Licensing of Riders


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redial
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Licensing of Riders

Postby redial » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:50 pm



Following on from WA's comments in "Invisible Motorcycles", I thought I would explain some of the rules that we operate under, as far as licensing of riders (and drivers).

We do have the graduated system for licensing from Learner to Unlimited. Not all States are the same, but here are the general rules for mc. To get a learner's permit, you have to take the written test, which is a 95% pass mark. Once a learner's permit is issued, there is a compulsory two-visits to the motorcycle education centre, they supply the 250cc LAMS mc, where they give a safety briefing, basic first aid, and practical riding instruction, demonstration, and practice. At the end of the 2nd visit, you are assessed as to your suitability to go on the road. After a minimum of three months riding, where a number of hours have to be logged in a book, you may then go for your Provisional Licence (P). There are two levels of P, red then green. All P holders must always have zero alcohol, which is the same for heavy vehicle drivers, and taxis.

You stay on red P for 12 months, which limits your speed to 80Km/h (about 50MPH), and then onto green P for a further two years. Still zero alcohol, but speed is increased to a max of 100Km/h (about 60MPH), but still no pillion passenger is allowed until you are off your Ps. Once you have finished Ps, your LAMS (Learner Approved Motorcycle S) motorcycle, can be upgraded if required to "unlimited". Helmets are compulsory in all States, even on your own private land!

My 250cc twin is good for around 130Km/h, but not much more, with me on board (about 80Kgs (about 165Lbs)) it can keep up with the traffic travelling at 110Km/h (about 66MPH) which is the usual speed limit on "open" roads. But it will never win a "traffic light derby" but is good enough for learning on. You can also get mc upto about 600cc which are also LAMS approved, but not all of the larger capacity mc are approved. This is to allow the 250Lb weakling to ride a LAMS mc, so that the power:weight ratio is more even.

For an unrestricted licence holder, the alcohol limit is two standard drinks. There is a roadside screening test that will indicate if you are over 0.05 from the breath test. We have random breath testing carried out, with the only random bit being you never know when you are going to be pulled up. In case of an accident/incident, all people involved in the accident are breath tested. So even if you are shunted while stationary at a set of lights, you are still breath tested. Anything over that 0.05, and you can lose your licence, usually for a minimum of three months, plus a steep fine. If you lose your licence this way, and the operative word is "suspended", then at the end of three months, you can restart where you left off. If your licence is cancelled, then you have to go through the learning process all again! - car, truck, boat, fork lift, and tractor, not just a mc licence. A P plater is automatically suspended or cancelled, and this is for all licences, as above. There is provision for full-time imprisonment if you are a repeat offender, and usually you have to prove that your alcohol problem has been resolved by a professional before they will let you have a licence again.

Like Canada, we have a big country with not too many population centres. City drivers that never venture out to the countryside can get out of their depth very quickly, and that is why the licences are graduated. However, for example, a Japanese tourist that has never driven above 60Km/h, with an International Licence, can drive on our roads (the Japanese drive on the correct side of the road - not the right :D ), and then attempt to go to wilds of Oz, and try out their rental on two stretches of the road in the country where there are no speed limits! Sometimes the roads are void of cattle, camels, kangaroos, and pigs, so there are few problems - however, that is not always the case. I have driven this road in a RV at night, and it was only by chance that I spotted the black cattle sleeping on the black bitumen road ahead, and managed to stop in time. That brings a pucker to the pucker valve :roll:


Len in Kapunda

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HawkeyeGL1200
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Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:07 am

It appears we (Americans in general) have a far more cavalier view of driving. I recon some believe it's one of those rights they can't quite pinpoint the location of in that elusive Constitution of ours that many keep quoting without ever reading. Many can't seem to comprehend that operating a motor vehicle over public roads (how our laws are pretty much designed) isn't a right at all... it's a privileged enjoyed through a license issued by the states.

