Overtaking is regarded as one of the most hazardous manoeuvres for a rider, but often it is not planned well enough to ensure maximum safety. When you commit to an overtake you are making a decision to pass the vehicle(s) ahead. In order to get there safely, consider the points below which should make the planning easier.

It is important to make your choice to overtake at the safest and earliest opportunity. To do this you need to anticipate where an opportunity is likely to present itself and prepare the motorcycle so that you are in the right position with the correct speed and gear selected to commit at the right time.

Prepare the motorcycle so that you are close enough to make the overtake at the earliest moment, but not too close to the vehicle in front. Make sure that you have the appropriate gear engaged that will allow you the maximum acceleration if required. When you do apply acceleration, deliver the power smoothly to help maintain the stability of the motorcycle when completing the manoeuvre.

Avoid aggressive use of the throttle or brakes when returning to your own lane. Good planning and preparation will ensure a smooth and safe delivery of the task. If you are having problems sorting out the planning and delivery of this skill then simply find a trainer who can spend a little time explaining and demonstrating the techniques required. It is important to get this skill right and leave nothing to chance

Points to consider

Speed and performance of your motorcycle
Most modern motorcycles have outstanding performance; even some of the smaller bikes have excellent acceleration. Riders often make the mistake of getting too close to the vehicle in front, which closes down available views. So stay back where you can see.

Speed and performance of the vehicle you are about to overtake
Look at the vehicle and consider its performance against that of your motorcycle, bearing in mind that most family saloons these days have surprisingly good acceleration, but not as good as most motorcycles.

The distance you have available to overtake and regain the nearside safely
If the available road looks a little short then just don’t risk it. Make a sound judgement about whether you have enough available room, if in doubt do not do it. A safer opportunity will present itself.

The speed and performance of the oncoming traffic
Again, think about the performance of most modern cars. The speed of oncoming traffic can be difficult to assess accurately at times, so if in doubt stay back and wait for the next opportunity.

Speed and performance of oncoming vehicles as yet unseen
This is more tricky. So many riders look at the road ahead and if its clear they do not consider the fast oncoming car just around the corner. ALWAYS assume that there is one just out of your view and consider then if the available road is sufficient to make the manoeuvre safely.

Advanced training

An approved list of local trainers has been drawn up and is available through the Bucks County Council Road Safety department.

For an information leaflet and contact details of these approved trainers Tel 01296 382450 or E-Mail.

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