Top 5 Smooth Riding Tips

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) have been around for over 50 years teaching drivers how to drive better and riders how to ride better. We all think we can ride well but how do we measure ‘well’? Is it down to not having an accident or getting to work in record time…or could it all come down to how much you enjoy your riding, wherever you’re going, however long it takes?

IAM - offering online advice too

I recently followed an advanced instructor and hardly noticed a brake light so when I asked him about it, he said, “if you know what’s going on ahead of you, you can plan accordingly.” There was no aggressive accelerating or hard braking; it all looked smooth like the bike was floating along the road. A smoother style also meant a more relaxed riding position.

He did mention that the use of brakes was a good indication to the vehicles behind that you were slowing down so even if you didn’t need to brake, occasionally a light pull of the lever can send a useful message.

We caught up with IAM expert Geoff Pretty and got his Top 5 Five Tips for a Smoother Riding style:

  • Take additional training. The more skills, knowledge and experience you gain the better. No matter how good you are (or how good you think you are), there is always more to learn and scope to improve.
  • Slow In - Fast Out. The way to deal with any hazard you encounter. Ease off, assess, plan and execute your manoeuvre before accelerating away. Don't rush into any situation you can't fully see, even if you know the road really well - after all, you wouldn't want to run around your house with your eyes closed, would you?
  • Self Assess. Give yourself an honest appraisal of your performance after every ride. Think of where things could have been safer, smoother, more controlled etc; then work out how to improve next time.
  • Talk to Yourself. An excellent method for maintaining concentration and ensuring you are taking in all relevant information (don't worry - others can't see you behind your helmet!). This is particularly useful when you are feeling tired and need to keep 'switched on,' until you can find somewhere safe to take a rest.
  • Practice. The more you carry out any activity, the better you get (sometimes referred to as muscle memory). The physical act of riding the bike will then become second-nature; this will allow you to devote more brain power to applying the system in a more timely and effective manner.

The IAM's Geoff Pretty, Top Tip Offerer

With practise, we’ll all be more relaxed on the roads and you never know, we might even be able to foresee crazy manoeuvres by our fellow road users and avoid getting knocked off.

If you do want to look at additional training then try these sites;, or

The IAM told us those who complete their Skill for Life course benefit from one year RAC cover, one year free IAM membership, how to be a better driver handbook, and reduced insurance.