Need to use a gas bike w/ transmission to pass motorcycle skills test?

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reikiman
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Need to use a gas bike w/ transmission to pass motorcycle skills test?

Saw this question pop up on a different forum.

Say you have an electric motorcycle - it most likely does not have a transmission, no clutch, etc. Most of the normal motorcycle controls aren't present. But the state will require you to have motorcycle certification to know you're safe to go on high speed roads. Hence you have to pass the motorcycle skills test.

The motorcycle skills test was set up to require you know how to manipulate clutch, gears, etc of a "normal" motorcycle. That is, a gas bike.

It's superfluous to require knowing that stuff if you're only going to ride an electric motorcycle, right? So should the state require you to pass the gas motorcycle centric skills exam? Or should they come up with an electric motorcycle skills exam?

On the other hand just because you have an electric motorcycle today doesn't mean that tomorrow you'll buy a gas one, at which point you'll need to know how to shift gears and use the clutch.

And of course low speed maneuvering is important regardless of gas or electric.

What do people think?

robert93
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Re: Need to use a gas bike w/ transmission to pass ...

That would also be a hard test to pass with a Hondamatic transmission, or other automatic bike. The annoying part is, you would be required to provide your own bike for the test. If I owned a bike, I sure would not let it out to anyone even for a testing certification. It seems in many ways the electric bikes are going to eventually force the licensing agencies to think outside of the box. Why do I feel impending doom with that possibility????

antiscab
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Re: Need to use a gas bike w/ transmission to pass ...

in my area,

there is a category for an automatic bike licence, in the same way there is a category for an automatic bike licence.

If you go for that type of licence, you can only ride automatic bikes though.

would that not be available everywhere?

a 125cc manual is almost un heard of, but can still get to freeway speeds.
aprilla even makes 600cc automatics.

Matt

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2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah in July 2010. Done 194'000km

MikeB
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Re: Need to use a gas bike w/ transmission to pass ...

I passed my State of Georgia test on a 250cc Honda Reflex scooter. No clutch, no gears. The important part was demonstrating maneuvering at slow speed, even a regular gas bike probably would never have gotten out of 1st gear. (I later took the MSF Basic class on a traditional motorcycle, so I do know the basics of clutch and shifting.)

I don't see any problem with allowing you to take the test on an electric bike. After all, you can get a driver's license for an automatic transmission car and they don't require you to take any additional test for a manual transmission. In general, it's your responsibility to know how to operate the controls on your bike, and not all bikes have the same control layout.

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

Dauntless
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Re: Need to use a gas bike w/ transmission to pass ...

First of all, there's nothing wrong with a state requiring you to be capable of riding whatever type of vehicle they are licensing you for. Since most bikes covered by a motorcycle license will have the clutch and the manual transmission, of course you should be expected. Really, that's what the license is for. In California we have M1, the full license, as well as M2, the limited license. A lot of your electrics would be covered by M2 anyway, so you pass the written test to get the M2 and you never have to take the M1 riding test. I think the guy posted here that over 1,000 watts in California needed M2, over 2.000 watts M1.

But since my old Yamaha Riva XC180 was bought by an MSI (Motorcycle Safety Institute) school for those who can't seem to handle the shifting to ride and pass the test, I'd assume you don't actually have to ride the manual transmission bike when you take the test in this state.

In California, you have the option of taking that MSI class instead of taking the riding test at the DMV. I remember the DMV wanted almost as much to have you ride your bike in their parking lot as the 3 day class where they provided the bikes would cost. I wouldn't be surprised if the DMV wanted more by now. And considering the wait time, it's probably quicker to take the class. They run you through all the skills that are tested, then you take the test on what you're at that moment comfortable with doing. What a deal. I had a great time. I'm sure there's a lot of states that allow that.

I tell anyone who has a scooter that if they just go pass the written test they'll be M2, whether they think their bike requires one or not. That way there's no surprises later. Also if you suddenly find yourself on an electric that's Goldwing sized and they're telling you it requires M1, they might be nice and not write you if you're M2. You'd also be allowed to ride a regular motorcycle in daylight, no passenger, no freeway; or any no insurance required size at any time, if I remember this right. I'm M1, I can do ANYTHING.

WHo dares, WINS!!!!

richardb
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Re: Need to use a gas bike w/ transmission to pass ...

In looking through the Michigan Laws, I find that everything pertaining to motorcycles was written before automatic transmissions were widely used, and certainly before electric bikes were conceived. It would be nice if each of our states thought about revising their outdated laws and regulations once in a while, but in our automobile-centric world, it doesn't seem like a priority that our politicians are very interested in. Better still would be a "National" driving examination, with licenses that would be acceptable in all states, and at least a few questions that require all drivers to understand the rights of bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians. What state requires it's auto drivers to know how to drive a stick shift? It's up to the driver to know how to drive the vehicle he owns, but it should be up to the regulatory agency to ascertain that the driver knows the rights of his fellow road users. (oops, sorry, I'm ranting about my pet peeve.... drivers who think all bikes belong on the sidewalks.)
Dick Berger

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LeThala
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Re: Need to use a gas bike w/ transmission to pass ...

I'm seriously considering getting a motorcycle license here in VA and upgrading from an xm-3000 to something faster so I can ride in traffic instead on the side of the road. Based on my experience commuting to work for a few months last year I've decided it will be safer. I'm thinking of signing up for one of those state accredited weekend training classes where they provide the bike and give the written and skills test at the end of it. I really don't mind that I have to learn how to operate a gas bike to get a license to ride an electric scooter. I do think that at some point the state should have a different category of license for electric bikes. I only makes sense.

MikeB
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Re: Need to use a gas bike w/ transmission to pass ...

I'm thinking of signing up for one of those state accredited weekend training classes where they provide the bike and give the written and skills test at the end of it.

You are talking about the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) classes, and I strongly encourage you to take one. They have an excellent curriculum, and present it well. You'll learn the standard gas bike with gears, but also lots of good safety practices for any type of road motorbike.

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

richardb
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Re: Need to use a gas bike w/ transmission to pass ...

I'm seriously considering getting a motorcycle license here in VA and upgrading from an xm-3000 to something faster so I can ride in traffic instead on the side of the road.

I'm surprised that you aren't allowed to ride an XM-3000 on the road in VA. Are you required to use bike paths? Bike lanes? I'm just wondering about the logic of your laws.

Dickey_b
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robert93
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Re: Need to use a gas bike w/ transmission to pass ...

Some places speed limits are just considered "suggestions" by the general public, until a crackdown. This is a definite disadvantage to electric vehicles, except the strongest models.

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