Hawaii Motorcycle Manual | Hawaii Motorcycle Handbook

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  • 8/2/2019 Hawaii Motorcycle Manual | Hawaii Motorcycle Handbook




  • 8/2/2019 Hawaii Motorcycle Manual | Hawaii Motorcycle Handbook




    City Square, 1199 Dillingham Boulevard, Phone 532-7730

    Downtown, Fort Street Mall (Limited Services), Phone 532-2503

    Kapolei, 1000 Uluohia Street, Phone 768-3100

    Pearlridge Mall, Phone 453-2400

    Hawaii Kai Town Center, 6600 Kalanianaole Highway

    (renewals & duplicates, TS 8:00 a.m.4:00 p.m.), Phone 395-7180

    Koolau Center, 47-388 Hui Iwa Street, Phone 239-6301

    Wahiawa, 330 North Cane Street, Phone 621-7255

    Waianae, 87-670 Farrington Highway (Monday/Wednesday), Phone 696-6648

    Windward Mall, (Limited Services, MF 9:30 a.m5:30 p.m., Saturday 8:00 a.m.4:30 p.m.),

    Phone 233-2303

    Hours of Operation.................................................................................... 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.Testing Hours............................................................................................. 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    Closed Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays


    Hilo Police Station, 349 Kapiolani Street, Phone 961-2222

    Kona Center, 75-5722 Hanama Place, Phone 327-3580

    Laupahoehoe Police Station, Phone 962-2120

    Kau Police Station, Naalehu, Phone 939-2520

    Waimea Police Station, Waimea, Phone 887-3087Kohala Police Station, Kapaau, Phone 889-6540

    Hamakua Police Station, Honokaa, Phone 775-7533

    Hours of Operation.................................................................................... 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Closed Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays


    Maui Mall, Kahului, Phone 270-7363

    Lahaina Civic Center, Lahaina, Phone 667-9354

    Hana Police Station, Hana, Phone 248-8254, (Tuesday & Thursday, 811 a.m.)

    Kihei, Azeka Shopping Center, Phone 875-7415, (MondayFriday, 810:45 a.m., 123 p.m.)

    Driver Licenses, County Complex, Kaunakakai (Island of Molokai), Phone 533-3430

    Lanai Gym, Lanai City (Island of Lanai), Phone 565-7878

    Hours of Operation.................................................................................... 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Closed Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays


    Lihue Civic Center, Kapule Building, 4444 Rice Street, Suite 480, Lihue, Phone 241-6550

    Hours of Operation.................................................................................... 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Closed Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays

    Printed by the Hawaii Department of Transportation DOT-H2 053 (R3/08)

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  • 8/2/2019 Hawaii Motorcycle Manual | Hawaii Motorcycle Handbook


    INTRODUCTIONThis manual is designed for use as a guide to provide more comprehensive

    coverage of laws and operating techniques concerning motorcycles and to help

    you qualify for a Hawaii drivers license to operate a motorcycle. The information

    contained herein does not supercede either state laws or ordinances or any dulyadopted rule or regulation.

    The original Motorcycle Operator Manual was developed by the National

    Public Services Research Institute (NPSRI) under contract to the National

    Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and within the terms of a coop-

    erative agreement between NHTSA and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

    The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has updated ad expanded the content of

    the original manual. The revisions reflect:

    The latest finding of motorcycle-safety research.

    Comments and guidance provided by the motorcycling, licensing, and traf-

    fic-safety communities.

    Expanded alcohol and drug information.

    Additional manuals include:

    A separate Hawaii Drivers Manualis sold at stores to help you become a

    well-informed, safe driver and to help you qualify for a Hawaii drivers license.A separate Drivers Manual for Commercial Vehicle Driver Licensing,

    DOTH2044, is available at driver licensing offices and the Motor Vehicle Safety

    Office to prepare drivers to pass the knowledge and skills test to get a commer-

    cial drivers license.


    1. State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation,Motor Vehicle Safety OfficeProgram Coordination)www.hawaii.gov/dot/highways/hwy-v/mvso.htm

    2. City and County of Honolulu(Driver Licensing and Vehicle Registration)www.honolulu.gov

    3. Maui County(Driver Licensing and Vehicle Registration)www.co.maui.hi.us/departments/MotorVehicles/

    4. Hawaii County(Driver Licensing)www.hawaiipolice.com

    5. Hawaii County(Vehicle Registration)www.hawaii-county.com/directory/dir_finance.htm

    6. Kauai County(Driver Licensing and Vehicle Registration)www.kauai.gov

    NOTE: For further information, see inside of front and back covers.


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    You will be required to pass the general driver knowledge test and a special

    motorcycle examination. The examinations are to test your knowledge of the rules

    of the road, highway signs, and the special skills and safety precautions needed to

    operate a motorcycle. In addition, you must pass a vision test.

    Upon satisfactory completion of the knowledge examination and vision test,

    you will be issued an instruction permit valid for 1 year.


    Drivers under 18 are required to take driving lessons from a drivers education

    program certified by the Hawaii Department of Transportation. If you are

    between 16 and 18 years old, and you want to be able to take the road test, you

    must have practiced driving on your learners permit for 90 days and you must

    have earned a Driver Education Student Completion Certificate and a Behind-

    the-Wheel Student Completion Certificate before you can schedule a road test.

    TEMPORARY INSTRUCTION PERMITYou must have a motorcycle instruction permit when learning to operate a

    moped, motorcycle, or motor scooter on the public highways. Such permit will be

    issued to you when you have satisfactorily completed the preliminary tests and

    have met all other requirements.

    You cannot carry passengers or operate a motorcycle during the hours of dark-

    ness while learning to ride under a permit.

    Your permit may be renewed if you have taken a skill test prior to the expira-

    tion of the motorcycle instruction permit. If your permit expires before you takea skill test at least once, you must wait three months before applying for another

    motorcycle instruction permit.


    The skills test may be waived if you have a motorcycle skills test Certification

    for Waiver issued by the Hawaii Motorcycle Safety Education Program or a valid

    motorcycle license or endorsement from a state that uses the MOST (Motorcycle

    Operator Skill Test) or the ALMOST (Alternate MOST).You must provide a motorcycle in safe operating condition with a current safe-

    ty inspection certificate and liability insurance identification card. All vehicle

    safety defects must be corrected prior to taking the test.

    An off-street skill test is required prior to the issuance of a motorcycle or motor

    scooter license. Practicing the illustrated maneuvers of the Alternate MOST

    (Motorcycle Operator Skills Test) will make the test easier for you.


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  • 8/2/2019 Hawaii Motorcycle Manual | Hawaii Motorcycle Handbook



  • 8/2/2019 Hawaii Motorcycle Manual | Hawaii Motorcycle Handbook



  • 8/2/2019 Hawaii Motorcycle Manual | Hawaii Motorcycle Handbook



  • 8/2/2019 Hawaii Motorcycle Manual | Hawaii Motorcycle Handbook




    A moped is a two or three wheeled device with a motor no larger than two


    You are required to have a drivers license (any category) to operate a moped on

    the public streets and highways.If you do not have a drivers license, you may obtain a Category 1 license

    (motor scooter) by following the procedure required for that license category and

    using your moped for any required performance test.


    Required equipment includes brakes, head lamp, tail lamp, stop lamp, muffler,

    horn, rear-view mirror and seat.

    Raising the handlebars to a level more than 15 inches (38 cm) above the levelof the seat is against the law.

    The motorcycle must be equipped with footrests for all passengers not in a

    sidecar or enclosed cab.

    Motorcycles must be equipped with fenders or mud guards.

    Any operator or passengers under 18 years of age must wear an approved safe-

    ty helmet securely fastened with a chin strap.

    Any operator or passenger must wear glasses, goggles or a face shield unless

    the motorcycle is equipped with a windshield.


    The operator must not carry more passengers than the motorcycle is designed

    and equipped to carry. You must not carry a passenger who is under the age of 7


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  • 8/2/2019 Hawaii Motorcycle Manual | Hawaii Motorcycle Handbook



  • 8/2/2019 Hawaii Motorcycle Manual | Hawaii Motorcycle Handbook



  • 8/2/2019 Hawaii Motorcycle Manual | Hawaii Motorcycle Handbook


    contents 3



    Wear the Right Gear 4

    Helmet Use ..........................................4Helmet Selection ..................................4EyeandFaceProtection .......................5Clothing ...............................................6

    Know Your Motorcycle 6The Right Motorcycle or You ...............6Borrowing and Lending ........................7Get Familiar with the

    Motorcycle Controls ........................7Check Your Motorcycle ........................8

    Know Your Responsibilities 9


    Basic Vehicle Control 10Body Position .....................................10Shiting Gears ....................................10Braking ..............................................11Turning ..............................................11

    Keeping Your Distance 12

    Lane Positions ....................................12Following Another Vehicle ..................13Being Followed ..................................14Passing and Being Passed ...................14Lane Sharing ......................................16Merging Cars .....................................16Cars Alongside ...................................16

    SEE 17

    Intersections 18

    Blind Intersections ..............................19Passing Parked Cars ...........................20Parking at the Roadside ......................20

    Increasing Conspicuity 21Clothing .............................................21Headlight ...........................................21Signals ...............................................21Brake Light ..........................................22Using Your Mirrors .............................22Head Checks ......................................23

