Rolling Road Trials

rollingroad-250 Update – The Rolling Road test was implemented as part of the MoT test in Northern Ireland – October 2014

Watch the videos below to see how the test is now conducted.

See our new post – MoT – Brakes On – with more detailed information on the trials introduction! – Click Here

For the last several months there have been rumours that the Driver & Vehicle and Testing Agency (DVTA) in Northern Ireland who “run” the MoT centres, are to introduce a rolling brake test for motorcycles.

At Right To Ride we have had various conversations about what the supposed test would involve.

However last week Right To Ride’s, Trevor Baird had first-hand experience when taking his bike up for its annual MoT at the testing station in Newtownards.

The motorcycle was put through the trial for the roller brake test that the DVTA are conducting at present.

Our man also got a sneak spy photo of the “new” rolling road brake test equipment, which was published on the Right To Ride Facebook page.

The picture attracted over 1,390 views and various comments, mostly about the issue of dropping the motorcycle/damage caused by rolling road/personal injuries/liability/bike dedicated lane.

However our man was tested and questioned by a man with a clip board and survived!

What does the trial of the brake rolling test entail?

Practical View

brakesWe can give a practical view but not much technical detail at present – how the system works which is either to get a result or for a MoT fail on your bike.

We had an inkling that something was up with the appointment for the MoT at Newtowards when we received a letter through changing the time and which lane (Lane 7) to come to for the test.

Ahead of us was a modern scooter, with us on a BMW F800GS and a very large Harley-Davidson next in the queue.

We all went through the usual once over of the bike, checking the frame number,  lights, chain tension and with the bike on the centre stand, checking for play in wheel bearings and head race bearings and a general look over.

We were asked to unlock the fuel cap and the seal was checked for damage and that the cap operated.  They are also now doing this check for cars etc, which is a good thing especially for diesel vehicles, diesel spillage on the road and bikes do not mix well!

Once this was done under the auspices of the man with the clip board, the procedure for the rolling brake test was explained and we were asked if we were happy enough to put the bike through this or if we wanted the tester to do the test, for the experience we put the bike through.

But first before this and new to the test the wheel alignment was checked with a purposeful aluminium looking straight edge. This would pick up with the frame is massively out of line of if the rear wheel adjustment i.e. chain driven bikes was out.

The examiner continued to talk us through the rolling brake part of the test, with the engine running the front wheel of the bike was placed on a red plate in front of the rollers and a measurement taken and also with the rear wheel.

The bike was then carefully ridden into the roller, there is not such a massive drop into the roller as in the car test, just a gentle “bump” down.

It was explained as the rollers started up that the front wheel of the bike may wander a bit to side from side but would settle and may rest up against the side.

This did happen and then we were asked to squeeze the front brake, a measurement came up on the computerised screen, asked to squeeze the brake again and harder we were told that the bike may jump out of the rollers, which it did. A bit disconcerting as we have not experienced this before but if there is a next year and a rolling brake test then we would know what to expect.

Then the bike was ridden out of the rollers and the back wheel put onto the rollers. The same procedure with the back brake was gone through and with one foot on the rear brake and the other on the ground although there was movement with the bike there was no jumping out of the rollers.

We then rode out of the rollers, were escorted out of the lane and to the rear doors where outside we waited for the result.

It was worse than going to the dentist!

What We Know

brakedrumThe equipment as far as we are aware, is specifically designed for bikes – with the other vehicle rollers adapted and seem to be pretty much an acceptable means of brake testing elsewhere!

The Harley-Davidson rider joined us and we had a chat about the test not being so bad, he was a bit worried about the largest of his bike and the single disc would the brake past the test.

The tester walked out and handed us both our pass certificate and MoT disc so any worries immediately dispelled.

The man with the clip board popped out and asked a few questions and generally we have no issues with the test.

What we did feel about the test was that instead of the bike just getting a poke and a push, that is how your brakes are tested at the moment apart from checking the condition of disc/s, pads, fluid levels, conditions of brake lines, drum brakes the adjustment is checked, the test was more clinical and thus we were getting our money’s worth, although there is no word on any increased fees!

We have written to and spoke with DVTA and after the trails for the roller brake test are over we should have a report from them on all the ins and outs and wherefores!

If you have any comments or questions to add to those below let us know and we will pass them on.

Email Right To Ride – Click Here

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See our new post – MoT – Brakes On – with more detailed information on the trials introduction! – Click Here

Comments & Questions From Facebook

Ah! I did this yesterday. Make sure you keep your rear brake fully on or you will get bucked off the rollers when you lock the front up. Also make sure you keep your wheels in the middle of the roller otherwise you’ll up up with a lovely rusty rim.

I’m wondering how long before someone drops their pride and joy and they scrap this idea. What was wrong with brakes on and a push.

This cannot be a bonifide/approved brake test, far too easy to screw up and drop your bike!

This could be fun, might be a good place to have a camera for those you’ve been framed moments.

Put my bike through yesterday in Belfast no rolling road or wheel alignment test.

