Published: 27 November 2016 in MCN

By Alison Silcox

Office manager and centre of the MCN universe

What a cracking way to round off my year of riding the Harley-Davidson Street 750, I’ve just passed my IAM Advanced riding test and I’m pretty chuffed.

I took ownership of the Street 750 in March and decided I wanted to spend the year improving my riding skills and thought that studying for the IAM Advanced riding test would be an ideal way to do this. I’d met observer, Alie Ball, at a track day in 2015 and we’d hit it off, so, rather than join my local group I joined the Thames Vale Advanced Motorcyclist group. It wasn’t quite as convenient as riding locally but did mean that when Alie and I met for our monthly rides we spent a full day of riding.

At £149 it’s quite an investment but one I was happy to make. The fee covered membership to the IAM and all the observed rides I needed to prepare for my test plus the test.

I’m a competent rider but thought taking this course would enhance my skills further. Reading through the IAM Advanced Motorcycling Guide book, one of the first sections covers the ‘system.’ Sounds a bit dull but once riding with Alie I started to put into practice the systematic approach to riding. It soon became clear that riding in this manner gives more time to react to hazards and it became second nature as the weeks passed. Combining this with other riding skills including overtaking, filtering and slow speed work, it was a very comprehensive course.

On test day it was great to be riding the Street 750, with 8,000 miles under my belt this year I’m really comfortable and confident on the bike. My tester for the day, Andy McManus, commented with the slightly feet forward riding position, how easy it was to watch my feet for gear changes and use of the rear brake. He also commended me on my steering, even though the Street 750 is the smallest Harley in the range it’s still cumbersome when steering and on tighter bends can be quite difficult. I was really pleased to round off my year of riding with, to quote Andy, a “good solid pass”.