Download - Florida Motorcycle Manual | Florida Motorcycle Handbook

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





    Includes Moped InformationA complete copy of this manual is available via the Internet at:

    Access to the Governors home page via:

    HSMV 71905(Revised 09/2012)

    Visit the FRTP for information on Sponsor contacts and locations by county, or the DHSMV website at

    Or call 850-488-3286 for an automated listing by county


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



    Welcome To the Sunshine State!

    Florida is a great place to ride motorcycles year round. Beingroperly licensed is required by law and is one of the firstteps to becoming a safe rider. This motorcycle operators

    manual contains valuable information for both novice andxperienced motorcyclists on techniques to operate a

    motorcycle safely.

    Courses for beginner and for more experienced riders areffered through DHSMVs Florida Rider Training ProgramFRTP). Courses cover strategies and techniques on

    managing the riding environment and avoiding crashes. Inddition, the courses offer on-cycle riding sessions in order

    o practice these street-riding strategies and crashvoidance skills. Learning these skills is important as Floridand other crash studies show that rider course graduatesave far less injury and fatality rates as untrained riders,learly depicting the need for rider education.

    The greatest factor contributing to motorcycle relatedrashes, injuries and fatalities is alcohol involvement. In009, the National Highway Traffic Safety AdministrationNHTSA) reported that motorcycle operators in fatal crashesad BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) levels higher than

    ny other type of motor vehicle operator. The crash factseport also noted that 42% of the 1,903 motorcycle riders

    who died in a single vehicle crash in 2009 had BAC levels of08 or higher.

    The first faculty impaired by alcohol is a persons judgment,ausing them to think they are okay to operate a

    motorcycle safely. After just one drink, alcohol negativelyffects a motorcyclists ability to balance a motorcycle,educes coordination, vision, and all essential mental andhysical skills needed for safe motorcycle operation. It is up

    o all motorcyclists to separate alcohol or other drugmpairment from motorcycle operation. Moreover, it is up to

    ll of us to step in and stop others from operatingmotorcycles while impaired. Removing alcohol as a crashactor will reduce motorcycle crashes and save lives. Part ofhe DHSMV mission is to make highways safe for all users,nd provide important and essential safety information. Afterll, having an enjoyable and safe ride should be the goal ofll motorcyclists.

    Clayton Boyd Walden, DirectorDivision of Motorist Services


    The Florida Driver's Handbook covers many condensed and

    araphrased points of Florida's laws and provides safetydvice not covered in the laws. The handbook is not a legaluthority and should not be used in a court of law. The

    Florida Driver's Handbook is printed in volume and copieslready obtained will not reflect any changes made byegislature regarding fees or laws passed after the revisionate.

    Remember Driving Is A Privilege and Not A RProtect Yourself and Others By Knowing The Laws Driving Safely.


    Under section 322.212 (5), Florida Statutes, it is a tdegree felony to use a false or fictitious name in application for a driver license or identification card, oknowingly make a false statement, knowingly concematerial fact, or otherwise commit a fraud in any sapplication.

    Violators face immediate arrest and, upon convicpenalties up to a maximum fine of $5,000 and imprisonmup to 5 years.

    The Department will suspend the driving privilege for year of any person who makes a fraudulent application Florida driver license.

    Under section 322.36, Florida Statutes, it is unlawful forperson to authorize or knowingly permit a motor vehicbe operated by any person who does not hold a valid dlicense.

    Public Records

    Florida law and sound records management practicesrequire the collection of certain personal information in thdriver licensing process. This personal information identifan individual and is used for records management, driverimprovement, financial responsibility, and law enforcemepurposes.

    Failure to provide the required information will result in deof a license or identification card. Falsification of informamay result in prosecution. Florida law specifies thadocuments or other material made or received in connecwith the transaction of official business by any agencypublic records. In addition to all documents, informataken from them is subject to public disclosure uFlorida's Public Records law. This personal informaincluding name, address and driver license numbeconfidential by law, but may be given to law enforcemagencies, insurance companies, credit bureaus, leninstitutions, and any other entity exempted by staMedical information, social security number and emergecontact information are further protected and may onlyreleased as specifically authorized by Florida law.