Near as I can recall, without looking it up, each state (and presumably DC and the territories) establish the rules by which people comply in order to get a license to operate Motorcycles, passengers and "light" trucks. Vehicles over (I think) 26,500 pounds maximum gross weight require a "Department of Transportation" (DOT) license. I won't swear to it without checking, but I believe the DOT endorsement is uniform from state to state because of the implications of having one of those endorsements is that you'll be operating a large motor vehicle across or potentially across state lines, which then falls under our Interstate Commerce jurisdiction.... long story shorter:

Varying by state is the age at which a person can make application for a learner's permit. When I took my learner's exam, I was 16 years old (for a 4-wheeler). Once I passed the exam, I had to wait 6 months (No log book required... of course I'm so old that paper hadn't been invented at the time), and I was only allowed to drive with another licensed driver in the vehicle during that 6 months, and then I could schedule a "road test." The road test meant you were to be at a designated place at along the road in town, and a license examiner would sit in the passenger seat and bark commands at you (Turn left, do this, do that) which you had to execute flawlessly in order to get your driver's license. The pass/fail was subjective because the examiner could write down whatever they want... no witnesses except you, and who is going to believe you afterall, when there is an authority figure saying to failed a test? Pretty girls never seemed to fail with the old me examiners and young men never passed their first attempt no matter who they had in the passenger seat... more whinging later..

In some other states, kids can get learner's at younger ages, but 16 years of age is pretty uniform I believe... I can't tell you what the rules for getting a motorcycle endorsement are today, but I can tell you that when I applied for mine, I had to have a license to operate a motor vehicle, and then I took a written test. As soon as I completed my written test, I took my "performance" test. I actually rode my motorcycle to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and after taking the written, I rode it out the test area where they made me ride a course without touching my foot down (figure 8's, tight circles, and some starts and stops... yeah, I could put my foot down at the stops) and then I went back inside to get my new license issued, to which they added a "M" for motorcycle endorsement, and I rode off into the sunset.... No one even asked me how I managed to get that motorcycle to the DMV without a license...

To be honest, I had no business riding a motorcycle on the highway for several months after getting my license endorsement. It would not surprise me to learn that someone has studied this sort of thing and has discovered that "fresh" motorcyclist(s) in the US make up an extremely high percentage of those injured or killed in crashes. Of course "Fresh" 4-wheeler drivers represent a high percentage of those involved in car crashes... so if the same were true for 2-wheelers who would say they didn't believe the numbers...

I imagine every generation (since cars became affordable) has said these new drivers can't drive... I think it has more to do with the fact that people in general are far more interested in their cell phone or "other" electronic device than it does in the potential ability of a human to be a good driver. A good driver has to know certain things and has to be able to do certain things, and at times combine the things they know with the things they're capable of doing... but above all, a good driver is a driver who is attentive, aware and engaged in the act of operating whatever it is they're driving or riding.

Motorcycles aren't invisible. Distracted drivers don't "see" many things. They drive their cars into all manner of other stationary and moving objects... sometimes at the cost of the very lives they seem so self absorbed in. I don't consume alcohol anymore. I am one of those people who can't have one or two beers. I have to try to drink all the beer... so I figured it is best I don't have the first one, and then I won't be looking for another one... so I can't tell you what the laws are regarding the consumption of alcohol. It seems some can get caught several times with little repercussion. Others get punished to the full capability of the law on the first offense, so we seem to be all over the place where punishment for breaking the law goes too...

Back to the original thought... I don't know if what "We" Americans to is adequate or not. I think if it weren't for the fees collected by Government for issuing an operator's license, there would be no test at all...
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby dingdong » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:04 am

In the USA every state is different. I am in Oklahoma and to make a long story short, I rode my bike to the DMV took a written test and then the driving (riding) test which consisted of the testing officer clipping a receiver to my collar and then following behind me giving directions as I rode around the neighborhood. The entirety of the test was just that. Riding around the neighborhood. His main concern was how observant I was, in my case wasn't, while riding. Said I didn't move my head side to side enough. Oh well!
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Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby jenagle » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:08 am

I wonder if experience isn't the only real teacher. The reason I say that, is because it seems to take at least a year of experience before drivers of any vehicle are more thoughtful and less accident prone.

