Moving off safely and smoothly

When you’re about to move off, it’s vital to check all around you to make sure it’s safe to go. Use your mirrors and look all around you to see what other road users are doing and to check the road.

Although your mirrors help you see behind the motorbike, there are blind spots your mirrors cannot reach – in particular, the areas behind you and to your right. You must turn and look behind you before you move off to check these areas.

It’s also easier to judge how far away other road users are and how fast they’re travelling when you turn to look rather than using your mirrors.

Observation – Signal – Manoeuvre

Whenever you move off, use the Observation – Signal – Manoeuvre (OSM) routine to keep you and other road users safe.

  • Observe the road all around to check it’s safe to move off.
  • When you’ve decided it’s safe to go, signal to other road users what you’re going to do; for example, turn on your indicators to show you’re going to pull out.
  • Manoeuvre your motorbike onto the road.

Using the clutch

If your motorbike has manual gears, you’ll need to use the clutch to keep full control of your motorbike when moving off. Practise finding the biting point of the clutch: this is the point at which you can feel the engine trying to move the machine. The biting point differs from one machine to another.

Checking the controls

As soon as possible after you set off, check the motorbike controls are working correctly.

  • Turn the handlebars to check they move freely.
  • Choose a safe spot on the road to test your brakes.

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