    The Division of Motorist Services strives to ensure

    accuracy of information obtained in the licensing proand makes every effort to correct any incorrect informatioits files. Incorrect information may be corrected by suppyour complete name, date of birth, driver license numinformation on the nature of the error and proof that it ierror to the Chief, Bureau of Records, Neil Kirkman BuildMS 89, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0575, or telephone (617-2000.. Certain information, such as conviction repreceived from a court, can only be corrected unotification from the court that the report was in error.

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



    Automobile insurance information is exempt from the PublicRecords Law. This information is provided to any partynvolved in the crash, their attorney or insurance company,aw enforcement agencies and officers of the court, aftereceiving a written request and copy of the crash report.

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



    Table of Contents


    DHSMV Contact Information.. 4Appointment Information. 4Emergency Contact Information 4Organ Donor Program. 4Move Over Law. 4

    DOT 511 Program 4



    Age Limitations..... 10

    icensing Requirements.. 10


    Wear the Right Gear ............................................................... 12Helmet Use ............................................................................... 12Helmet Selection ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... ....... 12Eye and Face Protection ......... ........... .......... ........... .......... ....... 12

    Clothing .................................................................................... 12

    Know Your Motorcycle ........................................................... 13

    he Right Motorcycle for You ......... ........... .......... .......... ........... 13

    Borrowing and Lending ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... ........ 13

    Get Familiar with the Motorcycle Controls .......... .......... ........... . 13

    Check Your Motorcycle .......... .......... ........... .......... ........... ........ 13

    Know Your Responsibilities ...................................................... 14


    Basic Vehicle Control ............................................................. 15

    Body Position.......... .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... ... 15Shifting Gears .......... ........... ........... .......... ........... .......... .......... .. 15

    Braking ..................................................................................... 15

    urning ..................................................................................... 15

    Keeping Your Distance .......................................................... 16

    ane Positions ......... ........... ........... .......... ........... .......... .......... .. 16

    ollowing Another Vehicle ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... ... 16

    Being Followed .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... 17

    Passing and Being Passed .......... .......... ........... .......... ........... ... 17

    ane Sharing .......... .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... ... 17

    Merging Cars .......... .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... ... 17

    Cars Alongside ................. .................. .................. ............. 18

    Search, Evaluate, Execute (S.E.E). ....................................... 18

    ntersections 18Blind Intersections 19

    ncreasing Rider Visibility ...................................................... 19

    Clothing .................................................................................... 19

    Headlight ..................................................................................

    Brake Light........

    Head Checks...........

    Horn .

    Riding at Night...

    Crash Avoidance ....................................................................

    Quick Stops ............................................................................

    Swerving or Turning Quickly .......... .......... ........... .......... .......... .

    Cornering ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... .......... ........

    Handling Dangerous Surfaces ..............................................

    Uneven Surfaces and Obstacles ........... .......... ........... .......... ....

    Slippery Surfaces ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... ......

    Railroad Tracks, Trolley Tracks and Pavement Seams .......... .

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

    Mechanical Problems ............................................................

    Tire Failure .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... ......

    Stuck Throttle .......... .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... ..

    Wobble ......... ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... ..

    Chain Problems.......... ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... .........

    Engine Seizure .......... .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... .......... .

    Unavoidable Hazards.............................................................

    Getting Off the Road.

    Carrying Passengers and Cargo...........................................

    Equipment .......... .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... .......... ........

    Instructing Passengers .......... .......... ........... .......... ........... .........

    Riding With Passengers .......... .......... ........... .......... .......... ........

    Carrying Loads .......... .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... .......... .

    Group Riding ..........................................................................

    Keep the Group Small ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... .........

    Keep the Group Together .......... ........... .......... .......... ........... ....

    Keep Your Distance .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... ..

    Riding while Impaired

    Why this information is important .......... .......... ........... .......... ....

    Alcohol and other drugs in motorcycle operation ............. ........

    Alcohol in the body ........... .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... ....

    Blood Alcohol Concentration .......... .......... ........... .......... .......... .

    Alcohol and the law .......... .......... ........... .......... .......... ........... ....

    Consequences of Conviction .......... ........... .......... ........... .........



    Providers ......

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    Section 1DHSMV Contact Information

    .1 - Contact Information

    Customer Service Center (850) 617-2000

    DHSMV Official Web Site

    Gather Go Get

    Find out what you need to bring withyou before you make the trip.

    DHSMV Virtual Officeonline transactions)

    .2 - Appointments

    Appointments are recommended for any of the servicesrovided by the driver license offices. Appointmentcheduling and a listing of driver license offices are availablen our homepage at Schedule yourppointment in advance and report at least five minutesefore your scheduled time.

