Not everyone is born with an inbuilt sense of self-confidence. Sometimes it can be hard to develop confidence, either because of personal experiences that have caused you to lose confidence, or if you suffer from low self-esteem.
Confidence as a motorcycle rider is generally having an inner belief that you have the knowledge and skills to manage yourself, your motorcycle, and traffic conditions in a range of conditions.
You can’t take anything for granted as a motorcyclist, you need to be highly skilled and extremely aware and know your machine's capabilities and limitations.
You need to ride within your capabilities and the capabilities of other road users around you.
There are the ‘overconfident riders’ believing they are better in a particular area than they are, this can be a dangerous approach to riding with potentially dire consequences.
Then there’s the ‘low self-esteem riders’, who believe they're less skilled than they really are. These riders can often be indecisive (when decisive riding is required in the traffic environment) which can cause confusion in the traffic and in turn create potentially dangerous scenarios. Making decisions may be difficult, but like any skill, you can get better at it.
There are a couple of handy things you can do to build your confidence. Some of them are just little changes to your frame of mind, and others are things you have to work on for a bit longer to make them familiar habits.
- Look at what you’ve already achieved
Sometimes it can be easy to focus on what you haven’t done. It’s easy to lose confidence if you feel like you haven’t achieved anything. Focusing on your achievements, big or small, can help you gain perspective on all your talents and abilities.
- Set some goals
Set some goals for your self as a rider and aim to achieve them. You can set your goals on a number of levels:
First you create your "big picture" of what you want to do with your riding, and identify the large-scale goals that you want to achieve.
Next break the big picture down into the smaller and smaller targets that you can work at to reach your big picture goals.
The most common goal setting formula is using ‘SMART’ goals which stands for:
S – Specific (or Significant).
M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
T – Time-bound (or Trackable).
Tips for Setting SMART Goals
Be precise: Set precise goals, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement.
Set priorities: When you have several goals, give each a priority.
Write goals down: This crystallizes them and gives them more force.
Keep operational goals small: Keep the low-level goals that you're working towards small and achievable.
Set performance goals, not outcome goals: You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible.
Set realistic goals: It's important to set goals that you can achieve.
- Be mindful of you self talk
Even though you might not know it, you’re already practicing self-talk. Self-talk is basically your inner voice, the voice in your mind which says things that you don’t necessarily say out loud. Often self-talk happens without you even realising it and can be a subtle running commentary going on in the background of your mind. But what you say in your mind can determine a lot of how you feel about who you are. You’re never going to feel confident if you have a negative commentary running through your mind telling you you’re no good. Think about your self-talk and how that might be affecting your self-confidence.
How Do I Build Confidence
‘Confidence’ often comes with ‘competence’; that being the ability to do something successfully, efficiently and in the case of riding - safely. There are FIVE major skill areas constitute the broad concept of competency.
- Perform the individual tasks – task skills (for example: change gears, brake, steer).
Task Management Skills
- Manage a number of different tasks within the job – task management skills (for example: ride to the system of vehicle control).
The System of Vehicle Control is a defined system of safe driving and hazard avoidance. Its elements are:
- Identify the hazard
- Is my position on the road correct for the hazard ahead?
- Mirrors and signals
- Approaching speed
- Gears and mirrors
- Evasive action
- After passing the hazard, resume the appropriate speed
Contingency Management Skills
- Respond to irregularities and changes in routine – contingency management skills (for example: using hazard recognition and decision making skills, avoiding accidents).
Job Role/Environment Skills
- Deal with the responsibilities and expectations of the work environment, including working with others – job/role environment skills (for example: showing road courtesy, obeying the road rules).
- Transfer and apply the skills and knowledge to a similar task elsewhere – transfer skills (for example: being able to ride in the city/country, in another state, on someone else’s motorbike).
There are also attitudinal factors relating to our approach to riding and other road users. Attitudes are beliefs and feelings that predispose people to behave in particular ways towards objects, people and events. In the context of competent motorcycle riding, it is a point of view or the way a person looks at life or a particular thing – for example, a positive attitude. A rider can have all the skill in the world, but if they have for example an aggressive attitude then they are a danger on the road.
Training in the Confidence Building Course for Motorcycle Riders will incorporate coaching on the following Riding Skills. (web info source NSW – RMS)
Be prepared: the condition of your machine is one factor you can control, so take some time to do this.
Tyres: make sure they're inflated to the right pressure and aren't bald or damaged.
Brakes and controls: check they're working before hitting the road. Check clutch, throttle and brake cables for kinks or broken strands.
Lights: keep them clean and make sure they're working.
Horn: make sure it's working.
Chain: it needs to be oiled and adjusted properly. Your owner's manual will tell you how to do this.
Mirrors: adjust them and clean them if necessary before you begin your ride.
Petrol and oil: check the oil and top up when necessary. Running low on oil can cause serious damage to the engine. Ensure you have enough petrol for each trip. Running out can cause a loss of engine power at a critical moment, like when you need it for balance or to stay clear of other vehicles.
Training in the Confidence Building Course for Motorcycle Riders will incorporate coaching on hazard recognition and decision making skills. (web info source TMR)
A hazard can be any possible source of danger on or near the road that could lead to a crash, and it can come from any direction. It could be a:
- child chasing a ball onto the road
- parked car door opening
- vehicle merging into your lane or stopping suddenly in front of you
- slippery road surface after rain.
Spotting a hazard in time to take suitable evasive action and avoid a crash is an essential part of safe riding.
