Learn to ride with Visordown: Making progress

Why it's important to keep with the traffic flow

Make progress...and that means overtake if necessary

IMAGINE YOU'RE on your bike test, riding along an open stretch stretch of dual carriageway at 70mph. There's another vehicle ahead travelling at 60mph in the left hand lane. The road and traffic conditions are good and there's plenty of room ahead to overtake. What do you do?

Common sense says we should play safe, ease off and sit behind the vehicle in front - after all, there's a bloke behind on a big BMW watching every move you make. But many candidates have failed their test for not overtaking in this sort of situation.

It sounds bizarre but one of the most common reasons for failing is not going fast enough. It'd be a reasonable assumption to think the best way of passing would be to play it safe and have a steady tootle around the test route, but that isn't necessarily always the case.

Since the inception of Direct Access back in 1997, examiners want to see a candidate can handle the power of the bigger capacity machines - and that means showing you're capable at overtaking, as well as the slow-speed control stuff. They'll expect you to recognise the speed limit of the road you're on and whisk your machine promptly to the required speed - limply accelerating to 70mph is a sure-fire way to failure. Even in a 30mph speed limit, if road and traffic conditions allow, examiners will expect you to promptly accelerate up to the posted speed limit in a safe, smooth and controlled manner.

Bike examiners like to see riders that exude confidence. We're not saying you should tear around the test route like an idiot - just show the examiner you're confident, in control and know what you're doing.

IMAGINE YOU'RE on your bike test, riding along an open stretch stretch of dual carriageway at 70mph. There's another vehicle ahead travelling at 60mph in the left hand lane. The road and traffic conditions are good and there's plenty of room ahead to overtake. What do you do?

Article originaly published January 2008, updated July 2013

Common sense says we should play safe, ease off and sit behind the vehicle in front - after all, there's a bloke behind on a big BMW watching every move you make. But many candidates have failed their test for not overtaking in this sort of situation.

It sounds bizarre but one of the most common reasons for failing is not going fast enough. It'd be a reasonable assumption to think the best way of passing would be to play it safe and have a steady tootle around the test route, but that isn't necessarily always the case.

Since the inception of Direct Access back in 1997, examiners want to see a candidate can handle the power of the bigger capacity machines - and that means showing you're capable at overtaking, as well as the slow-speed control stuff. They'll expect you to recognise the speed limit of the road you're on and whisk your machine promptly to the required speed - limply accelerating to 70mph is a sure-fire way to failure. Even in a 30mph speed limit, if road and traffic conditions allow, examiners will expect you to promptly accelerate up to the posted speed limit in a safe, smooth and controlled manner.

Bike examiners like to see riders that exude confidence. We're not saying you should tear around the test route like an idiot - just show the examiner you're confident, in control and know what you're doing.

Join the conversation!

Let us know what you think, just sign up for a free account, leave a comment and get involved!
Register Now