Case in point, I drove an over-the-road truck for several years, and started my driving for a major named trucking company. The initial training lasted for three weeks (8 or more hours a day, seven days a week) and consisted of both classroom and practice driving. The whole training was geared toward safety, and was very intense. At the end of this period, we were taken to get our CDL licenses using company trucks for the practical driving and pre-trip testing.

After the training, we were assigned a company truck with an experienced driver to learn practical over-the-road driving, and to be able to safely get from point A to B under supervision. If the co-driver decided that you were ready, you were then assigned your own truck and started your driving career.

The whole point of this tale is to show the preparation that the beginning driver had to complete, in order to qualify to drive for this company. Of the fifty drivers at the start of the training, about five percent didn't make the cut (for one reason or another) to their own truck. At the end of one year, that group of fifty drivers had dwindled down to about five or six, for whatever reason.

In talking to drivers from different companies, the starting experiences all tend to be variations on the same theme. Intensive training, followed by supervised experience, followed by actual driving. In all cases, practical experience is the factor that makes for safer drivers.

I know that that experience has helped me to avoid many potential problems while riding my motorcycles. From pre-trip inspections, to expecting the other driver to do the wrong thing, it all boils down to being prepared to avoid trouble. Part of the initial training was the "Smith System" which is comprised of five simple rules:
1. Aim High ® In Steering (Looking further ahead than other drivers)
2. Get The Big Picture ®(Seeing more around you than other drivers)
3. Keep Your Eyes Moving ®(Being more aware than other drivers)
4. Leave Yourself An Out ®(Positioning in traffic better than other drivers)
5. Make Sure They See You ®(Making yourself more visible than other drivers)

Ride safe and enjoy for many years.

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Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:23 am

I snipped your post a lot LOL, because I wanted to add something you reminded me of... I took "Driver's Education" in school, where we spent time in class and then time on the road driving in a group, taking turns of course... but the words you posted at the bottom on your contribution to the thread brought back memories of what my Driver's Ed. teacher beat into our heads... Great words to LIVE by...

jenagle wrote:I wonder if experience isn't the only real teacher. The reason I say that, is because it seems to take at least a year of experience before drivers of any vehicle are more thoughtful and less accident prone......I know that that experience has helped me to avoid many potential problems while riding my motorcycles. From pre-trip inspections, to expecting the other driver to do the wrong thing, it all boils down to being prepared to avoid trouble. Part of the initial training was the "Smith System" which is comprised of five simple rules:
1. Aim High ® In Steering (Looking further ahead than other drivers)
2. Get The Big Picture ®(Seeing more around you than other drivers)
3. Keep Your Eyes Moving ®(Being more aware than other drivers)
4. Leave Yourself An Out ®(Positioning in traffic better than other drivers)
5. Make Sure They See You ®(Making yourself more visible than other drivers)

Ride safe and enjoy for many years.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby Old Wing Man » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:35 am

I rode motorcycles (buddies bikes) all the time as a teenager and adult (when I bought my first bike) without a license. Then at age 23 I quit riding till I was in my 50's when I again got a bike. Still no license mainly because of the testing requirements that you had to haul your bike to the DMV, or get someone with a license to ride it. I didn't have a trailer, didn't have anyone close by that I could get to ride it 20 miles to the test facility so I just never bothered getting one. I never was stopped and checked so all was good.
I bought a bike in Canada and rode it a few times without a license mainly just to get it back to my house from the dealer. Then I found out about a safety MC school where you could go and get training and after completing the course, take your certificate to get your MC endorsement for driving. Well I completed the course OK although I had to get the bigger of the bikes there, a 250CC to be able to fit on it. By this time I had been riding nothing smaller than 1100cc bikes with my last bike being a 1200 Goldwing so riding those small bikes took some getting used to. I don't think anyone could have passed that test without having some riding skills developed from actually riding a MC. We had one woman get on a little 50cc and immediately take off in a straight line screaming till she crashed it. She left it sitting there and went home. Some folks just don't belong on a bike, be it motorized or not.

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Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby harvey01 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:30 am

I just want to share a little bit of personal history. When I started riding no motorcycle license was required in VA. You were supposed to have a drivers license, but the motorcycle endorsement did not exist. I remember when the law was passed requiring some form of written test and driving test and I did head to the DMV on the first day of testing to get licensed.

