Kevin Bryan - no need to fear the test if riders are properly prepared.
CONTROVERSIAL BIKE TEST DEFENDED
A RIDING school has hit back at critics of the new test saying that a lot of the problems can be overcome through proper training and preparation.
Kevin Bryan, who runs the Bryans Road Safety Centre at Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, says that a lot of the criticism is unfounded and that the test is a lot easier than many opponents suggest.
Mr Bryan, whose school has a pass rate of 65 per cent for the first attempt of Module 1 and 86.9 for the second attempt, and 93 per cent first attempt for Module 2, defended the test saying that it raised the standards for novice riders.
Controversy surrounds Module 1 where riders have to swerve through cones at 50 kph and than come to a controlled stop in a box 31 metres away. There have been numerous instances of riders losing control and falling at this stage and many have called for this element to be either made easier or scrapped, especially in wet weather.
But Mr Bryan said: “Look at it this way the Highway Code says that at 30 mph a bike typically need 23 metres to stop and of that nine metres is the thinking time, so there is 14 metres of slowing down. We usually say double that in the wet which is still only 28 and given that the pupils know what is required of them and are prepared, I think the standard is actually quite generous. When you add in the fact that the tarmac at the MPTCs is perfect, far better than the public roads, there shouldn’t be a problem.”
And he stressed the need for thorough preparation starting with the bike and its tyres.
He said: “We have had a good look at the tyres and have fitted good quality rubber on our Yamaha 125cc and found a noticeable improvement in grip.
“But beyond that and the usual routine checks on the bike such as looking at tyre pressures, it comes down to the right training. We build our pupils up gradually and at slower speeds and are looking for consistency in how they do the exercises before moving on to higher speeds.
“I think what’s been happening in a lot of cases is that riders are coming out of the swerve element and applying the brakes while the bike is still leaning over rather than waiting for it to get upright and then using the front brake and gradually bringing in the back one to stop.
“We have had a couple of spills but in both cases it was where pupils were riding their own bikes and had got into bad habits with their brakes; once we sorted that out they were fine.”
He also said that schools need adequate room to teach the Module 1 test properly. Mr Bryan said: “OK, schools can use the MPTCs when they are not in use for tests but ideally you need plenty of room to set up the course with the cones.
“We have invested heavily in equipment and at our site next to Britannia Stadium. We came here nine years ago because I could see what was going to happen and we now have superb facilities which is one reason why our pass rate is so good.
“At the end of the day I think the test is good because it raises the bar in terms of skills and as for the training industry, we have known this was coming for so long that there really is no excuse for people not being ready in time and geared up for the new standards.”