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NSW P's test tips and overview...

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Soarer, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. Here's a few of my tips for the NSW P's test ... I ride a CBR250 at the moment which is quite difficult to do the U turn on, like many other sports bikes. Everything else I can do a breeze, but only get inside the lines 75% of the time on this - seems to make a huge difference if the slope is downwards (being easier) than upwards. Doing it on a CB250 is a walk in the park though...

    I'm not an expert by any means, but all of this info did come from instructors... it does work for me though, and I'm only writing this up to try and help out those going for P's soon, so please be nice ;-) If there's anything incorrect or you have other suggestions, feel free to say so :)

    To pass the test, you need 8 points or less. Like others have said, remember the head checks!!! [-X Write yourself a note and stick it under the screen if needs be! Point deductions for missing head checks are 3 for the first time, then 2 points for the second, and then 4 for the third, giving you 9 points and a fail. So be careful.. wasting $140 on not looking behind you 3 times would be a shame.

    If you want to practice slow riding, then try this. Ride along in first, pull the clutch in so that it is still pushing the bike along, but isn't giving it full power. Then depress the back brakes, and increase your revs - you want it to sound like you're hurting the bike (but you're really not!). You should be able to rev the bike up and down without having any effect on your speed - this will all be controlled by the back brake. Try riding along and keep everything the same, then play with different amounts of pressure on the rear brake.

    Here's what you have to do, with a few suggestions on how to go about each test. Remember not to stall the bike (or crash!) either during the test.

    **Left hand slow turn and stop in the box**
    This one isn't difficult, just take your time. To perform the 90deg left turn without touching the lines, keep the revs up, and the clutch at the same point throughout the corner, using your rear brake to control speed (setting your speed, clutch and brake up 5 or 6 meters before the turn is a good idea). You'll do it easy, just try not to look down at the lines too much.
    You'll then make another left turn down towards a box which is 90cm long. There is no specific speed required here, all that is necessary is for you to stop with your front when inside the outline.... so go nice and slow, setup your brakes, and do the slowest stop you've ever done in your life!! Should not be difficult at all. You will be penalised for skidding any of your wheels, so do it nice and slowly... just roll right into it - even 5km/h is fast enough.

    **Cone weave and U turn**
    The cone weave... the trick to this is keeping the revs up, and the clutch at the same point throughout the test (DO NOT CHANGE IT!!!) , using your back brake to moderate your speed. If you start the weave too wide, it will be hard for you at the final few cones, so try to get in close to start with. If you do have trouble with this though, there's a bit of a cheat you can do. Ride around the left of the first cone, right of the second, then left of the third .... then keep going past the remaining three. You will only lose 2 points and have technically missed just one cone, as you have passed the remaining three cones on their correct sides. Here's a dodgy little diagram ... the cones are "O"'s...

    | O
    | O
    | O


    Once you've got to the end of the cones, you make two right turns and head back the opposite direction to make a right hand U turn within a 6m wide open square.
    By the time you're 3 or 4 meters away from the start of the yellow box, have your speed and clutch set up as you will have throughout the turn. Remember to use the back brake to control speed, not the throttle or clutch. Another tip ... start the turn as soon as your front wheel goes past the start of the yellow box, and remember to lean your body out to the left hand side of the bike, looking as far over your right shoulder into the distance as you can. This is a must. If you go in too deep, you make it so much harder on yourself. If you time it right, you can actually exit the U turn wider than 6m and not touch the lines!! When you begin to turn,

    Again, some hints for those struggling....
    Points are deducted for touching your foot on the ground EACH TIME YOU DO IT, or each time you ride through the yellow box. I believe you lose 1 point for the first time you put your foot down, and then it goes up to 3, 5 etc etc ... exact scoring I don't remember sorry. So... you have 8 points to use up and still pass. Don't stumble and tap your foot on the ground multiple times if you loose balance. If you're struggling on a sports bike, and want to pass without paying $120 to hire a much easier CB250 (or similar), then use ya noggin. If you can make the turn without touching the lines, but put your foot down (only once!), then do it. You will incur 1 point... and still have 7 remaining. The other alternate trick is what I would choose only if you're confident at the other areas of the test - and that is to do a U turn greater than 6m (should be able to do it comfortably within 6.5m) but ride out over the line. You'll get 5 points, but you're such a good rider you won't lose more than 3 more will you ;-)