The written test was easy and then we proceeded to the driving portion. All it involved was weaving through some cones on the parking lot. It had been a lot more difficult to learn to parallel park than this test. The tester admitted to me after the test that he had never ridden a motorcycle, never intended to and congratulated me for being his first person to test.
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redial
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Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby redial » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:01 pm

I see that not only that we have stringent assessments to get a licence, the Legislators have decided to introduce compulsory medicals for people over 7X (it varies by State). This applies to people with known conditions, such as diabetes, heart malfunctions, etc. It used to be that all drivers over 7X had to have a medical, then someone noticed that it was against the Federal Age Discrimination Act (of Parliament). So the 7X were excused on age grounds, EXCEPT, the holders of motorcycle and heavy vehicle licences still have to have a medical every year.

I have a heavy vehicle licence, so in this State I have to have a medical every 12 months, carried out by a Specialist (not a GP) doctor. This has not been a concern of mine, as my diabetes is in good control. However, I did not realise until recently, that a mc licence is also subject to the same requirements as a heavy vehicle licence "because of the potential damage that can occur"! How an mc can incur more damage than a heavy vehicle is still being pondered by me?

I think what they mean, is that a motorcyclist who has a diabetic episode will come off and do some damage to themselves - especially if they are 7X. This may upset their statistics, as the current figures show 1 rider 70+ died in the last 12 months, but 10 riders aged 30-39 died. This makes me a safer rider???? And it is those hoons on the crotch rockets, rather than those of us riding "Old men's bikes", that are the results of all of this focus!

Len in Kapunda

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Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby giascob » Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:15 pm

I am a physician, 62 y/o, healthy (no HTN, Diabetes, chol, prior surgeries, etc.) and so, I have the sense to "feel" that I will always be safe riding with my wife behind me. But some episodes could happen abruptly, without previous announcements. Hence, regardless the laws or regulations, we must think that there is an "important" person riding with us and, also, that "we" - people 55 years old or over - are more risk prone - than younger people - for a sudden life threatening episode (acute myocardial infarct, cerebrovascular accidents, etc.). Therefore, for our own safety, I recommend to be checked "often" by a "serious" physician. These laws and/or regulations, from a Public Health stand point, are protecting us (prevention!). Add this issue/question to your pre-trip MC check up. Greetings to all.

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Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby garwil » Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:07 am

I got my MC license in Saskatchewan Canada back in 1978. I don't know what the law is now, but back then you had to have a valid drivers license. You had to pass a written MC test which resulted in you getting a Learners MC permit. This allowed you to ride on any secondary highway or municipal road (Speed Limit under 50MPH). (This was pre-metric days) You could not carry a passenger, and could only ride during daylight hours. I don't remember the actual waiting period, but I think it was three or six months before I could take the riding exam. We were instructed to meet out by the Weigh Scale on a old cut off stretch of Hwy 2 south of Prince Albert. The Examiner had set up the course on about 100 yards of road which consisted of riding as slowly as possible down the center line, weaving through a set of cones, proceeding to the far end where you had to turn around in the width of the road and then come back the same way. If you put your foot down, knocked over a cone, failed to use your signal light at the turn, or simply weaved too much or rode to fast, you would fail. (Oh yeah, you had to toot your horn at the far end so he could tell it met regulations).

One poor sap showed up on a friends chopper. He simply could not ride it in a straight line at slow speed, and I think the bike was not physically capable of turning around in the space provided. After two attempts, the examiner told him he would not pass, so he begged one of us to let him try again on a better bike. One of the fellows agreed and on the third try, with an unmodified bike, he got his full license.

I thought at the time that it was a pretty poor exam process. However, I have changed my thoughts with experience. It takes some riding skill to ride slow many very experienced riders never learn to turn around on the average two lane highway without shoulders. In addition, I recognized right away that the examiner was simply trying to see if we had ridden enough to be able to have control. He gave that fellow three tries, and passed him in the end.

I consider the last twenty seven years and countless miles to be the real test. So far, I have passed. :P

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Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:21 am

I agree that there really needs to be some kind of process for a motorcycle rider to demonstrate that he or she can safely operate the bike before being allowed to venture off into the dangers of traffic.

