Seeing a Malay boy at the institute one day, I inquired if this was his first attempt at the motorcycle test. He replied this was actually his third attempt. The boy appeared down hearted. He lacked confidence. In fact, angry. He said if he were to fail again this time, he would go to the authorities to complain.

Having some time to spare that day, I engaged the boy in a conversation. According to him, he had done whatever was needed. He did everything he had been asked to do. Yet, he failed. He felt unfairly penalised.

After some 25-30 year experience in this field, I feel capable enough to offer some advice. First, one should be able to ride a motorcycle steadily.

Testers, who are most well trained and experienced can spot a wobbly and unsteady rider when they see one.

Therefore, learn to handle the machine well. You have to ride confidently and well. Therein lies the key to success.

Helmets worn should have no more than 2 fingers leeway between the helmet and your face. As such, learn to tie your straps correctly.

Among the many obstructions and maneuver confronting the candidate is circling the 2 round abouts. Ideally, put the machine into 2nd gear. Make the necessary revolutions needed.

Ensure however, that you maintain the left side of the roundabout. Avoid riding in the center. A left hand ride is suggested.

After the roundabout, one approaches the 2nd maneuver, crossing the 7-8 meter long so called “bridge”. Some instructor advise that you ride along with the momentum gained thus far, using 2nd gear.

Others feel you should stop first, enter first gear, then proceed up the bridge. Either choice is yours. Only remember though, the crossing of the bridge should take at least 7 SECONDS.

The third section of zig-zag among the various cones is not much problem. After finishing the cone test, next, stop at a line, getting ready for the hand brake and foot brake.

Most fail this section, forgetting the application of the hand brake.

DO NOT leave the hand brake after stopping. Hold on to it tight until your tester finished observing you.

Get the idea? Good.

After finishing this section, you go on to the second section, which tests your hand signals and bike control ability.

Completing your initial checkings of the headlights, signals, horn, brake tails and so forth, ensure both your mechanical hand signals are on and most importantly that yours manual hand signals are on to, before moving off.

The important thing to remember is this. BOTH mechanical hand and your manual hand signals have to be applied simultaneously.

This is the key to success.

Do remember manual hand signals are to be applied CONFIDENTLY and the bike to be ridden steadily and well.

The test ends with a “slow-down” hand signal maneuver.

After stopping, disembark from the bike. Put the bike on “double stand”.

Using a one stand parking would entail the candidate a one or two point deduction. Remember, maintain a left hand side ride all the way to the finishing line.

Most people think the route/road used for the motorcycle test which is about 5 feet wide, permits the candidate to ride in the MIDDLE section of the road.

This isn’t the case. The moment the tester sees you using the middle portion of the road, you’ve had it.

This is my observation anyway. After years in this field, I think I should know what I am talking about.

By the way, the Malay boy mentioned earlier surprisingly passed the third time around. You should see him smiling and me – I felt tremendously wonderful.

No threats to the authorities and untoward incidents were necessary.

Only the above tips.

So, best of luck.