    .3 - Emergency Contact Information

    n an emergency situation couldaw enforcement personnel contactomeone for you?

    They could, if you had enteredour information onto the emergency contact informationystem. The system allows Floridians to voluntarily providemergency contact information online, giving lawnforcement immediate access to this information and

    making it easier for them to speak with someone quicker inase of emergency.

    f you have a Florida driver license or identification card, youan go online and enter your emergencyontact information. This information is available to lawnforcement officers through a secure, web-based systemnd, by law, can only be used in the event of an emergency.

    .4 - Florida Organ and Tissue Donor Program

    Donate Life Florida is the non-profit01(c)3 organization contracted by the

    State of Florida, Agency for Health Care

    Administration to create and oversee thetates organ, eye, and tissue donoregistry, in addition to implementingducational initiatives tailored to increase understanding andupport for donation and donor designation.

    The Joshua Abbott Organ & Tissue Donor Registry wasreated in July 2009 to allow Floridians an easy, user-riendly means of joining the states Registry. Floridians canoin the Registry online,whenenewing their driver license online, or, when

    obtaining/renewing their license at a local driver liceoffice. Individuals can also request a registration formcalling Donate Life Florida at 1-877-FL-SHARE (1-877-4273).

    Individuals that already have organ donor on their liceare still encouraged to join the new Registry, ensuring wishes are documented.

    Today, more than 100,000 children and adults alifesaving organ transplants, while hundreds of thousamore are in need of tissue transplants. Together, we make a difference.

    How Can You Help?

    1. Learn the facts about organ, eye and tissue donation.2. Designate your wishes by joining the Joshua Abbott

    Organ & Tissue Donor Registry

    3. Spread the word about the importance of donation andonor designation with family and friends.

    4. Get involved as a volunteer, contribute financially insupport of the Registry or statewide educationalinitiatives, or, request a speaker by calling Donate LifeFlorida at 1-877-FL-SHARE.


    1.5 - Floridas Move Over Law

    Floridas Move Over Law protects lawenforcement officers, emergency workersand tow truck drivers stopped alongroadways while performing their jobs.Violating the Move Over Law puts bothyourself and a public safety professional atrisk of injury or death and can result infines and points on your license.

    On a two-lane roadway, you are required to slow to aspeed that is 20 miles per hour less than the postedspeed limit.

    If the speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less, you muslow down to five miles per hour.

    If you are driving on an interstate or roadway withmultiple lanes of travel in the same direction, and youapproach an emergency or law enforcement vehicleparked along the roadway, you must vacate the laneclosest to that vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so. Iyou are not able to safely move over, you must slow

    down to a speed of 20 MPH below the posted speedlimit unless directed otherwise by a law enforcementofficer.

    For more information, please

    1.6 - Florida Department of TransportationsFree 511 Traffic Information Service

    The Florida Department of Transportations(FDOT) free 511 Traveler Information
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    System provides real-time traffic information in English andSpanish for major Florida roadways. The system is updatedwith information about crashes, commuter travel times,ongestion, lane closures, severe weather, construction andmergency evacuation information on interstate highways,

    Floridas Turnpike, and other metropolitan roadways.nformation is available on the phone by dialing 511,or onhe web at

    Drivers are encouraged to find out about traffic conditionsefore getting behind the wheel. FDOTs My Florida 511ersonalized services on FL511.comallows registered users

    o customize routes and alerts to quickly retrieve travelnformation. Free personalized services include:

    Custom Routes

    Program frequently traveled routes using 511 - coveredroadsOnce 511 is dialed, callers can immediately hearinformation on their custom routes

    Personalized Alerts511 will alert callers about unusual roadway conditionson programmed routesProgram alerts by time, day and severity of conditionsReceive alerts by e-mail, text message and/or phone call(cell phone minutes and/or text message charges mayapply)

    FDOT also offers a free 511 application (app) for the iPhone,Pad and iPod Touch in the iTunes App Store. The approvides the same real-time traffic and travel time

    nformation as the 511 phone system The11 app uses the iPhones GPS tracking to provide users

    with traffic information within miles of their location. Usersan set the app to provide information for a range of up to00 miles from their location or receive traffic informationased on their registered My Florida 511 custom routes.

