Oct 24, 2018

Welcome to the SMART Rider Program

Whether you ride by yourself or with a group of friends, motorcycling should be fun.

But too many riders are being hurt on our roads, and it doesn’t have to be that way.

Many more have close calls and some just don’t feel comfortable or confident enough to enjoy their riding experience.

SMART Rider Program logo MLGood riders constantly work to improve their skills. They’re also able to spot risks on the road before they become a problem.

That’s why Motorcycle Life, together with the Australian Road Safety Foundation, has created the SMART Rider Program to help you improve your on-road skills within the Gold Coast and Brisbane areas.

The SMART Rider Program will help you to identify risks, give you strategies to avoid them and to make better decisions on the road.

Decisions that will make your riding far more enjoyable … and help to keep you safe.

And with improved skills and better decisions, you will also find that your confidence in dealing with situations on the road is better as well.

Whether you’ve been riding for a while, you’re just new or coming back to riding after a long break, the SMART Rider Program will help you to be a better rider.

Independent candidate for Mudgeeraba, Bill Sherwood, supports SMART Rider program.

Bill Sherwood
Independent candidate for Gold Coast Division 9 Bill Sherwood

“I’m a big advocate of road safety and motorbike riders are over-represented in the crash, death, and injury stats. This course is one way to reduce that so I’m more than happy to plug it.”

“I highly recommend for riders of all experience levels to do the course as it’ll help keep you that much safer.”


“What is the SMART Rider Program?”

The SMART Rider Program is a full day training course involving theory sessions, demonstrations, facilitated discussions, and a mentored road ride in the environment where riders spend most of their time – public roads.

The day is broken into 3 segments:

  • A theory session that covers road craft, observation skills and discusses riders’ attitudes to risk taking. Specifically, the theory component of the day will highlight:
    • observation skills and hazard identification;
    • the effect speed has on reaction and braking distances;
    • safe road oriented cornering lines; and
    • typical reaction times of motorcycle riders and car drivers.
  • practical session to cover the correct use of the major motorcycle controls, posture, steering technique and correct use of braking.
  • A mentored road ride through both suburban and country environments. Instructors will make frequent stops at locations that have previously been identified as being of high risk to motorcyclists to provide information on how to reduce the risk and improve the rider’s safety.

The course is being run by highly experienced trainers who have worked in the industry for many years, and have operated similar programs in the past.

To ensure participants get the maximum benefits from the mentored road ride, numbers will be limited to a student to instructor ratio of 6:1.

The SMART Rider Program has been designed to improve your skills regardless of your current level of experience.

For new and lesser experienced riders the SMART Rider Program will expand on the concepts you were taught when getting their motorcycle licence, improve your ability to recognise hazards and give you practical skills to avoid them becoming a problem.

Experienced riders will find the SMART Rider Program is an economical way to update and refresh your riding skills.

For those riders who had taken a long break from riding this is the perfect course to get you comfortable on a motorbike again.

For all riders, the program will also help you fine tune your cornering skills by teaching you to read the road better.

To participate in the SMART Rider program you must:

  • own, or have access to, a registered and roadworthy motorcycle;
  • be licensed for the class of motorcycle you are riding on the course; and
  • be comfortable riding at 100km/h on motorway.

Call us on 1300 961 335 for more information

If you can’t attend the SMART Rider Program on the day you have registered for, please let us know as soon as possible.

If you give us more than 7 days notice it may be possible to transfer to another date at no additional charge.

If you need to cancel your booking:

  • For cancellations received more than 7 days prior to the Program date, a $25 cancellation fee will apply.
  • No refunds will be given if the cancellation is received less than 7 days before the Program date.
  • NO refund will be given in the event of a participant being a “NO SHOW” on the day.

“Who are the main people involved?”

Steve McDowall has been coaching riders for 12 years and has 8 years experience as a Q-Ride accredited trainer. He has also contributed to various road safety projects, including the successful community based MATES program that operated from 2008 to 2012.

Mike Roberts has 12 years rider training experience and delivered the training component of the SMART rider training program that operated from 2007 to 2012 in conjunction with the Gold Coast City Council.

John Presser has over 20 years riding experience and has fine tuned and broadened his skills over the years with extensive training under several instructors. John also brings some unique skills to the team as a paramedic.

Russell White is the founder of the Australian Road Safety Foundation and is recognised as a leading road safety consultant. Russell’s extensive experience has been invaluable in creating the SMART Rider Program.

The issues with motorcycle safety are many and complex, but common factors across many crashes are a lack of skills, a lack of experience, poor judgement and risk taking.

Advanced rider training courses have been available for many years and marketed or promoted as “post-licence” and “road safety” courses.

These courses are often provided in a race track environment.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that many of these skills based courses have had little or no impact on reducing motorcycle fatalities and injuries on our roads.

This program is different in that it addresses issues and develops rider’s skills that relate to riding in suburban and rural areas safely.

Two projects were launched in 2008 to address the rising motorcycle fatality and injury rates around the Gold Coast region at that time – the Gold Coast City Council’s SMART Motorcycle Training Program and MATES, a community motorcycle road safety initiative.

The SMART Motorcycle Training Program was operated and subsidised by the Council, and provided affordable on-road training to riders.

MATES had the support of the Queensland Department of Transport, Queensland Police Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services but operated as a community group.

The two projects had the same goal – to improve riders’ skills and reduce the number of crashes.

The two programs worked, and the SMART Motorcycle Training Program was awarded an Australian Road Safety Award in 2011.

As crash rates and fatalities have increased again in recent years there have been many calls to re-instate the original City of Gold Coast SMART program.

The SMART Rider Program draws on the success of those original programs, taking their best features and adding the latest information and training techniques.

  • Australian Road Safety Foundation
  • City of Gold Coast
  • Queensland Government
  • Join The Drive
  • Motorcycle Life
  • Southern Cross Austereo
  • Pulsestart