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Rider training: A cause worth backing

By Mario

Get the lowdown on Ride Forever subsidised coaching and ACC.

Although motorcycles, scooters and mopeds make up less than 3% of the vehicles on our roads, they account for 20% of the cost of vehicle-related claims paid by ACC. Understandably, ACC has looked for ways to reduce these costs and one of the major initiatives has been to improve riders’ skills and knowledge. The project is branded Ride Forever and a large part of it consists of subsidised rider training. 

A course to suit

The Ride Forever coaching programme offers a range of courses to suit riders’ different needs, from Scooter/Commuter level, through Bronze and Silver, to Gold for highly experienced riders. One aim is to get riders to progress through the levels, successively improving their skills, but even getting a rider to do one course is a great achievement. Since the start in 2013, around 2,500 riders a year were doing at least one course. But, last year, a major expansion took place, doubling the number of training providers and now doubling the number of participants.

Avalon Biddle, World Superbike rider holding her restricted 'bike licence.

Avalon Biddle, one of the more famous riders to have completed a Ride Forever coaching session.

Filling a real need

Why did ACC go down the route of rider coaching? The simplest answer is found in the accident statistics. Although many crashes involve other vehicles, usually around town, the most serious (and hence expensive for ACC) tend to be single-vehicle crashes where the rider failed to take a bend. And, frequently, investigations show the motorcycle was not travelling too fast to negotiate the corner: it was rider error that led to the crash.

A Ride Forever instructor talks through cornering using his iPad.

A fry-up and a look at the basics of cornering on a 'bike.

Skills for the road

With the crash statistics in mind, ACC pulled together a team of experts from NZTA, Police, training providers and the motorcycle industry to help devise the course outlines. Drawing on everything from the Police riding manual to decades of experience, the group conceived a course structure to implant the right skills for road riding: things like correct positioning, whether for the approach to a corner or to be more easily seen by other road users. The team then carefully selected the right training providers and Ride Forever coaching was born.

'Bikers following a Ride Forever coach on the open road.

It's not all bacon sandwiches and theory, you also get to hit the road to learn, and test, your skills.

Star support

Star Motorcycles is an active supporter of the Ride Forever programme. Policyholders who successfully complete a Ride Forever coaching session receive a rebate for the full cost (either $20 or $50) to their policy, plus they halve your excess for any accident claim in the following 12 months. (Terms and conditions apply).

Star Motorcycles say, 'If you, or anyone you know, ride a powered two-wheeler we thoroughly recommend their [Ride Forever] on-road coaching. Check out the courses available and providers in your area, and look forward to a day of fun, learning and achievement.'
Ride Forever on-road coaching

Find out what you might do in a coaching session

If you're wondering what a coaching day could look like, these pages from our articles section will give you an idea:
Avalon does her Rider Forever Bronze coaching session
Experienced riders get a Ride Forever Gold coaching session

If you want to know about course content and what you'll do on the day take a look at the on-road coaching section:
Ride Forever courses