First MHK to become advanced bike rider

By Paul Hardman   |   Reporter   |
Thursday 15th September 2022 3:55 pm
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Stu Peters MHK has passed an advanced riding test -

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Stu Peters has become the first MHK to pass his advanced motorcycling rider course with the Institue of Advanced Motorists.

Mr Peters, 68, recommended it to all bikers, among other suggestions to improve road safety, including that people of his age and above should have check-ups to ensure they are still safe to drive.

Asked why he decided to do the course, Mr Peters said: ‘Safety really. Frankly, I’m not the best motorcyclist because I’m a born-again biker (returning to riding after a long hiatus).’

He owns a BMW R1200GS, which he calls ‘the Range Rover of motorbikes’ and a Harley Davidson.

The Middle MHK explained how he once crashed whilst filming for Duke Video on the Mountain Road, ‘simply because for the last 40 years I’ve been driving cars mostly, and you do forget how to ride a motorbike’.

He said he had been ‘trying to direct a video and also appear it’.

‘I was trying to think of too many things at once while doing more than 100mph, and I lost count of the number of bends there were on the mountain before a little scene that we set up,’ Mr Peters said.

‘I thought we had another corner, but the guy in front of me realised that we didn’t, so he threw his brakes on.

‘And when I saw him braking I did an emergency brake, but as a car driver I hit the footbrake [rear brake], not the handbrake – on a motorbike you don’t do that, you do your most braking on the front brake.

‘So I skidded straight into the guy in front, went over the handlebars and landed on my head’.

Mr Peters took the IAM car course in 2006, and found it ‘very useful’.

He went on: ‘What happens is when you’ve been driving a car for years you tend to drive on autopilot, and develop bad habits that you’re not aware of.

‘It’ll never happen, but I think personally that everyone who wants a car licence should be required to ride a motorbike or moped for at least six months.

‘Because of the fact that you are so vulnerable [on a motorcycle] it gives you a road awareness that people who drive cars full of airbags and safety aids really don’t get’.

Among the best takeaways from what he was taught on the course, is the emphasis on road positioning.

‘For example, if coming up to a left-hand bend, you position yourself on the right hand side of the road so you’ve got the greatest view.’

‘And you work on the “vanishing point principle”, so you can always stop in the amount of road that you can see.’

Mr Peters continued: ‘I’m a private pilot too, though lapsed, and to keep that license you have to be regularly tested.

‘But with a car or motorbike, you pass your test and that’s it for life – unless you end up in court, nobody is ever going to ask you to resit a test.

‘And the trouble is that means that there are thousands of people in cars in the island who really shouldn’t have a license still, either because bad habits accrued, or they’re not fit to drive any more.’

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