My name is Mike Bentley – that’s me, at the front of the bike. I am the Managing Director of RIDEcraft (UK) and RIDEcraft (CBT) Ltd, both registered with Companies House from 2008. I am a retired Police Officer, having served 30 very proud years with Lancashire Police, ending in June 2006.
My career as a ‘Traffic Patrol Officer’ spanned 27 of those years, working on the roads. With that, I was privileged to have received ‘probably’ the best Driver and Motorcycle Rider training available. That training, along with my vast professional career, firmly places me at the top of my field in rider / driver training and testing – unrivalled in the District of Lancashire.
I hold the coveted Police Class One Advanced Driver Award (achieving Advanced Driving Course Annual Best Student in 1983), Police Class One Advanced Motorcyclist and have been a Police Instructor in multiple subjects. I have very many other Police related qualifications, too many to mention here.
My ‘passion’ for attending and dealing with all aspects of Road Traffic Accidents took me to the very proud position of Police Senior Accident Investigator (qualified Advanced City & Guilds), covering the whole of Lancashire County’s area. This was a dedicated role, covering the final 17yrs of my Police career, specialising in all incidents taking place on / off the roads, ranging from ‘technical’ incidents to the ultimate Fatal Road Traffic Accident and all that entails.
My Police role also elevated me to the position of an ‘Expert Witness’ within the Criminal and Civil Courts, along with the responsibility that role requires. I was also tasked to attend Factory / Work Place incidents, requested by the Health & Safety Executive to assist them into getting to the bottom of such incidents.
Over the years I developed a very specific interest in Motorcycle related incidents. With that, I have spent much time researching the behaviour and dynamics relative to motorcycle safety, helmets and clothing. It was this interest along with the influence of my Police Instructors which led me into Motorcycle Instruction at every level.
I have also visited many Groups, giving talks on road safety, road traffic law, riding and driving techniques – using my expertise in such matters.
I have sat on many bike-related forums as a Police Officer e.g. assisting to reform ‘Bikesafe’ as we know it today, along with many other issues relative to safer riding and driving. My passion lies with all aspects of riding and driving including Road Traffic Law.
It was always my intention after I left the Police, to use my knowledge and experiences to ‘give something back’ and to continue to work within road safety issues surrounding motorcycling and driving. Therefore, RIDEcraft now deals with all aspects of Motorcycle Rider Training & Testing and is unsurpassed by any other Training Body.
Prior to leaving the Police (June 2006) I put myself through a CBT Instructors course, to become a ‘Down-Trained’ Instructor with the British Motorcycling Federation in 1999.
In reality, this was all about trying to get to the crux of motorcycle-related incidents – looking at it from the ‘instructors’ point of view. It was here that I realised the difference between those ‘training schools’ who did it for a commercial concern – and the few who did it for their passion / professionalism of training motorcycling, above and beyond the requirements of the CBT Course / Tests / DVSA requirements. Sadly, the ‘commercial concern’ greatly overcomes the few professionals.
I also undertook a BTEC Award (2001 – 2003) to qualify as an Advanced Motorcycle Instructor, Examiner, Assessor and Trainer of Trainee Instructors from CBT through to Advanced level. This was not one of the modern-day 3 to 5 day courses – it spanned many months of studying and proving myself in the classroom, on paper and ultimately, on the roads. My Police Rider / Instructor training was a massive asset with this.
I was proud to attain very high marks at those disciplines and maintain that training as much as I possibly can, along with being subjected to regular re-assessments (CPD).
I later became a DVSA approved Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), Direct Access Scheme (DAS) and Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS) Instructor, remaining current in all three disciplines.
I actively maintain my professional skills throughout all aspects via CPD. This includes the assessment of established Instructors to ensure they are maintaining skill levels necessary to prepare riders for their CBT / Test and well beyond. It should be stressed that the standard required by the DVSA for ‘L’ riders, to pass their initial Motorcycle Test falls well short of what is required to ride such a vehicle competently. This standard is always exceeded at RIDEcraft.
