care is required in cornering – increased weight can affect clearances
  • Allow more time and space for overtaking – extra weight will affect speed and manoeuvrability.

Riders should consider taking advanced or refresher training before carrying a pillion for the first time.

Advanced Motorcycle Training London

Motorcycle Training London – When You’re Hot, You’re HOT

When You’re Hot, You’re HOT!

by David L. Hough   –   www.soundrider.com

The ride south over the Siskiyou Mountains from Oregon to California started out cool enough. Up at 4,000 feet, it was chilly enough that I was glad I had added the jacket liner and neck warmer. But a hundred miles later, as I descend down into the Sacramento Valley, the temperature begins to soar. By the time I reach Oroville, the temperature signs are flashing 118 F. It’s another hundred and fifty miles to the rally site at Mariposa in triple-digit temperatures.

A rider passes by in the opposite lane, jacket bungeed on the back, bare chest exposed to the hot blast. I wave, but there is no response. His exposed skin is red, and he doesn’t even appear to have noticed me, a bad sign that he’s on the fringe of heat exhaustion. I don’t wish any problems on a fellow motorcyclist, but there are lots of riders who have to contribute to the statistics before they crack the code.

To continue the ride, I go into hot weather survival mode. Full riding gear, including riding pants, leather boots, and gloves, and a knit neck “cooler” saturated with water. As quickly as the fabric dries out in the blast-furnace wind, I flip the faceshield open, squeeze a gusher of water down my chin, and slam the faceshield shut again. The water dribbles down to wet the neck cooler and my shirt inside the jacket. About 10 seconds after the water penetrates the neck cooler, it cools from evaporation in the hot air, and sucks some heat out of my neck.

I stop at a fast-food outlet every few miles to replenish the water bottle with ice and water. Whether riding or stopping for water, other people stare at me in disbelief. Peering out of their air-conditioned cars, or sitting in an air-conditioned restaurant, they just can’t understand how anyone could tolerate being outside during a heat wave, bundled up in heavy riding gear.

Your body has automatic “thermostats” to protect the core organs from heat stress, including sweating, vasodilation, increase in heart rate and reduction of blood pressure. If these tactics don’t keep core temperature within the redline, the body gives you warnings such as heat cramps. If you don’t take care of the problem, it gets more serious, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke.


The body has sweat glands to keep the skin damp. The evaporating sweat sucks heat from the skin, and transfers it to the air. Of course sweat is primarily water, so it’s critical to keep replenishing the supply. That’s one reason why we need to drink about a pint of water every hour during hot, dry conditions. One problem for motorcyclists is that at highway speed, the sweat glands may not keep up with the evaporation. Or, if the sweating uses up too much water, your body temperature regulating system goes on the fritz, like a dry battery.


To help cool down the core, blood vessels enlarge to circulate more blood (and therefore body heat) towards the skin. If ambient air temperature is lower than body temperature, excess heat can be absorbed by the air. But if the air gets hotter than the skin, the increased blood flow simply soaks up more heat from the air and pumps it back to the core.

Heart rate and blood pressure

The heart responds to increasing heat (“hyperthermia”) by increasing the heart rate to pump more blood into those enlarged blood vessels. As the air temperature rises, heart rate (pulse) can increase 50% to 70% faster than the normal resting rate. The increased flow causes blood pressure to drop, and blood flow is shunted away from muscles and brain, towards the skin. Consider the implications of those changes on a motorcyclist. The lowered blood pressure reduces muscle control and brain activity, and more blood is pumped towards the skin–where it is vulnerable to road rash

Symptoms of trouble

The human body won’t take much of an increase in core temperature without complaining. The symptoms of overheating are leg cramps, tired muscles, headaches, dizziness, and even fainting. The various symptoms are trying to tell you how overcooked you’re getting.

