MCN Fleet: Advancing skills on the Harley Street 750

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Turning up for my first session with IAM observer, Alie Ball, I was pleasantly surprised by her lack of high-viz clothing!

I’d met Alie at a trackday last year and she inspired me to have a crack at passing the Institute of Advanced Motorcyclist test. She’s based in Basingstoke and is an observer with Thames Vale Advanced Motorcyclists www.tvam.orgWe’ve been having  monthly sessions of riding together, focusing on a couple of areas each time.

One of the things I have learnt is there’s a whole host of acronyms to get my head round. First and foremost is the ‘system.’ IPSGA – Information, Position, Speed, Gear Acceleration

It sounds a little anoraky but I’m already seeing that applying this to every element of my riding is making me more aware of what’s going on around me. It’s all about using the information around you to make sure you react to a situation in the right way.


We’ve worked on road positioning and my imaginary ‘safety bubble.’ I’d not really given the latter much thought before but it’s actually one of the most useful bits I’ve learnt so far. I’m a devil for tailgating but thinking that I’ve got an imaginary bubble around me, where I’ve got to consider space between me and hazards, has definitely made me more aware.

It’s proving to be great fun, learning on roads away from my local area puts me outside my comfort zone but does mean I’m discovering lots of great new routes. The only disappointment is we can’t meet up more frequently!

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