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The Advanced Motorcycle Test

A few tips on passing the test. (continued...)

Leaving Town

Remember to check your mirrors as you approach the National Speed limit signs, to see what is following you.  If you have any doubts then consider a "blind spot check" to ensure some "smart Alec" has not started to accelerate and pass you in the last few metres of the restricted area.  You should maintain your 30 mph until the machine passes the imaginary line between the speed limit signs, then (having taken the aforesaid rear observation) accelerate away from the town to continue in a progressive manner.

Entering Town

The view to the rear should be checked well in advance and the speed reduced so you enter the restricted areas at 30 mph (or 40 as the limit dictates), not 35 - 40 and slowing. Beware of the non Advanced Motorist who will now try to pass you as you slow down outside the town or who will sit closer to you than a pillion and endeavour to squeeze you into the gutter to pass you in the town.

Planning

"No road, no speed" and "more paint, more danger" are good maxims to remember as you travel along endeavouring to formulate your riding plan.

Whilst on about paint, this is as bad as over-banding and it will adversely effect machine handling - especially on wet / damp roads. Therefore avoid the paint. Think of the "SLOW" markings and try to plan your course so you can avoid as much paint as possible e.g. between the letters or across the "_" of the "L." In the same vein, ride over the black section of a Zebra Crossing (I know some of the modern crossings have both black & white areas laid over the actual road surface, but the older crossings just have white paint on the original surface). Drain covers and other such areas of poor surface, should also be avoided, if possible.

Observation Links

These can make or break your planning, "Roadcraft" gives a few examples, but here are a few more common ones...

The Telecom companies require to test lines, therefore they work at both ends of a line.  So, as you pass one telecom van, look out for its partner further down the road.

Have you ever noticed road works are signed with solid signs - metal signs with metal frames - whilst the "services" use collapsible ones.  In other words, gas, electricity, telecom etc. working will be signed with collapsible signs.  Such workings are only temporary and may be of an emergency nature. The workmen are there to do their own job.  They are not roadmen and may not have had time to sign the obstruction to the standard one might expect from long term road works.  Therefore be careful when you see a collapsible sign. It may be the only warning you will get!

There are few bus stops in the country and it is for buses to stop to pick up and set down passengers anywhere.  Should you see people standing at the end of a farm road, it may well be they are waiting for a bus.  Most bus users are regular and is is doubtful they will stand at the road end "on spec."  They will know the expected time the bus should call, so use this as a guide and do not be caught out as you round the next bend to find a stream of vehicles on your side of the road, passing a stationary bus.  Noticing a passenger stand up in a bus may also indicate the bus may be about to stop to left this person off.

Overtaking

This is perhaps the one manoeuvre at which the motorcycle should excel.  Most machines can far out accelerate a car so the time spent on the "wrong" side of the road is minimal.  There are however, a few guidelines to be followed regarding this manoeuvre...

Do not sit on the bumper of the vehicle in front.  Maintain a safe distance.  If necessary alter your road position to obtain good views down the nearside and offside.  Consider a signal for the benefit of any following traffic, not to preceding or oncoming traffic.  Go "out for a look" without an increase in speed. Consider a headlamp flash to ensure the driver of the vehicle you intend to pass is aware of your presence and has time to react.  If the overtake is on, accelerate and pass the vehicle, leaving plenty of room just in case the vehicle deviates.  Pass the vehicle and gently return to the nearside as soon as possible.

 

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