Motorbike Test - 10 Most Common Reasons for Failing
If you've decided to become a motorcyclist, you're in good company. The freedom and flexibility of a motorbike are popular draws, despite the expensive of owning, maintaining and insuring one.
With an estimated 1 million motorbikes taxed for use on Britains roads each year, you'll be one of thousands of new bikers attempting to pass their motorbike test this year.
Unfortunately it's estimated that around 36% of learner riders taking their test will fail.
Here are the Top 10 reasons for failing a motorbike test, with a few words of wisdom for getting through these common pitfalls and joining the motorbike community.
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1. Moving Off
On your practical motorcycle test you'll be asked various safety questions about things that need checking on your bike before you move off. If you fail to answer these questions correctly, or fail to complete all the required safety checks before moving off, you will fail. Revision, revision, revision is the answer!
2. Road Positioning
Failing to take up the correct road position away from the gutter. The principle here is that you should always ride in the safest position so that you are able to take evasive action even when other vehicles make mistakes that could put you in danger.
3. Dealing with other Vehicles
Failing to deal with other vehicles on the road in a competent manner.
4. Safety Checks
You should have had this one drilled into you, but forgeting to carry out safety/shoulder checks when turning is a very common reason for failure.
Like the over-the-shoulder safety checks, many candidates don't demonstrate best use of their mirrors during their motorbike test. make sure you use your mirrors competently at traffic lights, before moving off, when turning, over-taking and every few seconds even when you're not doing any of those things!
Do you signal before turning or over-taking? And do you remember to cancel your signal after your manoeuvre? It's a common failing for bikers during their test.
Failing to demonstrate adequate control of your bike and/or positioning on the road is another common test fail. On your practical test you're required to demonstrate a number of manoeuvres at the test centre. Components include manoeuvres at low speed, higher speed, slaloms and U-turns, swerves and braking. On the road test, manoeuvres include a variety of road and traffic conditions, stops and hill starts. Practice, practice, practice!
Not getting to the speed limit for a stretch of road or exceeding the displayed speed limit is a test fail. Keep an eye on the speedo (and the hundred other observations you're trying to manage simultaneously!).
Pay careful attention at road junctions. Position your motorbike properly, in the correct lane, and make the correct signals and observations before making your turn.
10. Road conditions
Are you holding up traffic through riding your bike too slowly? Are you riding too fast for the weather conditions? If you meet adverse road conditions on the day of your motorbike test, moderate your riding to suit.
Your examiner can fail you for any reason that gives them cause to believe you don't have adequate control over your motorbike. A good reason to choose your riding school and instructor with care and apply yourself to learning the ropes thoroughly.
The good news is that at age 17, the pass rate for Module 1 motorcycle tests is 79%, with a paas rate of 63% in the same age group in Module 2 (2011/12 data from the Department for Transport).
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