Getting a motorcycle license is one of the most essential tasks that must be completed before riding a motorcycle. A lot of beginners wonder how hard it is to get a motorcycle license.
Of course one of the best feelings in life is streaking down highways at a hundred miles per hour with the wind roaring behind you, but to fully embrace that elation certain things need to be kept in check.
Like countless other men who embrace the open road as a way of life for generations, you too have decided to join in on the action by being a motorcycle rider.
But before you can experience that feeling, you need to cover the basic rule which is getting your official motorcycle driving license.
In this article, we’ll be exploring in-depth the process of getting a motorcycle license and while it may seem trivial thanks to technology and a lax set of rules (in most cases) imposed by the government, obtaining a license depends entirely upon how prepared you are.
In most countries today, once you turn 17 or 18 you become eligible for a driver’s license. After preparing for the written test, practice for a few hours, give the physical test and get your license. Since most countries issue a motorcycle license with the vehicle (car) license, it becomes a lot more convenient for motorcyclists.
After receiving your driver’s license you can attempt a written test specifically designed for motorcyclists. Upon passing the test you’re officially sanctioned to ride your bike.
We’ll take you through this process by breaking it down and providing insights along the way.
How hard is it to get a motorcycle license?
Getting a motorcycle license is not hard at all. In most countries getting a motorcycle license is quite easy as you require minimal practice. Both the physical and written components of a motorcycle license test examine basic knowledge and skills.
A motorcycle driving license is a certified government issue document that grants permission to the applicant on operating and driving a motorcycle (a seated vehicle with no more than three wheels) within the laws and regulations of the state, territory or country.
Depending on where you are, most motorcycle permits/licenses are a breeze. In European nations like Germany, France, and Finland, applicants undertake rigorous and sometimes exhaustive steps to obtain their driver’s license.
In North America and particularly in the US, each citizen becomes eligible to obtain an unrestricted driver’s license once they turn 16 or 17. As there are different classes of licenses, the standard license for the average citizen is the unrestricted license which allows you to operate both cars and motorcycles.
Having said that, regional laws differ from state to state where certain licenses such as chauffer’s licenses have to be taken separately in some US states.
Today, if you’re in need of a motorcycle license just check out your local area’s department of motor vehicles office and in some cases even the authorized dealerships of Harley Davidson, Triumph and Yamaha offer testing services where you can take the test, pass the physical course and get your license.
Having prior knowledge and sufficient practice are the only things you need in acquiring a motorcycle license. In the majority of cases, driving license tests are considerably easy to pass, it just boils down to how focused you are when taking the test.
What’s involved in a motorcycle riding test?
A motorcycle riding test assesses your ability in handling a motorcycle which involves the following skills: starting, turning, accelerating and braking. In the riding test, road cones are used to test your ability to manoeuvre your motorcycle.
When applying for a motorcycle license visit the local department of motor vehicles/road authority in your state/county.
You need to complete the following steps to get a motorcycle license:
- Give a written test based on road safety and traffic regulations.
- Practice learning how to ride a motorcycle.
- Give the physical test.
After passing the test you’ll be issued a learner’s permit and where upon completion of the mandatory hours of driving within your state/country you can then get your motorcycle license and operate larger motorcycles.
Because of the lax laws in countries like the US and Canada, you can easily get a 600cc motorcycle/moped as long as you have the license to show for it.
Let’s say you’re in your mid-thirties and you already have a driver’s license, it’s safe to assume that you’ve got a ton of driving hours under your belt (more so if you’re a truck driver) and now that you plan on getting a motorcycle license, it won’t be that difficult for you. You’ll just have to pass a written test and be on your way, that’s pretty much it.
Whereas if you’re starting from scratch when it comes to motorcycles, you should be prepared to grind out the hours, have a clear understanding of the rules, and how to handle yourself in tricky situations on the road.
Is the motorcycle driving test hard?
The motorcycle driving test is quite easy if you know how to ride, handle, and manoeuvre your motorcycle. Most motorcyclists are able to pass the motorcycle driving test in three attempts or less which shows that the test is relatively easy.
When applying for a motorcycle license and after passing the written exam, an applicant must undertake sufficient hours of practice to prepare themselves for the physical course. The applicants are tested for their knowledge of road signs, manoeuvring abilities, speed limits, parking control and obstacle handling.
During the test, if the applicant displays due skills in all required fields, they pass the test and become a certified motorcycle rider.
If you know how to ride a bicycle and have spent many days pedalling away on the streets in your area then this will come quite naturally to you. It’s only a matter of paying attention to road signs and making sure you don’t hit anyone while riding motorcycles.
However, if you’ve had difficulty in the past in handling motorcycles or can’t keep your balance while riding then maybe getting a motorcycle license isn’t meant for you. Motorcycles are an easy, economical and time-saving option to get around places but only if you know the proper way to handle them.
Most new riders, especially teenagers eager to get their license lack the essential knowledge of which bike is the right one for them.