    Horn ..................................................23Riding at Night ...................................24

    Crash Avoidance 24Quick Stops ........................................24Swerving or Turning Quickly ...............25Cornering ..........................................26

    Handling Dangerous Surfaces 27Uneven Suraces and Obstacles ..........27Slippery Suraces ................................28

    Railroad Tracks, Trolley Tracksand Pavement Seams .....................29

    Grooves and Gratings ........................29

    Mechanical Problems 30Tire Failure .........................................30Stuck Throttle ....................................30Wobble ..............................................30Drive Train Problems ...........................31EngineSeizure ...................................31

    Animals 31Flying Objects 32

    Getting Off the Road 32

    Carrying Passengersand Cargo 32Equipment .........................................32Instructing Passengers ........................33Riding With Passengers ......................33Carrying Loads ...................................33

    Group Riding 34Keep the Group Small ........................34Keep the Group Together ...................34Keep Your Distance ............................34


    Why This Information IsImportant 36

    Alcohol and Other Drugs in

    Motorcycle Operation 36

    Alcohol in the Body 37Blood Alcohol

    Concentration ...............................37

    Alcohol and the Law 38Consequences o

    Conviction .....................................38

    Minimize the Risks 38

    Step in to Protect Friends 39Fatigue 39

    EARNING YOUR LICENSEKnowledge Test ..................................40On-Motorcycle Skill Test .....................41

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    What you do beore you start a trip goes a long way toward determiningwhether or not youll get where you want to go saely. Beore taking o on

    any trip, a sae rider makes a point to:1 Wear the right gear

    2 Become familiar with the motorcycle

    3 Check the motorcycle equipment

    4 Be a responsible rider

    4 preparInG to rIDe

    Wear the right gear

    When you ride, your gear is righti it protects you. In any crash, you havea ar better chance o avoiding seriousinjury i you wear:




    Helmet UseCrashes can occur particularly

    among untrained, beginning riders.And one out o every ve motorcyclecrashes results in head or neck injuries.Head injuries are just as severe as neckinjuries and ar more common. Crashanalyses show that head and neckinjuries account or a majority o serious

    and atal injuries to motorcyclists.Research also shows that, with ewexceptions, head and neck injuriesare reduced by properly wearing anapproved helmet.

    Some riders dont wear helmetsbecause they think helmets will limittheir view to the sides. Others wear

    helmets only on long trips or whenriding at high speeds. Here are someacts to consider:

    Anapprovedhelmet lets you seeas ar to the sides as necessary. Astudy o more than 900 motorcyclecrashes, where 40% o the riderswore helmets, did not nd even onecase in which a helmet kept a riderrom spotting danger.

    Mostcrasheshappen on shorttrips (less than ve miles long), justa ew minutes ater starting out.

    Mostriders are riding slower than30 mph when a crash occurs. Atthese speeds, helmets can cut boththe number and the severity o headinjuries by hal.

    No matter what the speed, helmetedriders are three times more likely tosurvive head injuries than those notwearing helmets at the time o thecrash.

    Helmet Selection

    There are two primary types ohelmets, providing two dierent levelso coverage: three-quarter and ull ace.

    Whichever style you choose, you canget the most protection by making sure

    that the helmet:

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    IsdesignedtomeetU.S.Department o Transportation(DOT) and state standards. Helmetswith a label rom the Snell MemorialFoundation give you an added

    assurance o quality.Fitssnugly, all the way around.

    Hasnoobviousdefectssuch ascracks, loose padding or rayedstraps.

    Whatever helmet you decide on, keepit securely astened on your head whenyou ride. Otherwise, i you are involved

    in a crash, its likely to fy o your headbeore it gets a chance to protect you.

    Eye and Face Protection

    A plastic shatter-resistant aceshieldcan help protect your whole ace in acrash. It also protects you rom wind,dust, dirt, rain, insects and pebblesthrown up rom cars ahead. These

    problems are distracting and can bepainul. I you have to deal with them,you cant devote your ull attention tothe road.

    Goggles protect your eyes, thoughthey wont protect the rest o your acelike a aceshield does. A windshieldis not a substitute or a aceshield orgoggles. Most windshields will not

    protect your eyes rom the wind. Neitherwill eyeglasses or sunglasses. Glasseswont keep your eyes rom watering,and they might blow o when you turnyour head while riding.

    To be eective, eye or aceshieldprotection must:

    Befree o scratches.

    Beresistant to penetration.

    Giveaclearview to either side.

    Fastensecurely, so it does notblow o.

    Permitair to pass through, toreduce ogging.

    Permitenoughroom oreyeglasses or sunglasses, i needed.

    Tinted eye protection should not beworn at night or any other time whenlittle light is available.


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    6 preparInG to rIDe


    The right clothing protects you in

    a collision. It also provides comort,as well as protection rom heat, cold,debris and hot and moving parts o themotorcycle. It can also make you morevisible to others.

    Jacket and pants should coverarms and legs completely. Theyshould t snugly enough to keeprom fapping in the wind, yetloosely enough to move reely.Leather oers the most protection.Sturdy synthetic material providesa lot o protection as well. Weara jacket even in warm weather toprevent dehydration. Many aredesigned to protect without gettingyou overheated, even on summerdays.

    Bootsorshoes should be highand sturdy enough to cover yourankles and give them support. Solesshould be made o hard, durable,slip-resistant material. Keep heelsshort so they do not catch on roughsuraces. Tuck in laces so they wontcatch on your motorcycle.

    Gloves allow a better grip and helpprotect your hands in a crash. Yourgloves should be made o leather orsimilar durable material.

    In cold or wet weather, your clothesshould keep you warm and dry, aswell as protect you rom injury. Youcannot control a motorcycle well i

    you are numb. Riding or long periodsin cold weather can cause severe chilland atigue. A winter jacket shouldresist wind and t snugly at the neck,wrists and waist. Good-quality rainsuitsdesigned or motorcycle riding resisttearing apart or ballooning up at highspeeds.



    There are plenty o things on thehighway that can cause you trouble.Your motorcycle should not be oneo them. To make sure that yourmotorcycle wont let you down:

    Read the owners manual rst.

    Start with the right motorcycle oryou.

    Befamiliar with the motorcyclecontrols.

    Check the motorcycle beore everyride.

    Keep it in sae riding conditionbetween rides.

    Avoid add-ons and modications

    that make your motorcycle harderto handle.

    The Right Motorcycle For You

    First, make sure your motorcycle isright or you. It should t you. Youreet should reach the ground whileyou are seated on the motorcycle, andthe controls should be easy to operate.

    Smaller motorcycles are usually easieror beginners to operate.

    A plastic shatter-resistant ace

    shield:A. Is not necessary i you have a


    B. Only protects your eyes.

    C. Helps protect your whole ace.

    D. Does not protect your ace as wellas goggles.

    test yourself 1

    Answer - page 41

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    At minimum, your street-legalmotorcycle should have:






    Borrowing and Lending

    Borrowers and lenders o motorcycles,beware. Crashes are airly commonamong beginning riders especiallyin the rst months o riding. Ridingan unamiliar motorcycle adds to theproblem. I you borrow a motorcycle,get amiliar with it in a controlled area.And i you lend your motorcycle toriends, make sure they are licensed and

    know how to ride beore allowing themout into trac.

    No matter how experienced youmay be, ride extra careully on anymotorcycle thats new or unamiliarto you. More than hal o all crashesinvolve riders with less than ve monthso experience on their motorcycle.

    Get Familiar with theMotorcycle Controls

    Make sure you are completely amiliarwith the motorcycle beore you takeit out on the street. Be sure to reviewthe owners manual. This is particularlyimportant i you are riding a borrowedmotorcycle.

    I you are going to use an unamiliarmotorcycle:

    Motorcycle controls

    Light Switch (high/low)

    Choke (varies)


    Ignition Key(varies)

    Engine Cut-OffSwitch

    Horn Button

    Clutch LeverSpeedometer& Odometer

    Fuel Supply Valve(if equipped)

    Gear-Change Lever


    Front Brake Lever


    (if equipped)

    Rear Brake Pedal

    Kick Starter(if equipped)


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    8 preparInG to rIDe

    Make all the checks you would onyour own motorcycle.

    Findoutwhereeverythingis,particularly the turn signals, horn,headlight switch, uel-supply valveand engine cut-o switch. Find andoperate these items without havingto look or them.

    Knowthegearpattern. Work thethrottle, clutch and brakes a ewtimes beore you start riding. All

    controls react a little dierently.

    Rideverycautiously and be awareo surroundings. Accelerate gently,take turns more slowly and leaveextra room or stopping.

    Check Your Motorcycle

    A motorcycle needs more requent

    attention than a car. A minor technicalailure in a car seldom leads to anythingmore than an inconvenience or thedriver.

    I somethings wrong with themotorcycle, youll want to nd outabout it beore you get in trac. Makea complete check o your motorcyclebeore every ride.

    Beore mounting the motorcycle,make the ollowing checks:

    Tires Check the air pressure,general wear and tread.

    Fluids Oil and fuid levels. At aminimum, check hydraulic fuidsand coolants weekly. Look underthe motorcycle or signs o an oil or

    gas leak.

    HeadlightsandTaillight Checkthem both. Test your switch tomake sure both high and lowbeams are working.