    Travel time information is also available based on locationnd direction of travel. The Florida 511 app offers trafficpdates in three ways:

    An audible recording of incidentsOn-screen list of incidentsMap view displaying incidents

    11 Features:

    Traffic information and travel times on Floridainterstates, Floridas Turnpike and other major roadways

    Voice-activated or touch-tone navigation

    Travel updates, including accidents, lane closures,

    severe weather and construction

    Public safety alerts and emergency evacuation


    Access to public transit, airport and seaport information

    Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week

    Cell phone or landline use; standard cell phone minu

    or text message charges may apply

    Traffic cameras and customized services on FL511.c

    users can register for customized trips and e-mail, te

    and phone alerts
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    Section 2Motorcycle Legislation

    2.1 - Florida Rider Training Program (FRTP)All persons requesting a motorcycle endorsement are

    equired to complete a basic motorcycle safetyducation course prior to being issued a motorcyclendorsement or Motorcycle Only license. A list ofourse sponsors can be found at the end of this


    Rider course providers (Sponsors) offer the MotorcycleSafety Foundation (MSF) sponsored Basic Rider CourseBRC) and Basic Rider Course II (BRC II). The BRCrovides the basic entry-level skills for new riders to beginracticing and developing the mental and motor skills

    mportant for safe street operation. The BRC haspproximately five-hours of classroom instruction and 10-

    ours of on-cycle instruction. Both sessions are facilitated byxperienced motorcyclists trained as RiderCoaches by theFRTP to assist your learning. To enroll in the BRC, a personmust possess at least a valid Learners License in order to

    ave knowledge of Florida Traffic laws and road rules;owever, the actual motorcycle endorsement may not bebtained with a regular operator (Class E) license until age6 per s. 322.05(1) F.S. The person must also be able toave sufficient balance or capability to operate a bicycle.

    Sponsors provide motorcycles less than 500cc for the BRC,sually 125cc to 250cc, helmets, and course handbooks for

    he BRC. Students must provide gloves, full hand coverage,hatterproof eye protection, unless the helmet has a face

    hield, long pants, long sleeve shirt or jacket, over the anklehoes or boots and rain gear for light rain - non dangerousonditions. A call or email to the Sponsor of your choice canlarify many issues regarding equipment, fees, method ofayment and scheduling. Many sponsors allow sign-up andayment via a website. Refer to the FRTP web site atttp:// and click on thecourse locations heading for sponsor locations byounty.

    .1.1 - S/TEP The Sidecar/Trike Evaluation Program isompleted by persons riding three wheel motorcycles. Theurriculum for the S/TEP course was developed by the

    Evergreen Safety Council. The S/TEP course provides theasic skills for those who are new to the operation of three

    wheel motorcycles and side car rigs. The course includeshe knowledge and skills necessary to ride safely on thetreets and highways. The student handbook and Insurancere provided for the course. Some schools also provide

    rikes, rigs and helmets. Students must provide eyerotection, gloves (full hand coverage), long pants, longleeved shirt or jacket, and sturdy over-the-ankle footwear.

    The S restriction is placed on the license of those who hpassed the motorcycle S/TEP course. This S restrictioexplained in the comment section at the end of the issuaprocess so that it is known that the person only permission to operate a three wheeled motorcycle.

    2.1.2 - The BRC II or Basic Rider Course II arepersons already endorsed for riding skill enhancement course completion cards issued for insurance reductioother purposes.

    NOTE: All BRC II courses require the participant to futheir own street legal motorcycle with valid tag registration and proof of liability insurance coverage, orborrowed with proof of permission. The participant must furnish a helmet, shatterproof eye protection and simprotective riding gear as outlined for the BRC. See Fwebsite above for sponsor locations or call the FRTP 488-3286 for an automated guided listing.

    2.2 - Financial Responsibility Law - It Does

    Apply To Motorcycles!Floridas No-Fault, or PIP Law does not applymotorcycles, Trikes or motorcycles with sidecHOWEVER, the Financial Responsibility FR Law applieALL motor vehicles in Florida, including motorcycles. Tthe voluntary purchase of motor vehicle liability insuraby an owner, operator or owner/ operator is hrecommended.

    Failure to carry property damage and bodily injury liainsurance in case of a crash, DUI conviction or ooccurrences outlined in Floridas FR Law, Ch. 324, result in some or all of the following:

    Loss of license Loss of tag and registration Restitution or civil court judgment

    Future proof of high risk SR-22 or FR-44 (three years

    2.3 - Florida Motor Vehicle Laws andDefinitions (Find these at:

    Statute definitions for the same term may differ from section of State Law to another due to the nature of thebeing enforced, such as motor vehicle or motorcycle defin traffic law vs. driver license law.