Heat Cramps

Muscle cramps caused by heat usually effect the legs and lower abdomen first, then the arms. Heat cramps are a symptom that the body’s electrolytes are running low. It’s not smart to ignore muscle cramps. Find some shade and take a break. Sip water or an “exercise” drink Exert firm pressure or massage the cramped muscles to relieve the spasms. If you’re still in pain, the recommended first aid dose is 1/2 teaspoon of table salt per half glass of water every 15 minutes.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion occurs as the body continues to shunt blood away from the brain and muscles. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

1. Headaches, dizziness, nausea, momentary fainting

2. Cramps

3. Tiredness, weakness

4. Profuse sweating

5. Pale, clammy skin

6. Approximately normal body temperature

If you begin to feel these symptoms during a desert ride, take immediate action before you pass out. 1. Get into some shade, preferably into an air-conditioned room.

2. Loosen clothing and wet down skin or undershirt to increase evaporative cooling.

3. Slowly sip water, or salt water solution, same dose as for heat cramps. Avoid alcohol or caffeine.

4. If you feel faint, lie down and get feet raised above head level.

5. If you can’t keep the salt water down, get emergency medical aid. You may need an intravenous salt solution.

6. Even after you begin to feel normal again, consider staying out of the heat for a day or two. Your body needs some time to recuperate. If you are on a long trip, consider a 24 hour layover in the next air-conditioned motel.

Heat Stroke

If you experience heat exhaustion and just try to “tough out” the heat without getting cooled down and rehydrated, the body thermostats will begin to fail. Core temperature continues to rise (may go as high as 106 or 107 degrees F.), sweating stops, the heart beats even faster, and you may pass out. If you are coherent enough to recognize the symptoms, immediately get medical aid while you are still mobile. And watch your riding buddies for any of the following heat stroke symptoms.

1. Victim incoherent, staring vacantly, blanking out, or unresponsive

2. Skin hot, red, dry (no perspiration)

3. Rapid pulse

4. Body temperature elevated

Yes, heat stroke is life threatening. It’s a medical emergency. Don’t be bashful about calling 911 for assistance. In the meanwhile,

1. Get the victim into some shade, out of riding gear, and cooled down by any means available. If possible, get the victim into an air-conditioned room, or use fans to help provide evaporative cooling.

2. Repeatedly sponge skin with cool water or rubbing alcohol. Apply cold packs or ice cubes if you can get them. The goal is to get body temperature below 102 degrees F.

3. Don’t give the victim any stimulants, especially not any alcoholic beverages.

4. If the victim’s temperature begins to rise again, repeat the cooling process.

5. As soon as possible, get the victim to emergency treatment.

Avoiding the Ugliness

Even after a heat stroke victim has been cooled down and rested, the ugliness isn’t over. It’s not uncommon to have intestinal upset for a week or so, with food coming out both ends of the pipe. I know you’d rather avoid that sort of ugliness.

People from cooler climates often react to hot weather by removing clothing. That helps cool the skin–providing air temperature is less than body temperature. Heat transfers from a hot object to a cold object. Pick up an ice cube, and it feels cold. What’s happening is that the ice is rapidly absorbing heat from your skin. Even if the air is 89F, the air will absorb heat from your skin (assuming your body is around 99F). Now, consider what happens when you curl your fingers around a hot cup of coffee. Your skin rapidly absorbs heat from the cup, because the cup is hotter than your hand. The same thing occurs when the air temperature is hotter than your body temperature.

You may think your body is hot at 99 F, but it’s “cold” compared to air at 118 F. If you expose your skin to air that’s hotter than you are, your body just soaks up more heat.

The lesson here is that if air temperature is in the 80s or 90s, it helps to open up the jacket vents, or wear a mesh jacket. But once air temperature climbs above 99 F, the best way to keep from getting cooked is to keep your insulation on, and the vents closed. Desert nomads wear long, loose wool garments, both to keep the sweating skin in the shade, and to insulate the body from the hot air.

