Practical motorbike test

If you’re looking forward to ripping up those L plates you’ll need to get through your motorbike test first; so, here’s what you can expect, along with some top tips on how to pass first time.

Practical motorbike test essentials

The practical motorcycle test is split into two modules – known as module 1 and module 2. The first part takes place at the test centre and focuses on manoeuvres. The second, is an on-road riding test that will assess your skills in real life traffic. Don’t forget to take:

• your compulsory basic training certificate (DL196)
• your theory test certificate
• a valid licence
• your mod 1 test pass certificate
• suitable clothing and footwear
• your moped or motorbike (pretty essential)

How much does it cost?

Each module has a fixed cost, but there are different charges depending on the day you choose, current prices* are:

ModuleWeekday costEvenings, weekends and bank holidays
Module 1£15.50£15.50
Module 2£75£88.50
Extended test for disqualified riders£150£177

What happens in module 1?

The mod 1 test is off-road and you’ll be asked to perform seven different manoeuvres or actions, which are:

• handling the bike, wheeling it and using the stand
• slalom and figure of eight
• a slow ride
• a U-turn
• cornering and coming to a controlled stop
• cornering and making an emergency stop
• cornering and hazard avoidance

You’ll be expected to perform the last two actions at a minimum speed of 19mph if you’re on a moped and 31mph if you’re on a motorbike. The test lasts around 20 minutes.

To pass module 1, you cannot have made any major (dangerous) faults, or made more than five minor faults. If you pass, you’ll be given a certificate which you’ll need to show when you take your mod 2 test.

What happens in module 2?

This is the on-road test which takes around 40 minutes, it’s made up of four different elements, which are:

An eyesight check – you’ll need to read a number plate from 20m away for new-style plates, or 20.5m away for old-style plates.

Answering two ‘show me, tell me’ questions – these are designed to test your knowledge on safety; examples include:
“Tell me how you would check the condition of the chain on this machine”
“Show me how you would switch your headlight from dipped to main beam”

Road riding – you’ll be asked to perform a stop, pull out from behind a vehicle (an angle start) as well as negotiate different traffic situations such as roundabouts.

Independent riding – you’ll be given a route to test your riding and ability to make decisions yourself; sat navs aren’t allowed but you won’t fail if you forget the exact directions and go slightly off-route.

You’ll be kitted out with a radio and be able to communicate with the instructor for the riding parts.

Your examiner will tell you the result after your test. To pass you cannot have made any major faults or have more than ten minor faults.

Top tips to pass first time

It’s easy for nerves to get the better of you on the day, so here are some pointers that should help you focus (and hopefully pass first time):

• get a good night’s sleep so you’re refreshed
• eat before – concentration can waver on an empty stomach
• turn up with the right paperwork, clothing and vehicle
• ride at a good speed, too slow in normal traffic and you’ll appear overly cautious
• check, check and check again – make it obvious you’re looking for hazards by looking over your shoulder when appropriate
• obey traffic signs
• brush up on ‘show me, tell me’ questions – getting one or both wrong results in one minor fault
• practise manoeuvres such as slalom and figure of eight, as well as emergency and controlled stops
• finish the test – sounds obvious, but even if something throws your concentration, just keep going
• enjoy it – it’s not a test to catch you out, as long as you’ve practised, it’s about showing off your skills – so go for it, helping you stay on your bike

We understand that you love your bike and want to be prepared for whatever gets thrown at you. Which is why we’ve pulled together some useful guides to help keep you and your bike protected.

*As of 23 February 2018