2 Weeks ago I took and passed part one of my Direct Access (DAS) motorcycle test. This is the new test that received a lot of medai attention and took well over a year longer than planned to roll out.
The entire test takes place in a specialised test centre, off the road. Its like an advanced CBT, but requires more space as two components involve speeds of 30mph plus – the emergency stop and the swerve. This test removes the need for some elements of the on road (part 2) test – the emergency stop and U-Turn are dealt with along with pushing the bike, using the stand, slow riding, a slalom and a figure eight.
I did the test on a 500cc bike to enable me to go straight into a full licence. Training wise I did 4 2 hour sessions of training with 3d Motorcycle training of Harrogate plus a half day on the road to get used to the bike a little more. Its was all about clutch control and balance for me as I have become lazy and tend to use my feet where I end up going slowly. I also did a lot of U-Turn and figure 8 practice on the 125 to supplement.
I passed with no minors . I had to redo the Swerve as my first attempt clocked 49kmh – the minimum is 50. Attempt number 2 was dead on the 50 – so a pass. The swerve is nothing severe – perhaps moving 1m to the right at 30mph and then correcting back onto your original line. I would say it simulates the kind of avoidance you would quite realistically have to perform should a car edge out in front, or a pedestrian or a car door opening etc. To have a problem you really would have to brake hard while steering – but thats not stopped broken arms already! Those taking the test on 125cc bikes have to accelerate quite hard to hit the required speed in the available space as well.
Next up is 3 more days of on road lessons and a part 2 on road test. Then I can buy a big bike!