top of page
Post: Blog2_Post

The Holy Grail of Seat Time

Graphic representation of the brain


Seat time makes you a better rider, right? It's simple, obvious, and wrong. Without regular, ongoing training and deliberate practice, your skills degrade. Once simple manoeuvers require more conscious thought and attention to execute. Let's look at the science behind memory decay and skill degradation and how that affects our motorcycling proficiency.

Neural Connections and Skill Maintenance:

Memory decay, as represented by Hermann Ebbinghaus's forgetting curve, illustrates that without regular reinforcement or rehearsal, individuals tend to forget a significant portion of what they've learned relatively quickly. In the context of motorcycling, where split-second decisions and precise maneuvers are crucial, the degradation of memory can impact the ability to recall and execute complex skills. Skill maintenance, therefore, requires a proactive approach to counteract this natural decay.

The Forgetting Curve graphic

Similarly, the neural connections formed during the acquisition of motorcycling skills are subject to degradation without consistent training and practice. Synaptic pruning, the elimination of unused neural connections to optimize brain efficiency, contributes to the weakening of these connections. Skill maintenance entails the strengthening and reinforcement of these neural pathways through regular training and practice, making the skills more automatic and resistant to decay.

Cognitive Load and Efficient Skill Execution:

The ability to recall and execute complex skills is also influenced by cognitive load, the mental effort required for a task. Over time and with a lack of training and practice, the cognitive load increases, making it more challenging to perform the skill effortlessly. Ongoing training and practice help reduce cognitive load by reinforcing automated responses, allowing riders to focus more on situational awareness and decision-making.

Spacing Effect and Skill Reinforcement:

Moreover, the concept of the spacing effect or distributed practice emphasizes that relearning and skill reinforcement can be faster and more effective than the initial learning. Short, regular training sessions and practice help keep neural connections active, countering the effects of memory fading, skill degradation, and cognitive load. This continuous reinforcement is a key component of achieving and maintaining proficiency in motorcycling.

Transfer of Training and Adaptability:

In the realm of motorcycling, where psycho-motor skills and stress responses play a significant role, ongoing training and practice also help riders handle stress more effectively. Lack of regular training and practice may lead to an increased stress response during challenging scenarios. Consistent training and practice conditions riders to maintain composure and execute learned skills under pressure, contributing to proficiency in diverse riding conditions.


In summary, proficiency in the art of motorcycling is intricately connected to the ongoing battle against memory decay, skill degradation, and cognitive load. Regular training and practice ensure that riders not only acquire skills but also retain and enhance them. This allows them to manage cognitive load, and easily navigate on-road challenges with confidence and competency. If you're not regularly spending some of your seat time training or deliberately practicing what you've been taught, you're becoming less proficient in those areas over time.

47 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page