As riders gain experience they develop skills in scanning the road ahead and around them, and they become better at recognising that a potentially dangerous situation is developing. This early detection gives them more time to make a decision about the hazard and respond to it appropriately.
Training in the Confidence Building Course for Motorcycle Riders will incorporate coaching on defence riding strategies. (source NSW – RMS & SA Transport)
Be seen: The brighter your clothes, the easier it will be for other people to see you. Use reflective stripes or tape, particularly at night or in poor weather.
Be protected: In Australia, every year more than 200 motorcycle riders and passengers are killed and many more are injured in road crashes. Some of these injuries could be prevented if motorcyclists chose the safest helmet and wore the right helmet for their head size. Wearing a well-fitting Australian standards helmet is a legal requirement that could save your life. It is also important to wear protective clothing for every journey. You’ll need riding gloves, riding boots and purpose-made motorcycle jacket and pants.
Be alert: The best riders see trouble and react before it can hurt them.
In the city, try to look a block or more ahead. This gives you plenty of time to plan your reaction to situations that may arise. Think, scan and plan.
When scanning, look as far ahead as possible then move your vision back towards you. Check continually - don't let your eyes rest for too long on any one thing.
Check your mirrors and look over your shoulders to be sure there is nothing in your blind spots before changing position on the road.
Position, position, position
Never assume that other motorists have seen you in the traffic. Think about your position on the road and ask yourself questions like:
- Is this the safest position I can be in?
- Can I see far enough around me for the speed I'm going?
- Can other motorists see me?
Turning on your headlight can increase your visibility and, as a motorcyclist, you can adjust your position in the lane to maximise your visibility.
When riding behind another vehicle, try to make eye contact with the driver in the rear vision mirror.
If you think a driver is about to turn in front of you, slow down and, if safe, move across your lane away from the turning car. This will increase your chances of being seen.
If you're approaching an intersection with a restricted view of a side street, move away from the potential danger area. For example, if the side street is on the left, move to the right side of your lane.
The best way to avoid a crash is to keep a safe distance between you and others. The safe following distance in normal conditions is three seconds. You should increase this to six seconds in wet weather or other poor conditions.
City streets throw up all sorts of challenges for riders. Any surface that affects your grip will also affect your control.
Watch out for:
- Wet bitumen, particularly just after it starts to rain.
- Gravel roads or where gravel, sand or mud have gathered on a sealed road (near a building site, for example).
- Painted lane markings and steel surfaces such as manhole covers. These can be surprisingly slippery in the wet.
In these conditions slow down, reduce the amount of lean you use on curves and use progressive braking.
Be wary at intersections
Approach intersections with caution, slow down and be prepared to stop, even if you have the right of way.
Give cars plenty of space - keep a three second gap
By having a three second gap between you and the vehicle in front, or a four second gap if you are being tailgated and your concentration is to the rear, you will be able to react and act to avert disaster.
Change lanes carefully - look and indicate
Do a head check as well as looking in the mirrors when changing lanes or merging. Indicate before changing lanes.
Ride at a safe speed
Speed limits are set at the highest speed you should travel, but it's vital to adjust your speed to suit the conditions.
No riding if you have been drinking
Motorcycling requires 100 percent concentration, high level observation skills and the ability to react quickly - all of which will be affected if you have been drinking.
Make sure pillion passengers know how to ride safely
The presence of a pillion passenger doubles the risk of fatality. Make sure that your pillion passenger knows the correct techniques for pillion riding and is wearing appropriate protective clothing and a helmet.
Part 1: Preparation
Pre-ride safety check
Basic bike maintenance
Part 2: Manoeuvring a motorbike at low speeds
Bike control theory
Move off and stop
Low speed manoeuvring
Part 3: Controlling a motorbike at road speeds
Part 4: Roadcraft
Defensive riding principles
Advanced motorcycle control theory and traffic skills
When you've achieved a goal, take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of having done so. Absorb the implications of the goal achievement, and observe the progress that you've made towards other goals.
If the goal was a significant one, reward yourself appropriately. All of this helps you build the self-confidence you deserve.
Initial Session: 4 hours 8:30am to 12:30pm ($240 including GST)
(for other times, please call the office)
NB: If you want the trainer to meet you at home and ride with you then please call the office and we can discuss that possibility.
Additional training beyond initial session is $60.00 per hour (including GST). Minimum of 2 hour session.
BYO lunch. Tea/coffee and water shall be supplied. There is a fridge at the venue that you can put lunch in. If you want to stop at a shop during on road activities that is possible.
If you own a registered, roadworthy motorcycle, you can bring it to the program. Please make sure you have fuel, and air in the tyres. If you don’t have your own motorcycle to use, you can use one of our motorcycles if you wish.
Please bring your riding gear. You must have long pants and covered in shoes. If you do not have a helmet, jacket or gloves please let us know and we can supply them.
Lakeside Park – located at the end of Lakeside Road, Kurwongbah Q 4503. Enter through the gates, drive to the crossroad and turn right. Follow the road all the way to the other side of the track and go to the yellow demountable building.
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The following refund policy will apply:
Students who give notice to cancel their enrolment more than 10 days prior to the commencement of a program will be entitled to a full refund of fees paid.
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Students who cancel their enrolment after a training program has commenced will not be entitled to a refund of fees.
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Contact: Brendan Watson
Telephone: 1300 UPSKILL (1300 877 5455)
Mobile: 0459 840 006 or 0412 986 419
Watto Training RTO Number 40791