Once you’ve completed your compulsory basic training and passed the motorcycle theory test, there’ll be just two more tests that stand between you and your full motorcycle licence. The first of which is known as Module 1 (or Mod 1 for short). This test takes place in a controlled area (you’ll be on a large, flat, tarmac course that’s cordoned off from the public) where you’ll be asked to complete eleven different manoeuvres in succession.
The examiner will follow you throughout the test on foot, and they’ll explain to you exactly what you need to do (they even have a clipboard with diagrams which they’ll show you). The test takes around twenty minutes from start to finish, and all you have to do to pass is successfully complete all of the manoeuvres with no major faults and no more than five minor faults.
So, what are the major and minor faults?
Major faults are serious riding errors, and if just one of the following is spotted by the examiner it’ll result in a fail. These major faults are generally errors that could present danger to the rider as well as other motorists or pedestrians. The major faults include:
Too Many Missed Observations
Putting A Foot Down
Hitting Course Cones
Failing On A Manoeuvre
Failing To Reach Mandatory Speed
Failing To Stop In Correct Place
Taking Too Long To Stop
The minor faults include:
Missed Gear Changes
Skidding and Stalling
Slow Emergency Stopping
Slow Avoidance Exercise
Some Missed Observations
If you feel like you might have committed a fault (major or minor) just keep going! Unless the examiner tells you to stop, you should continue with the rest of the test as normal. Try not to let any little mistakes get to you, becoming aware of your mistakes often does nothing but encourage you to make more. Besides, you might think you’ve committed a major fault in your head, but this may only have been recognised as a minor by the examiner. So, take a deep breath, calm yourself down and prepare yourself for the next exercise. You got this girl!
Before we take a further look at the Mod 1 manoeuvres, there’s one final piece of advice I should give you. The quickest and easiest way to fail the Mod 1 test is by forgetting your documents. You’ll need your driving licence, as well as your original CBT and theory test certificates. If you forget to bring these with you on test day you’ll unfortunately forfeit the test and will have to rebook another one. Now, let’s take a look at the eleven manoeuvres you’ll need to do.
1. Manual Handling
Simply put, you just need to wheel the motorcycle from one box (roughly parking bay size) to another without dropping it. Just remember your observations, although this test is in a controlled area away from public roads you need to treat the course as if you are, so forgetting your observations are a big no no.
2. The Slalom
Once you’ve completed the manual handling exercise, the examiner will ask you to get on the bike and start it up. You’ll then be instructed to perform a slalom between five cones, placed 4.5 metres apart. This should be done at a slow pace, without stalling, hitting cones or putting your feet down. Don’t forget your observations before you set off!
3. Figure of Eight
Immediately after the slalom exercise you’ll begin the figure of eight. At the end of the five slalom cones, there will be two further cones placed 6 metres apart (these will be a different colour so they’re easy to identify) and the instructor will inform you to perform a figure of eight around them until they signal you to stop.
Tip: Go wide! Doing a tight figure of eight only makes things harder, and the examiner cannot mark you down for going wide, so make use of the space you are given.
4. Slow Ride
Take it easy!
This one’s simple enough, ride slowly from the figure of eight cones to the U-turn area. This exercise is to demonstrate your slow riding skills, stay in first gear and remember to use the rear brake... and did somebody mention observations?
This is one exercise that catches many people out (including myself). This was the only manoeuvre during my test where I thought I might have done a major fault, but luckily it was only a minor (phew!)
The examiner will ask you to ride into what looks like a parking space, with two white lines on either side. To successfully complete the U-Turn, you’ll need to turn the bike around 180° without crossing the white lines or putting your feet down. The observations are really important with this one, so remember to do them before you move off, and whatever you do, do not forget a lifesaver before committing to the turn. This is the only observation which (if missed) will result in a major fault.
For those of you that are interested in why I got a minor - I thought I was going to cross the white line so overcompensated with my steering and actually went much tighter than I needed to, so the examiner marked me down for that.
Another nice and simple one here, all you need to do is ride through a series of cones that will simulate going around a corner or bend in the road. There’s no speed limit for this one, but my instructor informed me that around 19/20mph is perfect.
Just a quick side note, the test circuit is identical at every test centre with the exception of which way the circuit goes around. I’ll place an image of a left facing test circuit below, but depending on the test centre you visit, you may have a mirror image of this course (a right facing circuit).
7. Controlled Stop
Following on from the cornering exercise, you'll be asked to come to a nice, controlled stop with your front wheel sitting within a box of cones (your examiner will show you where these are). Just imagine you’re stopping at traffic lights or to let a granny cross at a zebra crossing and you’ll be fine!
8. 30 kph/19 mph Circuit Ride
The examiner will then ask you to go around the circuit again, this time maintaining a constant speed of 19 miles per hour (or 30 kph). This is why it’s a good idea to perform the cornering exercise at this speed, it’s like a warmup!
Remember those observations, ladies!
9. 50 kph/32 mph Emergency Stop
Around you go again!
This time you must meet a minimum speed of 50 kph (or 32 mph) which is measured by a speed trap that's marked out by some more cones (yea there’s a lot of cones involved in this test). Once you’ve passed the speed trap, the examiner will signal you to perform an emergency stop. If you don’t hit the minimum speed, the examiner will give you another chance however if you screw it up a second time it’ll be a major fault.
10. 30 kph/19 mph Circuit Ride
Repeat exercise 8!
11. 50 kph/32 mph Hazard Avoidance
Think of this exercise as swerving to avoid something in the road. Roadkill, a big pothole, an abandoned kitten, whatever works for you! The examiner will instruct you to go around the circuit one final time, hitting the minimum speed requirement of 50 kph (or 32 mph). Once you’ve gone through the speed trap, you’ll need to safely pass through some cones which are offset to one side. After you’ve swerved and avoided these cones, you’ll need to come to another controlled stop with your front wheel in the same box as exercise seven.
Just like exercise nine, if you go through the speed trap below the minimum speed the examiner will allow you to try again. Fail to reach the speed on the second try and you’ll have yourself a major fault.
(This is where I got my second minor- the first time I attempted it I only hit 47kph, tried again and did 52kph on my second attempt!)
Once you’ve completed all of the manoeuvres, the examiner will inform you to ride out of the test circuit and park up (remember stick to test conditions here, I’ve heard horror stories of people failing as they’ve dropped the bike or done something stupid whilst parking it up at the end of the test). You’ll then get your result on the spot, and if successful the examiner will go and prepare your Module 1 certificate for you. Woohoo!
If you’ve been unlucky and failed your test, please, please don’t beat yourself up about it! Module 1 is by far (in my opinion) the hardest test that you’ll need to do to gain your full licence, and I know many motorcyclists agree. So go back and practice whatever you’ve failed on some more, and get that retest booked in.
There’s load of great videos on YouTube that I watched in preparation for my Mod 1 test which really helped me, so I’ll pop some links down below for you to check out. I also recommend investing in some plastic cones, so you can practice these manoeuvres in your own time (you can find these online or at most sports retailers).
Right then ladies, that’s about it from me today but please stay tuned as the next post will be all about the Module 2 test. Good luck if you’ve got your Mod 1 test coming up (you got this!)
As always, any questions comments or suggestions I would love to hear so please pop them below. Stay safe and happy riding!
Jennie x Links: