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Tips to Pass Your Motorcycle Test: Module 1

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On Your Motorbike

Britain has recently changed its motorcycle test exam an introduced a new module 1 motorbike test that you have to pass at a test center before you are allowed to take the main riding test. Here are some pointers and tips to help you pass the module 1 motorcycle test.

Before you can even think about doing this test you have to have completed a compulsory basic training (CBT test) course that covers basic safety. Remember to bring your CBT certificate with you or you won't be allowed to even take the module 1 of the new DSA motorbike rider's test. You'd be surprised at just how many people fail because they arrive at the test centre without all the right documentation. That includes your photo drivers license and the paper part too.

All Ready to Go

Photo credit: Clawed on wikimedia under a creative commons license.

Photo credit: Clawed on wikimedia under a creative commons license.

Tips to Help You Pass the Module 1 Motorcycle Test

This test introduced two new manoeuvres carried out at a minimum speed of 50 km/h (approx. 32 mph) on a special test track. These are the emergency stop and obstacle avoidance. Both are actually pretty easy but are the main reason that many people either fail their exam or hurt themselves. The test is the same whether you are on a motorcycle or scooter and is also the same if you are riding a geared bike or an automatic. The only difference is that if you take the test on an automatic you will be limited to riding one once you get your drivers license.

The biggest reason for people failing their motorbike module 1 exam is they do not do the exercises at the minimum speed. In both cases, you are told by the exam instructor to take your motorcycle around a bend, accelerate towards a speed trap and then either do an emergency stop or avoid an obstacle by swerving through some marked cones. Both are simple to do and if you have any time on the road have done both many times without thinking about it. But in a test situation, your mind often jumps to the second part of the test (avoiding the obstacle or stopping) so you are subconsciously slowing down through the speed trap in preparation. The trick is simply to open up the throttle as you come round the bend (on a 125cc bike or scooter that most people will be using you can open it right up full) to accelerate to the speed trap. At this point concentrate only speeding up and passing through the trap (some people have hit it because instead of focusing on it they look down at their speedometer). Only once you clear the trap do you do the next part. If it is the avoidance you just want to tilt your bike gently as if going around a manhole cover in the road. Don't ease off on the throttle and do not hit the brakes - this is the cause of some of the accidents that have happened since the test was introduced.

If you are doing the emergency stop also focus on accelerating towards the speed trap. Only when through it should you even start thinking of rolling off on the throttle and getting ready to brake - lots of people do this too early and come through the trap at 49 km per hour - if you do this twice you will fail.

When the signal is given to stop be firm but don't jam down too hard on the brakes and put your motorcycle or scooter into a skid. The instructor wants to see a controlled stop, not a skid. You are more likely to fail by skidding then by taking an extra meter or two to stop.

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The final tip is to always remember you are being watched and to behave as if you are on the road whenever you are on your motorcycle. This means doing shoulder checks for traffic (yep, it feels stupid in a test center that isn't on the road) and watch your mirrors when slowing down. Stupid as it may feel, if the instructor thinks you aren't watching your blind spots or doing lifesaver glances over the shoulder then you can be failed.

Practice the basic exercises on a quiet road or parking lot including the low speed stuff (moving at walking pace, figure 8s and u-turns) and go through the exercises in the test at a high enough speed and there is no reason you should not pass the module 1 of your UK motorcycle riders test the first time you take the exam. Good luck!

A Few More Module 1 Bike Test Tips

  • Try to go to the test centre and watch a few other people taking their module 1 bike tests. You can learn quite a lot by watching what others do and why they fail. There are often a couple of instructors there with students, and the instructors are usually a friendly lot who won't mind giving you a few pointers.
  • Dress the part. Although you are not officially being graded on what you are wearing and you only have to comply with the legal minimum (in the UK that's a helmet) you will not impress an instructor if you arrive dressed in motorcycle gear that will not protect you.
  • Double check that you have all the documentation with you. You don't want to arrive there on time only to get sent home again.

Please come back to this article and let us know how the test went for you in the comments. You can also share any other tips that you have or mistakes you have seen made. Let's all make this the one-stop-shop of motorcycle test tips.

A Run-Through of the Module 1 Test

Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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