    This one isn't too hard either, so long as you follow the correct procedure. You need obtain a speed of 20 to 25km/h before passing over the yellow line, and braking as quickly as you can. No points are deducted for skidding either wheel. See the attached picture...
    So, take off, and change into second gear. Keep your head up looking ahead, and as you pass through the "U" back off the throttle, and set up your front brakes (WITHOUT slowing your speed)... still looking up, as you hit that line, squeeze the front brake whilst applying a little bit of back brake. Don't grab it or you're likely to go over the bars ;-) The back brake puts downwards pressure on the back of the bike, and is needed to keep the bike stable and stop it from wanting to do a stoppie - doing this without use of the back brake will lengthen you're stopping distance. Your speed will be measured and referenced against the allowable stopping distance scale they have - the measurement is taken from the front of the tire, not the contact patch on the ground. A little bit of practice before the test should have you doing this easily too ... just make sure you squeeze those fronts on as much as you can, but keep it smooth.

    **Obstacle turn**
    I find this one a cinch.... and that's a good thing, because if you fail this one, you fail the test!
    Things to remember - ride around the maker on the side the instructor is standing at 20km/h or more. I'm pretty sure this is usually on the left hand side. If you don't, it's a fail. If you are under 20 km/h you will be asked to perform a second turn. If you turn early or prepare to turn before the yellow cones you will be asked to perform a second turn, and if you are under 20 km/h or turn early on the second attempt a fail will be recorded.
    The tip here is to again get into second gear, and back right off the throttle as you enter the start of the "U". If you're on the throttle still whilst making the turn, you probably won't make it, as the bike will want to stand up and go straight ahead. This one's all about counter-steering quickly.

    And there you go!! All that's left is to not run a red light or do something else illegal or stupid whilst doing the group road ride, and you've passed :applause: And I bet you'll never have to do another cone weave again out on the roads!! Might be good for dodging cane toads or something though.......

    Hopefully this will help out those about to have a crack at it 8)



  2. another couple of pointers.

    With the cone weave, start your turn into the cone before you reach the cone, not as/after you reach the cone. It will give you more room to setup for the next one. So as you arch out to the left on the first cone for instance, start turning back in to the right before you get to the cone.

    With the uturn, there seems to be a couple of approaches here.

    Either come in really slowly as the original poster stated, with the clutch at friction point. Then slide your bum over to the left side of the seat and at the same time look back over your right shoulder and full lock the bars. If you feel l ike you are going to slow and it feels like the bike wants to fall inwards, either rev a little more keeping the clutch the same, or let the clutch out a little and get off the back brake a little. On my vtr I had about 1.5meters to spare. It is much harder on a faired sports bike. To do this on a cbr etc you will probably need to rev its tits off and use quite a bit of back brake. The other approach which seems to work with cbrs, is to come in quite quick (but not quick enough that you need to countersteer) and just lean into the uturn whilst full locking the bars, but youll nearly have to scrape the pegs this way. Too slow and your fall in though...too fast and youll run wide. :) As stated, if you have to chose between putting your foot down to complete the turn or running wide, put your foot down.

    For the quick stop, If you can get above 20 in first, I wouldnt even bother changing gears, its just another thing to think about (ie changing back to first whilst/after you have stopped) to avoid stalling when you take off again. It does not matter if you skid either wheel or do a stoppie (I got the back wheel up about a foot and a half in the test - not recommended though) you will not lose points. I asked about this and he said the reason being a stoppie just means you are braking really well i.e. you are stopping in a very short distance without locking the front up. Use four fingers to brake, it makes a big difference, and make sure you clutch in and roll off the throttle.

    With the swerve, I wouldnt bother about second gear.
  3. Well I hope that all the other guys who went for their P's this weekend gone did as well as I did ... Passed without getting a single point, even nailed the U-turn on the CBR!! :D

    Our whole group passed, however one person was very lucky to do so due to their efforts on the slow speed stuff... without going into any details, we thought the instructor was very forgiving.

