Rear observation tips (MOD 2 motorcycle test)

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Rear observations

Rear observations include lifesavers & mirror checks

Effective mirror checks, rear observations and ‘lifesavers’ must be present throughout the Module Two test. Missed rear observations can be deemed as minor or major faults, but if ‘lifesavers’ before moving position are habitually missed this will be recorded as a serious fault (test fail).

Professional pre-test Module Two training is essential to fully learn the correct use of rear observations and to be spatially aware and safe on a motorcycle. All manoeuvres start with effective observations, allowing riders to first gather information. Rear mirror checks (to check what is happening directly behind) are required before signalling, altering speed, changing direction (lifesaver required as well), plus on approach to junctions and hazards.

When moving or stationary, a look over the right or left shoulder can be used to gather extra information e.g. when pulling away in a traffic queue.

The examiner will expect to see consistent effective ‘lifesavers’ before moving position, moving around parked vehicles, pulling away from the side of the road and when navigating certain junctions. These final over the shoulder observations (into the blind spot area) can be to both the left and the right hand side. With these rear observations, the rider must take care not to adversely affect their motorcycles balance or position by altering the steering.

Key points to remember:

  • Check mirrors before signalling, changing speed and assessing behind
  • Look over the shoulder to check blind spots
  • Use a rearward observation to gather information
  • Use a ‘lifesaver’ before moving position or turning

“Effective observations when moving position are necessary. Correctly timed ‘lifesavers’ can save your life! Turning the head fully to look behind is not necessary, the mirrors inform the rider what is going on behind. A ‘lifesaver’ or ‘rear observation’ is chin to shoulder, to check the blind spot.” – Russell Binns, Motorcycle Instructor & Advanced Rider (IAM & RoSPA)

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