In my post about learning to ride I mentioned that I am doing my direct access, which if you didn’t realise consists of several parts.
The first part is the straight forward CBT (Compulsory Bike Training), followed by the Theory test, then the Mod 1 off road test and then the final Mod 2 Road Ride.
So lets take a look at each of these in turn.
This consists of a day spent learning about general bike maintenance discussing bike and road law, and learning basic manoeuvres on a bike.
I did mine in the car park of a local football club on a cold and dank morning in March. This is a very easy course and is valid for 2 years. Its required before you can ride on the road and allows you to ride on anything up to a 125 CC motorbike.
Quote from my instructor was “You have to be a complete imbecile to fail this course!”
Yes people have failed it
The Theory Test.
I have written a small article on this in the previous post, but essentially its 50 questions on your knowledge of motoring law, signs and vehicle knowledge.
The pass mark is 43 out of 50
Followed by 14 videos of Hazard Perception seeing if you can spot a hazard on the road. one of the videos contains two hazards. There is 5 points available per hazard with a maximum score of 75.
The pass for this test is 44 points
I passed both of these with 48 out of 50 in the Theory test and 61 out of 75 in the Hazard Perception
Mod 1 (the off road test)
- The manual handling of a bike – pushing the bike backwards from one box of cones to another.
- The slalom and figure of eight – weave between 5 cones then perform 2 figure of eights around the last 2 cones.
- The slow ride – simulates being in traffic and must be performed at a slowish walking pace
- The U turn – as the name suggest it shows that you can perform a U Turn on a bike on the road.
- The controlled stop – first of the manoeuvres performed on the bend in the test area, requiring you to stop with your front wheel in a box of 4 cones. Can be performed at any reasonable speed.
- The emergency stop – as the name suggest shows that you are capable of stopping a bike from a prescribed speed whilst remaining in control. This is performed at a minimum of 50 KM/h (32 MPH)
- The swerve – also known as the avoidance manoeuvre, simulates a vehicle or pedestrian pulling out in front of you. Again performed at a minimum of 50 KM/h (32 MPH)
This test sounds quite daunting, but I found the examiners explained each step of the test clearly and were very helpful with any queries I had about the section I was on.
To sit this test you must have passed both the CBT and Theory tests, and to pass you must not gain more than 5 minor marks or 1 serious fault.
Mod 2 (the on road test)
This is the final part of the Direct Access tests. It consists of a 30 minute ride around the area of the test centre. This ride consists of the candidate and an examiner riding out on the local roads, whilst the examiner assess the riding skills of the candidate.
This part of the test has 4 parts
- Eye test – checking that you can read a number plate at 20 meters
- Show Me, Tell Me- two questions about motorcycles, either maintenance or riding the bike. These questions are taken from a prescribed list.
- Road Ride – there will be several tasks that you will be asked to complete which will require you to stop at least twice.
an angle start (pulling out from behind a parked vehicle)
a hill start (where possible)
- An Independent Ride – You’ll have about 10 minutes of independent riding. This is designed to assess your ability to ride safely while making your own decisions.
At the end of these sections you will return to the test centre where you will be told if you have passed or failed.
A lot of work is required to complete the Direct Access and not a small amount of luck to pass. and my experience of attempting this is not without its funny moments, which I will relate to you in future posts!
Until next time may your roads be clear and the cagers all on their drives!