Any motorcycle within the 50 – 150cc range is a good option to start with when it comes to training and getting your feelers out. Find a training centre or pair up with a friend who can guide you on the correct way of practising so that you can be confident and prepared enough when you have to take the physical course.
Is the motorcycle written test hard?
The motorcycle written test is also quite easy to pass. The rules and regulations will be complied with in a booklet/manual by the licensing authority. For the written test the questions will be straightforward and easy to solve.
All applicants must take a written test when applying for either a driving or motorcycle license. Most written tests are mandated by state laws (and federal in some cases) where applicants are tested on safe-driving practices for motorcycle riders, traffic control signs, rules of the road and licensing information in a 25-30 question format. The applicants must have cleared the written test before they can take the physical test.
Every training centre or your local department of motor authority/control has an updated set of rules regarding road and traffic safety. You can either get them down at their office or download them from their website.
These booklets/manuals outline the meaning of various traffic signals, which roads to avoid, which ones you can pass through, and the things you should be aware of when driving a motorcycle. They also highlight the different types of licenses available.
The booklets are self-explanatory, in fact, most training centres also provide visual aids such as videos about the rules and regulations. This allows applicants to get a clearer understanding and be better prepared for the test.
If you have difficulties in comprehending or memorizing for the test, you can always reach out to a friend/family member help you prepare for the test.
Alternatively, you can find apps that provide practice questions and tests. These apps can make the monotonous process of memorizing traffic laws fun and interesting.
How much should you practice for a motorcycle test?
You should set aside 5-10 hours to practice for the written component of the motorcycle test. Practising for the riding component should take between 30-50 hours. Overall, you should practice 40-60 hours for the motorcycle test.
Upon passing the written exam, all applicants must undertake a select number of hours for practice or get adequate training/practice from a training centre within their area.
When appearing for the physical course, all applicants will be tested upon their skills of motorcycle handling, brake control, speed limits, road and traffic rules.
The only way to ensure that you get your motorcycle license on the first try is when you’ve done your due share of practice. A good rider is one who knows how to handle his motorcycle without panicking when it gets dangerous on the road.
Your concentration is key to being a good rider. Go easy on the throttle, don’t jam your brakes and keep using your mirrors at all times. You got this!
How to practice for a motorcycle driving test?
All motorcycle physical tests are conducted on a closed course i.e the premises of the local department of motor vehicle authority.
When practising for the test, applicants should also have sufficient knowledge of safety gear, inspecting a bike, and road signals.
If you don’t have a motorcycle to practice driving, don’t worry. There are several ways you can complete your practice hours.
Borrow a bike from a friend or family member. You must know someone who is willing to lend their bike for a couple of weekends for you to practice.
Alternatively goes to a training centre where they’ll provide you with a training bike and guidance on controlling it.
Other than that you can also go down to the local motorcycle dealership where they have loaner bikes which you can rent for a small fee.
Always keep a calm and rational head when learning how to ride motorcycles, they can be fun and thrilling to ride but one little slip-up can cost you your life or somebody else’s.
To keep a check of how to practice for the motorcycle riding test, remember the following:
- Understand and memorize all traffic and road safety rules especially those which are applicable to motorcyclists.
- Use a smaller motorcycle to practice (50 – 150cc)
- Learn how to properly inspect a motorcycle from a friend or an experienced rider.
- Wear your motorcycle helmet, gloves, jacket, pads and riding boots when practising.
- Practice during daylight hours
- Practice alone.
- If you’re taking a motorcycle training course at a centre then follow their instructions carefully
- Study your motorcycle handbook.
- Keep your eyes on the road and maintain focus at all times
How do you pass the motorcycles skills test?
A motorcycles skills test is mandatory for every applicant in order to get their official motorcycle license. Once the applicant has completed their designated hours of practice, they have to show up at their assigned day and time for the physical test.
Each applicant is tested on their motorcycle controls, bike equipment, registration as well as motorcycle manoeuvres, turns, braking abilities and wearing safety gear. If the applicant checks all of these during the test they qualify to become a licensed motorcycle driver.
As mentioned in the list above, the following need to be considered at all times to pass the physical test:
- Be punctual on your test date.
- Bring ID and learner’s permit documents with you
- Bring your own bike or one that you have practised on this entire time .
- Listen to the examiner’s instructions when giving the test.
- Don’t jam your brakes.
- Keep the speed as instructed by the signs on the course.
- Be smooth whilst making sharp turns on the course.
- Make sure your motorcycle is in perfect working condition.
- Wear your safety gear at all times.
“Love is the feeling you get when you like something as much as your motorcycle.” – Hunter S Thompson.
Getting your motorcycle license is a piece of cake in most countries. As a result, a lot of motorcyclists feel that getting a motorcycle license is useless.
Getting a motorcycle license is definitely worth it as it adequately prepares motorcyclists about road safety and traffic rules and regulations which helps reduce the number of accidents and casualties and improves overall safety