    TurnSignals Turn on both rightand let turn signals. Make sure all

    More than hal o all crashes:

    A. Occur at speeds greater than 35mph.

    B. Happen at night.

    C. Are caused by worn tires.

    D. Involve riders who have less thanve months o experience on theirmotorcycle.

    test yourself 2

    Answer - page 41

    lights are working properly.

    BrakeLight Try both brake

    controls, and make sure each oneturns on the brake light.

    Once you have mounted themotorcycle, complete the ollowingchecks beore starting out:

    ClutchandThrottle Make surethey work smoothly. The throttleshould snap back when you let go.The clutch should eel tight and


    Mirrors Clean and adjust bothmirrors beore starting. Its dicultto ride with one hand while youtry to adjust a mirror. Adjust eachmirror so you can see the lanebehind and as much as possible othe lane next to you. When properlyadjusted, a mirror may show the

    edge o your arm or shoulderbutits the road behind and to the sidethats most important.

    Brakes Try the ront and rearbrake levers one at a time. Makesure each one eels rm and holdsthe motorcycle when the brake isully applied.

    Horn Try the horn. Make sure it

    works.In addition to the checks you should

    make beore every trip, check theollowing items at least once a week:Wheels, cables, asteners and fuidlevels. Follow your owners manual toget recommendations.

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    Accident implies an unoreseenevent that occurs without anyones aultor negligence. Most oten in trac, thatis not the case. In act, most peopleinvolved in a crash can usually claimsome responsibility or what takes place.

    Consider a situation where someonedecidestotrytosqueezethroughan

    intersection on a yellow light turningred. Your light turns green. You pull intothe intersection without checking orpossible latecomers. That is all it takesor the two o you to tangle. It was thedrivers responsibility to stop. And it wasyour responsibility to look beore pullingout. Neither o you held up your endo the deal. Just because someone else

    is the rst to start the chain o eventsleading to a crash, it doesnt leave anyo us ree o responsibility.

    As a rider you cant be sure that otheroperators will see you or yield the righto way. To lessen your chances o acrash occurring:

    Bevisible wear proper clothing,use your headlight, ride in the bestlane position to see and be seen.

    Communicateyourintentionsuse the proper signals, brake lightand lane position.

    Maintainanadequatespacecushion ollowing, beingollowed, lane sharing, passing andbeing passed.

    Searchyourpath o travel 12seconds ahead.

    Identifyandseparate multiplehazards.

    Bepreparedtoact remain alertand know how to carry out propercrash-avoidance skills.

    Blame doesnt matter when someone

    is injured in a crash. There is rarely asingle cause o any crash. The ability toride aware, make critical decisions andcarry them out separates responsibleriders rom all the rest. Remember, it isup to you to keep rom being the causeo, or an unprepared participant in, anycrash.

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    10 rIDe wItHIn your abIlItIes

    This manual cannot teach you how to control direction, speed or balance.Thats something you can learn only through practice, preerably in a ormal

    course o instruction like an MSF RiderCourse. But control begins with knowingyour abilities and riding within them, along with knowing and obeying the ruleso the road.

    BaSiC VehiCLe CONtrOL

    Body Position

    To control a motorcycle well:

    Posture Sit so you can use yourarms to steer the motorcycle ratherthan to hold yoursel up.

    Seat Sit ar enough orward sothat arms are slightly bent whenyou hold the handlegrips. Bendingyour arms permits you to press onthe handlebars without having tostretch.

    Hands Hold the handgripsrmly to keep your grip over roughsuraces. Start with your rightwrist fat. This will help you keeprom accidentally using too muchthrottle. Also, adjust the handlebarsso your hands are even with orbelow your elbows. This permitsyou to use the proper muscles or

    precision steering.

    HolDInG HanDGrIps



    Knees Keep your knees againstthe gas tank to help you keep yourbalance as the motorcycle turns.

    Feet Keep your eet rmly on theootrests to maintain balance. Dont

    drag your eet. I your oot catcheson something, you could be injuredand it could aect your control othe motorcycle. Keep your eet nearthe controls so you can get to themast i needed. Also, dont let yourtoes point downward they mayget caught between the road andthe ootrests.

    Shifting Gears

    There is more to shiting gears thansimply getting the motorcycle to pickup speed smoothly. Learning to use thegears when downshiting, turning orstarting on hills is important or saemotorcycle operation.

    Shit down through the gears withthe clutch as you slow or stop. Remainin rst gear while you are stopped sothat you can move out quickly i youneed to.

    Make certain you are riding slowlyenough when you shit into a lowergear. I not, the motorcycle will lurch,and the rear wheel may skid. When

    riding downhill or shiting into rst gearyou may need to use the brakes to slowenough beore downshiting saely.Work toward a smooth, even clutchrelease, especially when downshiting.

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    It is best to change gears beoreentering a turn. However, sometimesshiting while in the turn is necessary.I so, remember to do so smoothly. Asudden change in power to the rearwheel can cause a skid.


    Your motorcycle has two brakes: oneeach or the ront and rear wheel. Useboth o them at the same time. Theront brake is more powerul and canprovide at least three-quarters o yourtotal stopping power. The ront brake issae to use i you use it properly.


    Usebothbrakes every time youslow or stop. Using both brakes oreven normal stops will permityou to develop the proper habit or

    skill o using both brakes properlyinanemergency.Squeezetheront brake and press down on therear. Grabbing at the ront brakeor jamming down on the rear cancause the brakes to lock, resulting incontrol problems.


    using both brakes in a turn ispossible, although it should be donevery careully. When leaning themotorcycle some o the traction isused or cornering. Less tractionis available or stopping. A skidcan occur i you apply too muchbrake. Also, using the ront brakeincorrectly on a slippery surace

    maybehazardous.Usecautionand squeeze the brake lever, nevergrab.

    Somemotorcycles have integratedbraking systems that activate theront and rear brakes togetherwhen applying the rear brakepedal. (Consult the owners manualor a detailed explanation on theoperation and eective use o thesesystems.)


    Riders oten try to take curves or turnstoo ast. When they cant hold the turn,they end up crossing into another laneo trac or going o the road. Or, theyoverreact and brake too hard, causing askid and loss o control. Approach turnsand curves with caution.

    Use our steps or better control:

    SLOW Reduce speed beore theturn by closing the throttle and, i

    necessary, applying both brakes.

    LOOK Look through the turnto where you want to go. Turn

    just your head, not your shoulders,and keep your eyes level with thehorizon.

    PRESS To turn, the motorcyclemust lean. To lean the motor-

    cycle, press on the handgrip inthe direction o the turn. Press lethandgrip lean let go let.Press right handgrip lean right go right. The higher the speed in aturn, the greater the lean angle.

    ROLL Roll on the throttle tomaintain or slightly increase speed.Thishelpsstabilizethemotorcycle.

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    12 rIDe wItHIn your abIlItIes

    In normal turns, the rider and themotorcycle should lean together at the

    same angle.

    slow, tIGHt turns

    When riding, you should:

    A. Turn your head and shouldersto look through turns.

    B. Keep your arms straight.

    C. Keep your knees away romthe gas tank.

    D. Turn just your head and eyesto look where you are going.

    test yourself 3

    Answer - page 41

    norMal turns

    KeePiNg YOUr DiStaNCe

    The best protection you can have isdistance a cushion o space allaround your motorcycle. I someone elsemakes a mistake, distance permits you:



    Lane Positions

    Insomewaysthesizeofthemotorcycle can work to your advantage.Eachtrafclanegivesamotorcyclethree paths o travel, as indicated in theillustration.

    Your lane position should:Increase your ability to see and be


    Avoid others blind spots.


    Protect your lane rom otherdrivers.

    Communicate your intentions.

    Avoid wind blast rom othervehicles.

    Provide an escape route.

    Select the appropriate path tomaximizeyourspacecushionandmakeyoursel more easily seen by others onthe road.

    In slow, tight turns, counterbalance byleaning the motorcycle only and keepingyour body straight.

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    In general, there is no single bestposition or riders to be seen and tomaintain a space cushion around themotorcycle. No portion o the lane needbe avoided including the center.

    Position yoursel in the portion othe lane where you are most likely tobe seen and you can maintain a spacecushion around you. Change positionas trac situations change. Ride in path2 or 3 i vehicles and other potential

    problems are on your let only. Remaininpath1or2ifhazardsareonyourright only. I vehicles are being operatedon both sides o you, the center o thelane, path 2, is usually your best option.

    The oily strip in the center portionthat collects drippings rom cars isusually no more than two eet wide.Unless the road is wet, the averagecenter strip permits adequate tractionto ride on saely. You can operate tothe let or right o the grease strip andstill be within the center portion o thetrac lane. Avoid riding on big buildupso oil and grease usually ound at busyintersections or toll booths.

    Following Another Vehicle

    Following too closely could be aactor in crashes involving motorcyclists.In trac, motorcycles need as muchdistance to stop as cars. Normally, aminimum of two seconds distanceshould be maintained behind the vehicleahead.

    To gauge your ollowing distance:

    Pickoutamarker, such as a

    pavement marking or lamppost, onor near the road ahead.

    Whentherearbumper o thevehicle ahead passes the marker,count o the seconds: one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two.

    Ifyoureachthemarker beoreyou reach two, you are ollowingtoo closely.

