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The Module 1 motorcycling test: how the May 2011 changes will affect you

Change you can believe in; the Module 1 motorcycling test is currently under review by the Department for Transport (DFT) and you can expect to see modifications in just a couple of months. The new test model is the result of a movement by the Government, working alongside the motor industry, to improve testing procedure for motorcycling examinations. You can expect to say changes to the Module 1 test as early as 16th May 2011, and you need to know what the changes are and how they will affect you as a vehicle owner.

Where are these changes coming from?

The Department for Transport, the Driving Standards Agency, Motorcycle Training Groups and a selection of industry officials and think-tanks have analysed the current testing regime and have formulated several improvements to the Module 1 test. For the moment, these changes are relatively minor and are simply a short-term procedure leading up to a more in-depth review to be implemented at a later date, once the review has been completed.

What changes can I expect?

There are several new ‘good practise’ procedures to follow, namely;

  • A change to the sequence of events: The Module 1 test has been reformulated to allow Motorcyclists to demonstrate their road competency and control of the vehicle using slow movements, before the test proceeds to the demonstration of ability using high speed movements.
  • The controlled stop: Candidates for the Module 1 test will be asked to perform a controlled stop, involving the riding of the circuit bend of the motorcycle manoeuvring area at a speed determined by the rider, who then manoeuvres the vehicle to a controlled stop. This technique is designed to familiarise the candidate with the area designated for review, before they proceed to carry out an emergency stop.
  • The Emergency Stop: This will now take place before the Avoidance manoeuvre. For their own safety, those candidates who fail to carry out the Emergency Stop to the Examiner’s satisfaction will not proceed to the Avoidance exercise.
  • Choosing the preferred riding line: The route guidance cones will be repositioned on the right and left bend exits, to allow candidates to adopt their preferred riding line.
  • The Slow Ride: Candidates will be asked to ride both a slow figure-of-eight and a U-turn, to allow the candidate to transition more easily from one test manoeuvre to another. The examiner will observe from close quarters, rather than walk alongside the candidate performing the test.
  • Altering requirements for the controlled stop following the avoidance exercise: There will no longer be a requirement for the candidate to perform a quick controlled stop within a small, designated area following the Avoidance exercise. Instead, the blue cones (the first which the rider comes to) which signify the ‘stopping box’ will be removed completely, and the candidate will stop near the farther set of blue cones. Candidates will still need to perform a controlled stop, but will they will be allowed a greater allocation of space and time in which to carry this out.
  • Flexibility of speed assessment: For exercises involving high-speed manoeuvres, candidate will be allowed a far greater degree of flexibility in terms of the speed requirement; a 5% difference above and below the ideal speed (2 km/h below 50 km/h). This means that, provided the candidate is otherwise without fault during this period, failure to adhere to the correct speed will be recorded as a ‘driving fault’ rather than a ‘serious fault’, which would result in automatic failure.
  • Rider Faults: This area of the test remains unchanged at a maximum of five faults overall; the number of attempts permitted for high-speed exercise also remains the same.

How will these changes affect me?

If you are contemplating taking your Module 1 Test after May 16th 2011, it is advisable that you contact your local Motorcycling test facility to find out how to prepare yourself for the test in-line with the latest updates. For a revised set of exercise sequences for the new test, take a look at the Department for Transport’s website for further information.

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