Is DAS Training shite?

If you are wondering why such a question is asked of the British motorcycle training for 600cc and above motorcycle riding. Then l like to refer you to an article by Rupert Paul in the Feb edition of Bike magazine. He claims that poor training is the reason why 92% of supersport bike riders effectively kill themselves. He asks the question “why so many riders are so bad at riding motorbikes?”. He blaims the DAS training for being inadequate hence produces poor riders.

Though l passed my DAS on the 1st attempt, l distinctly remember how hard it was. I also remember how thorough the trainers were. And l also remember how pedantic the tester was about all aspects of the test l had to perform perfectly to pass.
Rupert claims the main area of inadequacy of a huge majority of riders is in the art of braking from speed and the art of countersteering while cornering. Hence he suggests that these skill should be taught a DAS.

I happen to think the CBT and DAS training are simply one of the best motorcycle training anywhere on the planet because they go beyond teaching you basic riding. The DAS trains you all you need to know to ride safely on British roads as long as you ride within your skills and follow the instructions taught at training. What it can’t do is teach you experience. Besides, countersteering is an advance riding skill. However, l do agree with Rupert on one point, the level of braking skill taught a DAS is at CBT level. Emergency braking on a 125 is so different to braking on a 1000cc bike. Too many people pass their test without knowing a thing about one finger and two finger braking. Hence in emergency situation, new riders tend to apply more braking than they need to; because they are using all 4 fingers.
With that said, l think the proper course for improving bikers skills should be (a) pass a CBT to progress to DAS, (b) pass DAS to get Full licence (well as it is currently), © but additional to that, new riders should be required to do an advance riding training between the beginning of their 2nd and the end of their 3rd year of riding at a low cost. Advance training should include high speed braking, cornering skills with countersteering, advance filtering and speed control and discipline (among other things).
Rupert Paul has one other important point, that is how do we go about reducing biking fatalities?
For a start, l don’t think biking fatalities are due to poor training. Because most riders toss the DAS training instructions out their head once they get their full licence. The problem is about re-enforcing road awareness skills and speed discipline. A good study of the type of riders that are prone to accidents is required as well. Cheap refresher training at the start of each summer would help as well for those strictly summer riders that tend to get rusty by the next summer.

I wonder what you think about all this?

DAS is quite fresh for me having past last year and it was great for reinforcing the lifesaver, where to position on the road, the fact that there are three different kinds of zebra/pelican crossing (can’t remember them now) etc but it taught nothing about emergency braking other than how to stop reasonably quickly in a straight line from 30mph and nothing at all about how to do an emergency stop on a corner or at speed or any mention of counter steering at all.

A few months ago he had a colleage of his, a trainer and police accident investigator explain how some of the common accients occur. In one case a young lady was trying to go round a bend at about 50 odd, inside the speed limit and easily inside the limit for the bike and one of his police colleagues watched as she ran wide and hit a lorry or bus head on, killing her. She had either panicked and stood the bike up on the brakes or not counter steered, can’t remember now, either way a few hours of training could have stopped it happening.

I think it’s criminal not to at the very least include an explanation of counter steering in the training and give the chance to do an emergency top on a bend or at least from 50 mph not just 30.

+1 on the further training after DAS. I fully support that, but I don’t think it should be absolutely compulsory. Perhaps bigger insurance premium reductions for those who take it would help - especially for the younger more gung-ho element. :wink:

Plus it is truly very good fun - you won’t get more progressive rides on the open road than with the IAM or ROSPA. :wink:

i did my DAS last year, i too passed first time, i didnt find it ‘easy’ tho, it was hard work, and the instructors were very strict, but at the same time ablosulty superb people!when i passed i did wonder how much of my DAS training i would use on the road, 6 months on i use loads of it, without it i would most definetly have learned the hard way.

speed discipline- is down to the individual, some people go way too fast for thier own good in areas where you shouldnt be going at speed, i love a good blast, but i know, compared to some experienced riders im pretty slow, thats ok, over time my skills will improve and i wil get faster but faster safely if that makes sense, ie i wont learn to run before i can walk, i know my skill limit and i dont go beyond it, thats not too say i dont progress and improve my riding skills tho, i often ride on my own, set my own pace and try to improve everytime.

one advantge i have, i suppose, is i have alot of mates that have ridden for years, many are in thier 30’s and have been riding since they were 17, been there…crashed that… etc, they are teh voice of experience and i listen to themand i question them, it most definetly helps.

i may do some advanced training , some people tho will go through al the training ie DAS then advanced riding (if it went that way) and still forget it all when they pass and ride like knobs. thats cos they are knobs. you cant change that.

I believe training should be stepped and a power limit placed on the rider at each stage. I know of so many novices and “born agains” who jump on bikes capable of silly mph and get into real trouble and worse:crying:

kinda why i bought an SV, i really wanted a gixxa 6, but i thought it better to be sensible, i could quite easily get into trouble on the SV, but lest face it, in performance terms its not a gixxa 6!

I and the rest of my work collegues attended ‘Pass Masters’ up at Northolt and all the instructors there were bikers, serious and all had there on way of teaching which made it more interesting. The examiner was a hole arse first time and failed me, funny though.

At the time i lived in Windsor, he asked where i lived and what i did. Told him i was in the British Army to which i witnessed his eyes going read when i told him where i lived as he lived around the corner and obviously did not like the pads.

His last instruction got me and in all fairness i failed, remember i am in the British Army for a moment and am programmed to do as i am told!!!

“At the next (mini) round a bout Dean i would like you to go straight across”… well that was it and see you next week.

All DSA bike instructors and examiners are grand, forget the coffin carriage instructors…they are the problem.

