Learning to ride a motorcycle: Post-test training

Tips for developing riding skills, road craft and post-test advanced riding school training

ONCE YOU'VE passed your test, at some point you’ll need to go out for your first ride on your new bike.

Article originally written July 2011, updated July 2013

This may start from the shop you bought it, or maybe from home but in either case plan a simple 30-minute ride to a pre-determined place to get you used to riding your new machine. This is a far better option than suddenly finding yourself in the fast lane of the M1 with a sales rep right up your chuff at 90mph (believe me, it’s happened).

We’d suggest accumulating your initial post-test experience either on your own or with a level-headed experienced friend. Avoid riding in large groups, as it can be rather daunting if you’re not used to it, especially if everyone else in the group is keen on riding fast.

Once you’ve got to grips with the basics, which may take a couple of weeks or a couple of months depending how much mileage you can get under your belt, we’d strongly recommend taking further training to help improve your riding skills.

Post-test courses usually look more in-depth at the art of motorcycle riding and usually cover topics such as: cornering techniques, bend assessment, advanced braking techniques, hazard assessment, overtaking and, sometimes, machine set-up.

Only take pillion passengers once your skill levels allow it. A machine reacts a lot differently with a passenger aboard, especially if they’re nervous, so avoid rushing out to impress you mate or girlfriend. When you do take a pillion passenger ensure they’re suitably clothed, tell them to hold on, lean with the bike around corner and not to make any sudden movements. A pillion passenger is your responsibility, so respect the faith they’ve put in you and ride accordingly.

Most importantly, take your time, don’t be pressurised by others and learn at your own pace.

Visordown’s post-test tips

  • Ride on your own or with an experienced, level-headed friend
  • Avoid riding in groups
  • Stay within your limits
  • Plan your routes
  • Ride to test standard at all times – don’t get complacent
  • Be aware that bikes handle differently with a passenger aboard
  • Take some post-test training

Part 9: Choosing the right bike