    There were a few people who had to use some of the tips I mentioned during the test - one guy was riding a 650 Duke and had problems with the weave and u-turn. He skipped the last three cones, and touched the line on the u-turn and still managed a pass :)
  4. At least i know now that the weave trick can work!!

    I'll give it a go
  5. 3 more tips ...




    Forget to do more than 2, and you FAIL !!!

    Good luck guys....
  6. Hey thats all good advise guys, I did my P's a couple of weeks ago and I forgot to do the headchecks twice, I think its because I was not used to the CB250, they,re a forgiving bike but after riding a totally different bike for almost 6 months and then they want u to pass a test after an hour on a different bike its a bit confusing. I wish I could've taken my GPX but I was having a cooling system problem and didnt wanna cook it in the test. But I passed and thats all that really matters, no more test until I turn 80 or whatever it is
  7. yea no more tests until 80 or so :) unless laws change :(

    anyways as for the clutch riding i found it easier to release it completely and keep constant low rev but that is on a gpx250 and every bike is different...........

    anyways goodluck with the pass
  8. Good tips ,can someone make this a sticky.

    Cheers Soarer ,for you time and well writen post.
  9. Bump ..

    Im doing my test in a few weeks and just want to ask ,anyone that has done the test lately.

    When you are doing the test and ride ect ,are they tough on keeping your foot on the brake every time you take off ,even if the ground is flat.
    The only time i use the back break to start of is , like at at set of lights, is if im on a hill.
    I use my front brake ,then let it off to go normaly ,as it feels better as both feet are planted on the ground for better balance.???????

    I rang today to see how long the waiting list is and it's 2 / 3 weeks so don't leave it to last minute ,you better book soon if your L's are running out.

  10. sleddog,
    they teach the ready position for a reason and I think its not a bad one. Always keep your rear brake on when starting off and you are set up for ALL situations not just on a hill etc. I know its easier to balance with both feet down but its NOT as good doing a quick get awy with BOTH feet flapping in the breeze.
    Each tester will have their picky pioints, mine seemed to be anal about head checks, another one was pissy about helmets ie don't put 'em on the handle bars, seat etc (Either on the deck or on your head),.
    Do as they say on the day and then work out the best thing for you AFTER you pass.
    Take your time and dont rush, my mistake was rushing the obstacle swerve and the emergency stop, 20kmh is quite slow!

  11. Cheers mate .
    And i also got few looks ,when i keeped putting my helmet on the bike ,not on the ground in the L's course.
  12. Did you book and pay over the phone or did you go the RTA and do it?

    I was planing on booking mine in the next few days and if it a 2 to 3 week wait I will book it today.

    The guy I brought my bike off suggested I do the test at Penrith as he said the guys down there were very helpful with those people have a few drama's.
    I was also going to down Jamison Park Penrith, and put out some cones and do the test, prior to sitting it.

  13. Has anybody done their MOST on an XVS650, or similar? I have been told by a couple of people that it is quite difficult on a cruiser, especially the cone swerve. Is it impossible or just difficult? I think I could do it with some practice. I have a while to practice it on. Or would it just be better to just get my hands on a 250 for the day and try it like that? Any help/advice is welcome....

  14. Well.... I did the test yesterday on my XVS250. The only issue I had was that my short arms didn't like holding the clutch steady at full lock, so I had to lean forward a bit.
  15. Hey all, i just did the p's test just this thursday on my 06 XVS650.
    I'd done some practice before hand, like lining up a bunch of coke cans for the cone weave and things like that, got some strange looks mind you :).
    I passed without losing any points, so id definetly say its do-able.
    The instructor said to me at the start of the day during introductions, "i've only ever seen one bloke pass it on that bike, you're really gonna be doin it tough."
    Real helpful i thought...

    Anyway, now he knows two people.

    If you want any specific advice on passing it with the xvs650, give me a buzz and ill help if i can.

    Good luck !
  16. Lol, love it! Hope you pointed it out to the a$%hole at the end of the day.
  17. Just a quick question............When everyone refers to "headcheck" all the time, do you actually mean every time you make any turn, e.g. during each swerve and U-turn? Basically all the time except for straight lines?
  18. I believe headchecks are only for taking off.

    Mirror scan/ physical look left/right with your head turned slightly right??
  19. Headcheck is only just before you take off.