With the temperature in triple digits, I wear my leather gloves and insulated riding. My feet are down in the air stream that’s first been heated up by the pavement, and then heated some more by the engine. Are my feet hot? Sure, but not as hot as if I were wearing thin boots or shoes that exposed my ankles.

Same for the helmet. Wouldn’t it make sense to crack my visor when it’s really hot, or at least open up the helmet vents? Nope. Any hot air allowed to reach my skin will heat up the skin, not cool it down. Inside my helmet at 118F, I’m sweltering, but the temperature is probably under 100 F. That crushable helmet liner inside the shell is there to cushion my brain against impacts, but it’s the same expanded polystyrene foam they use to make insulated picnic coolers. So, the helmet actually provides insulation against the hot air.

One additional concern about exposed skin is sun and wind burn. Even if you wear heavy duty sunscreen to protect against a nasty sunburn, the wind at motorcycling speeds can also irritate the skin. If you’re riding more than a few miles, it’s best to keep your skin covered.

Evaporative Cooling

More physics now. When water evaporates, it cools down. Blow hot air through a wet bandana, and the bandana cools down. Cooling the skin cools the blood, which cools down the whole body. Evaporative cooling works best on areas of the body where there are large blood vessels close to the skin: the groin and the neck. A motorcyclist’s groin is too close to the engine and too far out of the air stream. That’s why wearing something wet around your neck is so important.

The bad news is that evaporative cooling only works well in dry climates. When the humidity is already high, (you’re 99/99 in Missouri in August–99 degrees and 99 percent) neither perspiration nor the water in your neckband evaporate very well. Limited evaporation; limited cooling. But of course there is shade in Missouri, so the best tactic may be to simply take more breaks in humid climates. Or, you can ride early in the morning when it’s cool, and rest in the shade in the afternoon.

For those of us riding in the deserts of Washington, Oregon, and California, the air is relatively dry, so evaporative cooling works very well. A wet bandana around your chin will cool you for a few minutes, but the hot wind blast will quickly evaporate all the water. You need to keep replenishing the water every few minutes. Better yet, wear thicker fabric that holds a lot more water.

For instance, Aerostich makes an “Evapodanna” made of the same fuzzy material used in camp towels. (“evaporative bandana”, get it?) You just saturate it with water, and wrap it around your neck. Occasionally dribble some water on it and it will continue to cool all day. There are also some tubular neckties containing special polymer crystals that soak up a huge quantity of water. They are an advantage for slow speed activities such as golf, but the crystals release the water very slowly, and can’t give off enough water at motorcycling speeds to provide much evaporative cooling.

Keep Your Tummy Tank Full

The other important tactic for hot weather is to drink lots of water, to replenish your electrolytes and refill your sweat glands. We’re talking at least a pint per hour. Exercise drinks containing “electrolytes” (salts) are acceptable, unless you have high blood pressure. And flavored drinks may be very high in sugar, too. Carbonated soft drinks are better than nothing, although it would be best to get the water without large doses of salt, sugar and chemicals. Almost all grocery stores and convenience markets have chilled filtered water in plastic bottles, handy for both drinking and wetting down your bandana.

More than a few riders carry a water bladder, such as a “Platypus” carried on the back in a fabric holster, or in a jacket pocket. Some water bladders can be pressurized with small pumps, and evaporative cooling wrappers are available to help chill the bladder. Aerostich is a good source of serious hot weather hydration devices. Aerostich: (800) 222-1994 or www.aerostich.com. You can also find water bladders at sporting goods stores such as REI in Seattle.

In hot weather, avoid alcoholic drinks. Obviously, alcohol reduces judgment. What’s not so obvious is that alcohol stimulates abnormal heartbeats, depresses the pump function of the heart, and actually dehydrates the body. Alcohol does all the wrong things for a motorcyclist in the desert.

