Hours of Training
As a novice rider you must learn to move your attention from the motorcycle controls and the road just ahead of the bike, to what is happening ahead. You must develop an understanding of the best road position for maximum safety, use good all round observations and react in good time to remain safe.
You must carry out rear observations before signalling, changing direction, altering speed and approach to hazards. You must turn your head to look behind into your blind spot, and effectively use your mirrors. Blind spots are the areas to the sides and slightly to the rear of the rider that are not visible in the mirrors.
Rear observations ensure full awareness and allow you to assess that it is safe to continue with your plan. They can also inform other road users of your intention to move position. Rear checks are required when indicating, slowing down or stopping, changing lanes, overtaking and moving off from stationary.
As a new rider you must develop the skill of correctly timing your rear observations and recognise when observations might be dangerous. You should also avoid getting into bad habits by looking over the shoulder too often or at the wrong time. When carrying out rear observations, you can lose touch (for a moment) with what is happening ahead of you and run the risk of veering off course. In heavy traffic, travelling at speed or when overtaking, poorly timed or excessive rear observations can be dangerous.
You must understand that in certain situations, failing to use effective rear observations can be extremely dangerous. Examples include, when turning right into side roads and when overtaking.
These are final checks over either shoulder to the left or right, into the blind spot area before committing to a manoeuvre. When performing lifesavers, you must take care not to affect the motorcycle’s balance or steering which may alter your direction of travel.
Motorcycle Riders Hub is an online eLearning training and guidance platform for all riders. It helps riders at different stages in their training to understand how to improve, operate and control their motorcycle.
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