Several years ago, one of the men I work with got his "M" endorsement and went out and bought himself a brand new shiny Harley Davidson motorcycle. On his VERY FIRST ride, he was following a friend down a country road (you know, to get used to the bike) and some four-wheeler got right up on his rear wheel, I suppose because my friend wasn't going very fast... My friend was fixated on the arsehole in his rear view mirror and lost sight of the fact that although this moron was tail-gating him, the most danger he faced was ahead and not behind... within a couple hundred yards, he rode the bike right off the road, hit a culvert pipe and flipped through the air and landed in a plowed field. The 4-wheeler kept right on going... hence the reason I refer to him as an arsehole, and within a couple of seconds, his riding companion realizing my friend was no longer behind him, turned around to find the bike wrecked (less than 50 miles on it) and my friend laying unconscious in the field with a compound fracture in his lower leg... The bike was NOT a total loss, but he sold it and never rode again...

I've seen several comments from people in England, Australia, Canada (probably a couple of other places I've forgotten) and in every case it appears that the US has far less rigid standards for getting a motorcycle license. One problem (here) is that there is no uniform standard between states for getting and keeping a vehicle operator's license, let alone one for Motorcycle endorsement... I believe this is one area (and I'm sure there are plenty more) where we could learn from others in ensuring a certain skill set has been mastered before loosing young folks onto highways with a very high potential for injury or death while seated on a motorcycle with no clue of how to ride it in some cases... I know I was a poor rider when I got my endorsement and fortunately have improved (slightly LOL) over the years.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby argosybob » Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:14 pm

I hadn't been on a bike in about 30 years (never licensed), and had never ridden anything larger than an late 1960's era Honda 500 when I bought my GL1100 about 14 months ago. I had that Winter to get the bike running (it was a project bike), so by Spring, I was itching to get in the saddle. I went to the DMV here in Salem, NH, took the "automated" written test, got my learners permit and hit the road. NOT the smartest thing I ever did! After a couple of days, I signed up for the MSF Basic Course.THAT was a smart move. The course really helped me un-learn a lot of bad habits I still retained after all those years. We had people in our class who had never been on a bike in their lives, some who had been riding unlicensed for years, and a guy who had a license years ago in another state and just took the course so he wouldn't have to take the practical test at the DMV. I wish I had taken that course years ago.

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Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby AnimalG » Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:49 pm

I grew up in Seattle WA and in high school, I was able to take "Driver's Education" as one of my classes when I turned 15 (latter half of 10th grade). This class had simulators that we used, along with watching films of various crashes (kind of reminded me of the old "Reefer Madness" movies to scare us straight). We would also go out in groups to drive on the road and eventually, most of us passed.

At 15.5, I was allowed to get my learner's permit. This allowed me to drive a passenger car or truck as long as there was a licensed driver over the age of 18 sitting in the front seat with me. At 16, as long as I did not have any tickets or was involved in any accidents, I could get my real license. This consisted of a driving test around the neighborhood with an inspector. Once I passed (had to do it twice-took the test in my mom's 240Z and spun the tires a few too many times), I got a full license that allowed me to drive anytime with anyone. No restrictions except for commercial vehicles.

After about a week of having my "Car" license, I figured I better get my motorcycle license since I was riding my '53 Harley to school almost daily. I took the written test and when I passed, I got my learner's permit for the motorcycle. This allowed me to ride any size bike as long as a fully licensed rider over the age of 18 was riding a bike with me. I was also allowed to schedule my riding test at the same time so I believe I took that about a week or two later.

The riding test consisted of riding in the DMV parking lot around a "cone" course. The inspector would give me instructions, set me off, and then instruct me on the next steps. I had heard from my friends that this was a course designed for small bikes so I borrowed a friend's 125cc and passed the test with no problem. I'm not sure if my Harley would have made it; some of those turns were pretty tight.

The above was all when I was 15-16. I was a bit of a wild kid back then (early '80s) and I managed to get my license suspended when I was 18 (too many speeding tickets) and did not bother to try to get my license back until the mid '90s. I still drove and rode; I just rarely got caught :D and back then, it was just a $35.00 ticket for driving while suspended.