Mine was tested in Enniskillen on Monday – no rolling road and no wheel alignment tests (thank goodness) – looking forward to the You’ve Been Framed Xmas special!!

I have just MoT’ed my CBR at Mallusk and the bloke told me this was coming. I hope they are well insured as it is only a matter of time until a bike is dropped, or a leg is broken.

To use one side of the car roller system without any other support system it is just a matter of time before a bike is dropped. Which begs the question is the tester an experienced biker?

A bike dedicated lane with equipment specifically designed for bikes is really what is required. It looks to me as if they are trying to do this on the cheap.

Just the start of things to come,yep it’s going to get tougher .

It will be interesting to find out if you do not want to put your bike through and the examiner tester refuses what happens, I suppose if the examiners refuses after being trained then they might be in bother although if an examiner is 5’6″ and the bike to be tested is a BMW 1200 Adventurer there may be a problem Huston.

I understand that the current brake test is next to useless but testing a two wheel vehicle with one wheel on the deck and one on a rolling road is not the most stable thing to be doing and without further support mechanisms being employed bikes will be dropped it is just a matter of time!

Did mine last week. No sweat!

More feckin money scheme for them.

So if the owner isn’t confident using this piece of “machinery” and the examiner refuses to do it, what’s the alternative? Failure for a road worthy bike? Lol

Did mine 2 weeks ago in Boucher and it was the trial. Tester said if I wasn’t confident he would take the bike. He seemed quite happy to do it. It was no big deal to be honest.

If it’s not designed for bikes then how can they test it!!!!!

Say if you decide, then the examiner can do it, but they said they aren’t keen as if they drop it, they are at fault…..

That’s what they said this morning…the guy took time and showed me the set up for it, he when said he wouldn’t be carrying it out, but would give the owners the option…

Not for bikes, then it shouldn’t be done. I can see a few bikes being dropped. If they are examiners then they should have the ability to carry out the test in the correct manor.

It’s not really that hard to manually test brakes on a bike and see if they work.

Just another idea thought up by some desk jockey who doesn’t ride.

Please tell me this is a wind up!!!

Let them do it it’s their place of work not ours health and safety and all that so if it’s damaged they have to foot the bill.

If u fall off and get hurt claim off them for making u work in a non-trained environment. It states that u r not allowed to go near or operate machinery without being trained to do so and that’s the governments health and safety act.

As for the owner testing the brake. That’s a no no. There is various things you are feeling for on the brake test as well as brake performance. The owner would not have been trained and not certified to test, so that’s rubbish.

From what I was told, if you decline and so does the examiner, then that part is omitted from the test, as its still at trial stage….so you will not fail.

I assume if it becomes part of the regular test that will be a different matter.

I have no problem letting them doing it that’s what we pay for.

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  1. See our new post – MoT – Brakes On – with more detailed information on the trials introduction! – Click Here

  2. A riders eye view of the MoT Test for motorcycles in Northern Ireland

  3. This is just Brussels messing about as usual with silly made up rules were they can make money, time to get out of this EU crap destroying motorcycling.

    Thanks for your comment John – But this has nothing to do with Brussels – it is “home grown” testing for Northern Ireland catching up with what is in the rest of the UK. There is no EU wide Road Worthiness testing (MoT) Directive or Regulation that mandates testing for motorcycles.

  4. MoT Testing – A “wee” video from NI Direct showing what to expect when you take your bike for MoT – includes the brake roller part of the test – sweatshirt and rolled up sleeves not compulsory…….

  5. 26/03/14 A friend of mine was in boucher today and was told training for this finishes this Friday and is being implemented on monday. He was also told that bike owners were to do test themselves!Am i trained NO!Am i insured to do this I DOUBT IT?? what about Health and Safety?? NO fat twat is getting on my bike!!! is he insured?? can he ride a bike?

    The caveat of posting this comment up is, that we are all entitled to an opinion and a rant and we are sure that not all “MoT Testers” are either fat or are twats. Any MoT tester wishing to take umbrage at Shane’s comments please contact Shane 🙂

  6. Steve Ramsey says:

    I have heard of a guy falling off and badly hurting his leg. He now wants to know who to sue? I see it as being Mother Europe meddling again.

  7. Some riders have bikes with very high seats…what if the examiner isn’t tall enough to touch the ground and the owner doesn’t want to do the test.

    Can the system allow for lowered bikes with minimal ground clearance or the likes of small moped wheels and what about road legal quads and trikes…roller spacing won’t suit them all.

  8. They put my old R80RT on the rollers in Ards back in 2005, when the front wheel locked, the bike jerked violently and the tester was flailing wildly with his legs in the air, whether or not it was some sort of unofficial experiment, I never found out, but it was a very shaken tester who gave me my certificate.

    I certainly would not be happy putting the bike on the rollers myself, nor do I think it is an accurate test as it fails to take into account weight transfer under braking.

    No doubt once a few expensive fairings or tanks are damaged in the process of testing brakes, it will go the same way as the maximum RPM smoke test for diesels, quietly dropped after a few lawsuits.

  9. Wonder how many Brit bikes they will break when they stick it into first instead of braking