Press release

Motorcycle test and training review ordered by Transport Minister

Testing and training of motorcycle riders requirements to be reviewed.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


A review of the motorcycle testing and training regime was today (8 June 2010) announced by Road Safety Minister, Mike Penning.

The two-part motorcycle test was introduced in April 2009 to meet the requirements of the second EU Directive on driving licences.

The minister ordered the review after listening to concerns from motorcycle groups and visiting a test centre to look at the testing procedure in more detail. Ways to improve training will also be considered.

Mike Penning said:

Road safety is a top priority and the testing and training on offer is vital in our work to cut the disproportionately high numbers of motorcyclists killed and injured on our roads each year.

It is clear there are concerns among the motorcycling community about the safety of the new test’s off-road module. There have also been complaints about the difficulty for riders in some areas of accessing the off-road test centres.

That is why I am today asking riders, safety groups and motorcycle industry representatives to come forward with their ideas for how testing and training can be improved to ensure we produce safe, confident and responsible riders.

The new test was introduced in order to meet the requirements of the second EU Directive on driving licences. While most elements in the off-road module 1 test are required by the Directive, there may be scope to make some changes to the way in which the test is carried out.

The DfT review will look at the manoeuvres carried out in both modules 1 (off-road) and 2 (on-road) and whether these manoeuvres could safely be conducted in the on-road test.

The review will also look at other related motorcycle testing and training issues, including the options for training and testing for progressive access under the third driving licence directive and how any changes relate to wider proposals to improve motorcycle training and testing.

Views are welcome from motorcycle riders, trainers, road safety groups, the wider public and others on what aspects of the motorcycle test should be looked at, including how and where they think motorcycle testing might best and most safely be carried out.

The precise scope and terms of reference of the review will be determined following discussions with motorcycle groups and other interested parties, with the aim of concluding the review by the autumn.

Views should be submitted to the Department for Transport by 31 July.

Notes to editors

Views can be sent to the DfT by email

The current motorcycle test was introduced in April 2009 and is taken in 2 parts:

  • Module 1 contains the specified manoeuvres element of the test including exercises designed to assess the rider’s ability to control their machine safely, including avoidance and emergency stop exercises
  • Module 2 includes an eyesight test and at least 30 minutes of on road riding

Roads media enquiries

Published 8 June 2010