Module 1 swerve danger

By Big Ian -

Riding Skills

 15 June 2009 21:17

Having just taken and failed the Module 1 test(14-06-09), I would like to share my thoughts on the issue.

I am in my fifties with 34 years accident-free car driving experience. Many years ago I rode mopeds, scooters and a new 1975 Honda CB200, which was a very good all round machine.

However now I find myself restricted to a 125cc as I did`nt feel the need to take the test at the time, BIG MISTAKE!

Anyway, went for the test yesterday, nice sunny day, everything looking good. Enjoyable 25 mile ride to test centre, cruising along on the 125 Dragstar, arrived early with time to compose myself.

Booked in and was taken to first exercise; parking, no problem, slalom, no problem, etc etc, swerve test, well, I`d heared lots of stories from people in the know including Advanced Motorcyclists of many years standing.

I set off with an open mind and at a speed that I considered suitable and safe for the surroundings, around the curve then opened up for speed trap around cones and into marked garage. Very nice I thought.

Tester wanders over and says you`ll have to do better than that, showing me his read-out, 36 kmh. Emergency stop, off I go again, a bit more speed this time around the corner, no swerving this time so `gun it`, Blatted through speed trap, nice stop, tester looms again waving his new toy at me, 46 kmh, no good

Off we go again, starting to feel uncomfortable as my last run was as fast as I was prepared to go whilst feeling under control and safe.

Around the corner, then flat out for trap, at this point I remember thinking, this is dangerous am I in full control accelerating towards an obstacle, swerved right felt uneasy then left, took the cone with my left foot, parked in garage.

I felt quite disturbed by now and shocked. The meter man loomed and showed me his toy once again 47 kmh.

Thats the end of your test he exclaimed. To be frank I was glad and annoyed, not at myself or the tester but at the ministry for allowing such a potentially dangerous situation to exist.

I have booked a retest but I do feel disturbed about the whole thing. I`ve read the letter re. the person coming off and breaking his/her arm and the pathetic response from the ministry.

I also read with interest the letter from the lady who has failed three times and is`nt bothering until the ministry comes to its senses, I may be joining her, which is such a shame.

OK I know there are some people out there who totally disagree with my comments, and have found it no problem, however the majority have found it difficult and dangerous and have been put off taking the test at all.

Oh and lets not forget the instructors, some of them seem level headed and concerned, whilst others have the attitude of "with good training it should`nt be a problem".

Of course the second group will gladly relieve you of £100.00 a day and rub their hands with glee. To conclude, how many times does a rider or driver need to swerve violently,I can only recall two occasions in 34 years.

I appreciate on a bike by avoiding a car door or bumper is a good thing, but what about the bus you`ve probably gone in to.

We need to look more to forward planning and hazard perception to reduce injuries not manufacture situations that will cause injuries. Here`s to bugs in yer teeth!.