Overtaking can be daunting when you are learning to ride a motorbike, but with practice, it can be achieved safely for you and other road users.

Common Mistakes

  • Rushing to overtake: take your time, plan the manoeuvre, ensuring you are choosing somewhere safe and legal.
  • Too far back: You can’t overtake if you are too far behind.
  • Speed & Gears: It sounds obvious, but you can only overtake something if you go faster than them. Ensure you use your gears and throttle correctly.
  • Leaving a safe gap as you pass is critical, whether that is a pedestrian, bicycle or horse rider!

Some examples of when you should never overtake on a motorcycle:

  • At a pedestrian crossing
  • When road signage or solid white lines prevent it
  • On the approach to a junction
  • On the approach to a bend.
  • When your view of the road ahead is limited.
    See Rule 165 of the Highway Code

Completing a successful overtake of a slower road user

  • Close the gap; ideally, you should be a couple of bike lengths apart.
  • Pass horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles at speeds under ten mph and allow at least 2 metres of space
  • Road position is critical, you should be in position 3, righthand side of your side of the road, i.e. nearer to the centre of the road.
  • When it is safe to overtake, check your mirrors, indicate right and pass, and give as much space as possible. Before you pull back in, cancel your indicator and move back to position 2. Ensure you do not move back too quickly and leave a safe gap.

For more details, refer to the Highway Code



Teaching safe and responsible riding in Guernsey