Shamelessly stolen from elsewhere in cyberspace…it made me laugh
For some years now, since the demise of the old ride-around-the-block test,
bikers have had a test roughly on par with the car driving test (except
you’re not sat in an enclosed space with a sour-faced bloke, nervous as hell
but too scared to fart in case he fails you for it) with a number of set
manoeuvres to carry out before you get the coveted pass slip.
In October of this year, however, in an effort to curb alarming increases in
the number of motorcycle accidents  the scope of the test is widening to
encompass many more manoeuvres which are an element of everyday
motorcycling. These are listed below:
Emergency stop. As currently the student must bring the bike to a
controlled stop from 30mph. Because, in the last 5 years, only 3
motorcyclists have been KSI’d while running over examiners (2 intentional)
in future the examiner will simply pull his Audi out of a junction in front
of the candidate. Failure at this stage may lead to the rest of the test
Emergency stop (poor conditions). As above, the candidate is required to
bring their bike to a controlled stop from 30mph, but this time on a road
surface compromised by rain / gravel / diesel / bits of candidates who
failed test 1, etc. Locking either wheel will not automatically fail the
candidate, nor will them needing to take a dab or having a bit of a scream.
In fact as long as the end result is tidy enough not to be described as “a
heap” the test will proceed.
Emergency slow (high speed). A variation of the emergency stop, the
candidate will be required to slow as quickly as possible, with the bike
under full control, from 70mph to 30mph, as if a small child had just run
out in front of them or, more likely, they’d just spotted a camera van in a
Emergency swerve (high speed). The candidate must swerve their bike at
70mph to avoid an obstacle ahead - as if the driver of the Volvo in front of
them had just spotted a camera van in a national speed limit zone.
Feet up U-turn. As with the current test the candidate will be required
to perform a U-turn in the road without putting their feet down.
Dead lift. The candidate will be expected to show the correct technique
to lift a fallen bike by themselves, as if they had, for example, just
spectacularly cocked up a feet up U-turn.
Filtering. The candidate will be expected to filter between two lanes of
stationary / slow moving traffic showing appropriate observation, respect
for other road users and the courtesy to GET THE F*** OUT OF THE WAY if
somebody filtering faster comes up behind them. The examiner may award
bonus marks for imaginative and appropriate use of hatched areas, cycle
lanes, pavements and flower beds in order to “make progress”.
Filtering (part II). While maintaining full control of the bike the
candidate must make use of appropriate thank you/f*** you gestures to
traffic on both sides (not simultaneously). Once again, bonus marks are
available for candidates showing exceptional imagination.
Observation. At a distance of 400 meters the candidate must decide
whether the vehicle ahead is (a) a breakdown truck, (b) a marked police car
or © a Highways Agency fake-fuzz and, based on their decision, make a
controlled deceleration from 150mph … or not.
Communication. While maintaining a steady speed of 60mph the candidate
must make the appropriate hand signals to show (a) they are turning left,
(b) they are turning right, © they are slowing down, (d) they need petrol,
(e) they need a pint, (f) that a member of the group is no longer present
after the last series of fast twisties and may have gone for a countryside
lie-down, (g) that something has gone wrong with their bike, but they’re not
sure what, (h) that their mate is f***ing mental and (i) to warn on-coming
bikers that there is a cop with a hairdryer in wait 1 mile ahead, followed
by 3 miles of clear roads and then another 2 cops, on bikes, hiding in the
entrance to a field.
Parking. The candidate must demonstrate the correct technique to park,
nose out, in a 5 bike bay without needing to occupy the entire bay. Kicking
over scooters to clear some space will be overlooked as long as the examiner
is happy that it was intentional.
Stunts. The candidate must attempt to wheelie, stoppie or get their
knee down (examiner’s choice). The candidate will not be penalised for
being a ham fisted bafoon with no clue as to what they’re supposed to be doing
as long as they don’t actually end up on their arse in the road watching
their bike do the cartwheel of death.
Following the practical section of the test their will be an extensive
verbal test, one to one with the examiner, where the candidate must
That they can discuss the relative merits of the ZX-10R, R1, Fireblade
and GSX-1000R despite the fact that they’re taking their test on a ER-5,
which is the only bike that they’ve ever ridden.
That they are aware of techniques to improve their performance or
aesthetics of their bike, yet unaware that if they do all of the things that
they’re talking about their bike will end up an unrideable shed that looks
like it’s been attacked by a chimp dunked in Hammerite and given an
That they are capable of planning an elaborate bike related scheme, such
as touring Europe, riding “the long way round”, taking up amateur racing or
building a special from scratch. The candidate should make full use of the
back of a fag packet to describe their idea, but this may be discarded once
the test is complete.
That they can make observations and timely judgments sufficiently well to
know when it’s time for them to go to the bar.
The government’s stated objection is to make the test last so long that, by
the time it is completed, all riders are already at the “old and slow” stage
of life and so damn sick of bikes that they never want to see one again.
In an effort to further this the UK is likely to have only one test site,
with one examiner, who has been suffering with sciatica since 1987 and
frequently has months off work at a time. In addition the test fee is
likely to be raised to £15,000.
MAG was quick to denounce the proposal, saying that it would lead to a UK
biking population entirely composed of late-middle aged bikers with an
excessively cautious approach to bikes and bike riding.
In other news BMW has predicted a 75% increase in sales for the first
quarter of 2009 and Honda have announced that they are ceasing production of
all of their models except the VFR800.
 Last year 99.4% of all motorcyclists were killed or seriously
 Based on government figures of everybody who has ridden a motorcycle
since their invention, in Leicester in 1898, and calculating what percentage
of them are now dead or have been seriously injured. Ever. By anything.
 Seriously enough to use one of the “big four” swear words