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Basic traning?

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  • Basic traning?

    On the threads I've seen so far on this forum, I am a little stunned by what people think is a problem - this makes me curious on how the driver qualification program works on your side of the pond...

    I might start with describing how it works in Norway - so that you might better understand why I'm "stunned"

    The age for Car and for MC is 18 years old - you might start training when you are 16, with qualified co-driver, and a "basic traffic qualification course" (only theory classes)
    When you are 16 you might drive a moped (50ccm) after a basic training course (theory and driving) or a light MC (125ccm) after a MC training cource (theory, driving + theory test and driving test)

    When 18 - you might take a driving licence for Car, and or MC - usually this is done at a driving school - and cost about $4-5000 per lisence. (theory, driving + theory test and driving test)

    If you are bellow the age of 21 and have a MC licence - you are only allowed to drive a "intermediate" MC (power of engine must not exceed 34hp) - until you have had the license for two years.

    The MC drivers course is based in 4 "steps" - where you are required to take some classes for each step.

    I took the theory exams before I took the theory course (!) - but I still needed to do the class. (Theory is step 1 - and required by law to be no less than 7hrs - my class was 15)

    Step 2 is closed area training (some things you need to be able to do with the bike, like getting it on the main stand (and back), doing a "slalom" at below walking speed - making a left and right 180degree turn in 40kmh and stopping from 50kmh with max stopping distance) - also what to look for in checking that the bike is safe for traffic and maintained correctly.

    Step 3 is city driving - with signs, placement, risk and start stop in traffic

    In between step 3 and 4 there is a mandatory "track day" - it's done on a racing track, but is not racing training.

    Step 4 is a touring class (one whole day of driving)

    And you need both theory and final practical exams. - and many choose to have a number of driving classes before each step.

    Norway has probably one of the most expensive and strict drivers qualification programs in the world, and this is beyond me why the law is the way it is - but It seems fair to have some level of qualifying program for a potentially lethal "toy" like a MC.

    Anyone like to explain how it is in your country (not only USA) - or anyone like to comment/questions on "our" DQP (Drivers Qualifying Program)?

  • #2
    It can vary State to State here in the United States.

    But most states seem to be the same, although some have stepped up laws for motorcycle licensing programs.

    Here in Virginia:

    When you turn 16 you can go to the local DMV and take a written test (done on on the computer at the DMV) and if you pass that, you take your driving test. If you pass that, you get a license.

    For Motorcycle, you must be 16. You take a written test on the computer. If you pass that you receive your Motorcycle Permit. This says you must be riding 'with' a licensed rider over the age of 21. So they must be riding in proximity of you while you are out riding with a permit. I've rarely seen this enforced.

    After receiving your permit, within 6 months you must take a rider's test at your local DMV. If you pass that you get your unrestricted 'M' classification on your license, and you are not restricted in any way they type / size of motorcycle you can ride.

    The test is VERY basic....

    Also here in Va, if you take a MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) class, you can show that certificate at the DMV and you don't have to take the driving test. You can just apply for and get your Motorcycle license.


    • #3
      In Ontario, Canada, a graduated lisence sytem was introduced several years ago. The motor vehicle (car) is different then a MC by dates only as the MC season is short.

      At 16 you can apply for your lisence by means of a written test. For MC it is a 90 day permit called the M1. Inside of the first 90 days you must graduate to a level of M2. With an M1 permit you cannot drive on highways with speeds greater then 80 km/hr, you cannot ride with a passenger, you must have a zero blood alcohol level, you cannot ride 30 minutes before dusk or 30 minutes after dawn.

      You can graduate to you M2 permit by attending an MSF course (usually a 3 day course - one night time theory class followed by 2 days of practical classes) or by booking your practical exam with the ministry of transportation. When you have acheived your M2 all the stipulations to the M1 are dropped except that you must still have a blood alcohol level of zero.

      You then have 5 years to 'exit' from your M2 permit to a full M permit. If you have taken an MSF course with an accredited provider, you may graduate to a full M permit after only 22 months.

      You can graduate to the M permit by taking another MSF course or going directly to the ministry. The M permit is acheived by performing a 40 - 60 minute road test on surface streets, main streets and highways. You are equipped with a hearing piece and followed by a qualified examiner that gives you instructions over a 2 way radio.

