Home » How to Apply for a Motorcycle License » Motorcycle Permit Test Questions & Answers » When passing a vehicle on the left when riding a motorcycle, you should:
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When passing a vehicle on the left when riding a motorcycle, you should:

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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

When passing a vehicle on the left when riding a motorcycle, you should first:

  1. Signal and accelerate immediately. 
  2. See if there is room to pass the other vehicle in the same lane. 
  3. Ride in the left portion of your lane, signal, and check for traffic. 
  4. Ride in the right portion of your lane, signal, and check for traffic. 

Find the answer to this question and an explanation below. 


This topic may show up on your motorcycle permit test. 

The answer is: C. Ride in the left portion of your lane, signal, and check for traffic. 

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

Explanation: Passing Vehicles 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. 

If you are riding your motorcycle and approach a slower vehicle, you should prepare to pass with caution. 

Passing should be done on the left for the greatest visibility. 

The first things you should do when you are preparing to pass another vehicle are to:

  • Move into the left lane position to increase your view of traffic and your visibility. 
  • Signal your intentions. 
  • Check for oncoming traffic if passing on a two-lane road. 
  • Check your mirrors and do a head check to make sure there are no cars approaching from behind. 

Once the way is clear, you are ready to begin the pass. 

When it is safe to do so, move into the left lane and accelerate ahead of the vehicle you are passing. 

Ride in the center portion of the lane to avoid crowding the vehicle you are passing. 

Use your right signal to indicate you intend to return to the lane. 

Perform another head check and check your mirrors, and return to the original lane when you have enough space in front of the vehicle you overtook. 

Cancel your turn signal once you’ve returned to your lane. 

Only pass when there is enough time and space for you to do so safely. Remember, you cannot legally exceed the posted speed limit when passing another vehicle. 

Additionally, you must not pass in “No Passing” zones or areas where passing is not permitted according to the lane markings. 

You should never attempt to pass where you cannot see the road ahead or behind you or whenever there is not enough room to complete the maneuver safely. 

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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Content Editor: Ethan Orenstein

Ethan is not just any motorcycle enthusiast. With a decade of experience riding, maintaining, and restoring a range of motorcycles, Ethan brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Many of the tips and tricks shared on this site are born from hours spent wrenching on personal bikes. Paired with his experience as a journalist covering DMV & insurance topics, MotorcycleZombies.com is a must-visit site for any home-mechanic. Every article has been carefully reviewed and edited to ensure accuracy, authenticity, and simplicity - all to help bring your bike back from the dead and onto the road.

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