I was in Portland OR when I decided to get my license back. The process was pretty much the same: get the car license and then the bike license. Since I was over 18, I did not need the learner's permit. At the time, I was riding a '79 GL1000 with a Vetter faring and hard saddle bags. I had to ride the bike unlicensed (me, not the bike) to the DMV for the "Cone" riding test, just like the other people and I did find it odd that the inspector never questioned how we got there, when it was obvious we were the only ones with our bikes.

I was sitting in the staging area with another person. I had my Wing on the center stand and I was sitting in the back seat with my feet up on the handlebars, wearing full leathers and looking quite relaxed when the inspector came out. The other kid (probably in his late teens or early 20s) had a crotch rocket and typical attire (shorts, t-shirt, and sneakers). The inspector looked at both of us and went to him first. He made that person demonstrate every function of his bike; horn, lights, signals, everything. Then he came over to me and asked if I had a smaller bike I could use to take the test with as the course is not designed for a full "bagger". I told him this was all I had so let's do it. He never bothered to check any of my equipment :mrgreen: I even asked if he wanted to hear my horn and he said "You look like you know what you are doing so don't bother".

Well, he gave that poor kid the riot act in the riding test but he did pass. Then it was my turn. Again, he asked me if I wanted to get a smaller bike. On with the test. I did take out a few cones and in the "hard stop" part, I went over the line by about a foot. I did pass by about 1-2 points and I even recall him asking me if I wanted to take sections over again. I didn't care. I passed and that was all I wanted.

I have been riding motorcycles since I was 4-5 years old (off and on road) and the one thing I have learned is that there are two types of riders; those that have gone down and those that will. It still amazes me to see these kids on crotch rockets wearing shorts, tank tops, flip-flops and a full face helmet. I guess the face is all they will see in the coffin anyway so kudos for the helmet :D

Things have changed here in Oregon over the last 20 years or so. I am now almost 50 and I have a friend whose daughter started riding on the back of my bike at 4 years old. She is now 16 and is getting her MC license. We now have motorcycle safety classes and I made her sign up before she gets her license. The waiting list is long so she can't get her class until this summer. I believe I have taught her well so I expect her to pass with flying colors.

Sorry for the long winded reply but this did bring back some fond memories...

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Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:35 pm

I had a similar experience when I first moved to Ohio, and had to take my Drivers and motorcycle tests over - from scratch - including the written test! No kidding, I had to take all of the tests just as if I had never had a license before.

The driver's test was a joke. Drive around the block, reverse between a set of cones. I suspect I was given an easy time of it because it was very obvious I knew how to drive.

The motorcycle test was also a joke - ride around a parking lot, stay between the lines, stop before the white line, etc. I showed up on my GL1100. There was a problem: The cornering part of the test, you had to stay within the lines. The GL1100 was long enough that it wasn't physically capable of staying within the lines when turning the corner. I could see this and mentioned it to the examiner. You were allowed to bust two of the six or so tests. He said, "well you'd better make sure you don't screw up the other parts of the test then."

Nice.

I passed the test, despite trailing my rear wheel over the line in the cornering test - no way I could not have done that.

And having passed, I was given a "novice" license (despite having ridden bikes for 17 years at that point) which prevented me from riding at night or carrying a passenger for one year.

I ignored those restrictions. :)

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littlebeaver
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Location: Kansas City, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1981 gl 1100 I , 79 Yamaha XS11
Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby littlebeaver » Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:31 pm

Years ago in 87 we moved to Chicago Il. I had to change over too, I earned a commercial license in Texas, I could drive anything, Lost it because I didn't have a vehicle to retake it in or the time to retake it.... I can't stand that policy.... I worked hard to get it in Texas and just like that it's gone...I was more than upset....I would have had to take the driving test with a large vehicle all over again... what are they thinking, brand new to town...... Retested the written for the Vehicle and motorcycle, didn't have to ride the bike or drive the car for them...... :shock:

Al Lenz
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Location: Marion,Il.
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby Al Lenz » Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:15 pm