    2.3.1 - Definitions

    Bicycle: Every vehicle propelled solely by human poand every motorized bicycle propelled by a combinatiohuman power and an electric helper motor capablepropelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 mper hour on level ground upon which any person may having two tandem wheels, and including any degenerally recognized as a bicycle though equipped withfront or two rear wheels. The term does not include sucvehicle with a seat height of no more than 25 inches fromground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position

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    cooter or similar device. No person under the age of 16may operate or ride upon a motorized bicycle.

    Note: A driver license is not required to operate an electricelper-motor bicycle.

    Motor Vehicle:Any self-propelled vehicle not operated uponails or guide way, but not including any bicycle, motorizedcooter, electric personal assistive mobility device, or


    Motorcycle: Any motor vehicle having a seat or saddle forhe use of the rider, and designed to travel on not more thanhree wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding aractor or a moped.

    Bicycle Path:Any road, path, or way that is open to bicycleravel, which road, path, or way is physically separated frommotorized vehicular traffic by an open space or by a barrier

    nd is located either within the highway right-of-way or withinn independent right-of-way.

    Motorized Scooter:Any vehicle not having a seat or saddleor the use of the rider, designed to travel on not more thanhree wheels, and not capable of propelling the vehicle at apeed greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground.

    Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device: Any self-alancing, two non-tandem-wheeled device, designed to

    ransport only one person, with an electric propulsion systemwith average power of 750 watts (1 horsepower), themaximum speed of which, on a paved level surface when

    owered solely by such a propulsion system while beingdden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than0 miles per hour. Electric personal assistive mobility

    evices are not vehicles as defined in this section.Note: The above refers to a stand-on-and-ride type vehiclewith a handlebar control and two (usually large) side-by sidewheels; it is not necessarily a disability related vehicle. A

    river license is not required for this vehicle; see s. 316.2068F.S. for more details on operating this type vehicle.


    State Uniform Traffic Control, Chapter 316

    16.1995 Driving upon sidewalk or bicycle path.1) Except as provided in s.316.008 or s.316.212(8), aerson may not drive any vehicle other than by humanower upon a bicycle path, sidewalk, or sidewalk area,

    xcept upon a permanent or duly authorized temporaryriveway.2) A violation of this section is a noncriminal trafficnfraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided inhapter 318.3) This section does not apply to motorized wheelchairs.

    16.208 Motorcycles and mopeds.--1) Any person operating a motorcycle or moped shall beranted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the

    duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under chapter, except as to special regulations in this chapter, except as to those provisions of this chapter which by thenature can have no application.(2)(a) Any person operating a moped upon a roadway aless than the normal speed of traffic at the time and placeand under the conditions then existing shall ride as closepracticable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadwayexcept under any of the following situations:

    1. When overtaking or passing another vehicle proceediin the same direction.2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or intoprivate road or driveway.3. When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition,including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, paror moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surfacehazard, or substandard-width lane, that makes it unsafe continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For purposesthis paragraph, a "substandard-width lane" is a lane that too narrow for a moped and another vehicle to travel safeside by side within the lane.(b) Any person operating a moped upon a one-way highwith two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near thleft-hand curb or edge of such roadway as practicable.(3) A person propelling a moped solely by human powerupon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon analong a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicablea pedestrian under the same circumstances, except thatsuch person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrianand shall give an audible signal before overtaking andpassing a pedestrian.(4) No person shall propel a moped upon and along asidewalk while the motor is operating.(5) A violation of this section is a noncriminal trafficinfraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided i

    chapter 318.

    316.209 Operating motorcycles on roadways lanedtraffic.(1) All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane andmotor vehicle shall be driven in such manner as to depany motorcycle of the full use of a lane. This subsection not apply to motorcycles operated two abreast in a slane.(2) The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pin the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken(3) No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanetraffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.