    A two-second ollowing distanceleaves a minimum amount o space tostop or swerve i the driver ahead stopssuddenly. It also permits a better view opotholesandotherhazardsintheroad.

    A larger cushion o space is neededi your motorcycle will take longer

    lane posItIons

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    14 rIDe wItHIn your abIlItIes

    than normal to stop. I the pavementis slippery, i you cannot see through

    the vehicle ahead, or i trac is heavyandsomeonemaysqueezeinfrontofyou, open up a three-second or moreollowing distance.

    Keep well behind the vehicle aheadeven when you are stopped. This willmake it easier to get out o the wayi someone bears down on you rombehind. It will also give you a cushion o

    space i the vehicle ahead starts to backup or some reason.

    When behind a car, ride where thedriver can see you in the rearview mirror.Riding in the center portion o the laneshould put your image in the middle othe rearview mirror where a driver ismost likely to see you.

    Riding at the ar side o a lane may

    permit a driver to see you in a sideviewmirror. But remember that most driversdont look at their sideview mirrorsnearly as oten as they check therearview mirror. I the trac situationallows, the center portion o the lane isusually the best place or you to be seenby the drivers ahead and to prevent lanesharing by others.

    Being Followed

    Speeding up to lose someoneollowing too closely only ends up withsomeone tailgating you at a higherspeed.

    A better way to handle tailgatersis to get them in ront o you. Whensomeone is ollowing too closely,change lanes and let them pass. I youcant do this, slow down and open upextra space ahead o you to allow roomor both you and the tailgater to stop.This will also encourage them to pass.I they dont pass, you will have givenyoursel and the tailgater more time andspace to react in case an emergencydoes develop ahead.

    Passing and Being Passed

    Passing and being passed by another

    vehicle is not much dierent than with acar. However, visibility is more critical. Besure other drivers see you, and that youseepotentialhazards.


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    1 Ride in the left portion o the

    lane at a sae ollowing distanceto increase your line o sight andmake you more visible. Signaland check or oncoming trac.Use your mirrors and turn yourhead to look or trac behind.

    2.Whensafe, move into the letlane and accelerate. Select a laneposition that doesnt crowd thecar you are passing and providesspacetoavoidhazardsinyourlane.

    3 Ride through the blind spot asquickly as possible.

    4.Signalagain, and completemirror and headchecks beorereturning to your original laneand then cancel the signal.

    Remember,passesmustbecompleted within posted speedlimits,andonlywherepermitted.Know your signs and road markings!

    Being Passed

    When you are being passed rom

    behind or by an oncoming vehicle,stay in the center portion o your lane.Riding any closer to them could put youinahazardoussituation.

    Avoid being hit by:

    Theothervehicle A slightmistake by you or the passing drivercould cause a sideswipe.

    Extendedmirrors Some driversorget that their mirrors hang outarther than their enders.

    ObjectsthrownfromwindowsEvenifthedriverknowsyourethere, a passenger may not see youand might toss something on you orthe road ahead o you.

    Blastsofwindfromlargervehicles They can aect yourcontrol. You have more room orerror i you are in the middle portionwhen hit by this blast than i youare on either side othe lane.

    Do not move into the portion o thelane arthest rom the passing vehicle. Itmight invite the other driver to cut backinto your lane too early.

    passInG beInG passeD

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    16 rIDe wItHIn your abIlItIes

    Lane Sharing

    Cars and motorcycles need a ull lane

    to operate saely. Lane sharing is usuallyprohibited.

    Riding between rows o stopped ormoving cars in the same lane can leaveyou vulnerable to the unexpected. Ahand could come out o a window;a door could open; a car could turnsuddenly. Discourage lane sharing byothers. Keep a center-portion positionwhenever drivers might be temptedtosqueezebyyou.Driversaremosttempted to do this:

    Inheavy, bumper-to-bumpertrac.

    Whenthey want to pass you.

    Whenyou are preparing to turn atan intersection.

    Whenyou are moving into an exitlane or leaving a highway.

    Merging Cars

    Drivers on an entrance ramp maynot see you on the highway. Give them

    plenty o room. Change to another lanei one is open. I there is no room or alane change, adjust speed to open upspace or the merging driver.

    Cars Alongside

    Do not ride next to cars or trucks inother lanes i you do not have to. Youmight be in the blind spot o a car in thenext lane, which could switch into yourlane without warning. Cars in the nextlane also block your escape i you comeupon danger in your own lane. Speedup or drop back to nd a place clear otrac on both sides.


    blInD spots

    Usually, a good way to handletailgaters is to:

    A. Change lanes and let them pass.

    B. Use your horn and makeobscene gestures.

    C. Speed up to put distancebetween you and the tailgater.

    D. Ignore them.

    test yourself 4

    Answer - page 41

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    Good experienced riders remain

    aware o what is going on around them.They improve their riding strategy byusingMSFsSEESM strategy, a three-step process used to make appropriate

    judgments, and apply them correctly indierent trac situations:




    Lets examine each o these steps.


    Search aggressively ahead, to thesides and behind to avoid potentialhazardsevenbeforetheyarise.Howassertively you search, and how muchtime and space you have, can eliminateor reduce harm. Focus even more onnding potential escape routes in oraround intersections, shopping areasandschoolandconstructionzones.

    Search or actors such as:

    Oncomingtrafc that may turnlet in ront o you.

    Trafccoming rom the let andright.

    Trafc approaching rom behind.

    Hazardous road conditions.

    Be especially alert in areas with limitedvisibility. Visually busy surroundingscould hide you and your motorcyclerom others.


    Thinkabouthowhazardscaninteractto create risks or you. Anticipatepotential problems and have a plan toreduce risks.

    Roadandsurfacecharacteristics Potholes, guardrails, bridges,telephone poles and trees wontmove into your path but mayinfuence your riding strategy.

    Trafccontroldevices Look ortrac signals, including regulatorysigns, warning signs, and pavementmarkings, to help you evaluatecircumstances ahead.

    Vehiclesandothertrafc May

    move into your path and increasethe likelihood o a crash.

    Think about your time and spacerequirements in order to maintaina margin o saety. You must leaveyoursel time to react i an emergencyarises.


    Carry out your decision.


    Communicate your presence withlights and/or horn.

    Adjustyourspeed by accelerating,stopping or slowing.

    Adjustyourposition and/ordirection.

    Apply the old adage one step at atimetohandletwoormorehazards.Adjustspeedtopermittwohazardsto separate. Then deal with them oneatatimeassinglehazards.Decision-making becomes more complex with

    threeormorehazards.Evaluatetheconsequences o each and give equaldistancetothehazards.

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    18 rIDe wItHIn your abIlItIes


    The greatest potential or confict

    between you and other trac is atintersections. An intersection can bein the middle o an urban area or ata driveway on a residential street anywhere trac may cross your path otravel. Over one-hal o motorcycle/carcrashes are caused by drivers entering ariders right-o-way. Cars that turn let inront o you, including cars turning let

    rom the lane to your right, and cars onside streets that pull into your lane, arethebiggestdangers.YouruseofSEE[p. 17] at intersections is critical.

    There are no guarantees thatothers see you. Never count on eyecontact as a sign that a driver willyield. Too oten, a driver looks right at amotorcyclist and still ails to see himor her. The only eyes that you can counton are your own. I a car can enter yourpath, assume that it will. Good ridersare always looking or trouble notto get into it, but to stay out o it.

    Increase your chances o beingseen at intersections. Ride with yourheadlight on and in a lane position that

    provides the best view o oncomingtrac. Provide a space cushion aroundthe motorcycle that permits you to takeevasive action.

    To reduce your reaction time, youshould:

    A. Ride slower than the speed

    limit.B. Cover the clutch and the brakes.

    C. Shit into neutral when slowing.

    D. Pull in the clutch when turning.

    In potential high-risk areas, such asintersections, shopping areas and schoolandconstructionzones,covertheclutchand both brakes to reduce the time youneed to react.

    test yourself 5

    sMall IntersectIons

    Answer - page 41

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    As you approach the intersection, selecta lane position that increases your visibilityto the driver. Cover the clutch lever andboth brakes to reduce reaction time.

    Reduce your speed as you approachan intersection. Ater entering theintersection, move away rom vehiclespreparing to turn. Do not change speedor position radically. The driver mightthink that you are preparing to turn.

    Blind Intersections

    I you approach a blind intersection,

    move to the portion o the lane that willbring you into another drivers eld ovision at the earliest possible moment.In this picture, the rider has moved tothe let portion o the lane awayrom the parked car so the driver onthe cross street can see him as soon aspossible.

    Remember, the key is to see as muchas possible and remain visible to otherswhile protecting your space.

    blInD IntersectIons

    larGe IntersectIons

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    20 rIDe wItHIn your abIlItIes

    I you have a stop sign or stop line,stop there rst. Then edge orwardand stop again, just short o where thecross-trac lane meets your lane. Fromthat position, lean your body orwardand look around buildings, parked carsor bushes to see i anything is coming.Just make sure your ront wheel staysout o the cross lane o travel whileyoure looking.

    Passing Parked Cars

    When passing parked cars, staytoward the let o your lane. Youcan avoid problems caused by doorsopening, drivers getting out o carsor people stepping rom betweencars. I oncoming trac is present, itis usually best to remain in the center-lanepositiontomaximizeyourspacecushion.