In the spring of 1975 at the ripe old age of 23, living in Pasadena, Ca. and going to school in downtown L.A. I decided that a motorcycle would get better mileage than my old truck so I went down the street to Honda of Pasadena and bought a brand new CB550. with almost no experience on a bike I rode straight to the DMV, took the written test, rode around the cones and left with a new license that had an M on it. I then proceeded to the Pasadena freeway and headed downtown to school! A month later I loaded it up and rode it cross country to Chicago. A year later I moved back to Illinois and they automatically gave me a new Illinois license with an M on it. 39 years have gone by and I have never been tested or even questioned on it even after not riding for the 21 years my kids were growing up. I guess things are a little tighter now and that's a good thing because not everyone is lucky enough to do it the way I did without getting killed!

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dtrider
Posts: 185
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Location: Meridian, Id
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800

Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby dtrider » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:30 am

I didn't start riding until just a few years ago. Didn't really have the opportunity as a kid, and then there was no way that my wife would "allow" a motorcycle in the garage. After the C took her away I got to reinvent myself. Turns out that part of that reinvention involved getting a motorcycle. My son talked me in to going to a local dealer to see what they had and what the prices were, and while there the salesman convinced me to go take the Idaho STARS motorcycle course first. Seemed like a reasonable thing to do since I had never driven a motorcycle before.

The class took place over a weekend: Friday evening in the classroom, all day Saturday and a good chunk of Sunday in classroom and out on 250cc bikes in a parking-lot course. At the end of the course we went through a series of tests involving cornering, braking, and general handling. If we passed we were given a certificate that we could take to the DMV to get our M endorsement without having to go through the DMV road test (still had to take the written test). Somehow I not only passed, but the instructor took me aside and asked me to consider becoming an instructor. Had some problems getting my helmet on over my swelled head after that.

I feel that the class was actually pretty good. We learned how to handle a bike, and got some good info on general safety: looking ahead, planning escape routes, etc. Definitely worth the money.
Every day is a good day for a bike ride. Some days are just better than others.
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Happytrails
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Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:13 pm
Location: Tarentum, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1991 Goldwing 1500 SE

Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby Happytrails » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:35 am

Not sure if laws have changed regarding permits but used to be you could just renew your permit over and over. This is what friends and other riders I met were doing all the time. An actual licensed motorcyclist was sort of rare.

I rode for 6 months on a permit. A friend from work talked me into taking the MSF with him. It was a good experience and I gained a lot from it. Its good to see there are more advanced classes now. 26 years after I first started riding and looking back its been great but I feel like I'm still learning.

I don't think it would be a bad idea to have different learning levels to licences. For me learning how to ride is only part of what motorcyclists need to know. Another part is how to survive the streets. How to recognize potential problem drivers and situations. The earlier you can do that the more time you'll have to react. It's complicated.
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

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littlebeaver
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Location: Kansas City, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1981 gl 1100 I , 79 Yamaha XS11
Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby littlebeaver » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:20 am

When I ride I go into a certain thought process, It's the They are out to kill me thought process,, Especially out on a Interstate, nobody uses their turn signals they cut right in front of you without notice, they tailgate you in the slow lane, so you can forget about cruising without fear of this or riding the speed limit, Everyone is late, period... Even on Sunday morning they are late late late it seems.. I have learned that the only real way to beat this stuff is to be aggressive, ride to get away from them and forget about crusing to enjoy the ride unless your on a country road somewhere.... go ahead and try to go the speed limit,, Mr or Mrs Mo Jo is gonna be on your tail just wait and see.. :shock: What's even scarier is a teenage Mo Jo riding your ass.....

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HawkeyeGL1200
Posts: 918
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:53 am
Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:45 pm

I ride with the same mind-set... they're all actively trying to kill me... even the deer

I hope this will keep me alive a little while longer... you know, the self-imposed paranoia with which I ride. I slow down at intersections a little, and look both ways even if I've got a GREEN light or the stop sign is in my favor. I've seen a LOT of over the road trucks cruise through "RED" lights because they're just too heavy to stop like a car can, I guess... So, it is with a great deal of caution that I approach my daily ride or any ride that puts me in proximity of other human beings or wildlife..