    (4) Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abrin a single lane.(5) Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply to police officefirefighters in the performance of their official duties.(6) A violation of this section is a non-criminal trinfraction, punishable as a moving violation as providechapter 318.
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    16.2095 Footrests, handholds, and handlebars.1) Any motorcycle carrying a passenger, other than in aidecar or enclosed cab, shall be equipped with footrestsnd handholds for such passenger.2) No person shall operate any motorcycle with handlebarsr with handgrips that are higher than the top of thehoulders of the person operating the motorcycle whileroperly seated upon the motorcycle.3) A violation of this section is a non-criminal trafficnfraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as providedn chapter 318.

    16.222 Stop lamps and turn signals.1) Every motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer, and pole trailerhall be equipped with two or more stop lamps meeting theequirements of s. 316.234(1). Motor vehicles, trailers, semi-railers and pole trailers manufactured or assembled prior toanuary 1, 1972, shall be equipped with at least one stop

    amp. On a combination of vehicles, only the stop lamps onhe rear-most vehicle need actually be seen from theistance specified in s.316.234(1).2) Every motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer, and pole trailer

    hall be equipped with electric turn signal lamps meeting theequirements of s. 316.234(2).3) Passenger cars and trucks less than 80 inches in width

    manufactured or assembled prior to January 1, 1972, needot be equipped with electric turn signal lamps.4) A violation of this section is a non-criminal trafficnfraction, punishable as a non-moving violation as providedn chapter 318.

    16.304 Wearing of headsets.1) No person shall operate a vehicle while wearing aeadset, headphone, or other listening device, other than aearing aid or instrument for the improvement of defective

    uman hearing.2) This section does not apply to:a) Any law enforcement officer equipped with anyommunication device necessary in performing his or herssigned duties or to any emergency vehicle operatorquipped with any ear protection device.b) Any applicant for a license to operate a motorcycle whileaking the examination required by s. 322.12(5).c) Any person operating a motorcycle who is using aeadset that is installed in a helmet and worn so as torevent the speakers from making direct contact with thesers ears so that the user can hear surrounding sounds.d) Any person using a headset in conjunction with a cellular

    elephone that only provides sound through one ear andllows surrounding sounds to be heard with the other ear.e) Any person using a headset in conjunction withommunicating with the central base operation that onlyrovides sound through one ear and allows surroundingounds to be heard with the other ear.

    Motor Vehicle Licenses, Chapter 320

    S. 320.02 Registration required; application registration; forms.(1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, everyowner or person in charge of a motor vehicle, which isoperated or driven on the roads of this state shall registervehicle in this state. The owner or person in charge shallapply to the department or to its authorized agent for

    registration of each such vehicle on a form prescribed bydepartment. No registration is required for any motor vehwhich is not operated on the roads of this state during theregistration period.

    Driver Licenses, Chapter 322

    S. 322.01, F.S. Definitions(26)Motorcycle means a motor vehicle powered by a mwith a displacement of more than 50 cubic centimeters,having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider, and desigto travel on not more than three wheels in contact with thground, but excluding a tractor or moped.(27) Motor vehicle means any self-propelled vehicle,

    including a motor vehicle combination, not operated uponrails or guide way, excluding vehicles moved solely byhuman power, motorized wheelchairs, and motorizedbicycles as defined in s. 316.003.

    S. 322.57 Tests of knowledge concerning specvehicles; endorsement; nonresidents; violations.(1) In addition to fulfilling any other drivers licensingrequirements of this chapter, a person who:(g) Drives a motorcycle must successfully complete aMotorcycle Rider Course. A person who successfullycompletes the Motorcycle Rider Course shall be issued aendorsement if he or she is licensed to drive another typemotor vehicle. A person who successfully completes theMotorcycle Rider Course and who is not licensed to driveanother type of motor vehicle shall be issued a Class Edrivers license that is clearly restricted to motorcycle useonly.

    Helmet and Eye Protection Requirements

    Head injuries are reduced by wearing approved motorchelmets!

    Anyone under 16 years of age must wear a Departmapproved motorcycle helmet and may only ride as apassenger on any motorcycle,moped, motor-driven cycle regardless of engine size

    A person is not required to wear a helmet whileoperating or riding upon a moped, scooter or other twor three-wheel motor vehicle 50cc or less, if at least years of age.

    Anyone 16 years of age but less than 21 years of amust wear a Department approved helmet whenoperating or riding upon a motorcycle. Per s. 316.21F.S.

    Persons at least 21 years of agemay ride a motorcywithout a helmet if they can show proof of medical

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    insurance coverage in the amounts of at least$10,000.00 that will pay for injuries they may incur in amotorcycle crash. A separate motorcycle medicalinsurance policy card or other forms of health insurancecoverage will suffice, such as employee group or privatehealth insurance cards. Law officers shall make finaldetermination if proof of insurance is acceptable.

