We looked at theory tests, booking and taking your CBT and motorcycle lessons in previous parts of this series and in this latest blog we will look at the final steps to obtaining your full motorcycle licence – the module 1 and 2 tests!
The practical test is now split into 2 parts, the module 1 which takes place at an off road training centre and focuses on bike control and manoeuvring and module 2 which is a 30-40 minute road ride. You cannot take the module 2 road test until you have completed the module 1 and shown you have the necessary skills to handle the bike.
Depending on your experience level you may find one more challenging than the other. I’ve known people who have been driving cars for years who found the road ride of module 2 much easier since they already had the road fundamentals well practiced. At the same time I’ve also known people from a motor cross background who had fantastic bike control and sailed through the module 1 only to struggle in the road ride. For me as a complete beginner and never having had a licence before I found both challenging but with the right tuition and practice I got through both my tests first time and if I can do it anybody can!
So let’s look at the Module 1 test and what it involves. There is a handy video on YouTube from the DVSA showing the test layout and what is involved and I would definitely recommend getting familiar with it, see below:
The test comprises of a series of manoeuvres, beginning with parking in a bay, switching off the bike and then walking it into an adjacent bay. From there they have you ride slowly and smoothly across a series of cones in slalom, finishing in a figure of 8 at the end. After completing that it’s time for the slow ride, where you will ride in a straight line at roughly walking pace. As simple as it sounds I actually struggled with this in practice keeping my balance while going so slowly. I ended up practicing on a bicycle at home, going as slow as possible without putting a foot down and it really helped improve my balance! Next up is the U-turn and then you move into the faster speed manoeuvres.
The first of these manoeuvres is quite straight forward; you will ride across the test area and round a bend before raising the speed to around 20-30 mph and stopping smoothly between 2 sets of cones. The final 2 manoeuvres are the ones that people tend to have the most trouble with: the emergency stop and the hazard avoidance. They follow the same pattern as before traversing the bend and then accelerating out of it the difference is you must reach an exact speed of above 32mph before either emergency stopping when the examiner signals or swerving around a cone. This is the main thing that can make it tricky because there is only a short distance to build up just the right speed, if you concentrate too much on reaching that exact 32mph you may miss the move, if you concentrate on that you may not make the correct speed. Fortunately they will allow you a second attempt if you come slightly short. As in my case I clocked a speed of 30mph on my hazard avoidance and had to redo it to get that extra 2 mph!
If you’ve completed your motorcycle course to this stage you should really be prepared for the test, make sure you are familiar with the layout and have practiced everything you will be asked to do. That is the main thing, being confident going into the test that you can do everything required. At the end of the day if things don’t go right first time it’s still not the end of the world simply re-book and try again, you’ll get there in the end!
Once you have completed your module 1 you’re free to take your module 2 test. I was in the unfortunate position of having to wait almost 3 weeks until an available slot came up since it was peak summer so I made sure to have a final lesson a few days before hand to practice my road riding and make sure I was warmed up and ready for the test.
Here is the DVLA video for module 2:
There’s not really much to say on this it is simply a short briefing followed by a few questions regarding basic motorcycle maintenance and safety and then a 30-40 minute road ride. Depending where you live and what time your test is you will encounter different conditions. Just make sure you’ve experienced as many traffic conditions as possible as well as both countryside and city riding where needed then you will be prepared for whatever the examiner throws at you. You will be asked to follow signs on your own to a particular destination for one section of the test before the examiner gives directions to you for the rest of it.
Once the module 2 has been completed successfully that’s it, you have your motorcycle licence! For me the entire process from obtaining my provisional to holding a full unrestricted motorcycle licence took about a month and was a great experience. If you have ever dreamed of riding a bike but never got round to it, it really is quite straightforward and I would encourage you to give it a try. A week after passing my test, riding through beautiful countryside on my own bike I couldn’t have been happier that I did!
Other blogs in this Motorcycle Training Series are:
Please note: The views shared are that of the author and are not neccesarily that of Lexham Insurance Consultants Ltd.