Dual Carriageways

These remain a challenging environment for new and improving riders to master. They will usually be a key feature on the Module 2 Motorcycle Test. Examiners will expect to see competent and safe riding with good forward planning, correct use of speed, a systematic approach (OSM routine) and correct following distances. In addition, you will need to be able to alter your riding to take account of changing road and weather conditions.  Manoeuvres such as joining, leaving and overtaking require careful attention, and will often be the covered thoroughly during training allowing time for essential practice. However, as a rule of thumb where it is safe the examiner will expect students to get up to speed and if need be overtake.

Joining the Dual Carriageway

• We need to match our speed to the traffic of the lane we are joining 

• Ensure we use the length of the slip road to accelerate while using the mirrors to find a gap in the traffic

• Observations before we signal, signal before we move

• Be prepared to slow down or give way to traffic already on the main carriageway, in practice good forward planning will avoid the need to stop on the slip road in most situations

• Final lifesaver before moving onto the main carriageway 

• Ensure we observe the need for to maintain a safe following distance (two second rule) and that we do not take away the following distance for other vehicles

• Cancel indicators

On the dual-carriageway

• We must maintain proper following distances according to the weather conditions (two-second rule) 

• Maintain the dominant position as our default position

• Ensure we use the appropriate speed, National Speed Limit for a dual- carriageway for motorbike is 70mph

• Maintain appropriate space around high sided vehicles especially in gusty conditions 

• We may be expected to overtake slow moving vehicles (using OSM routine). It is usually better to plan any possible overtakes early and in good time

• Forward planning needs to be much further ahead when travelling at higher speeds

• Be prepared to gently slow when other road users move into our two second gap

Overtaking

• Continue to maintain adequate following distances when preparing to overtake

• Stay within the speed limit when attempting any overtake, which means that the vehicle must be travelling significantly under the speed limit

• Once overtaking complete the manoeuvre assertively, spending as little time as possible in the blind spot of other road users

Leaving the dual-carriageway

• Using OSM use the length of the slip road to decelerate, slowing too soon or on the main carriageway may often have a negative impact on other road users

• Consider using the 100-yard markers to help plan our exit using the OSM routine

Likely hazards

• Slow moving vehicles

• Traffic changing directions or lanes

• Large and high sided vehicles

• Other motorbikes filtering and overtaking

Fault finding – Things to look for

• Not gaining enough speed on the slip road before joining

• Following distances

• Taking away the following distances of others when joining or coming back in from an overtake

• Not using the length of the slip road to decelerate when leaving

• Not holding enough speed on the main-carriageway

• Sitting behind slow moving vehicles when reasonable overtaking opportunities present