    A bigger problem can occur i thedriver pulls away rom the curb without

    checkingfortrafcbehind.Evenifhedoes look, he may ail to see you.

    In either event, the driver might cutinto your path. Slow down or changelanes to make room or someonecutting in.

    Cars making a sudden U-turn arethe most dangerous. They may cutyou o entirely, blocking the wholeroadway and leaving you with noplace to go. Since you cant tell what adriver will do, slow down and get thedrivers attention. Sound your horn andcontinue with caution.

    Parking at the Roadside

    Park at a 90 angle to the curb withyour rear wheel touching the curb.

    Making eye contact with otherdrivers:

    A. Is a good sign they see you.

    B. Is not worth the eort it takes.

    C. Doesnt mean that the driver will yield.

    D. Guarantees that the other driver willyield to you.

    test yourself 6

    stop sIGns parkeD cars

    parkInG at curbs

    Answer - page 41

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    In crashes with motorcyclists, driversoten say that they never saw themotorcycle. From ahead or behind, amotorcycles outline is much smallerthan a cars. Also, its hard to seesomething you are not looking or,and most drivers are not looking ormotorcycles. More likely, they arelooking through the skinny, two-

    wheeled silhouette in search o cars thatmay pose a problem to them.

    Evenifadriverdoesseeyoucoming,you arent necessarily sae. Smallervehicles appear arther away and seemto be traveling slower than they actuallyare. It is common or drivers to pull outin ront o motorcyclists, thinking they

    have plenty o time. Too oten, they arewrong.

    However, you can do many things tomakeiteasierforotherstorecognizeyou and your motorcycle.


    Most crashes occur in broad daylight.Wear bright-colored clothing to increase

    your chances o being seen. Remember,your body is hal o the visible suracearea o the rider/motorcycle unit.

    Bright orange, red, yellow or greenjackets or vests are your best bets orbeing seen. Your helmet can do morethan protect you in a crash. Brightlycolored helmets can also help others see

    you.Any bright color is better than drab

    or dark colors. Refective, bright-coloredclothing (helmet and jacket or vest) isbest.

    Refective material on a vest and onthe sides o the helmet will help drivers

    coming rom the side to spot you.Refective material can also be a big helpor drivers coming toward you or rombehind.


    The best way to help others see yourmotorcycle is to keep the headlight on at all times (new motorcycles soldin the USA since 1978 automaticallyhave the headlights on when running).Studies show that, during the day, amotorcycle with its light on is twice aslikely to be noticed. Use low beam atnight and in og.


    The signals on a motorcycle are similarto those on a car. They tell others whatyou plan to do.


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    22 rIDe wItHIn your abIlItIes

    However, due to a riders addedvulnerability, signals are even moreimportant. Use them anytime you planto change lanes or turn. Use them evenwhen you think no one else is around.Its the car you dont see thats going togive you the most trouble. Your signallights also make you easier to spot.Thats why its a good idea to use yourturn signals even when what you planto do is obvious.

    When you enter a reeway, driversapproaching rom behind are more likelyto see your signal blinking and makeroom or you.

    Turning your signal light on beoreeach turn reduces conusion andrustration or the trac around you.Once you turn, make sure your signal iso or a driver may pull directly into your

    path, thinking you plan to turn again.Use your signals at every turn so driverscan react accordingly. Dont make themguess what you intend to do.

    Brake Light

    Your motorcycles brake light is usuallynot as noticeable as the brake lights ona car particularly when your taillight

    is on. (It goes on with the headlight.)I the situation will permit, help othersnotice you by fashing your brake lightbeore you slow down. It is especiallyimportant to fash your brake lightbeore:

    Youslowmorequickly thanothers might expect (turning o a

    high-speed highway).

    Youslowwhere others may notexpect it (in the middle o a block orat an alley).

    I you are being ollowed closely, itsa good idea to fash your brake lightbeore you slow. The tailgater may bewatching you and not see somethingahead that will make you slow down.This will hopeully discourage them romtailgatingandwarnthemofhazardsahead they may not see.

    Using Your Mirrors

    While its most important to keeptrack o whats happening ahead, youcant aord to ignore situations behind.Trac conditions change quickly.Knowing whats going on behind isessential or you to make a sae decisionabout how to handle trouble ahead.

    Frequent mirror checks should be parto your normal searching routine. Makea special point o using your mirrors:

    Whenyouarestopped at anintersection. Watch cars coming uprom behind. I the drivers arentpaying attention, they could be ontop o you beore they see you.

    Beforeyouchangelanes.Makesure no one is about to pass you.

    Beforeyouslowdown.The driverbehind may not expect you to slow,or may be unsure about where youwill slow. For example, you signal aturn and the driver thinks you planto turn at a distant intersection,rather than at a nearer driveway.

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    Some motorcycles have rounded(convex) mirrors. These provide a widerview o the road behind than do fatmirrors. They also make cars seemarther away than they really are. Iyou are not used to convex mirrors,get amiliar with them. (While you are

    stopped, pick out a parked car in yourmirror. Form a mental image o howar away it is. Then, turn around andlook at it to see how close you came.)Practice with your mirrors until youbecomeagoodjudgeofdistance.Eventhen, allow extra distance beore youchange lanes.

    usInG MIrrorsHead Checks

    Checking your mirrors is not enough.

    Motorcycles have blind spots likecars. Beore you change lanes, turn yourhead, and look to the side or othervehicles.

    On a road with several lanes, checkthe ar lane and the one next to you. Adriver in the distant lane may head orthe same space you plan to take.

    Frequent head checks should beyour normal scanning routine, also.Only by knowing what is happeningall around you are you ully preparedto deal with it.


    Be ready to use your horn to getsomeones attention quickly.

    It is a good idea to give a quick beepbeore passing anyone that may moveinto your lane.

    Here are some situations:

    Adriver in the lane next to youis driving too closely to the vehicleahead and may want to pass.

    Aparkedcar has someone in thedrivers seat.

    Someoneisinthestreet, riding abicycle or walking.

    In an emergency, press the hornbutton loud and long. Be ready to stopor swerve away rom the danger.

    Keep in mind that a motorcycles horn

    isnt as loud as a cars thereore, useit, but dont rely on it. Other strategies,like having time and space to maneuver,may be appropriate along with thehorn.

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    24 rIDe wItHIn your abIlItIes

    Riding at Night

    At night it is harder or you to see

    and be seen. Picking your headlightor taillight out o the car lights aroundyou is not easy or other drivers. Tocompensate, you should:

    ReduceYourSpeed Ride evenslower than you would during theday particularly on roads youdont know well. This will increaseyourchancesofavoidingahazard.

    IncreaseDistance Distancesare harder to judge at night thanduring the day. Your eyes rely uponshadows and light contrasts todetermine how ar away an objectis and how ast it is coming. Thesecontrasts are missing or distortedunder articial lights at night.Open up a three-second ollowingdistance or more. And allow more

    distance to pass and be passed.UsetheCarAhead The

    headlights o the car ahead can giveyou a better view o the road thaneven your high beam can. Taillightsbouncing up and down can alertyou to bumps or rough pavement.

    UseYourHighBeam Get all thelight you can. Use your high beam

    whenever you are not ollowingor meeting a car. Be visible: Wearrefective materials when riding atnight.

    BeFlexibleAboutLanePosition.Change to whatever portion o thelane is best able to help you see, beseen and keep an adequate spacecushion.

    CraSh aVOiDaNCe

    No matter how careul you are, there

    will be times when you nd yoursel in atight spot. Your chances o getting outsaely depend on your ability to reactquickly and properly. Oten, a crashoccurs because a rider is not prepared orskilled in crash-avoidance maneuvers.

    Know when and how to stop orswerve, two skills critical in avoidinga crash. It is not always desirable or

    possible to stop quickly to avoid anobstacle. Riders must also be able toswerve around an obstacle. Deter-mining which skill is necessary or thesituation is important as well.

    Studies show that most crash-involved riders:

    Underbrake the ront tire and

    overbrake the rear.Didnot separate braking rom

    swerving or did not chooseswerving when it was appropriate.

    The ollowing inormation oerssome good advice.

    Quick Stops

    To stop quickly, apply both brakes

    at the same time. Dont be shy aboutusing the ront brake, but dont grabit,either.Squeezethebrakeleverrmly and progressively. I the rontwheel locks, release the ront brakeimmediately then reapply it rmly. Atthe same time, press down on therear brake. I you accidentally lock therear brake on a good traction surace,

    you can keep it locked until you havecompletely stopped; but, even with alocked rear wheel, you can control themotorcycle on a straightaway i it isupright and going in a straight line.

    Refective clothing should:

    A. Be worn at night.

    B. Be worn during the day.

    C. Not be worn.

    D. Be worn day and night

    test yourself 7

    Answer - page 41

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    Always use both brakes at the sametime to stop. The ront brake canprovide 70% or more o the potentialstopping power.

    I you must stop quickly while turningor riding a curve, the best technique isto straighten the bike upright rst andthen brake. However, it may not always

    be possible to straighten the motorcycleand then stop. I you must brake whileleaning, apply light brakes and reducethe throttle. As you slow, you canreduce your lean angle and apply morebrake pressure until the motorcycle is

    straight and maximum brake pressureis possible. You should straightenthe handlebars in the last ew eet o

    stopping. The motorcycle should thenbe straight up and in balance.