    Per s. 316.211(2), a person may not operate a

    motorcycle as defined in s. 316.003(22), unless theperson is wearing one of these Department approvedeye-protective devices over his or her eyes; goggles,face shields designed for use with, and as part of anapproved helmet or eyeglasses including sunglasses.Contact lenses are not acceptable. Each device must bein good repair, free of sharp edges or projections andmade of material suitable for ophthalmic use. It shall befree from cracks, waves, bubbles or any other defectwhich may impair its normal visibility. Any tinted deviceshould not impair the wearers ability to see color andshall not be used at night.

    The above requirements do not apply to persons ridingwithin an enclosed cab or to persons 16 years of age orlder who operate or ride upon motorcycles powered by a

    motor with a displacement of 50 cubic centimeters or less orated not in excess of 2 brake horsepower and which are notapable of propelling such motorcycles at speeds greaterhan 30 miles per hour on level ground.

    Note: If at any time however,the 50 cc or less vehicle beingperated exceeds any of the above statute limitations, suchs having the engine enhanced for more horsepower, thenaid vehicle no longer meets the exempt definition and theperator is subject to enforcement of the eye-protectionevice statute.

    2.4 - How to Identify Unsafe & IllegalMotorcycle Helmets if Wearing or Required toWear Helmets

    The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires thatll motorcycle helmets sold in the U.S. meet Federal Motor

    Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Accordingly, Floridaaw requires that motorcycle helmets meet FMVSS 218equirements. Chapter 15B-1.006(3), Florida Administrative

    Code, deals with motorcycle helmet design and construction.The code clearly states: Helmets not designed for use bymotorcycle occupants, including but not limited to the

    ollowing, are not approved: bicycle helmets, toy helmets,military combat helmets, flight helmets, soft helmets andeam sports helmets. Many Florida motorcycle riders wearheap and unsafe helmets that do not meet FMVSS 218.

    Most of these helmets are sold as novelty items bymerchants and are used to circumvent the FMVSS 218equirements. The following information will exceed FMVSS18. It is important to note that some sellers of noveltyelmets provide DOT stickers separately for motorcyclists tolace on non-complying helmets. In this case, the DOTticker is invalid and does not certify compliance.

    2.4.1 - SNELL or ANSI Sticker

    In addition to the DOT sticker, labels located insidehelmet showing that a helmet meets the standards of prorganizations like Snell or the American National StandInstitute (ANSI) are a good indicator that the helmet mthe federal safety standard. A novelty helmet that haphony DOT sticker plus a phony Snell or ANSI sticker is

    and would probably not be seen.

    2.4.2 - Manufacturers Labeling

    Manufacturers are required by FMVSS 218 to place a lon or inside the helmet stating the manufacturers namodel, size, month and year of manufacture, construcmaterials, and other information. A helmet that doesmeet the federal safety standard usually does not have sa label. However, some non-compliant helmets are falabeled claiming to meet the standards of FMVSS 218.

    2.4.3 - Impact Absorbing Liner

    Helmets meeting the minimum federal safety standard ha

    an inner liner, usually about one-inch thick, of firmpolystyrene foam. Sometimes the inner liner will not bevisible, but you should still be able to feel its thickness.Unsafe helmets normally contain only soft foam padding

    bare plastic shell with no foam at all .

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    Section 3Earning Your License

    3.1 - Application for Driver License Endorsedor Motorcycle Operation

    Florida law requires proof of identification, social security

    umber (if issued, Chapter 322, Florida Statutes, requireshe Department see proof of social security number for thessuance of driver license and identification cards) and prooff residential address from all customers before a drivercense or identification card can be issued. The namessigned to the social security number must match the name

    hat will appear on the Florida driver license or identificationard. If you have recently changed your name, update yourecords with the Social Security Administration before youpply for your license or identification card.

    f the name you are going to use on your driver license ordentification card is different than the name on your primary

    dentification, you will be required to show additionaldentification. This additional identification may includemarriage certificates, court orders or divorce decrees to linkhe names between the primary identification and the namehat will be used on the driver license or identification card.

    mmigrants and non-immigrant will need to have the newame placed on their United States Citizenship and

    mmigration Services (USCIS) document before the newame can be placed on a Florida driver license or

    dentification card.

