What is involved in a basic handling skills test, resources to help you pass one, and where to go to sit a test.

Before applying for a motorcycle learner licence you must pass a basic handling skills test. This test ensures that you have the necessary skills to ride safely on the road once you obtain your learner licence.

Four stages in the test

The basic handling skills test consists of four stages:

  • basic turn and stop
  • figure of eight and park
  • linking figures of eight
  • increased speed and emergency stop

Each stage has various tasks

Each stage is broken down into varying combinations of the following tasks:

  • move off
  • straight ride
  • corner
  • stop
  • park

Each task has assessment items

In completing the tasks above you will be assessed against the relevant assessment items below:

  • looking in the correct direction
  • signalling correctly
  • making head checks before changing position
  • lateral position of motorcycle
  • control of motorcycle
  • using appropriate speed
  • parking observation
  • parking movement.

Talk to your test provider about your training

It is recommended that you discuss with your selected provider any training and practice you may have undertaken. This will help you to determine if you are ready to sit the test, or if you require additional training and practice (your provider will be able to help you with this).

More information about the skills required for a basic handling skills test

Test criteria

Watch detailed information about the test in animated format:

Download the basic handling skills test in written format [PDF, 1.3 MB]

Download Factsheet 28: Learning to ride – getting your motorcycle licence [PDF, 301 KB]

Many basic handling skills providers also offer other safe riding courses. 

Motorcycle basic handling skills providers

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Motorcycle basic handling skills providers / Manawatū-Whanganui

Daryl McKirdy

Palmerston North

| Mobile: 027 430 6294

Don Mclachlan


| Freephone: 0800 559 462 | Mobile: 027 559 4628
Email: donmclachlan@xtra.co.nz

Glen Christensen
0800 2 wheels

Palmerston North/Whanganui

| Phone: 06 344 4294 | Freephone: 0800 2 WHEELS | Mobile: 027 4832 062
Email: tgtc@xtra.co.nz
Website: www.08002wheels.co.nz