    Swerving or Turning Quickly

    Sometimes you may not have enoughroom to stop, even i you use bothbrakes properly. An object might appearsuddenly in your path. Or the car aheadmight squeal to a stop. The only way to

    avoid a crash may be to turn quickly, orswerve around it.

    A swerve is any sudden change indirection. It can be two quick turns, ora rapid shit to the side. Apply a smallamount o pressure to the handgriplocated on the side o your intendeddirection o escape. This will cause themotorcycle to lean quickly. The sharperthe turn(s), the more the motorcyclemust lean.

    Keep your body upright and allowthe motorcycle to lean in the directiono the turn while keeping your knees

    stoppInG DIstance

    swerve, tHen brake brake, tHen swerve

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    26 rIDe wItHIn your abIlItIes

    against the tank and your eet solidly onthe ootrests. Let the motorcycle moveunderneath you. Make your escaperoute the target o your vision. Presson the opposite handgrip once youclear the obstacle to return you to youroriginal direction o travel. To swerve tothe let, press the let handgrip, thenpress the right to recover. To swerve tothe right, press right, then let.


    ITFROMSWERVING.Brakebeforeorater never while swerving.


    A primary cause o single-vehicle

    crashes is motorcyclists running wide ina curve or turn and colliding with theroadway or a xed object.

    Everycurveisdifferent.Bealerttowhether a curve remains constant,gradually widens, gets tighter orinvolves multiple turns.

    Ride within your skill level and posted

    speed limits.Your best path may not always ollow

    the curve o the road.

    constant curves

    DecreasInG curves(tIGHter turns)

    MultIple curves

    wIDenInG curves

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    Change lane position depending ontrac, road conditions and curve othe road. I no trac is present, start atthe outside o a curve to increase yourline o sight and the eective radius othe turn. As you turn, move toward theinside o the curve, and as you pass thecenter, move to the outside to exit.

    Another alternative is to move to thecenter o your lane beore entering acurve and stay there until you exit.

    This permits you to spot approachingtrac as soon as possible. You can alsoadjust or trac crowding the centerline, or debris blocking part o your lane.

    haNDLiNg DaNgerOUS


    Your chance o alling or beinginvolved in a crash increases wheneveryou ride across:





    Uneven Surfaces andObstacles

    Watch or uneven suraces such asbumps, broken pavement, potholes orsmall pieces o highway trash.

    Try to avoid obstacles by slowing orgoing around them. I you must goover the obstacle, rst determine i it is

    possible. Approach it at as close to a 90angle as possible. Look where you wantto go to control your path o travel. Iyou have to ride over the obstacle, youshould:

    Slowdown as much as possiblebeore contact.

    Makesure the motorcycle is



    The best way to stop quickly is to:

    A. Use the ront brake only.

    B. Use the rear brake rst.

    C. Throttle down and use the rontbrake.

    D. Use both brakes at the same time.

    test yourself 8

    Answer - page 41

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    28 rIDe wItHIn your abIlItIes

    Riseslightly o the seat with yourweight on the ootrests to absorbthe shock with your knees and

    elbows, and avoid being thrown othe motorcycle.

    Justbeforecontact, roll on thethrottle slightly to lighten the rontend.

    I you ride over an object on thestreet, pull o the road and check yourtires and rims or damage beore riding

    any arther.Slippery Surfaces

    Motorcycles handle better whenridden on suraces that permit goodtraction. Suraces that provide poortraction include:

    Wetpavement, particularly justater it starts to rain and beore

    surace oil washes to the side o theroad.

    Gravelroads, or where sand andgravel collect.


    Lanemarkings(paintedlines),steel plates and manhole covers,especially when wet.

    To ride saely on slippery suraces:ReduceSpeed Slow down

    beore you get to a slipperysurace to lessen your chances oskidding. Your motorcycle needsmore distance to stop. And it isparticularly important to reducespeed beore entering wet curves.

    AvoidSuddenMoves Any

    sudden change in speed or directioncan cause a skid. Be as smooth aspossible when you speed up, shitgears, turn or brake.

    UseBothBrakes The rontbrake is still eective, even on aslipperysurface.Squeezethebrake

    lever gradually to avoid locking theront wheel. Remember, gentlepressure on the rear brake.

    Thecenterofalane can behazardouswhenwet.Whenitstartsto rain, ride in the tire tracks let bycars. Oten, the let tire track willbe the best position, depending ontrac and other road conditions aswell.

    Watchforoilspotswhen you putyour oot down to stop or park. You

    may slip and all.

    Dirtandgravel collect along thesides o the road especially oncurves and ramps leading to androm highways. Be aware o whatson the edge o the road, particularlywhen making sharp turns andgetting on or o reeways at highspeeds.

    Raindriesandsnowmeltsfasteron some sections o a road thanon others. Patches o ice tend todevelop in low or shaded areas andon bridges and overpasses. Wetsuraces or wet leaves are just asslippery. Ride on the least slipperyportion o the lane and reducespeed.

    Cautious riders steer clear o roadscovered with ice or snow. I you cantavoid a slippery surace, keep yourmotorcycle straight up and proceedasslowlyas possible. I you encountera large surace so slippery that youmust coast, or travel at a walking pace,consider letting your eet skim alongthe surace. I the motorcycle starts to

    all, you can catch yoursel. Be sure tokeepoffthebrakes.Ifpossible,squeezethe clutch and coast. Attempting thismaneuver at anything other thanthe slowest o speeds could provehazardous.

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    RailroadTracks,TrolleyTracksand Pavement Seams

    Usually it is saer to ride straight withinyour lane to cross tracks. Turning to taketracks head-on (at a 90 angle) can bemore dangerous your path may carryyou into another lane o trac.



    parallel tracksrIGHt

    Grate crossInGsrIGHt

    parallel trackswronG

    Grate crossInGswronG

    For track and road seams that runparallel to your course, move ar enoughaway rom tracks, ruts, or pavement

    seams to cross at an angle o at least45. Then, make a deliberate turn.Edgingacrosscouldcatchyourtiresandthrow you o balance.

    Grooves and GratingsRiding over rain grooves or bridge

    gratings may cause a motorcycle toweave. The uneasy, wandering eeling isgenerallynothazardous.Relax,maintain

    a steady speed and ride straight across.Crossing at an angle orces riders tozigzagtostayinthelane.Thezigzagisfarmorehazardousthanthewanderingeeling.

    When it starts to rain it is usuallybest to:

    A. Ride in the center o the lane.

    B. Pull o to the side until the rainstops.

    C. Ride in the tire tracks let by cars.

    D. Increase your speed.

    test yourself 9

    Answer - page 41

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    30 rIDe wItHIn your abIlItIes

    MeChaNiCaL PrOBLeMS

    You can nd yoursel in an emergency

    the moment something goes wrongwith your motorcycle. In dealing withany mechanical problem, take intoaccount the road and trac conditionsyou ace. Here are some guidelinesthat can help you handle mechanicalproblems saely.

    Tire Failure

    You will seldom hear a tire go fat.I the motorcycle starts handlingdierently, it may be a tire ailure. Thiscan be dangerous. You must be able totell rom the way the motorcycle reacts.I one o your tires suddenly loses air,react quickly to keep your balance. Pullo and check the tires.

    I the ront tire goes fat, the steeringwill eel heavy. A ront-wheel fat isparticularlyhazardousbecauseitaffectsyour steering. You have to steer well tokeep your balance.

    I the rear tire goes fat, the back othe motorcycle may jerk or sway romside to side.

    I either tire goes fat while riding:

    Holdhandgrips rmly, ease o thethrottle, and keep a straight course.

    Ifbrakingisrequired,however,gradually apply the brake o the tirethat isnt fat, i you are sure whichone it is.

    Whenthemotorcycleslows,edge to the side o the road,squeezetheclutchandstop.

    Stuck Throttle

    Twist the throttle back and orth

    several times. I the throttle cable isstuck, this may ree it. I the throttlestays stuck, immediately operate theengine cut-o switch and pull in theclutch at the same time. This will removepower rom the rear wheel, thoughengine sound may not immediatelydecline. Once the motorcycle is undercontrol, pull o and stop.

    Ater you have stopped, check thethrottle cable careully to nd the sourceo the trouble. Make certain the throttleworks reely beore you start to rideagain.


    A wobble occurs when the rontwheel and handlebars suddenly startto shake rom side to side at anyspeed. Most wobbles can be traced toimproper loading, unsuitable accessoriesor incorrect tire pressure. I you arecarrying a heavy load, lighten it. I youcant, shit it. Center the weight lowerand arther orward on the motorcycle.Make sure tire pressure, spring pre-load, air shocks and dampers are at thesettings recommended or that muchweight. Make sure windshields andairings are mounted properly.

    Check or poorly adjusted steering;worn steering parts; a ront wheel thatis bent, misaligned, or out o balance;loose wheel bearings or spokes; andworn swingarm bearings. I none o

    these is determined to be the cause,have the motorcycle checked outthoroughly by a qualied proessional.

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    Trying to accelerate out o awobble will only make the motorcyclemore unstable. Instead:

    Gripthehandlebarsrmly, butdont ght the wobble.