      In all cases you are not restricted by horsepower or by a cc rating.
      R.I.P. Marc


      • #4
        Interesting - sounds like Canada (is this the same for all of Canada?) and Australia has similar system, but in Australia there is a power to weight ratio limit on a M1/M2 licence. (This miht have changed lately).

        Our lagal blood alcohol level for all vehicles is 0,2‰ - the reason for not being 0,0‰ is fault tolerance with breathalyzers...

        Our driving test is done with the examiner on the back of the bike (as is also the case for all road training - I can't imagine how Norwegian MC instructors get a life insurance or how they get motivated for a new season of lessons - this is a high risk profession)

        (as a bonus, you will be able to take a new sportsbike for a spin from the dealer if you have a permit, and look decent)


        • #5
          i feel florida is possibly the easiest place to get a license. for cars, you can get your learners permit at 15, take a test online, dont even need to take it at the DMV. but it's more than one test. you take a 4 hour "class" about alcohol and drug awareness, and a short test. i just let my browser go for each section till the time ran out, everything covered i had already learned in my health class at school. then you take the road rules test, 20 questions, easy. then 20 question sign test, to make sure you know what a stop sign looks like. print out the paper saying you passed, take it to the DMV, get your permit. you must hold that for 1 year, then at 16, and with permit for a year, go to DMV, take drivers test. you don't even leave the parking lot. pass the test, get license. and im completely serious about not leaving the parking lot. the whole test takes about 15 mins, and you don't deal with traffic in any way.

          for MC, you must be 16, and it varies. under 21, you cannot get a permit, and must take the MSF course. then take the card in and get a new license with the endorsement on it. no restrictions. if you're over 21 you can get a permit, and either take the MSF course or take the skills test at the DMV, although i had heard they changed it to where they require everyone, regardless of age, to take the MSF course, idk though. but yeah, that's florida for ya.
          2004 Katana
          GO OWLS!!!


          • #6
            It sounds dangerously easy to get a license... What is MSF course, what is included in this course?


            • #7
              Motorcycle Safety Foundation. they are a major organization here in the states. they developed a course they call the Basic Rider Course (BRC). some states offer it for free, others don't. but basically it's a course they developed, which is then administered by a states local motorcycle training organization. it covers all the basics to safe motorcycle riding. it has about 10 hours of classroom instruction with a 50 question multiple choice test, and 10 hours of on bike course riding followed with a skills test. it's not a very difficult course to complete, but it is very in depth, and covers everything a beginner rider needs to know. i took the course a year ago having never ridden a motorcycle before. after the classroom portion, when we got to the on bike training, they had everyone in the class riding within an hour. and from there we just kept practicing stuff, weaving through cones, very low speed clutch control, cornering, emergency stops, etc.

              all in all it's a great requirement for getting a motorcycle license.

              EDIT: on a side note...

              it is definitely by far much easier to get a license here in the states because personal transportation is such a major part of life here. just about EVERYONE gets a license, so they try to make it cheap and easy for people to get their licenses. public transportation is nowhere near what it is in europe except in major cities like new york, chicago and so on. and even then, once you're outside of those cities, it goes from sparse, to non existent. so it's very important for people to have their own vehicle, even if it's only for non-commute use, or driving to the nearest train station to then travel into the major city where they work. down here in florida, public transportation is a joke, so everyone drives without question pretty much. so it's all about getting as many people through the test as quickly as possible as opposed to making sure they actually know how to properly operate a vehicle. it's a shame though, because people are very dangerous behind the wheel here. it's TOO easy to get a license.
              Last edited by SilentTJ; 03-23-2009, 12:57 PM.
              2004 Katana
              GO OWLS!!!


              • #8
                That course sounds OK to me... - That level of training is needed to be able to handle a complex high power machine like a bike is today... My driving instructor said it like this : I just hope I gave you enough knowledge that I don't have to read about you in the local newspaper...


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SchOX View Post
                  It sounds dangerously easy to get a license...
                  It is . And I've been complaining about it for a while now .
                  I am a fluffy lil cuddly lovable bunny , dammit !

                  Katrider's rally 2011 - md86


                  • #10
                    In Quebec (also in canda but different laws then Ontario) for a car .. written exam at 16 then either 12 months probabition (cannot drive alone) or 10 months if you took a driving class ... after the probabation you take a dirver's exam at the SAAQ (our DMV) and then you get for 2 years a full license but with only 3 points on it ( 1 ticket and you're screwed) and 0 tolerance for alcohol. After the 2 years ... full regular permit.

