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Lane changing / Overtaking


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Hi guys. As a new rider I am having a bit of a mental block that is getting in the way of my gaining road confidence. It has to do with lane changes and possibly overtaking (though on a 125 more the fore than the latter). The issue I have seems to be in judging the correct distance / space needed in the next lane before you can move over as well as judging the speed of the upcoming vehicles and also issues with trusting whether or not they have seen my signals. There is also too a fear of not being able to find a space to move over before I reach my junction.

At the moment for me it is very much a case of

check mirrors / blind spot.


Check mirrors / blind spot

Grit my teeth pray to god they saw my signals and then move over.

I was wondering if some of the more experienced riders had any tips or advice regarding this as this is the only thing stopping me using my scoot for my commute at the moment. I really want to get this under my belt as my commute goes down some hella busy dual carriageways and requires a lot of lane changing, when its quiet there is no bother but in rush hour its enough to make my boys go back into my stomach.


(Sorry if there is another post about this, i did a search but got loads of filtering results)

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I am not an experienced rider but I am a very experienced driver and I can assure you that your cautious approach to lane changing and overtaking is not unusual for a beginner. It is a worrying thought to have to put yourself in the path of another vehicle coming up behind you.

My advice is take your time. It takes time to be able to judge the speed of approaching traffic when you are able to look directly at them; it is even more difficult when you only have the reflection in your mirror to work with. Use your mirrors often and you will be able to see how long it takes a vehicle to reach and overtake you. You will start with very crude judgements at first. The vehicle is either getting closer to you or moving further away then how fast is it approaching you or moving away.

Take your time and try not to worry. If you are really that nervous about changing lanes I suggest you book an hour or two with a school and ask for lots of lane changing practice.

As for moving back in; that comes with practice too!

hope this helps.

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It can be sort of scary and make you feel a bit vulnerable. I'm a new rider too, passed my test about a month ago, but never been that bothered about this (guess its cause i've used the road for 5 years). You're doing everything right; mirror, signal, maneuver is the saying, but having an extra life saver check in there can't be a bad thing. I do it exactly the same; check, indicate, life saver, move over swiftly.

I think its perhaps a confidence thing, maybe after you've ridden for a little while you'll calm down. Remember to make those checks count, when you look over your shoulder make sure you really look what's in that other lane behind you. If there's something too close, or approaching at speed then don't go. The check is to make sure the lane switch is safe, if you've seen nothing is wrong then you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

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Cheers guys. I think your right it is more a confidence thing. I'm also worried about whether or not I will get a space before the junction and stuff too. I actually think I need to just stop worrying about other drivers all together and just focus on doing my jobs right. Im always second guessing whether I'm going fast enough or braking too fast and stuff. I think I worry what other drivers think if you get me.

I went to work for the first time on it today, the dual carriageway was awesome and scary but loads of fun. And im still alive at work typing this so there's a plus.

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A bar end mirror or mirror extenders may help. I found the safety check very unnerving at first, it felt like I had no time to check properly and was spending too much time looking where I was not going.

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I was just looking at some new mirrors. I will see how I get on and maybe then get some if need be. I altered my mirror positions yesterday and found it to be a load better. I live on a hill and think that I probably had them set wrong when I set out. I altered them so I could just see the end of the top box behind me and it worked a treat, gave me a lot more visibility.

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  • 3 months later...

Not doing something that you are not comfortable with isn't a bad rule to use.


You dont want to sit behind every slow vehicle you catch up with however your aim should be to match the speed of the traffic in the lane you are moving into.

Give yourself plenty of time, stay back from the vehicle you are going to pass (2 seconds in the dry, 4 in the wet) try to make your move before you have to slow for the vehicle ahead of you that way your speed will be much closer to that of the flow of traffic you are about to join.

The Process;

Remember an indicator is a signal of your intention, not a request to give you space so use it in that way.

once you have spotted a suitable gap to move into;


Signal (no need to do a lifesaver at this stage)



Change Lanes

cancel your indicator

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