    Closethethrottlegraduallyto slow down. Do not apply thebrakes; braking could make thewobble worse.

    Moveyourweight as ar orwardand down as possible.

    Pullofftheroad as soon as youcan to x the problem.

    I your motorcycle starts to wobble:

    A. Accelerate out o the wobble.

    B. Use the brakes gradually.

    C. Grip the handlebars rmly and closethe throttle gradually.

    D. Downshit.

    test yourself 10

    Drive Train Problems

    The drive train or a motorcycle useseither a chain, belt, or drive shat totranser power rom the engine to

    the rear wheel. Routine inspection,adjustment, and maintenance makesailure a rare occurrence. A chain or beltthat slips or breaks while youre ridingcould lock the rear wheel and causeyour motorcycle to skid.

    I the chain or belt breaks, youllnotice an instant loss o power to therear wheel. Close the throttle and braketo a stop in a sae area.

    On models with a drive shat, loss ooil in the rear dierential can cause therear wheel to lock, and you may not beable to prevent a skid.

    Engine Seizure

    When the engine locks or

    freezesitisusuallylowonoil.Theengines moving parts cant movesmoothly against each other, and theengine overheats. The rst sign may bea loss o engine power or a change intheenginessound.Squeezetheclutchlever to disengage the engine rom therear wheel. Pull o the road and stop.Check the oil. I needed, oil should be

    added as soon as possible or the enginewillseize.Whenthishappens,theeffectis the same as a locked rear wheel. Letthe engine cool beore restarting.


    Naturally, you should do everythingyou saely can to avoid hitting ananimal. I you are in trac, however,

    remain in your lane. Hitting somethingsmall is less dangerous to you thanhitting something big like a car.

    Motorcycles seem to attract dogs. Iyou are chased, downshit and approachthe animal slowly. As you approach it,accelerate away and leave the animalbehind. Dont kick at an animal. Keepcontrol o your motorcycle and look towhere you want to go.

    For larger animals (deer, elk, cattle)brake and prepare to stop they areunpredictable.

    Answer - page 41

    I you are chased by a dog:

    A. Kick it away.

    B. Stop until the animal loses interest.

    C. Swerve around the animal.

    D. Approach the animal slowly, thenspeed up.

    test yourself 11

    Answer - page 41

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    32 rIDe wItHIn your abIlItIes

    FLYiNg OBJeCtS

    From time to time riders are struck

    by insects, cigarettes thrown rom carsor pebbles kicked up by the tires othe vehicle ahead. I you are wearingace protection, it might get smearedor cracked, making it dicult to see.Without ace protection, an objectcould hit you in the eye, ace or mouth.Whatever happens, keep your eyeson the road and your hands on the

    handlebars. When sae, pull o the roadand repair the damage.

    gettiNg OFF the rOaD

    I you need to leave the road to checkthe motorcycle (or just to rest or awhile), be sure you:

    Checktheroadside Make surethe surace o the roadside is rmenough to ride on. I it is sot grass,loose sand or i youre just not sureabout it, slow way down beore youturn onto it.

    Signal Drivers behind might notexpect you to slow down. Give aclear signal that you will be slowingdown and changing direction.Check your mirror and make a head

    check beore you take any action.Pullofftheroad Get as ar o

    the road as you can. It can be veryhard to spot a motorcycle by theside o the road. You dont wantsomeone else pulling o at thesame place you are.

    Parkcarefully Loose and slopedshoulders can make setting the side

    or center stand dicult.

    CarrYiNg PaSSeNgerS

    aND CargO

    Only experienced riders should carrypassengers or large loads. The extraweight changes the way the motorcyclehandles, balances, speeds up and slowsdown. Beore taking a passenger or aheavy load on the street, practice awayrom trac.


    To carry passengers saely:

    Equipandadjustyour motorcycleto carry passengers.

    Instructthepassengerbeore youstart.

    Adjustyourriding technique orthe added weight.

    Equipment should include:

    Aproperseat large enough tohold both o you without crowding.You should not sit any artherorward than you usually do.

    Footrests or the passenger.Firm ooting prevents yourpassenger rom alling o andpulling you o, too.

    Protectiveequipment the sameprotective gear recommended oroperators.

    Adjust the suspension to handle theadditional weight. You will probablyneed to add a ew pounds o pressureto the tires i you carry a passenger.(Check your owners manual orappropriate settings.) While your

    passenger sits on the seat with you,adjust the mirrors and headlightaccording to the change in themotorcycles angle.

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    Instructing Passengers


    rider, provide complete instructionsbeore you start. Tell your passenger to:

    Geton the motorcycle only ateryou have started the engine.

    Sitasfarforward as possiblewithout crowding you.

    Holdrmly to your waist, hips,belt, or to the bikes passengerhandholds.

    Keepbothfeet on the ootrests,even when stopped.

    Keeplegsaway rom themufer(s), chains or moving parts.

    Staydirectlybehindyou, leaningas you lean.

    Avoidunnecessary talk or motion.

    Also, tell your passenger to tighten hisor her hold when you:

    Approach surace problems.

    Areabouttostart rom a stop.

    Warnthatyou will make a suddenmove.

    Riding With Passengers

    Your motorcycle will respond moreslowly with a passenger on board. Theheavier your passenger, the longer itmay take to slow down and speed up especially on a light motorcycle.

    Passengers should:

    A. Lean as you lean.

    B. Hold on to the motorcycle seat.

    C. Sit as ar back as possible.

    D. Never hold onto you.

    test yourself 12

    Answer - page 41

    Ridealittleslower, especiallywhen taking curves, corners orbumps.

    Startslowingearlier as youapproach a stop.

    Openupalargercushion ospace ahead and to the sides.

    Waitforlargergaps to cross,enter or merge in trac.

    Warn your passenger o specialconditions when you will pull out,

    stop quickly, turn sharply or ride over abump. Turn your head slightly to makeyoursel understood, but keep your eyeson the road ahead.

    Carrying Loads

    Most motorcycles are not designedto carry much cargo. Small loads can becarried saely i positioned and astenedproperly.

    KeeptheLoadLow Fastenloads securely, or put them insaddlebags. Piling loads against asissybar or rame on the back o theseat raises the motorcycles centero gravity and disturbs its balance.

    KeeptheLoadForward Placethe load over, or in ront o, the rearaxle. Tankbags keep loads orward,but use caution when loading hardor sharp objects. Make sure thetankbag does not interere withhandlebars or controls. Mountingloads behind the rear axle can aecthow the motorcycle turns andbrakes. It can also cause a wobble.


    Load saddlebags with about thesame weight. An uneven load cancause the motorcycle to drit to oneside.

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    34 rIDe wItHIn your abIlItIes

    SecuretheLoad Fasten the loadsecurely with elastic cords (bungeecordsornets).Elasticcordswith

    more than one attachment pointper side are more secure. A tightload wont catch in the wheel orchain, causing it to lock up and skid.Rope tends to stretch and knotscome loose, permitting the load toshit or all.

    ChecktheLoad Stop and checkthe load every so oten to make

    sure it has not worked loose ormoved.

    grOUP riDiNg

    I you ride with others, do it in away that promotes saety and doesntinterere with the fow o trac.

    Keep the Group Small

    Small groups make it easier and saeror car drivers who need to get aroundthem. A small number isnt separatedas easily by trac or red lights. Riderswont always be hurrying to catch up.I your group is larger than our or veriders, divide it up into two or moresmaller groups.

    Keep the Group Together

    Plan The leader should lookahead or changes and signal earlyso the word gets back in plentyo time. Start lane changes early topermit everyone to complete thechange.

    PutBeginnersUpFront Placeinexperienced riders just behindthe leader. That way the moreexperienced riders can watch themrom the back.

    FollowThoseBehind Letthe tailender set the pace. Useyour mirrors to keep an eye onthe person behind. I a rider allsbehind, everyone should slow downa little to stay with the tailender.

    KnowtheRoute Make sureeveryone knows the route. Then, isomeone is separated they wont

    have to hurry to keep rom gettinglost or taking a wrong turn. Planrequent stops on long rides.

    Keep Your DistanceMaintain close ranks but at the same

    time keep a sae distance to allow eachrider in the group time and space toreacttohazards.Aclosegrouptakesup less space on the highway, is easier

    to see and is less likely to be separated.However, it must be done properly.

    Dont Pair Up Never operatedirectly alongside another rider. There isno place to go i you have to avoid a caror something on the road. To talk, waituntil you are both stopped.

    Staggered Formation This isthe best way to keep ranks close yet

    maintain an adequate space cushion. Theleader rides in the let side o the lane,while the second rider stays one secondbehind in the right side o the lane.

    staGGereD forMatIon

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    A third rider maintains in the letposition, two seconds behind the rstrider. The ourth rider would keep a

    two-second distance behind the secondrider. This ormation keeps the groupclose and permits each rider a saedistance rom others ahead, behind andto the sides.

    PassinginFormation Riders ina staggered ormation should passone at a time.


    out and pass when it is sae. Aterpassing, the leader should return tothe let position and continue ridingat passing speed to open room orthe next rider.

    Aftertherstriderpassessafely,the second rider should move upto the let position and watch or asae chance to pass. Ater passing,

    this rider should return to the rightposition and open up room or thenext rider.