                    As for bikes ... again at 16. Menditory course .. 1st part is for passing the theory exam at the SAAQ that gives you a 6T permit .. it is only good for your riding classes ... 32 hours of classes (practical but in a closed environnement) and then 4 hours on the road. Once you pass you classes you go back to the SAAQ to get your 6B license ... it is a closed circuit exam and for the next 7 months you can only ride with a buddy and cannot take any passengers on. After those 7 months you again go to the SAAQ and pass the final exam on the road .. that finally gives you your full 6A. Only restriction is if you pass the final exam with a motorcycle under 400CC then you are limited to 400 on your full permit but if you take that final exam (on a Kat 750 in my case) I got the full permit ... I can go and buy a Busa is I want to !
                    Try and keep up now


                    • #11
                      Arizona was painfully easy to get on a bike. I don't know about the < 18 year restrictions but if you're 18 or older you go down take a written test and then you can go out and ride any type of motorcycle on city streets during daylight hours without a passanger.

                      You could go back later that day (if you wanted) and take the skills course, which includes a slow speed slalom, slow u-turn, speed up, then break, and "accident avoidence" where you choose which direction to swerve. Each test must be completed within a set time and points are deducted for putting your foot down. All this said I passed putting my foot down at least 4 times, and missing a few on the slalom. I would have failed me that day then let the kid practice on the course to re-test the next day.

                      After passing that course you can ride unrestricted on any motorcycle. It is far to easy to get a drivers licence and in turn a motorcycle licence.
            , we've got dumb answers!


                      • #12
                        One interesting point to this is must be, if you have a "local" driving licence, are you able to use it as a international driving licence?
                        We get a International Driving Licence at once (with some restrictions if you have special requirements, like being under 21yo with class "A" bike licence. - missing night driving class etc.)

                        "A1" being light MC (125ccm)
                        "M" = Moped
                        "B" - Car up to 3,5tonns ("BE" = Car with trailer)
                        "C1" - Car/light truck up to 7,5tonns ("C1E" = Light truck with trailer)
                        "C" - Truck (no weight limit) ("CE" - You get the picture...)
                        "D1" - Minibuss up to 12 seats (+E)
                        "D" - Buss - no weight/seat limit (+E)
                        "S" - Snowmobile
                        "T" - Tractor (Always with implied "E")

                        If you take the licence for car during the summer, you are required to take a night/dark driving class the following winter (it does not get dark during the night in the summer)


                        • #13
                          Man you all must have had it hard. I got my permit at 14, could ride any bike up to 125cc, no passengers, and only during daylight. At 16 got my regular license and could ride ANYTHING I wanted anytime I wanted. This was in Oklahoma. Didn't even need an endorsement at 16, I could ride/drive anything but a big rig. This has changed a bit, now you have to have a motorcycle endorsement there to ride. We got it easy in the US.

                          Originally posted by jetmerritt
                          Save up for great gear and dress for the fall before you ride. If you can't afford good quality gear, don't ride. It's like saying you can't afford seat belts for your car. There are just no laws to make gear mandatory.


                          • #14
                            You guys talking about how easy it is in YOUR states .Here's what I did to get MINE .....
                            SHow up , 20 question test (which I ACED for both car AND bike) , get your picture taken . Now you're legal . The actual road/skills test is ALMOST as easy . I passed my car one after "learning" for a week driving back & forth to work with my stepdad . 1st try . Cake . Bike test was much the same . But MANY don't even bother taking the road test for that little "M" , and just renew their permits every year . So basically , take a 20 question test , and you can ride/drive anything you want .
                            I am a fluffy lil cuddly lovable bunny , dammit !

                            Katrider's rally 2011 - md86


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SchOX View Post

                              Our lagal blood alcohol level for all vehicles is 0,2 - the reason for not being 0,0 is fault tolerance with breathalyzers...
                              You HAVE to mean 0.02, right? 0.2 Would mean that 20% of your blood would be booze, which would be great for any local vampires if they could catch you before your liver exploded.
                              OR, maybe you guys are just way more hardcore than us. >=o)

                              "People rike me. Because I force them to. With viorence!"
                              -Travis of the Cosmos