Testing Times for Motorcyclists

Motorcycle on Country Road in Scotland

As a member of Digby Brown’s specialised Motorcycle Law Team I was interested to observe that the Motorcycle Manoeuvre test is to remain off road.

A review of the motorcycle test was recently performed looking at combining both parts of the bike test into one mammoth on-road test. As many of you will know, currently the motorcycle test is split into two sections. The first part is an off road test demonstrating specific manoeuvres, including riding a slalom figure of 8 and performing a U turn. This section of the test is currently undertaken at the test centre. It assesses riders’ abilities before they are taken onto the public roads by the instructor. The second part of the test is much like a car test, with the rider being followed by the examiner, out on the main roads in and around town. Proposals had been mooted to combine both parts to create a single on Road Motorcycle Test. Research performed by the Department of Transport estimate that should module 1 of the Test be moved “on road”, this would lead to between 447 and 561 major incidents requiring 3 days or more off work from injuries sustained during the test.  See the full research findings here.

Concerns were also raised regarding the time and cost of the proposed changes. Research showed that the time to perform the set manoeuvres increased to 15 minutes as well as an average of 11 minutes waiting at the kerbside for the set up of the road and equipment. Considerable time would also be required to survey and  risk assess suitable on road locations to perform the manoeuvres.  Both would increase costs for the Driving Standards Agency which would require to be passed onto candidates.

Since the review began the Drivers Standard Agency has opened additional test centres and set up online booking of tests to make the test more accessible.  For further information on what is involved in the motorcycle test and information on booking a test visit:


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