So, when it’s really hot, keep your jacket on, and soak down your T-shirt. Wear a wet neck cooler, and keep dribbling water on it. If you’re getting too hot, or start feeling any hints of muscle cramps or heat exhaustion, don’t just keep riding. Take steps to cool down while you’re still thinking clearly. Take a break in the shade, or stop at a convenience store and buy a bag of crushed ice to stuff inside your jacket. The melting ice water will soak your gear and provide evaporative cooling even after the ice is gone.

Route Planning

In general, higher elevations are cooler. If it’s really hot down on the valley floor, consider an alternate road with a higher (cooler) elevation. Sometimes you don’t have any alternative other than crossing a desert. But you can adjust your schedule. One tactic is to hibernate at a cool motel during the heat of the day, and head out after dark, when the temperature is lower.

Adjust your thinking

If you live in a temperate area where the thermometer seldom rises above 90F, you need to readjust your thinking for those forays into hotter territory. Remember, insulate your skin from the sun and hot air, use evaporative cooling around your neck, and drink lots of water. Oh yeh, learn to ignore the stares of other motorists and dehydrated bikers who think you’re crazy to wear heavy gear on a hot day.

David Hough is a long-time motorcyclist and journalist. His work has appeared in numerous motorcycle publications, but he is best known for the monthly skills series “Proficient Motorcycling” in Motorcycle Consumer News, which has been honored by special awards from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Selected columns were edited into a book “Proficient Motorcycling” published by Bowtie Press. He is also the author of “Driving A Sidecar Outfit”. A pocket handbook, “Street Strategies” is also on the market as is More Proficient Motorcycling.

Motorcycle Training London

Mac Motorcycle Training – CBT Compulsory Basic Training London

How to ride in the Rain

by rideapart.com


Scared of riding in the wet stuff? There’s no need; with a little know-how and a little preparation, riding in the rain can be just as safe and just as fun as riding on a nice, sunny day. Here’s how to ride a motorcycle in the rain.

The heavens have opened and it’s pouring. You can’t see very far down the road thanks to the spray coming off other vehicles. Your visor is misting up and you’re not entirely sure how you and your bike are going to handle the rain. Slow down a bit. Relax. Pay attention. After all, it’s only water.

The Right Equipment
Riding in the rain for a long period of time? You’re going to get wet. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on rain gear or what exaggerated claims the manufacturer makes, it’s just going to happen. Period. But, there are steps you can take to stay comfortable, warm, mostly dry and, most importantly, safe.

The thing is, that when it rains, you’re going to get cold. And getting cold will decrease your ability to concentrate and your ability to control the motorcycle. So, riding in the rain shouldn’t simply be an effort at gritting your teeth and sticking with it, you need to prepare.

The first thing to consider is likely visor fogging. With moisture in the air, every helmet we’ve ever tested has fogged up. Well, with the exception of Icon helmets, which are designed in rainy Portland and somehow gifted with magical anti-fog properties. Your more expensive helmet can be, too, simply by fitting a Pinlock, Fog City or similar insert. These really do work perfectly so, even though it’s dry today, go ahead and order one and install it in your clear visor. You’ll thank us when you’re caught in a storm.

Also on the subject of vision: ditch the dark visor for a clear one, and if you’re regularly riding in the wet, consider a yellow (clear yellow, not gold iridium) shield. These increase contrast and therefore vision in bad conditions. Endurance racers swear by them.

Every helmet maker ever will tell you not to apply Rain-X or something similar to your visor. However, we’ve been doing it for years with no ill effects. It causes water to quickly bead up and run off, aiding vision. It’s said to reduce the effective life of your shield, but we’re replacing our clear visors once a year anyway due to scratches and whatnot. So it’s definitely worth considering if you’re regularly riding in wet road conditions.

