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Motorcycle Practical Riding Test Explained

Posted on by vision-motorcycle-training

The motorcycle practical riding test will test you on variety of different riding skills and knowledge, including:

  • Your ability to ride safely in different traffic conditions and on various types of road.
  • Your understanding of the Highway Code, demonstrated in your riding ability and decisions.

motorcycle practical test

To qualify to take your practical test, you must have a valid theory test pass certificate, a photocard driving licence (or old-style paper licence and a passport) and your current certificate of Compulsory Basic Training (DL196).

The practical motorcycle test is divided into 2 sections and you must pass both to get your full licence. Module 1 will test your machine handling skills and Module 2 will test your ability to share the road legally and responsibly with other road users.

Module 1

Module 1 is the off-road manoeuvres section and takes around 10 minutes. This will be undertaken at a DVSA Multi Purpose Test Centre. The exercises include:

  • A slow riding exercise: The candidate must ride under full control, at walking pace.
  • A handling exercise: The candidate must ride a slalom and figure of eight around cones.
  • U-turn exercises: Riding a U turn and wheeling the machine, including the safe use of the motorcycle stand.
  • A cornering exercise: The candidate must ride a curve, in 2nd or 3rd gear (minimum speed 18.75 mph)
  • Avoidance and braking exercises: an emergency stop, and lastly, a hazard avoidance (both at a minimum speed 31.25 mph)

To pass, the candidate must make no more than 5 rider faults. If the candidate makes just one serious or dangerous fault (e.g. losing control of the machine), they will automatically fail.

Module 1 must be passed before Module 2 can be undertaken

N.B. Your Mod 1 pass is linked to your theory test pass; when your theory expires, your Mod 1 will expire at the same time.

Module 2on road motorcycle training

This is the on-road section and takes around 44 minutes. It will be undertaken on the public highway, in differing traffic and road conditions. Mod 2 will include:

  • An eyesight test: The candidate must demonstrate that they can read a new-style number plate, from at least 20 metres away. The test cannot continue if this part of the test if not passed.
  • Safety questions: The examiner will ask the candidate a few vehicle safety check questions. These include questions on the use and maintenance of the motorcycle, and on taking a pillion passenger.
  • Road riding: In this section, the examiner will direct the candidate to ride in various road and traffic conditions via radio communication. As well as normal riding, the examiner will assess the candidate’s ability to stop safely at the side of the road and re-join traffic, carry out an angled start from behind a parked vehicle and carry out a hill start.
  • Independent riding: for 10 minutes of the test the candidate will be asked to ride independently, either following simple directions, or traffic signs. The examiner will be assessing the candidate’s ability to make their own decisions, whilst riding safely. The candidate is not being assessed on their navigation skills, and so they can ask for a reminder of the directions at any time.

To pass, the candidate must make no more than 10 rider faults (repeating the same minor rider fault could result in a serious fault). If the candidate makes just one serious or dangerous fault (potentially or actually dangerous), they will automatically fail.


If you pass both modules, you can begin riding straight away! Your full licence will be sent to you and you will be given a test pass certificate.


If you fail the first section of the test you will have to wait 3 working days to retake it. If you fail the second section of your test, you will have to wait 10 working days to retake it.

Bad weather on the day of your test?

If the weather is potentially dangerous (e.g. icy roads, flooding, strong winds or thick fog), your test may be cancelled. You will be sent a new test date within 3 days, providing the weather improves.

Vision Motorcycle Training

Here at Vision Motorcycle Training, we have a team of fully qualified, patient instructors who can provide the appropriate motorcycle training for you to pass your practical motorcycle test. We tailor our training courses to suit the individual needs and experience of our riders, and can offer advanced rider training to enhance your skills and keep you safer on the road, after you’ve passed your test. Contact us today to find out more.

Good luck

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