New Horizons Motorcycle Training and Tours

Combining Motorbike Touring with Training


March 2019

What are the 4 S’s?

After a recent training ride, I wanted to show what it is I look for when coaching. Its nice and simple and, above all, achievable.

The 4’s are a simple way to remember what it is a cool way of riding.

System – this is the basis of Roadcraft – IPSGA. Information, Position, Speed, Gear and Acceleration. Flexible and adapts to any changing situation.

Smooth – this is my middle name! No? Ok, its not really!! Its partly about using the controls smoothly so you don’t end up braking or accelerating too harshly which makes for a very jerky ride. Its also partly about joining up the ride to observe what’s approaching and planning for it in Advance (hence Advanced Riding).

Speed  – being at the ride speed considering the surrounding conditions, including rider ability.

Safety – with the other three S’s applied, then safety remains.

There is a fifth S – referred to as Sparkle. Or Polish – but this doesn’t start with an S so we refer to Sparkle! Sparkle – is how you ride overall. Is it a polished and ride? You can tell when you see a good rider ride well.

If Smooth, System or Speed is removed from the triangle, then Safety escapes – putting the rider at higher risk of something happening beyond their control.


four s
The 4 S’s

Put the 4 S’s together, and the ride will be quick, enjoyable and fun.



Tomorrow’s ride – Thursday 28 March

Got a great ride planned for tomorrow to help a rider iron out some of his cornering problems. Plan is to make him smoother, quicker yet ultimately safer when taking corners at the appropriate speed for his bike and him. Right gear, right position, and right speed with a bit of throttle to maintain bike stability.

A real mix of roads to ride on; fast ‘A’ roads, narrow and twisty ‘B’ roads which will provide a whole series of complex observation and planning techniques to come into play. However, it may sound complicated, but its not. Its actually quite simple!

Evesham Ride

Link to the video of the ride: Ride to Evesham


Short intro to New Horizons

Hopefully the attached pdf summarises what we are all about nice and succinctly.

New Horizons MTT Intro


The System – its IPSGA!

I’ve mentioned the system in several of my posts. Its at the heart of Advanced Riding,

It’s a way of approaching and negotiating hazards which is methodical, safe and leaves nothing to chance.
It promotes careful observation, early anticipation and planning and a systematic use of the vehicle controls to achieve maximum vehicle stability.
It is a way of dealing with an unpredictable environment and gives us the most essential element of safe riding:- Time to react

  • Information
  • Position
  • Speed
  • Gear
  • Acceleration

Consider two scenarios below. How would you apply IPSGA to these? What information are you taking in; what speed are you riding at; where are you positioned on the road to get the best view of what’s coming and can other vehicles see you; what gear are you in and have you got positive throttle – this helps provide stability of your machine.

Rural road (A435 Perrot’s Brook)

And, a more urban scene (Commercial road, Swindon):

The system, IPSGA, is flexible and can be applied equally to either scenario.

Its not complicated, but it helps to plan for hazards which could be other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, animals and so on.

Contact us using the contact form to see how we can help you get more from your riding.

The wind’s dropped, getting warmer – time to get riding!

At last, the wind seems to have dropped, rain has stopped, and the roads are becoming drier and temperature is in double digits. Is this a sign of a change in the weather?

Time to get back out on the bikes and ride, ride, ride!

Here at New Horizons Motorcycle Training and Tours, we have many exciting rides planned including a couple of camping trips to the North Devon coast, 5-day tours based from the Cotswolds, journeys into Cornwall to see Dr Marten’s house as well as rides to the Alps – we’ll see how Brexit treats us ! See link for our tours:

Today was good. Went out with a rider to help get him ready for this season. Amazing how rusty he had become over the winter. He had lost a lot of his riding technique and some confidence too. Couple of hours later though, he was back to his old ways, if not better. As the day progressed, his old skill came bouncing back and he was taking those bends at “the correct speed” using the throttle and relying less on his brakes.

Here’s to a great year of riding for him.

See how we can help you with a day’s tune up after the winter break:

Nice ride out; another 80 miles or so added to the year’s total.

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