I’ve written an Instructional Manual which strives to prepare would-be CBT Instructors in the very real ‘Art’ of Motorcycle Instructor at Learner level. It is commended by the DVSA and other Authorities who’ve seen it.
I remain actively involved with the DVSA from mere chats on things which could do to perhaps make things better, to being fully involved in any Consultation issues (CBT, ERS etc.).
I’m fully committed to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) on their RoADAR side of things (RoSPA Advanced Riders and Drivers) as a fully active Advanced Examiner, Testing candidates at Car, Motorcycle, LGV and PCV disciplines.
After having worked for other Training Schools and generally observing what goes on in this ‘industry’, it became my intention to open my own Motorcycle Training School as a ‘Centre of Motorcycling Excellence’ (‘COME’ Biking). This was to pursue my passion in biking – presenting a professional training body to those who’d like to learn to ride ‘Powered Two Wheels’ safely and properly. This is to provide real motorcycle training, rather than teaching riders to pass a test OR cut-corners on a CBT Course, which is generally what goes on. A common comment I hear from such Instructors ‘training’ candidates for the DVSA ‘L’ Test would be “come on, let’s go and do another route” (DVSA Test route!).
There’s too many suggesting their Instructors come from misleading backgrounds; they claim on their websites that they cover areas they’re not based in (so you’ll need to travel unnecessary distances along with unnecessary costs); suggested unqualified Instructional level, unrealistic training courses and claiming the Highest Pass rates (which are not publicised) – none of which are true.
The usual way is to quote you for e.g. a short DAS training course (say three days in total i.e. training and testing). Once you’re there and quite possibly unable to achieve the required skills over two short days – it’ll be suggested you need further day(s), creating a further expense, now more expensive than anywhere else.
OR – you sign-up for what appears to be a very cheap combined / crammer course (CBT & Test) over five or seven days. The reality is that if you’re not able to keep-up day-to-day due to a lack of experience on a motorcycle, or you don’t quite grasp what’s needed quickly enough, the course has to be stopped and you lose all your fees for the remaining days and Tests.
Be aware – if you sign-up for a course where your Module Two Test is LESS THAN three clear days after your Module One, and you’re unfortunately unsuccessful with the latter Test – then you’ll lose the (currently) £75 Test Fee for the Module Two. So, you’ll have to pay that fee all over again!
RIDEcraft Motorcycle Academy will not mislead you with any of our courses. We have a good reputation for straight talking and recommending realistic courses where you’ll get the necessary time you need to complete whatever goal you seek.
RIDEcraft’s logo is ‘Melior Quam Ceteri‘ which means ‘Better Than The Rest’. That means that any Trainee who chooses to come to my Academy will receive training, the level of which cannot be achieved at any other Training Body I am aware of – fact.
Quite alarmingly, another Training School who’s recently updated their website, are posting Testimonials where the Trainees have stated they had a great day with “Mike”. That ‘Mike’ is yours truly who left this particular place 2009!
A more recent trend as RIDEcraft grows in popularity, is riders who’ve been elsewhere and got so sick of the poor level of training / attention, that they come to us – and then see the reality of real professionalism from professional Instructors.
Whilst I am not allowed to say by whom – we are regularly complimented by DVSA Examiners that they can always tell where our candidates were trained – RIDEcraft. Trainees receive compliments about the way they conducted their own test and the quality of their riding. We also receive Trainees who’ve been indirectly recommended to us by DVSA Examiners for their Motorcycle Training. It’s something I’m very proud of and absolutely true at RIDEcraft.
We are based on the Docks in Preston. No other Training Body operates in this district, contrary to what they may claim on their websites. So, if you want to learn how to ride a motorcycle properly, at any of the levels available, then give me a call for an informal chat with no commitment if you don’t like what you hear.