Motorcycle Test Pillion Questions

This section covers the motorcycle test pillion questions that may be asked by the examiner during the module 2 on-road motorcycle practical riding test.

Motorcycle Test Pillion Questions and Answers

Part of the module 2 test requires that you have an understanding of the motorcycle in terms of safety checks in preparation to ride. Typically known as the show me tell me questions.

Additionally you’ll also need to demonstrate to the examiner that you understand how the balance of the motorcycle is affected whilst carrying a pillion passenger. You will be asked one, possibly two questions regarding the vehicles balance whilst carrying a passenger. The motorcycle test pillion question may be asked at the start of the test or at the end.

The safety of other road users, your passenger and yourself is important. Therefore you must fully understand the impact on the motorcycle that taking a pillion passenger has as getting this question(s) incorrect will result in a test failure. If you are asked the pillion passenger question at the start of your module 2 test and answer the question incorrectly, you’ll not be informed of the results until you have finished riding.

Detailed are the questions that you will be asked during your module 2 test along with appropriate answers to provide the examiner.

Legally, what is required on a motorcycle to carry a passenger?


Foot rests for the passenger and an appropriate seat

In terms of safety, what would you advise a pillion passenger?


  • Advise an inexperienced pillion to wear an approved motorcycle safety helmet that must be correctly fastened
  • To wear proper motorcycle jacket, trousers, boots and to also wear proper gloves


How would you advise an inexperienced passenger to sit on the back?


  • They must mount and dismount the motorcycle from the kerb-side and not to dismount until instructed to do so
  • They must sit astride the motorcycle with a leg either side with both feet rested on the foot pegs at all times and to use the grab rails, hold onto the riders waist or a combination of both
  • Whilst moving, sit still and try not to fidget around
  • For looking ahead, look over my shoulders and not around them
  • Do not make any hand signals or gestures
  • To lean with the rider as we take corners
  • To lean forwards whilst accelerating

Before carrying a pillion passenger, what adjustments might you want to consider making to the motorcycle to account for an increase in weight?


  • Increase tyre pressures in accordance to the manufacturers handbook
  • Stiffen the suspension – increase the pre-load on the rear suspension to allow for an increase in weight
  • Headlight beam aim to be lowered as with a passenger, headlights will aim higher
  • Mirrors will need adjusting due to extra weight – to be adjusted when pillion has mounted motorcycle
  • Chain may need adjusting with a heavy passenger – may tighten with extra weight

How will the extra weight of the pillion passenger affect the handling of the motorcycle?


  • Balance and stability is affected due to the motorcycle becoming ‘top heavy’, particularly at lower speeds
  • Steering will become lighter due to less pressure on the front tyre
  • Accelerating will take longer than usual which will affect overtaking
  • Extra weight will increase breaking distances, increasing significantly in wet and icy conditions
  • Cornering is affected as the extra weight will make the motorcycle lean more than expected

Other than a pillion passenger, what else might affect the motorcycle balance?


  • Strong winds / gusts
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • A motorcycle that isn’t well maintained
  • Additional weight such as luggage for example and unevenly packed luggage
  • Uneven / badly maintained roads, such as potholes, drain covers
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