Now apart from my kwak, i ride an unmarked Honda Pan European ST 1100 (yes one with blues and 2’s) and escort the Queens Life Guard from Hyde Park Barracks to Horseguards Parade everyday, work alongside the mounted fuzz, SEG, diplomatic protection and local feds. But all the skill taught to me makes me a better rider everyday…give us a wave if you see me. In my eyes and what i see everyday with regards to other motorbikers is that they respect the road, respect the space that their in and dont ride like idiots like those that own sports cars and couriers. Riding a motorbike is an everyday skill, if you learn more your understanding of other road users is greater, if you just rip the throttle off with-out a care then your going to cause a problem and ruin it for everyone else.

I’ll keep an eye out for you,either when I’m out running around the parks from Charing Cross or sitting on a brightly coloured BMW 12OO RT around the West End.:smiley:


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I’ll keep an eye out for you,either when I’m out running around the parks from Charing Cross or sitting on a brightly coloured BMW 12OO RT around the West End.
On the clutch buster tomorrow from 10:00 - 12:00, find me sitting on Horseguards Parade from 11:00.

I see what you’re saying but if you’ve not been taught to counter steer or do emergency stops from anything other than 30mph in a straight line, then even a CB500 can kill you.

Agreed, what I’m saying is you can hop off a 33bhp machine straight onto a 200bhp behemoth with no extra training. i’d like to see a 66bhp step or similar before being allowed a cruise missile:cool:

as Ratty46 and FiveZero +1

I passed my DAS last July having rode my CBR125RR for a year after CBT. I found the experience, also at Pass Masters in Northolt, thoroughly enjoyable including the mistakes. I was shown the ‘ropes’ by the same instructor and he was strict at getting it right, especially the U-turn and roundabouts and after my first DAS day he said that I had better improve the following day or I would not be ready, get out on the bike in the yard and get practicing whilst we shut up for the day…On the day of the test my instructor phoned in sick and has another, he was different, but still very strict and learned a lot that morning and really looking forward to the test, despite the torrential rain.

IMO DAS is like the car test, you are taught enough to get you through and the rest is up to you through experience and further training. I do still refer to all my training (I hope) even in the car, I give a life safer where as before I didnt. I also have a greater understanding about who else is on the road, its not just cars, lorries and buses.

I too wanted a gixer 600 but I decided with my head and went of the SV and 100% happy with my choice, first ride of 2008 yesterday was brilliant, I gunned it a bit and with my limits. Having been driving cars for over 20years I like to think that I have more patience which I hope follows with my bike riding with more outings to the coast and exciting road in 2008

i say around 70 bhp, then SV’s are stil good for it!:wink:

that makes too of us! i dont drive cars, my experience come from commuting and hooning around on scoots i learnt taht they dont like going flat out round corners, they get a bit out of shape, so you adapt and learn how to do it, safely, if that makes sense?, i have seen first hand, many times now, what can happen when a bike gets seriously out of control and i say i aint doing that!:w00t:

This is a good topic! When I did my DAS, nigh on two years ago, we were taught counter steering and braking from higher speeds as well. Both of us were in our 30’s and had car licences as well. The instructor said it was best we learnt the real life skills straight off and applied them straight off. The counter steering one was the best tip, the higher speed braking came with riding on NSL roads in Lincolnshire (where I did my test).

Forgive me if I’m wrong, I’m no expert but I thought that counter sterring was how you got round corners on bikes once traveling over 25-30 mph wether you were aware of it or not?

It came up on my DAS course, the instructor, when questioned about it, told us about it and then said not to worry about it as we do it automatically. What’s to teach?

I have to agree that there is something to be said for low standard training.

When I did my DAS, the instructor made it VERY clear from minute 1 that she was training us “how to pass the test”, NOT how to ride a bike.

Alarm bells should have rung, but being young and keen that sounded good to me at the time. Luckily for me I ride like a fairy, so the speed killing me thing hasn’t come to pass so far, and I reckon I’ve picked up some useful knowledge since then, but it would have been better to have it PRE-Test…how many people take “further training” once they’ve passsed…? Relatively few I’d guess…

I’ll be honest though, I think its a problem with the English attitude towards driving tests in general. Look at car driving…its the same thing…

Where’s the one place you drive really fast compared to when you’re having lessons… the motorway right…where’s the one place learners are never allowed to drive? The motorway… so essentially the DVLA reckons that new drivers don’t need to know about motorways? How stupid is that?!?

I know most people will call me a plum for claiming Germany is better than the UK, but in this case they are. To pass your test in Germany, you have to have completed a couple of hours driving in bad weather, a couple of hours at night, and a couple of hours on a motorway… you also have to do it in a powerful car! Believe me, nothing more scary than a learner driving sensibly in a 1.4 litre Micra with his instructor and then being handed the keys to a BMW M3 by his rich daddy… 17 and “allegedly” safe…who the hell are we kidding? Ourselves?

In Northern Ireland there is even a lower speed limit on learners, 45mph - so no learner, car or a bike has ever been trained to travelled at any speed above that!

I read the article in Bike and felyt that although it went a little over the top for dramtic effect, broadly the points were fair. Although I had what I feel was excellent training, we did not do emergency stops above 30 mph, we did not cover higher speed cormering, nor did we have much opportunity to ride at over 50mph. The instructors had little choice but to focus on the things needed to pass the test rather than to ride well. Like most people I had had just 3 days experience on a 500 cc bike.

I learned a lot from DAS, most of which I still do. It made me a better car driver but in all honesty I did not feel properly prepared to ride a powerful bike. As a result I made mistakes in the first few months and was luck enough to suffer nothing more serious than embarassment.

It will be interesting to see if the new test provides better preparation. Features such as riding slowly through the cones will provide a test of the skills I need everyday for filtering. The emergency stop might also be more realistic.