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Featured Practice drills

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Jozlyn, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm looking for a thread or a website or anything really that has some sort of drills I can practice. I went for my licence test on Sunday and failed, I was extremely nervous and had a lot of trouble reacting fast enough or well enough to the light box signals. What I need is something that possibly explains how to do swerves properly and how to do quick stops, along with some sort of structured drills to do to help me learn, something that I can start off doing slowly and then gradually add more speed to? I will say though on the occasions in "real life" where I've had to quickly swerve or stop suddenly, I haven't had a problem, but I also wasn't thinking about what I was doing, just reacting. This is supposed to be what the light box is simulating, but it didn't work that way for me, I just spent the whole time riding toward the thing trying to anticipate what it would do and worrying!

  2. I'd suggest just getting hubby or friend to stand ahead of you with a flag or such (even just waving madly), and as you ride towards them, they wave left/ride/stop. Bout the best you could do. And just keep practicing. PS: Don't run over them....

    For me, I found the Learners test harder than the License Test, after some 3-4k on the bike between them.

    Suppose you just need to calm down and relax those nerves. (y)
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  3. Hi Jozlyn,

    Are you overthinking the exercises and/or over-anticipating (is that even an expression?).

    Test/training conditions can be extremely stressful for a lot of people and will mess with you brain big time.

    If your road experience with swerving and stopping is solid, (as you claim it is), keep practicing in a safe environment and try to relax when on the range.

    If you're a safe rider and have control of the machine, you have every right to ride and have to believe that. Don't sell yourself short in an artificially constructed environment.
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  4. I agree with GoozaGooza , the light test would just come down to repetitive practice and getting used to not trying the premeditate what you think it will be but rather just relaxing and reacting to what it becomes.
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  5. Oh JozlynJozlyn...:( I was worried that we hadn't seen any posts on the general forum recently.
    What everyone else said ^^^
    Sorry that you were so nervous and I reckon you were trying dare I say too hard to do well...
    From everything I have read of your riding on here, you can do it! :)
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  6. The thing is...too many people try TOO hard (especially those wanting the "perfect" score) and end up not doing so well. Once you stop trying to anticipate it, and just react to what you get, the exercise gets so much easier. If you haven't tried to anticipate, you start from a neutral, straight position and then it doesn't matter so much if you don't swerve far bc you haven't started going the wrong way!

    Also, many people forget how slow the permissible speed is, and go too fast. Only go as fast as you need to.

    Remember, once you've been riding a couple of months, no one is going to give a buttcrack what your score was. Just pass :)
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  7. I did try too hard but there was also an uncomfortable atmosphere, which also didn't help the nerves any! I'm also a perfectionist and because of this I need drills, something very concrete and structured to practice. just don't have a clue where to find them! Telling me to "just practice" doesn't work, because I don't know what to do. I was absolutely fixated on the light box, so much so that when the light did come on, I almost didn't react to it at all :/
  8. If you want a really good practise 'manual', especially for those first rides, check this one out. I've found it really helpful. It's a VicRoads booklet called 'Discover Safe Riding', which is basically just full of training things to practise doing on your motorbike.
    It's downloadable as PDF and it's really great actually, and definitely helps you become a better, safer rider.
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  9. Thanks :D I think this may be exactly what I'm looking for :D
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  10. Heh, I remember me doing pretty much exact same thing on my license test.:D I was already comfortable with riding, swerving and emergency breaking at this time, had my L for almost half a year and was practising quite a lot. But I was so nervous and tense I messed up almost every attempt of swerving and was locking rear brake all the time lol, all because of my nervousness. Was lucky enough to make it(barely :)) with just enough points to get the license.
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  11. Hey, I passed my car licence by 1 point! Yes, 1 lousy point. The driving instructor gave me an earful when he dropped me off home afterwards, but who gives a stuff now :)
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  12. The VIC Roads guide that Exportswede linked to is excellent (thanks Exportswede, I'm reading through it now) and addresses the foundation skills required both for the rider test and safe riding in general.

    When I was preparing for my rider test, I bought a bag of used tennis balls from a local sports store and cut them in half to use as markers. I downloaded the NSW Motorcycle Operator Safety Test (MOST) exercises and printed and laminated the sheets. Early on Sunday mornings for about a month I headed to a local business park with empty streets, laid out the course for each exercise with the half-tennis balls and practised for about an hour. I'd do a lap of the block every five minutes or so to cool the clutch and engine a little and clear my overloaded brain.

    While it was test-specific training only, it did improve my low-speed riding skills a lot and made the rider test much more manageable for me - I was able to focus on the objective of each exercise the testing officer outlined to me more than I otherwise would have been able to do.

    Good luck with your preparation and test! :]
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  13. Wow, I wish I was doing your test! I could do all that easily, it's the light box that got me!
  14. Yeah, it wouldn't be easy to be thinking, 'What am I going to have to do in a second or two?' while waiting for the prompt and then translate it into instant action under the pressure of a test. The closest the NSW MOST test comes to that is the quick stop, but as you've probably seen it is already signalled from the start by passing through the entry cones.
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  15. Yep, you do similar in the Vic L's test. How to practice for the light box has got me totally flumoxed though. I can't do anything about the nerves, it's always the same no matter what sort of test I'm doing, nearly failed my L's because of them but just scraped through. If I hadn't of had to do the 2 retries at the light box (too slow) I would've actually passed....just!
  16. I was told the trick with the light box was not to focus on it but look beyond it and more or less use peripheral vision. Worked for me anyway. For a while HART used it in the "wall of death" at one of the advanced courses where you'd ride straight at a wall and turn off when the light came on. Still hated it though.
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  17. I hated the test too. I don't think I swerved far or stopped quickly, so just doing the right thing counts. It's the nerves we have to conquer, isn't it JozlynJozlyn?
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  18. That was part of my problem with it, I was just so fixated on it that I had no brain space left to actually react to it!

    ARGH :nailbiting:

    Yep, the nerves were bad, I was physically shaking for most of the day and not just from the cold! But I also didn't know what to do, the times in real life where I've had to quickly swerve or stop haven't been planned, they've just happened before I had time to actually think about what I was doing. During the test I was thinking about what I needed to do and realised that I actually didn't have a clue!

    I've just booked a private lesson with the option of a retest if both the instructor and I feel that I can do it for 30 May. So I'll use the time between now and then to do some of the practice drills from the book that ExportswedeExportswede linked but also look up YouTube videos on body positioning for swerves and the correct sequence for quick stops. I have a plan of action and hopefully it'll work :D
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  19. I'd also like to add that using the
    Thanks :D I've got counter steering sorted, but I wasn't sure if you used that for the swerves or by leaning your body in the opposite direction to the bike?