How To Overtake On Motorcycle – Important Tips To Know

Knowing how to overtake on a motorcycle is important to your own safety and others. When you do it properly, it can help save your time and reduce traffic jams. However, doing it incorrectly may put you in a breaking-the-law situation and cause you danger.  

This article will give you some simple rules to make it easier and name some situations to avoid.

How To Overtake On Motorcycle
Tips on how to overtake on a motorcycle

How To Overtake On Motorcycle

An optimum view and proper time for a run-up are things to remember when overtaking on your motorcycle. Once you move in front, stay on the wheel track. If there’s another fellow following, drive ahead and leave enough room for him to take the space between you and the overtaken vehicle. 

1. Keep Distance

The rule here is easy: the more distance you keep, the better your view. Especially if you are behind big vehicles, it’s not a good idea to stick to their rear bumpers. Keeping a proper distance helps you see things in front clearer.

Staying close to the vehicle you want to pass blocks your view of the ongoing traffic. If you can’t see it earlier, you can be at risk. The situation is even more dangerous when riding on the narrow road. 

Keeping distance allows you to observe more stretches of the road and decide the moment to overtake better.

Keep Distance
Keep a proper distance every time on the road (overtaking and stopping

2. Overcome Height Cover

There’s a case that the oncoming traffic is “invisible” due to the differences in height. Although you may try to calculate if there’s a vehicle hidden in the dips of the road, it’s not accurate every time, and you’d better not depend on it.

The scenario also happens when the “hidden” car is not moving but staying in the parking lot or a side road. All you can do in this situation is to wait until nothing restricts your view.  

3. Corner Turning Tips

A blind corner is not a good place to overtake. However, it’s possible to find a position where you can maximize your view and make a decision to do the action safely.

If the corner is to the right, you ride on the left. The other way around, you ride on the right if the corner is to the left. To prepare well for the overtaking, ride to the outside as far as possible to see clearly the road ahead.

Keep in mind that it’s hard but important to keep distance at the corner as the vehicle in front also drives slower.

Never overtake at a blind corner
Never overtake at a blind corner

4. Speed

Increasing the speed is necessary before performing an overtake. A run-up at the right speed reduces your time in the lane of oncoming traffic. You may need a downshift if your cc is a few. 

The sound from acceleration is quite loud and can cause other drivers to panic, so a run-up before overtaking is recommended. Then, while in the procedure, keeping a stable and constant speed makes it less harassing.  

5. Timing

The trick for timing is to speed up before you know if you can overtake or not. There are two ways to choose the time. 

When you see the last vehicle on the oncoming traffic lane, you run up at the speed you feel is the proper speed exactly at the time that vehicle will drive by. If the front road is empty, you can freely go ahead.

There’s another way to increase the speed much later when the vehicle from the other side passes, and it sounds like a safer way since you can see no obstacle coming. 

When Shouldn’t You Overtake On Motorcycle? 

Learning how to overtake on a motorcycle should include knowing when it’s not the time to do so. The rule is simple: don’t do it when you have to break the traffic law and over speed; the action puts you in a dangerous situation. 

When seeing the continuous white solid lines or signs showing that you can not pass other vehicles, then don’t! Instead, look for any hatched road marks or other arrow signs indicating you can pass on the left.

When Shouldnt You Overtake On Motorcycle
Looking for the road mark allowing overtaking action

When you are going to bend or a junction, avoid overtaking. You’d better wait for another chance if your front view is blocked or the road is narrow, and make sure there are no vehicles hidden in dips.

Plus, if there is no potential designated landing spot after overtaking, you’d better think again. You can do it when you have enough space to return to your lane.

Common Mistakes Of Overtaking On Motorcycle

Let’s have a look at some common mistakes to ensure you know how to overtake on a motorcycle properly.

Not staying calm is the first mistake. Take it easy as you will have another chance again.

You don’t set the gear in the correct status or pull it too fast. It will make your action less smooth and put you in a difficult handling situation. 

Starting too early is also one type of mistake. Begin at a reasonable distance; not too close or too far back is ideal. 


1. How To Overtake On Motorcycle While Passing Another Bike?

Passing another motorcycle in the same lane can be legal in your place. Some areas even allow two motorcycles to go on one strip and the third one to pass them. 

However, it’s kind of dangerous. You’d better notify the one you are going to pass that you’re there and want to go before him. 

2. How To Overtake On Motorcycle While Riding In A Group Of Bikes?

Overtake one by one when riding in a group
Overtake one by one when riding in a group

If you ride in a group or have one more fellow with you, it’s suggested to do the overtake one by one as the second motorcyclist may not have 100% vision to do the action at the same time as the first one.

There should be enough space between the first rider and the vehicle he’s overtaken, and he should stay on the wheel track. Then the second driver takes the behind slot. 


We are now clear on how to overtake on a motorcycle. Being overtaken is not really comfortable for other fellows on the road, so make sure you do it well at a proper speed. Remember to keep the distance with the front vehicle since it assists you optimize the view.

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