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!

When should you never overtake on a motorcycle:

  • When road signage or solid white lines prevent it
  • On the approach to a junction
  • On the approach to a bend
  • When a hidden dip is approaching

Completing a successful overtake of a slower road user

  • Close the gap to the, ideally, you should be a couple of bike lengths apart.
  • If overtaking a horse keep sufficient distance between you and the horse so you don’t spook it or the rider
  • Road position is critical, you should be in position 3, righthand side of your side of the road, i.e. by the centre line.
  • When it is safe to overtake check your mirrors, indicate right and pass giving as much space as you can. Before you pull back in cancel your indicator and move back to position 2. Make sure you do not move back too quickly and leave a safe gap.

Using the road – Overtaking (162 to 169) – THE HIGHWAY CODE (highwaycodeuk.co.uk)



Teaching safe and responsible riding in Guernsey