Overtaking multiple vehicles on a motorcycle (MOD 2 test tips)

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Overtaking multiple vehicles - how to overtake several vehicles on a motorcycle

Overtaking multiple vehicles - it is vital to maintain good awareness behind

During module two training, riders are advised to use the driving lane (left-hand lane) most of the time and to only move into the overtaking lane (right-hand lane) when overtaking slower moving vehicles. Whichever lane is used, a central position in that lane is advised.

Overtaking multiple vehicles on a motorcycle requires looking as far ahead as possible, to be aware that a safe return space exists. Consideration must be given to the types of vehicle being overtaken i.e. larger vehicles have the potential for downdrafts and spray (in the wet). Judgement may also be required in respect of the relative speeds of vehicles, in case one is showing signs of moving out or accelerating.

“While overtaking multiple vehicles or for longer periods of time, it is imperative to maintain good awareness behind with regular mirror checks.” – Russell Binns, Motorcycle Instructor & Advanced Rider (IAM & RoSPA)

Signal early, and let it flash at least 5-6 times

Rear observations are used to check there are no faster moving vehicles coming up behind. During the overtake, when in the right-hand-lane, a central position in the lane is best for novice riders.

When moving out to overtake multiple vehicles, ensure it is safe, with regular mirror checks to gather information behind. Indicate early and let it flash at least 5-6 times to make other vehicles aware of the intention to move lanes. When it is safe carry out a right ‘lifesaver’ to move out, cancel signal and continue with the overtake. Once the overtake is complete and when clear, take a left mirror check and ‘lifesaver’ and move back into the central position of the driving lane.

“Carry out overtakes in good time and not just before exiting the dual carriageway.” – Simon Hayes, Motorcycle Instructor & Advanced Rider (IAM & RoSPA)

Key points to remember:

  • Maintain at least two seconds from the vehicle(s) in front (dry conditions)
  • Signal early, and let it flash at least 5-6 times
  • Effective mirror checks and a right hand ‘lifesaver’ to move out
  • Cancel signal in the overtaking lane and complete the overtake
  • Once clear carry out a left ‘lifesaver’ to move back in


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