How to get your motorcycle license

You probably wondered "How can I get my motorcycle license"

Each state has different laws, but a lot of this is in common.

The first thing I did was to go to the registry of Motor Vehicles in Massachusetts.
I applied for and took the learners permit test in one visit.

I went to the desk, after waiting in line for 15 minutes, and told the woman what I was there for. I asked for and was given a book of the info that I had to learn for the test.

I am a smart guy, so I figured that I could learn it all in the time I had to wait for the test.

She gave me a ticket with a number, and I was told to wait. Motorcycle License - Partial view  - Notice The DM in the black circle on the license.

That means the D is a regular license with an M motorcycle license added to it.

I walked over to the benches and sat with a bunch of other folks who were there for various RMV business.

 Opening the book I focused on the material at hand and read it all quickly then reviewed the whole thing. I have an automobile drivers license (class D), so most of it was redundant.

The reading and memorization went on until they finally called my number (at least a half hour). There is a testing booth where I took the computerized test. I forgot how many questions there were, but I aced it (100%).

There was another waiting period, and I was called to a desk where the nice lady gave me my motorcycle learners permit. She did her thing on her computer, and it spit it out of a paper printer.

Of course, it doesn't really fit well in a wallet. It's good for 2 years.
Later, I met a guy who swore that he got his permit 6 times and never took the road test.

Almost one year later...

I went for my motorcycle license road test today. I waited a half hour. Surprisingly there was no written part or any barrage of questions.

A really nice registry official told me to drive over to a secluded spot behind some commercial strip mall.

He inspected my motorcycle (a 1980 Honda Goldwing). Lights - high beam, front and rear turn signals, brake light and whatever he may have noticed without telling me.

I asked him if he rode, and he said no. Hmm, I guess he only has to know what to look for.

Then he told me the routine.
He walked me through the area and told me where the boundaries were for the first part of the test.

The area was about 60 feet long and about 40 feet wide.

I had to drive in a circle starting from the right and go twice around. Then the same from the left and go twice around.

He asked me to demonstrate the hand signals for left turn - right turn and stop or slow down.

The he pointed out a long section of the lot and told me I would drive to the end and during the drive I would shift up a gear then demonstrate the hand signals then downshift and stop.

Then turn around and come back toward him shifting up a gear and down a gear and stopping near where he stood.

He then told me that I passed, and warned me to be careful driving.

I didn't kiss him, but I was very pleased and shook his hand. It would have been embarrassing if I'd failed.

Here is a useful acronym: SPIDER
Scan - Predict - Identify - Decide - Execute - Rely (Part of the test)

Here's a tip:
When you start on a hill - use the rear brake to hold the position so you can use the throttle more effectively.

Here's a link that's useful.
The manual for Massachusetts.

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The Author - Roger Chartier