This research study was commissioned by the Department for Transport to explore the training requirements for the new practical Motorcycle Test, adopted by Great Britain in April 2009 to comply with the 2nd European Union Driving Licence Directive. The objective of the new motorcycle test is for candidates to be able to demonstrate competent control of their machines over a broader and more demanding range of manoeuvres than for the outgoing test. The new test format will also standardise the conditions under which motorcycle manoeuvres are examined, bringing improvements in safety and consistency. Overall, the new test is intended to improve road safety standards for motorcycle and moped riders, who are at particularly high risk of injury or death.
A dual-approach was used: the study began by interviewing 15 motorcycle instructors from 11 Approved Training Bodies (ATBs) about the new test and their proposed strategy for training future test applicants; this was followed by assessing how 50 applicants for the outgoing (2007) test fared when completing the 2009 off-road manoeuvres in a mock test situation. DSA provided test facilities and examiners. This research took place in 2007, in advance of the new test being introduced in April 2009.
The research aimed to investigate:
i. the proportion and characteristics of riders who pass/fail the off-road component of the 2009 Motorcycle Test (having been considered ‘test-ready’ for the 2007 Motorcycle Test, and having received any additional training that their ATB believed was necessary for the 2009 test);
ii. the extent of additional training that ATBs propose to provide trainees to assist with passing the 2009 Motorcycle Test, with specific consideration being given to the training facilities available to ATBs; and,
iii. the relationship between training provisions and participants’ ability when taking the off-road component of the 2009 Motorcycle Test.
In light of the relatively small sample size, these findings can only provide an indication of training practices, applicant performance and other factors associated with the introduction of the new motorcycle test in April 2009.

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