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cop on How safe are you on a motorbike? BikeSafe's elite Garda team will judge if you’re a smooth operator or a rough rider 

Free assessment aimed at raising awareness about safety and encouraging bikers to sharpen their skills on the road

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Garda riders who have completed basic and advanced training will give riders an honest assessment of their road skills

Garda riders who have completed basic and advanced training will give riders an honest assessment of their road skills

All you need is a roadworthy bike full of fuel, a full licence and a set of bike clothing

All you need is a roadworthy bike full of fuel, a full licence and a set of bike clothing

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Garda riders who have completed basic and advanced training will give riders an honest assessment of their road skills

How good are you at riding a motorcycle and are you up to proving or improving it?

BikeSafe is a national Garda-run motorcycle initiative that works with motorcyclists in a friendly environment with the aim of raising awareness about both the importance and value of progressing on to take accredited post-test training.

And after a hiatus of many years, the great news is that the programme is not only back but is being rolled out all over the country for next year, with a pilot scheme being run in Dublin from now until the end of this year.

The workshops involve an observed ride with an advanced-grade Garda motorcyclist, with the goal of covering issues such as rider attitude, systematic riding methods, the cause of collisions, how we approach and execute our cornering, road positioning, overtaking, our observation skills, braking, use of gears and how and what we identify as hazards.

Garda riders are trained to a very high standard. But BikeSafe is not about giving rider training to the public, it’s not a training scheme. The idea is to provide detailed briefings on how to make your motorcycling safer, which is followed by an on-road assessed ride.

After the ride, you’ll receive detailed feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your riding. Some people have found this feedback to be quite…erm….honest. But this is what the service is about and it does provide a huge benefit to the qualified rider who may have done no training whatsoever since passing their test.

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All you need is a roadworthy bike full of fuel, a full licence and a set of bike clothing

All you need is a roadworthy bike full of fuel, a full licence and a set of bike clothing

All you need is a roadworthy bike full of fuel, a full licence and a set of bike clothing

Once you have that feedback, you can make a well informed decision about what you want or need from your advanced training. Motorcyclists are, after all, significantly more vulnerable than most other road users and we can do with having as much training as possible to mitigate against that same vulnerability.

I’ve taken the team up on their offer a number of times. Each occasion was different and very informative. There was always some aspect of my riding that needed a little bit of tidying up.

Talking to the members of the force at the BikeSafe launch on Friday, I detected a certain amount of satisfaction amongst the gardaí from passing on their knowledge and offering these sorts of appraisals. As one member of An Garda Siochána succinctly put it, “This kind of work is a whole lot better than attending the scene of a fatal accident.”

If you’d like to have a serving member of the traffic corps confirm just how brilliant a rider you actually are, or how you could be just that little bit better, then point your browser at www.garda.ie and follow the links to the BikeSafe page where you can sign up.

All you need is a roadworthy bike full of fuel, a full licence and a set of bike clothing. If your bike isn’t roadworthy, or you turn up without the proper kit or insurance, the initial risk assessment will deem you or your bike unfit for purpose and your BikeSafe day will end with what’s wrong with your bike and why it’s a bad idea to ride a Fireblade while wearing a pair of shorts.

Who knows, you may well be so good that you’ll surprise the polis. See www.garda.ie for all the details about how to book.

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