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What happens when your motorcycle’s rear wheel locks up and begins to skid?

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Use this motorcycle practice test question to prepare for the real written exam at the DMV or during your motorcycle safety course

What happens when your motorcycle’s rear wheel locks up and begins to skid? 

  1. Your front brake will stop the skid. 
  2. You will gain speed.
  3. You can apply more rear brake to gain control. 
  4. You lose your ability to change direction.

Find the answer to this question and an explanation below. 


This topic may show up on your motorcycle permit test. 

The answer is: D. You lose your ability to change direction.

How’d you do? Learn more about this motorcycle topic below. 

Explanation: Rear-Wheel Skids on a Motorcycle

In order to pass your motorcycle permit exams and to become a safe rider, it’s important to know why a particular answer on the motorcycle written test is correct. 

A rear wheel skid can be a dangerous situation to face when riding a motorcycle. 

Rear wheel skids occur when the rear wheel locks up due to too much brake pressure. 

When the rear wheel locks up and begins to skid, you will lose the ability to change direction. 

To get out of the rear wheel skid, you’ll need to release the rear brake pressure. However, if the front and rear wheel are out of alignment when you release the rear brake, the bike may straighten out abruptly and throw you off in a high-side crash. 

High-side crashes are the most dangerous, as you’ll be thrown in the air and forward. This can result in serious injury. 

If you find yourself in a rear wheel skid, be sure the bike’s front and rear is aligned when you release the brake. The slower you are going, the easier it will be to recover. 

Avoid getting in this situation in the first place by always using both brakes at once, and always applying the brakes smoothly and gradually. 

Jamming on the brakes is a surefire way to lock up the wheels and skid.

You can find more information about this topic in the motorcycle rider’s handbook.

Check out more motorcycle permit test questions and answers here.

Find in-depth articles for new riders in our section dedicated to learning how to ride a motorcycle.

Plus, check out an overview of the requirements to get a motorcycle endorsement in each state.

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