    Group passInG (staGe 1) Group passInG (staGe 2)

    Some people suggest that the leadershould move to the right side aterpassing a vehicle. This is not a good

    idea. It encourages the second riderto pass and cut back in beore thereis a large enough space cushion inront o the passed vehicle. Its simplerand saer to wait until there is enoughroom ahead o the passed vehicle toallow each rider to move into the sameposition held beore the pass.

    Single-File Formation It is best

    to move into a single-le ormationwhen riding curves, turning, entering orleaving a highway.

    When riding in a group,inexperienced riders should positionthemselves:

    A. Just behind the leader.

    B. In ront o the group.C. At the tail end o the group.

    D. Beside the leader.

    test yourself 13

    Answer - page 41

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    36 beInG In sHape to rIDe

    Riding a motorcycle is a demanding and complex task. Skilled riderspay attention to the riding environment and to operating the motorcycle,

    identifyingpotentialhazards,makinggoodjudgmentsandexecutingdecisionsquickly and skillully. Your ability to perorm and respond to changing roadand trac conditions is infuenced by how t and alert you are. Alcohol andother drugs, more than any other actor, degrade your ability to think clearlyand to ride saely. As little as one drink can have a signicant eect on yourperormance.

    Lets look at the risks involved in riding ater drinking or using drugs. What todo to protect yoursel and your ellow riders is also examined.

    WhY thiS iNFOrMatiON

    iS iMPOrtaNt

    Alcohol is a major contributor tomotorcycle crashes, particularly atalcrashes. Studies show that 40% to45% o all riders killed in motorcyclecrashes had been drinking. Only one-third o those riders had a blood alcoholconcentration above legal limits. The

    rest had only a ew drinks in theirsystems enough to impair ridingskills. In the past, drug levels have beenharder to distinguish or have not beenseparated rom drinking violations orthe trac records. But riding underthe infuence o either alcohol or drugsposesphysicalandlegalhazardsforevery rider.

    Drinking and drug use is as big

    a problem among motorcyclistsas it is among automobile drivers.Motorcyclists, however, are more likelyto be killed or severely injured in a crash.Injuries occur in 90% o motorcyclecrashes and 33% o automobile crashesthat involve abuse o substances. Ona yearly basis, 2,100 motorcyclistsare killed and about 50,000 seriouslyinjured in this same type o crash. These

    statistics are too overwhelming toignore.

    By becoming knowledgeable aboutthe eects o alcohol and other drugsyou will see that riding and substanceabuse dont mix. Take positive steps toprotect yoursel and prevent others rominjuring themselves.

    aLCOhOL aND Other

    DrUgS iN MOtOrCYCLe


    No one is immune to the eects oalcohol or drugs. Friends may bragabout their ability to hold their liquoror perorm better on drugs, but alcoholor drugs make them less able to thinkclearly and perorm physical tasks

    skillully. Judgment and the decision-making processes needed or vehicleoperation are aected long beore legallimitations are reached.

    Many over-the-counter, prescriptionand illegal drugs have side eects thatincrease the risk o riding. It is dicult toaccurately measure the involvement oparticular drugs in motorcycle crashes.

    But we do know what eects variousdrugs have on the processes involved inriding a motorcycle. We also know thatthe combined eects o alcohol andother drugs are more dangerous thaneither is alone.

    aLCOhOL iN the BODY

    Alcohol enters the bloodstreamquickly. Unlike most oods and

    beverages, it does not need to bedigested. Within minutes ater beingconsumed, it reaches the brain andbegins to aect the drinker. The majoreect alcohol has is to slow down andimpair bodily unctions both mentaland physical. Whatever you do, you doless well ater consuming alcohol.

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    Blood Alcohol Concentration

    Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC

    is the amount o alcohol in relation toblood in the body. Generally, alcohol canbe eliminated in the body at the rate oalmost one drink per hour. But a varietyo other actors may also infuencethe level o alcohol retained. The morealcohol in your blood, the greater thedegree o impairment.

    Three actors play a major part indetermining BAC:

    Theamounto alcohol youconsume.

    Howfast you drink.

    Yourbody weight.

    Other actors also contribute to theway alcohol aects your system.

    Your sex, physical condition and

    ood intake are just a ew that maycause your BAC level to be even higher.But the ull eects o these are notcompletely known. Alcohol may stillaccumulate in your body even if youare drinking at a rate of one drinkper hour Abilities and judgment can beaected by that one drink.

    A 12-ounce can o beer, a mixeddrink with one shot o liquor, and a 5-ounce glass o wine all contain the same

    amount o alcohol.

    The aster you drink, the more alcoholaccumulates in your body. I you drinktwo drinks in an hour, at the end o thathour, at least one drink will remain inyour bloodstream.

    Without taking into account anyother actors, these examples illustratewhy time is a critical actor when a rider

    decides to drink.

    A person drinking:

    Seven drinks over the span o threehours would have at least our (7 3= 4) drinks remaining in their systemat the end o the three hours. Theywould need at least another our hoursto eliminate the our remaining drinksbeore they consider riding.

    alcoHol content

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    Or Dont Ride I you haventcontrolled your drinking, you mustcontrol your riding.

    Leavethemotorcycle so youwont be tempted to ride. Arrangeanother way to get home.

    Wait I you exceed your limit,wait until your system eliminates thealcohol and its atiguing eects.

    SteP iN tO PrOteCt


    People who have had too much todrink are unable to make a responsibledecision. It is up to others to step inand keep them rom taking too greata risk. No one wants to do this itsuncomortable, embarrassing andthankless. You are rarely thankedor your eorts at the time. But the

    alternatives are oten worse.

    There are several ways to keep riendsrom hurting themselves:

    Arrangeasaferide Providealternative ways or them to gethome.

    SlowthepaceofdrinkingInvolve them in other activities.

    Keepthemthere Use anyexcuse to keep them rom gettingon their motorcycle. Serve themood and coee to pass the time.Explainyourconcernsfortheirrisks o getting arrested or hurt orhurting someone else. Take theirkey, i you can.

    Getfriendsinvolved Use peer

    pressure rom a group o riends tointervene.

    It helps to enlist support rom otherswhen you decide to step in. The morepeople on your side, the easier it is to be

    rm and the harder it is or the rider toresist. While you may not be thanked atthe time, you will never have to say, Ionly I had ...


    Riding a motorcycle is more tiringthan driving a car. On a long trip, youlltire sooner than you would in a car.Avoid riding when tired. Fatigue canaect your control o the motorcycle.

    Protectyourself rom the elements Wind, cold, and rain makeyou tire quickly. Dress warmly. Awindshield is worth its cost i youplan to ride long distances.

    LimityourdistanceExperi-enced riders seldom try to ride morethan about six hours a day.

    Takefrequentrestbreaks Stop

    and get o the motorcycle at leastevery two hours.

    DontdrinkorusedrugsArticial stimulants oten result inextreme atigue or depression whenthey start to wear o. Riders areunable to concentrate on the task athand.

    I you wait one hour per drink orthe alcohol to be eliminated romyour body beore riding:

    A. You cannot be arrested or drinkingand riding.

    B. Your riding skills will not be aected.

    C. Side eects rom the drinking maystill remain.

    D. You will be okay as long as you rideslowly.

    test yourself 14

    Answer - page 41

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    40 earnInG your lIcense

    Sae riding requires knowledge and skill. Licensing tests are the bestmeasurement o the skills necessary to operate saely in trac. Assessing your

    own skills is not enough. People oten overestimate their own abilities. Its evenharder or riends and relatives to be totally honest about your skills. Licensingexams are designed to be scored more objectively.

    To earn your license, you must pass a knowledge test and an on-cycle skilltest. Knowledge test questions are based on inormation, practices and ideasrom this manual. They require that you know and understand road rules andsae riding practices. An on-cycle skill test will either be conducted in an actualtrac environment or in a controlled, o-street area.

    Knowledge Test

    (Sample Questions)

    1. It is MOST important to fashyour brake light when:

    A. Someone is ollowing too closely.

    B. You will be slowing suddenly.

    C. There is a stop sign ahead.

    D. Your signals are not working.

    2. The FRONT brake supplies howmuch o the potential stopping


    A. About one-quarter.

    B. About one-hal.

    C. About three-quarters.

    D. All o the stopping power.

    3. To swerve correctly:

    A. Shit your weight quickly.

    B. Turn the handlebars quickly.

    C. Press the handgrip in the direction

    o the turn.

    D. Press the handgrip in the oppositedirection o the turn.

    4. I a tire goes fat while riding andyou must stop, it is usually bestto:

    A. Relax on the handgrips.

    B. Shit your weight toward thegood tire.

    C. Brake on the good tire and steerto the side o the road.

    D. Use both brakes and stop quickly.

    5. The car below is waiting to enterthe intersection. It is best to:

    A. Make eye contact with the driver.

    B. Reduce speed and be ready to


    C. Maintain speed and position.

    D. Maintain speed and move right.

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    Answers to Test Yoursel (previous pages)

    1-C, 2-D, 3-D, 4-A, 5-B,6-C, 7-D 8-D, 9-C, 10-C,

    On-Motorcycle Skill Test

    Basic vehicle control and crash-

    avoidance skills are included in on-motorcycle tests to determine yourabilitytohandlenormalandhazardoustrac situations.

    You may be tested or your ability to:

    Knowyourmotorcycle and yourriding limits.