The next thing to consider is your hands. They are the first things to get cold, and you need their fine control to delicately operate the controls. If your hands go numb, you aren’t able to ride safely. Period. So keep them warm and dry. Look for a pair of gloves with a name brand waterproof membrane like Gore-Tex or eVent. Because you want to retain control, gloves get bonus points for laminating that membrane to the outer shell, thereby eliminating one layer of stuff moving around between you and the levers. Gore-Tex X-TRAFIT has just such a lamination process and is used on the latest waterproof gloves from Alpinestars and Dainese.

Now you want to consider your bike’s riding position. If your arms sit level on the bars (such as on an ADV or Standard bike) or sit higher (as on a Cruiser) you’ll want gauntlets that go over your jacket, then cinch tight. If you’re riding a Sport Bike, Sport Tourer or performance Naked and your arms slope down, you’ll want gloves that fit under your jacket, so rain running down your sleeves doesn’t enter your gloves.

In a pinch, a pair of nitrile shop gloves or those cheesy plastic mitts gas stations give out at the Diesel pumps will help keep you dry and warm. Heck, even Marigolds have been known to help; that’s what Barry Sheene would wear under his leather race gauntlets.

That same name-brand waterproof membrane advice goes for your jacket and pants or suit. Make sure zippers come with rain flaps so moisture doesn’t pass right through and look for a neck and cluffs that cinch tightly to keep out the water. One-piece suits like the Aerostich Roadcrafter do a better job of keeping you dry than two-pieces, simply because the rain can’t sneak in around your lower back. A regular application of NikWax or Scotch Guard can help keep out the water, too.

Then there’s the tricky subject of boots. For some reason, manufacturers have yet to find a way to make a decent pair of waterproof motorcycle boots that also provide good feel and safety. Part of the reason is probably that boots sit in the spray coming off the front tire, so are essentially being powerwashed the entire time you’re riding. Look for boots that include a waterproof gusset in the entry flap that goes nearly as high as the boot itself, keep that name brand membrane in mind and regularly apply a silicone boot spray or similar around the sole/body stitching and any other hardware and you might get away with only damp feet. Wear wool socks, they’ll keep you warm even when they get wet. And they will get wet.

Which brings us to the subject of what you wear under all that. Because rain is, absolutely, no argument, going to get inside your outer layer, your inner layer(s) also need to work to keep your warm and dry. A good ol’ fleece jacket works well at that, as do wool sweaters. You’ll also want a balaclava or scarf that doesn’t soak up water to protect your neck. Seal Skinz socks do a great job of keeping your feet dry, even in ventilated race boots.

And, on top of all that, consider the reduced vision everyone on the road is sharing. Wear bright, reflective items to help drivers see you through the spray.

What Happens When It Rains
Water falls out of the sky. Duh. But that water also does some unexpected stuff.

Road surfaces are porous. In the dry, those pores soak up oil and other substances, which are then lifted to the surface by rainwater. The most dangerous time to ride is in the first hour of a heavy rainstorm, when all that junk has been lifted to the surface of the road, but not yet washed away.

Road accessories seemingly designed for safety also become positively treacherous. The paint marking lanes and other such stuff becomes icy-slick when it gets wet. So stay off of it. The same goes for manhole covers, tar snakes and those idiotic steel plates major American cities place all over roadways when they’re under maintenance. Those things are just death in the rain. Look ahead, plan ahead and ride smoothly. Never allow yourself to be caught riding over this stuff then suddenly find the need to panic brake. It simply won’t happen.

Water sitting on the road surface gets between your tires and the road, reducing grip. That’s why there’s all that tread on your tires; its only job is to remove water from between tire and road. The rule of thumb is that the more tread there is, the more effectively water will be removed.

Over cars, motorcycles benefit from narrower tires that slice through puddles. So, hydroplaning is rare. But it can happen. Anything that looks like it might be deeper than half an inch should, if possible, be avoided. Or, if you have to ride through it, take it through at steady throttle while bolt upright. Stay off the brakes.

