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Why join SAM?

So you’re interested in taking your riding skills to a higher level with the IAM’s Skill for Life package. If you live in Hampshire or on the fringes of the county, the best way to do this is with Solent Advanced Motorcyclists (SAM). We are your local affiliated IAM RoadSmart Official Provider, with four teams of volunteer qualified Observers across the area from:

North: Winchester, Salisbury and Andover

South: Southampton and Eastleigh to Fareham and Gosport 
East: Alton, Petersfield and Portsmouth 

West: The New Forest

Our Observers are motivated and keen; they meet and train regularly. We maintain close contact with our police and ex-police examiners and know what the IAM expects them to look for in candidates for the Advanced Motorcycle Test. We get around 50 motorcyclists a year through the test with a pass rate of 93%, which is considerably higher than the national average.

What can you look forward to?

One-to-one training with an Observer allocated to you

A check test ride to make sure you are ready for the Advanced Test

Free theory training classes

Free slow riding and machine control training sessions

How do you join the IAM and SAM and what will it cost?

You can join us in person at one of our SAM Sundays (see below) or a Club Night (2nd Tuesday of the month) or when you see our Mobile Display Unit (MDU) out and about at popular motorcycle venues and events – see MDU Schedule here.

To join the IAM and SAM, and to sign up for your Skill for Life package please contact our Membership Secretary Martin Thomas.

The “Skill For Life” package is great value and costs £149. It gives you all of the following:

  • Membership of the IAM for one year
  • Membership of Solent Advanced Motorcyclists for one year
  • One IAM Advanced Motorcycle test fee
  • A copy of the IAM advanced riding manual, “How to be a Better Rider”.

If you are already an IAM member and want to join SAM, you will be made very welcome too.

All SAM members must also be members of the IAM.

What happens when you join?

We will allocate you to your own fully trained and qualified and externally accredited Observer.

Your Observer will contact your to arrange your first observed riding session.

(SAM requests a contribution to your Observer’s motorcycle expenses of up to £15 for each session.)

As well as the above you also have free access to:

  • A copy of our magazine “Making Progress”, published several time a year
  • SAM SUNDAYS from March to November, with the opportunity for assessed rides with Observers other than your own
  • Join us at our popular monthly Club Nights, to meet other members and hear guest speakers
  • Ride outs or events on almost every weekend throughout the year
  • An Associate Coordinator, independent of the Observer team, who is available with help and encouragement at any stage in your journey towards becoming a better rider.

What will it cost?

To maintain your membership of SAM in subsequent years, the annual membership for the IAM is £32.50 and the annual membership for SAM is £22.00

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Interested in becoming an Observer ?

The IAM allows people to qualify within their local group as an Observer once 12 months has passed since taking their test. This doesn’t mean you can’t start preparing for it, though, before then.

Becoming an Observer requires a commitment in terms of both effort and time. We invest in preparing our Observers and expect a return on that. If you calculate you have 4 Sat/Suns in two weekends, Observers typically spend at least one of those 4 days observing. Most Observers take a minimum of one Associate then, when that Associate is test ready, they take another one. Some take more. This continues throughout the year, rain or shine, summer or winter etc.

Your own theory knowledge of the Highway Code, Roadcraft and IAM RoadSmart Advanced Rider Course which has to be current and comprehensive.

There are two routes to making sure your own riding is up to Observer standard: You can take the SAM Adv+ and get a “Class 1” 86% and above; or you can take an extended check-ride over 90 minutes with a member of the Observer Development Team who will judge whether your riding is there or not. Why do you have to be better than the IAM test standard? Because there is so much going on when you are Observing – your own ride, the Associate’s ride, the lesson plan, the need to be flexible with the training route.

However, more than all of the above, Observers need excellent coaching and communicating skills. Have you got any previous experience of mentoring, coaching or training in any context – work or hobbies, not necessarily motorcycling? Consider what your Observer did to get the best out of you, could you replicate that?

The IAM recommend that for qualifying as a Local Observer you should spend 3-4 sessions being supervised by a Natioinal Observer while you train, using a real Associate. Once you are ready you will be signed-off, subject to external verification through the IMI, by a National Observer who is also a Local Observer Assessor.

If there are two or three people interested, we also like to get them together to train for 4 half-day sessions in advance of going out with their National Observers for the 3-4 sessions. This gets everyone off on a similar level. However, it’s not always possible. Where this is not done, the National Observer obviously has a lot more work to do!

Meanwhile, as a way of consolidating your own level of riding, have you thought about participation in or Leading Group Ride or Back Marking for SAM?

If you want to chat about any of the above, give our Chief Observer, Alec Gore, a call to talk it over …

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Welcome to Solent Advanced Motorcyclists

Hello and welcome to the home of Advanced Motorcycling in Hampshire.  We are a motorcycling group affiliated to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and have local training teams based in and around The New Forest, Southampton and Eastleigh, Fareham and Gosport, Winchester, Andover and Portsmouth . Our main aim is to promote safer riding and to equip riders with motorcycling skills for life.

We are based at the Sarisbury Green Community Centre, so if you live in the area, enjoy riding your bike and meeting other riders and are keen to continuously improve your riding skill, we are just what you are looking for.

Your main aim on joining the group will be to improve your riding skill, and become an Advanced Rider by passing the Advanced Motorcycle Test.

We are a busy club that offers its members a wide range of activities including ride-outs or group events every Sunday throughout the year and a Club Night on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. We also hold a very successful `SAM Sunday` on the 1st Sunday of each month from March to November, when we offer free Assessed Rides to the public. Whether you ride a sports bike, tourer, cruiser or scooter, a Ducati, Triumph or Harley, a Blade, BMW or Burgman, you will be most welcome. The group’s Mobile Display Unit (MDU) can be seen at many local events attracting new members and  advertising the IAM Skills for Life package.

Everybody thrives on a personal challenge involving what they love doing, and they enjoy good company, so why not get on your bike and come and join us? You will find it great fun, for that is what motorcycling is all about! Our Membership Secretary is ready and waiting to process your application for membership, and any committee member will be pleased to help you with any queries.

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