If you’re planning to go on a motorcycle road test then you know the merit of passing the exam is based on how many mistakes you make. If you make too many mistakes, you won’t be so lucky. Since most candidates are beginner riders, they don’t even know the mistake they should avoid until is too late. You know, like forgetting to lift the kickstand up and freaking out when the motorcycle doesn’t start. But just after you manage to start the engine, it cuts out after you put in the gear. Oooh, wait! You started the motorcycle in neutral no wonder it is behaving that way. How embarrassing! Just hope you don’t do that on your practical test or any other mistakes outlined below. Now pay close attention because your ability to avoid the following mistakes will determine whether you pass or fail the motorcycle road test.
Performing the wrong observation/signal sequence- If you want to know the fastest route to failing a riding test, don’t observe and signal before changing lanes or merge into traffic. How hard can it be? Yes, it is dangerous to take your eyes off the road when riding a motorcycle but those mirrors are on your motorcycle for a reason. It will only take a second or two to look into the mirror before switching lanes. But before you change lanes, always indicate the signal, briefly check out for blind spots and if everything is clear you can complete the maneuver. Remember it is mirror-signal-blind spot check and maneuver in that order. Don’t forget to turn off your blinker.
Careless road positioning- The worst thing you can probably do on a motorcycle road test is to lane-split. Examiners hate that! Even if your instructor didn’t tell you during training, you shouldn’t even think about it. Additionally, whenever you’re riding behind a large vehicle like a bus or truck, position yourself in such a way that the driver ahead can see you through the mirrors.
Over speeding- Most examiners like to take candidates on a downhill stretch to see if they will over speed. Usually, on a steep downhill road, a motorcycle will naturally pick up the speed quickly and if you don’t watch out, you will find yourself over speeding. If that happens, you have to switch to a gear that will keep the speed steady without the need to overuse the brake. You will also notice that most vehicles on the road will be going faster than your bike making you think that perhaps you’re slow. Well, most drivers on the road go past the speed limit but it would be really foolish to give in to the peer pressure.
Missing the stop signs- Sometimes, it is the little things like failing to stop when necessary that can make you fail a test. Whenever you see a stop sign, slow down and come to a complete halt just before the demarcation line. The same rules should apply when you come across a red light.
Not yielding to pedestrians- Yes, you’re riding a motorcycle which doesn’t occupy a lot of space compared to a car. But don’t assume just because you’re riding a motorcycle you shouldn’t yield to pedestrians. If you see pedestrians crossing the road especially at a crosswalk, stop and let them pass. Remember to slow down at school zones or residential zones too for safety purposes.
Putting the right foot down when stopping- Usually, when you’re riding, it is the right foot that controls the rear braking. Hence, when you come to a stop and put your right foot down, the examiner will notice that you’re not applying pressure on the rear brake. For that reason, you should practice to only put the left foot down. However, if the examiner has requested you to do a balancing maneuver that requires not putting any feet down, you shouldn’t do otherwise. Additionally, most beginners have a habit of looking at the ground especially when performing slow speed maneuvers at the skills test. Unfortunately, that will only make you put one of your feet down when cutting a corner which will only add up to your mistakes.
Improper turning technique- It is very common for candidates to jerk the throttle when making a turn. Like that is not enough, some guys even hit the brakes halfway into a turn. This usually happens when people are nervous. If you really want to turn smoothly, don’t do it like you’re uncertain or unconfident. Once you’re committed to a turn, just do it. You can slow down before the turn and then slowly put on the throttle at a steady pace when you’re making a turn. The last thing you want is to run wide on a corner or panic midway. You should watch out for other vehicles too by making sure you don’t make that turn too early without scanning for hazards you ought to avoid.
Missing out the instructions- When you’re out the road, you will have a hearing device attached to your helmet while the examiner will be following you closely behind giving you instructions. It easy for the instructions to fly over your head. Literally! Hence, make sure you bring along a fully covering helmet rather than a half-faced helmet to properly hold the earbud and reduce the external noise. If there is a problem with the earbud, you can stop over and communicate the problem to the examiner.
Picking the wrong motorcycle- Hush! This is a secret that most people will not tell you. The size of a motorcycle can directly impact your performance on the road test. Think of it like a video game player level. The bigger and more powerful motorcycle you have, the higher your difficulty level. Usually, smaller or moderate motorcycles are better suited for beginner riders during the road test. Unless of course, you’re super tall and huge like those NBA players and a small motorcycle just won’t cut it for you.
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