As the recent flooding in Colorado sadly illustrated, fast moving water should be avoided at all costs. If a stream has broken its banks and is flowing across the road, alter your route to avoid it. Attempting to ride through it could kill you.

What You Need To Watch Out For
Even on a nice, clean, level road surface, grip levels are going to decrease. You won’t be able to brake or accelerate or turn with nearly as much speed or force.

This applies to everyone else on the road too, but car and truck drivers tend to be a little less aware than bikers. You’re already riding defensively, in the wet you need to be even more careful around other vehicles. Their vision is reduced, their braking distances are increased and the odds of someone spinning across the road into you or just generally doing something unpredictable and stupid grow enormously.

That same spray also reduces your own vision, making it harder for you to see ahead, plan ahead and take evasive action in plenty of time.

What You Can Do
Slow down. Seriously, just slow down. Not only does doing so ask less of your tires and grip levels, but it will give you more time to look ahead, identify hazards and come up with a plan for avoiding them. It’ll give you more time to read road signs and decrease your braking distances too.

You also need to focus on riding more smoothly. Harsh, abrupt application of power, brakes or steering can exacerbate the limited grip on offer, causing premature loss of traction.

Loosen up, too. A white knuckle grip on the bars exaggerates reactions and prevents your bike from working out problems itself. You don’t need to react to every little loss of traction or bar wiggle, let the bike handle those things for you. It can do so if you’re not clinging to the bars with a death grip, arms locked.

When using the brakes, the same method as riding in the dry applies: slowly squeeze the lever to load the front tire and compress the suspension, then gradually increase force until you achieve the desired degree of deceleration. You can brake quite hard in the wet, you just need to do so smoothly and progressively. Actually, that applies to all your controls. Be careful of the back brake, decreased grip can result in locking it up even sooner and doing so in a corner might wipe you out.

Same thing with the throttle. Accelerate a little more gently, a little later and just try to be smoother. Should a slide occur due to acceleration, don’t slam the throttle shut, just hold it still, look where you want to go and the bike should do the rest.

Ron Haslam once told me his trick for wet racing was to counter intuitively by using a lower gear to keep revs higher. Higher revs equals more power, which may sound like a recipe for a slide, but more power also equals less throttle applied for a given amount of acceleration. Because of that, the rear tire is less prone to dramatically spinning up should traction be lost, allowing you to more easily correct the situation. The rules to remember: High gear, low revs, big throttle and a big slide. Low gear, high revs, little throttle and a little slide.

When it comes to other vehicles, simply give them as much room as possible. And keep your eyes on the prize: getting to your destination safely. This isn’t time to try and start a fight with someone because they’re tailgating you, just move aside and let them pass; you’d rather have an unsafe driver in front of you, where you can control your distance from him, than behind you, where he’s in charge.

As you slow for a traffic light, start braking even earlier than you need to for the altered road conditions. This helps to control traffic behind you, bringing it to a controlled stop rather than surprising them with anything unexpected. It’s sort of like herding sheep.

At traffic lights, if it’s safe to do so, stop ahead of or between other traffic, using it as a free crumple zone. If you have to stop at a red light all by yourself, sit between rather than square in the middle of the lane and flash your brake light to draw the attention of distracted drivers.

Late at night, in a rare Los Angeles rain storm, I once had a driver plow through a red light at 50+ mph with all four of his (completely bald) tires locked, missing me and my bike by maybe half an inch. Because I was sitting on the lane marker rather than in my lane, I lived to write this article.

Last but not least: ABS and Traction Control. These work and should top the list of features you want on your next motorcycle. All the above safety advice still applies, just with a nice helping hand there to make you a little bit safer.

What are your tips for riding in the rain? Marshawn Lynch Authentic Jersey

CBT London

CBT Training, CBT Course, CBT London.

Motorcycle Training, serving North West London, North London, West London, Central London, East London, Edgware, Harrow, Wembley, Willesden and much more.