MOTORCYCLE learners will soon no longer have to get on their bike to experience what it's like to be in the driving seat.
That's because the Interior Ministry is being presented with a new motorcycle simulator by United Commercial Agencies to be used in its National Drivers Training Centre, in A'ali.
It is fully equipped with all the controls found on a normal motorbike, but means beginners will be able to practise in safety before being let loose on the roads.
The simulator is equipped with sensors that detect riders' actions, software that simulates motorcycle dynamics, an audio system and three wide screens to provide panoramic scenery.
"The simulator will provide the trainee with levels of difficulty to choose from, such as beginner, average and advanced," said training centre head Major Rashid Musbah Khaled.
"It will be very beneficial to those who have no prior understanding of motorcycles, for them to gain an understanding of the controls before going out on public roads."
Students will be able to try out motorbike manoeuvres, learn traffic rules and even experiment in advanced training that puts them on a virtual race track, as well as simulating hazardous conditions such as wet or slippery roads and using worn tyres in safety.
"The simulator will mostly be used for beginners for them to understand the controls of the vehicle like the clutch, brake and their reaction to the throttle," said Major Khaled.
The simulator's introduction coincides with a nationwide campaign to reduce road accidents among bikers.
The number of motorcycles registered on Bahrain's roads has more than tripled in the last nine years, according to the latest figures.