New Test Centres
I keep reading articles about the new "off-road" test and how dangerous it is. I learned to ride a motorbike last year on the fast track route hoping to pass my test within a week.
At test number one I forgot a left hand signal off a roundabout and so failed.
Test 2 failed on the U turn.
Test 3 failed because the examiner did not want to pass me - then I went to the new test structure.
It was at this point that I realised that I needed to really learn HOW to ride a bike. In fact, I was fine on the fast stuff as I am better at reaction than the slow carefully thought out stuff where I talk myself out of it!
I really struggled on the off road manoeuvres but only on the U turn and weaving in and out of bollards.
Last time I looked, nobody has any reason whatsoever to carry out these manoeuvres on the open road, so goodness knows why they insist we do them.
The failing is not the test centres where people are coping all over Europe perfectly OK but in the poor standard of teaching that we have to put up with.
The teachers take for granted that you can already ride a bike and therefore only teach you how to get through the (old) test.
It caused them much aggravation that they had to change the way they taught for the new test....!?
I have spoken to independent instructors since passing my test as I would like to continue to improve and they KNOW that you are not taught to ride by instructors preparing you for the test.
I have managed to get through 10,000 unscathed miles since passing last year and have read self-help articles (thanks MCN)and books; I have spoken to good riders for tips on how to better control the beast (Hornet 600), and now feel far more comfortable with my ability - still lots of room for improvement I am sure.
So lets stop bashing the test centre - if you cannot control a bike at 31mph then you should not be on the road anyway.
If there wasn't this safe environment for people to practise in, they would be hitting far worse obstacles on the road, surely?