Back at the office we discussed how the afternoon had gone, we’d all had a chance to complete several runs of the course in both directions and had a great laugh in the process.
In general we all thought that it was a reasonable test, with some tricky and not so tricky elements.
Whether it achieves its goal of raising the general standard of rider control and ability remains to be seen; only time will tell.
We feel the main problems will be after CBT, students will want to focus solely on the test exercises and nothing else, which is understandable, but it will take a well-rounded rider to be confident of success.
We think this should add to, not be instead of your general preparation for you practical on road test. Anyway, the main areas of difficulty we think are:
- The Slalom – we all commented that this was more difficult than we thought it was going to be. The course was tighter than it looked.
- The Figure-of-Eight – this will take practice, there’s as much chance of a foot down here as there was on the old “U” turn, so you’ll need to take care.
- The swerve/avoidance – this is the tricky one!! You have to push out of the bend to get up to the minimum speed required. It does take quite advanced steering techniques to negotiate the swerve at speeds in excess of 32 mph. Too much speed and poorly timed braking (especially in the wet) and you could be in trouble when you get onto the breaks.
- Emergency Stop – The minimum speed here (50 kph, 32 mph) is a lot faster than it used to be, nerves could play a big part in any test of skill. Control is the main factor, control yourself, be progressive with the brakes, not aggressive and make sure you take the weather conditions into account.
None of the exercises are insurmountable even for a novice, in the case of the “U” turn; we feel the test has made things easier.
One thing is for sure; the test has got a lot fairer for everyone, now we’re all on a level playing field.
If you’re well prepared and rehearsed there’ll be nothing to be feared, it will just take a willing attitude, the right conditions and some good old-fashioned practice.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these notes as much as we enjoyed preparing them.
If you have any questions about the new practical tests please feel free to drop us a line via e-mail or better still, call in for a chat, we’ll show you around and be more than happy to discuss any queries you may have.