Learner

Five biggest mistakes people make in the bike test

Avoid the biggest pitfalls to a pass

By Alan Dowds

CHRIS Spinks runs the motorcycle rider training school at top central London bike shop Metropolis. Based in Vauxhall, Chris has been training the good people of ye olde London towne for years – and he's got more than his fair share of A-list celebrities through their test too.

Now though, he's slumming it by sharing all his juicy rider training secrets with us here at Visordown. Get set for Spinksy's tips!

Chris Spinks (pic credit: Alan Dowds).

Getting ready for your Mod 2 bike test? Well, here's a list of the top five things you'll want to get right, thanks to our man in the high-viz 'Instructor' vest…

1. Leaving an indicator on

Of course, none of the HIGHLY TRAINED riding ninjas at Visordown Towers would ever do this. Obviously. But to an instructor, it looks like you're not paying attention to everything going on around you. A miscreant winker may not be the most important error around, but it will be factored into your overall performance, and could tip you over into a 'fail'.

No excuse for this really – use the 'two-second' rule to make sure there's enough of a gap. Watch for the bus/taxi/tank transporter in front of you to pass a lamp post, count two seconds (one elephant-two-elephants), and you shouldn't be passing the post any sooner.

Being too close to the vehicle in front is a no-no. It’s dangerous in the obvious way – you won't have time to stop in an emergency – and it also means you're restricting your view of the road ahead.

This usually happens when the examiner asks you to move off – and you're so taken up with what you've been told to do that you forget the basics. Nail this stuff into your psyche with flaming bolts of moto-skill lightning, and make it impossible for you to leave the kerb-side without looking behind you.

More basics – make sure you know how to identify speed limits: signs, lamp posts, road markings. And keep a running commentary inside your head of what that limit is, and ride at an appropriate pace. Oh, and do remember to obey those speed limits…

Unless there are filter markings on the road, you should only be in the left-hand lane at a roundabout if you're turning left, or going straight on. Turning right? Then get into the right-hand lane of the carriageway well before you get to the roundabout.

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