6 Tips to Overtake on a Motorcycle

Overtaking another vehicle while you are riding a motorcycle sounds thrilling and fun. And it is indeed quite thrilling if you are able to manage it successfully and safely. Overtaking on a motorcycle can be particular risky if proper precautions are not taken.

Since you are applying a lot of throttle overtaking, even a small mistake can lead to serious injuries. So here are some vital tips to help you overtake safely while on a motorcycle.


Keep your distance

The vehicle you are about to overtake may be a car, another motorcycle, a bus, a truck or some other type. A solid rule of thumb is to make sure that the greater the vehicle is, the greater is the distance you keep from it. This distance helps you get a comprehensive view of the situation.

You are able to look at the road ahead of that vehicle, on both sides and make sure that the scene is clear just before you are about to overtake. Once you have clearly established that overtaking at a particular moment is safe and the road is clear of any additional traffic, you can gear up the throttle and cut the distance.

Get a Clear View of the Road

When you are about to overtake a vehicle while riding a motorcycle, the most crucial thing is to make sure that you have a clear view of the road. This includes the road between you and the vehicle, and the road in front of that vehicle as well.

You also have to keep an eye on the traffic in the opposite lane. If you attempt to overtake without taking a clear view of the road, you run the risk of bumping into any vehicle coming from the other side of the road.

On the other hand, once you have a clear view, you are able to calculate precisely the movement and momentum of your overtaking.

Know the Road

Is the road you are traveling on a smooth, straight road? Or is it a road that has frequent corners? Is it a hilly terrain with dips on the road or the road is fairly horizontal? These questions are of vital importance when overtaking on a motorcycle.

A road with frequent corners means that you can often be blind to incoming traffic from the other side. In such a case, you have to be very careful in overtaking. A good way to accomplish this is to ride to the opposite end of the road on a corner and take a view of the incoming traffic.

For instance, if the road is turning left, you ride to the right corner of the road and take a view of the road after the corner. Similarly, you have to account for the dips in the road when riding in a hilly region. Any negligence when overtaking can lead to serious consequences.

Maintain a Good Run-up Speed

Run-up speed is the increase in the speed of your motorcycle just before you overtake the vehicle in front of you. This is importance because the run-up speed gives your ride the necessary momentum to overtake the other vehicle.

It also helps you spend minimum time in the opposite lane and to overtake as quickly as possible. A steady run-up speed is also a great idea in that it does not alarm the driver in the vehicle you are overtaking. An alarmed driver can be dangerous, so keep your run-up speed smooth and easy, and overtake without causing any panic.

Be Ready to Change Plans

You have spotted a vehicle in front of you, you have ensured that you have a clear view and now you have geared up your motorcycle to a good run-up speed. Even when you have taken all the precautions, it is possible that a vehicle appears in the opposite lane of the road at the last moment.

You must be ready for such a possibility and if it happens, you should also be ready to downgear and shed speed immediately. This requires that you stay confident and calm at all times and do not get panicked. Apply the rear brakes, downgear and shed speed. In other words, be ready to continue the process of overtaking or to abort it at any time.

Be Alert About Unexpected Vehicles

With the exception of highways, most roads have a huge number of openings on both sides throughout their route. This means that traffic can emerge from any of these openings at any time.

So while you plan to overtake another vehicle on the road, you have to be very careful of these openings. It is possible that as you are overtaking a vehicle, another vehicle emerges from the right of the lane and can turn your overtaking into a dangerous instance.

You can avoid such a contingency by keeping your eyes not only on the vehicle you are overtaking and the road in front of you but also on any openings on the road on both sides.

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