Self-confidence and alertness on the road are key attributes of being a good bike rider. This was said during a training exercise organised to equip bikers with key riding skills.
The training which was conducted by Advanced Rider Training (ART) in partnership with Inchcape Kenya Ltd and Women Bikers Association focused on defensive riding skills and covered various other aspects including acceleration, deceleration, and emergency braking. These techniques are meant to be applied in case of emergency situations on the road.
Defensive riding is a strategy that helps motorists including motorcycle riders to always be in control and not to be surprised by the actions of other motorists or riders. It is about observing, anticipating, planning and enabling a motorcycle rider to remain in a safe controllable situation.
Advanced Rider Training’s instructor Peter Wasike noted that defensive training is crucial for both motorists and riders to ensure the safety of all road users. He added that riders are usually vulnerable on the road since they do not have a protective shell, their stability can easily be affected by conditions on the road surface like potholes, spills, and road works.
“Defensive riding is important; it is about ensuring the safety of the riders and that of other road users. These are important skills that any rider must have to calculate and avoid incidents that could cause harm or injury. This training is therefore crucial to equip bikers with the skills which will in turn boost their confidence while riding which is one of the key attributes of a good rider. Riders should know that they have advantages while on the road like height, position flexibility and the acceleration power that their machines provide,” said Wasike.
On his part, Inchcape Kenya Limited Managing Director Hussein Ibrahim said that the training was part of the company’s long-term strategy of ensuring that clients get value beyond purchase of BMW Motorrad products. He added that the training was meant to equip BMW Motorrad clients and other riders with key biking skills to ensure their safety and that of other motorists.
“Riding of bikes requires skills and every rider needs to be equipped to ensure safety on the road. Some of the skills that were focused on just require alertness and always being aware of what is going on around you. The key message is that one should always put themselves in the best possible position for their safety and always expect the unexpected on the road,” said Ibrahim.
He added that Safety is an important conversation for all motorists, both riders and vehicle drivers noting that sometimes vehicle drivers disregard riders on the road even though roads are meant to be used by both.
“All road users need to co-exist while on the road. Motorcycle riders need to know what to look out for and how to be safe on the road. With the rising number of motorcycles in Kenya today, accidents related to road traffic crashes, injuries and deaths involving motorcycles have increased noticeably. The year 2019 for instance, experienced a 41% surge of accidents where 348 passenger deaths occurred compared to 247 reported in 2018. Rider deaths rose by 22.7% to stand at 725 from 591 in 2018. Inchcape Kenya wants to reduce the rise of motorcycle related accidents by empowering motorists to use the safety and defensive riding skills taught, especially riders on being aware of how to be safe on the road.” Ibrahim commented.
The training was part of value-add service offered to customers and key stakeholders of Inchcape Kenya. This follows the launch of the BMW Motorrad showroom, a BMW Motorbike dedicated wing.
The riders were taken through theory and practical sessions with Inchcape providing demonstration motorcycles; BMW G 310 GS and BMW F 750 GS, drawn from BMW Motorrad product line. The demonstrator bikes were used to not only train the riders on how to apply the safety and defensive riding skills but to also expose them to the capability and safety features that BMW Motorrad bikes come equipped with.
BMW Motorrad whose tagline is “make life a ride” is part of the BMW product line that deals with the manufacture and design of motorcycles. The product line has a variety of motorcycle products to choose from depending on a person’s lifestyle and bike usage. They include Adventure bikes GS series, Sport bike (S1000 RR) and Urban mobility bike (C 400 X) among others.