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The great disparity in obtaining your Motorcycle Driver's license depending on which country you want to get it... share your experience!


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I got my Motorcycle's drivers license at 16 years old.

I learned on a Honda CB 350. The exam took exactly 3 minutes tops.

A freezing January, temperatures below 32F, the inspector keen on testing candidates in heated cars. I was the sole aspiring motorcyclist that day.

He asked me to go up the street, changing gears, make a U turn without putting my foot on the ground, come back gear down and stop at his level.

That was it. I was legally entitled to purchase a Kawasaki H2, or a Honda CB 750! sorry; back then, the Moto Guzzi California was not on my list...

Since then, things have changed though...

You need to be 18, and the driving skills inspection requires that you really learn to manage your bike. And because it is a points system, it is very easy to fail. Note that I was skilled enough to have done a lot more if the inspector had wanted me to. I guess that if the exam at taken place in summer, it would have been different.

Anyways, I also own a License from Texas to drive cars and motorcycles, and incidentally serves as legal proof of identification. For those of you from Europe, a driver's license is usually not a proof of identity. In the USA, it is.

Is it difficult to get your Motorcycle Driver's License in Texas? I have no clue. I am a citizen of the three foreign countries that do not require a test to get their license in Texas. One of them Canada, the other two European.

Pop Quiz:

Without looking, can you guess which two European countries can get a car and/or motorcycle driver's license by simply showing their foreign ones?

So, tell me:

-How easy/difficult is it to get your Motorcycle's drivers' license in your country/state?

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  • p6x changed the title to The great disparity in obtaining your Motorcycle Driver's license depending on which country you want to get it... share your experience!

In Indiana, easy. It's an endorsement "M" to the drivers license.  Once you get the M, you keep it. If you are applying for it, you need to take a M test at the BMV. They give you a manual and take the test (written) and then a physical rider test. You show up to a parking lot with a small group and an official and do some tricks that I would describe as maneuvers to show you can handle a bike. I moved out of state for awhile and let my M lapse so I had to take the rider test in 1993. It was a joke really. The rider portion of the test could be averted by taking a MSF course through the AMA.  

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One of the test to get your M license is controlled braking: you have to reach a given speed, start braking at a specific point, and immobilize the bike with the front wheel between two cones. Seems to be an easy one. But when you train, they vary the speed, and the braking distance so you don't get into a routine. Up to the emergency braking with and without ABS, on dry and wet asphalt. Zig zags between cones at various speeds and spacing is good too.

I am going to do the Texas motorcycle safety course just to check if I still have it.

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Was no M/C endorsement when I got my first driver's license. Couple of years later, non-biker legislators decided that they needed more money and invented a M/C endorsement. Was grandfathered in, so have never taken the test. Oh, at renewal, they ding you for the M/C "endorsement" alright.

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5 minutes ago, po18guy said:

Was no M/C endorsement when I got my first driver's license. Couple of years later, non-biker legislators decided that they needed more money and invented a M/C endorsement. Was grandfathered in, so have never taken the test. Oh, at renewal, they ding you for the M/C "endorsement" alright.

In Europe, previously, you could ride up to 125cc with just your car driver's license. You also need an endorsement nowadays.

To me, the biggest ripoff is the obligation to get a so-called "inspection". Motorbike owners don't take risks with poorly maintained bikes, because their lives are at play.

And to register the Le Mans in Texas, I need to get the inspection here. Even if it was already inspected in Florida.

 

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Got my licence at 14.  Then I got my car licence at 16 and there was no separate motorcycle endorsement then.   Moved to Texas many years later, got my licence and needed an endorsement.  Had to take a complete exam and riding test.  

During the test, the examiner would follow me and I had to turn left on a honk and right on two honks (or vice versa).  Anyway turned the wrong way and flunked on the spot.   A month or so later, went to another exam station across town, dang if I didn't get the same examiner!  During that test, I was driving through a stop light intersection, and I'll be dang if a group folks jay walked right in front me me, then it was dilemma whether to stop or ease through them.  I eased through and waited on the examiner.  I tried to explain myself but he waved me away while he tallied the score.  Somehow I had passed.

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5 hours ago, p6x said:

One of the test to get your M license is controlled braking: you have to reach a given speed, start braking at a specific point, and immobilize the bike with the front wheel between two cones. Seems to be an easy one. But when you train, they vary the speed, and the braking distance so you don't get into a routine. Up to the emergency braking with and without ABS, on dry and wet asphalt. Zig zags between cones at various speeds and spacing is good too.

I am going to do the Texas motorcycle safety course just to check if I still have it.

Sounds like my riding test. I did it on a shovelhead Harley low rider. Not the best choice. Others have used smaller, easier to maneuver bikes for the test.  The MSF course is likely the way to go.

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1 hour ago, footgoose said:

Sounds like my riding test. I did it on a shovelhead Harley low rider. Not the best choice. Others have used smaller, easier to maneuver bikes for the test.  The MSF course is likely the way to go.

Wow.... if you got that done on a "no brakes" Harley, you are a hero! but it proves that it is just a matter of getting use to what you ride on.

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On 12/29/2020 at 9:21 AM, p6x said:

In Europe, previously, you could ride up to 125cc with just your car driver's license. You also need an endorsement nowadays.

To me, the biggest ripoff is the obligation to get a so-called "inspection". Motorbike owners don't take risks with poorly maintained bikes, because their lives are at play.

And to register the Le Mans in Texas, I need to get the inspection here. Even if it was already inspected in Florida.

 

Moto Inspections cost a whopping $7 bucks in Houston...MPH did my inspections for years but any car place can do them as well.  Sometimes where I take my cars they don’t even charge me for the 3 Guzzi inspections

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/28/2020 at 9:53 PM, footgoose said:

In Indiana, easy. It's an endorsement "M" to the drivers license.  Once you get the M, you keep it.  

I moved from Pennsylvania to Indiana.  PA used the M endorsement to indicate a need for corrective lenses. which I need.  When I went to the DMV in Indiana to switch my Pa license over, the cute girl behind the counter looked at my license with the M endorsement and said, "Oh, you have a motorcycle endorsement?"  I said yes.  

Never took the test.

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On 12/30/2020 at 2:21 AM, p6x said:

In Europe, previously, you could ride up to 125cc with just your car driver's license. You also need an endorsement nowadays.

To me, the biggest ripoff is the obligation to get a so-called "inspection". Motorbike owners don't take risks with poorly maintained bikes, because their lives are at play.

And to register the Le Mans in Texas, I need to get the inspection here. Even if it was already inspected in Florida.

 

Really, you haven't spent much time in motorcycle repair shops obviously. Do you think the fool riding his bike around in shorts, singlet and thongs has any better idea of mechanical maintenance than safety awareness?

Some of the mechanical sights I have seen.

Ciao

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