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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 test criteria in written format [PDF, 1.6 MB]

Download Factsheet 28: Learning to ride – getting your motorcycle licence [PDF, 90 KB]

Motorcycle basic handling skills providers

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Motorcycle basic handling skills providers / Otago

AA Motorcycle Training
Daniel Love

Dunedin & Central Otago

| Phone: 03 477 7309 | Freephone: 0800 223 748

Brian Frew

Southland & Central Otago

| Phone: 03 230 4326

Grant Somers-Edgar


| Mobile: 021 132 5663

Kaye Rowell

Queenstown/Queenstown Lake Districts/Central Otago

| Mobile: 027 623 3534

Margaret Burrell


| Phone: 03 439 5355 | Mobile: 027 256 6018

Neil McKenzie

c/- Drivetech Limited, 156 Longbush Road, RD1, Invercargill

| Phone: 03 230 4326 | Mobile: 0508 237483

Warren Joyce


| Phone: 03 454 4184 | Mobile: 027 485 1695

William Batt

Otago & Southland

| Phone: 03 235 8289