With a motorcycle’s acceleration and manoeuvrability, and a good view over and around other vehicles, you can make good progress through traffic. But passing other vehicles, and being passed, is always a source of potential danger. It’s essential to get it right.
When passing other vehicles, use the ‘4P Principle’:
Position, so that you have the best view past the vehicle you are about to overtake and can clearly see the road ahead. You should be in the right gear to accelerate, ready to go. Check mirrors. If all looks clear, indicate right.
Pull out, after a quick lifesaver glance to your right. Do not accelerate until you have pulled out and confirmed that the road ahead is clear. If it’s not, you can slip back into position. If you are already accelerating you may be too close to the vehicle in front, and travelling too fast, to do so.
Pass. You are in the correct gear. You’ve checked the road is clear. Don’t hang about. Get the overtake done as quickly as you can, using maximum acceleration (without breaking the speed limit, of course).
Pull in. Make sure you are well clear of the vehicle you have passed, indicate left and move in. Job done. Set your speed and select the correct gear.
Give large vehicles a wide berth to limit the possibility of being sucked into their right rear corner.
Never pass around a left-hand curve, because you can't see far enough ahead. Wait for a straight section or a right-hand curve.
Pass only when the road is straight, and preferably in a passing lane. Use your ‘Pull out’ to check the road surface you are about to pass on for slippery patches or standing water, as well as oncoming vehicles.