I think they call it defensive driving. I call it self-preservation. Expect every other driver to do something stupid or unpredictable and then when they do it, it isn't a surprise to you.

My most hated offenders are the cell phone glued to the head people... how did they survive before the cell phone was invented? They can't put them down. There isn't anyone on the planet that I want to talk to badly enough that it can't wait until I stop... or PULL OVER to talk on the phone. While riding the bike, I can't get to my cell phone, nor can I hear it if it goes off and makes noise. I certainly don't talk on it while I drive, and if I need to send a text message, I wait until I'm stopped somewhere to do it.

I read that texting puts a person at 23 times the risk of a crash as a person who isn't texting. Personally, I'd rather drive around a drunk driver. At least most drunks are TRYING to drive...

littlebeaver wrote:When I ride I go into a certain thought process, It's the They are out to kill me thought process......What's even scarier is a teenage Mo Jo riding your ass.....
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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WingAdmin
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:16 pm

Texting while driving is an epidemic here, especially amongst younger drivers who are incapable of putting their phones down for more than a few seconds at a time.

Anytime I see a car drifting out of its lane, then suddenly swerving back, I'll approach with caution - 9 times out of 10 the driver is still looking down at their phone as I pass them.

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CWJ73
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 8:41 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500SE

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1983 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1999 Suzuki SV650S (sold)
1982 GL1100I Interstate (sold)

Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby CWJ73 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:14 pm

I am of the opinion that all drivers/riders should be required to take a road test and/or driver training course in order to renew their license. Everyone starts out with the best intentions to be the best driver around and eventually, slowly, bad habits set in, but they still think they are the best driver on the road. A little additional education and testing can improve driving ability.

WingAdmin wrote:Anytime I see a car drifting out of its lane, then suddenly swerving back, I'll approach with caution - 9 times out of 10 the driver is still looking down at their phone as I pass them.


That remaining 1 time out of 10, if there are no little kids in the car, the driver was probably looking at their phone and you just did not see it :P

I prefer to remain behind, well behind, these types of drivers. The last thing I want is to have this driver looking at their cell phone, instead of me, as they roll up on me from behind. I cant control where this driver is going, but I can control where I go if they crash or cause some sort of problem in front of me. I also do this with my other favourite driver, the impaired driver. That is of course when I am not in my patrol car. If I am, well I still stay behind them but they are not going to be driving for much longer...

It's always safer to have the dangerous, distracted, impaired, etc drivers in front of you than it is to have them behind you.
Craig

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WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17046
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:56 pm

That's true - but due to their distraction, they are usually travelling much slower than the flow of traffic. I'll give them a wide berth, get past them, and get some distance between me and them.

Down here in Ohio, you get a ticket for texting while driving. It hasn't stopped (or even curtailed) it from what I can tell, but at least the police do have that option - but they first have to see you doing it.




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CWJ73
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 8:41 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500SE

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1983 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1999 Suzuki SV650S (sold)
1982 GL1100I Interstate (sold)

Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby CWJ73 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:23 pm

WingAdmin wrote:That's true - but due to their distraction, they are usually travelling much slower than the flow of traffic. I'll give them a wide berth, get past them, and get some distance between me and them.

Down here in Ohio, you get a ticket for texting while driving. It hasn't stopped (or even curtailed) it from what I can tell, but at least the police do have that option - but they first have to see you doing it.






We have a 'distracted driving' law as well in Alberta. It covers many distraction while driving including cell phones, GPS, eating, etc. I'm not sure how often it gets used as it can be difficult to catch people in the act. Everyone is pretty aware of police here.

That video is great. I wish we had undercover/unmarked motor cops. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel for them.
Craig

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DarthJ
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:47 pm
Location: El Paso, TX
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: Licensing of Riders

Postby DarthJ » Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:33 pm

Here in TX, they require you to take the MSF Basic course. The DMV no longer gives a practical exam since the course gives a better practical than they could. Once we finished the course, a bunch of us went right over, passed the written exam, and got licensed. Three years later, traded my 750 Shadow for the GL1500, was finally ready for it.


If my gal ain't happy, I ain't happy. Thank God she loves bikes.


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