    To easily identify your identification requirement needs, These requirements are alsosted in the Florida Driver Handbook.

    3.2 - Motorcycle Licensing

    Safe riding requires knowledge and skill. Assessing yourwn skills is not enough. People often overestimate theirwn abilities. Its evenharder for friends and relatives to be

    otally honest about your skills. To ensure that you have theraining and skills necessary to operate a motorcycle safely,ou will be required to complete a motorcycle safety courseefore obtaining a motorcycle endorsement. If you areoming from another state and your license is endorsed for

    motorcycle operation, Florida will reciprocate the

    ndorsement and the motorcycle course will not be required.Except Alabama)

    .2.1 - Age Limitations

    No one under 16 years of age may legally operate or becensed to operate any of the following two or three-wheel

    motor vehicles on Florida roads, streets or highways:motorcycles, mopeds, motor-driven cycles, motorizedcooters or electric helper-motor bicycles as defined in s.16.003(2) F.S.

    3.2.2 - Restrictions

    Persons holding a Florida Learners Drivers License not legally operate or be licensed to operate any twthree wheel motor vehicles on Florida roads, streethighways regardless of his or her age (Per s. 322.1615 Persons passing the motorcycle skills test using a thwheel motorcycle or sidecar motorcycle will have license restricted to operating three-wheel motorcycles

    until or unless they pass the skills test on a two-wmotorcycle.

    3.2.3Issuance Requirements

    Motorcycle Also LicenseAll persons requesting a motorcycle endorsement:

    Must hold a Class E license or higher or meetrequirements for a Class E license.

    Must complete a motorcycle safety course, BRC or Provide an out-of-state license with a motorcycle

    endorsement (except Alabama).

    Motorcycle Only License

    Under 18

    Must hold a Learners License at least 12 months or the 18thbirthday prior to the issuance of a Class EMotorcycle Only license.

    Must have NO moving traffic violation convictions 12months from the issue date of the learners license.

    Must provide completion of an approved motorcyclesafety course.

    Over 18

    Pass the vision, road sign and road rule examinationhold a current Learners License.

    Must provide completion of an approved motorcycle

    safety course. OR, Provide an out-of-state motorcycle only license (exce


    Motorcycle Safety Course CompletionThe following courses meet Floridas motorcycle rider corequirements for a motorcycle endorsement:

    Certificate of completion from an approved MotorcycRider Course, BRC. A list of the approved Floridaproviders is available in the back of this handbook.

    Law enforcement officers presenting a certificate ofcompletion from a motorcycle training course sponsoby the Institute of Police Technology and Manageme

    A Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) sponsored, rcourse conducted by any branch of the military servi

    3.2.4 - Mopeds

    Moped operators have the same rights and duties as movehicle operators and can also receive citations for trafficviolations; therefore, they should know and obey thesemoped laws.

    Moped operators must be at least 16 years old and hoat least a Class E License to operate a moped on pub
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    streets or roadways. A learners license is not sufficient.(Mopeds fit the definition of motor vehicle in 322.01(26).A motorcycle endorsement is not required to operate amoped.Mopeds must be registered annually and a tag must bepurchased.Mopeds may not be operated on bicycle paths orfootpaths when operated using the motor.

    Moped operators do not have to carry PIP insurance.A moped is defined in s. 320.01(28) F.S. as any vehiclewith pedals to permit propulsion by human power, havinga seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designated totravel on not more than three wheels, with a motor ratednot in excess of 2-brake horsepower and not capable ofpropelling the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 milesper hour on level ground, and with a power-drivingsystem that functions directly or automatically withoutclutching or shifting gears by the operator after the drivesystem is engaged. If an internal combustion engine isused, the displacement may not exceed 50 cubiccentimeters.

    .2.5 - Motorized Scooters: (Not Legal on Public Streetsor Sidewalks)

    Though considered motor vehicles in section 322.01(26)Florida Statutes and tag/registration law, the registrationaws do not provide for registration of these vehicles, thushey cannot be operated on public streets or highways. Ifperated on a public roadway anyway, regardless of aersons age, law enforcement officers can require theerson to show at least a valid operator (Class E) license aser driver license law they are considered motor vehiclesStatute Ref: s. 322.03(1) and 322.01(26). F.S.)

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    4.1 - Preparing to Ride

    What you do before you start a trip goes a long way towardetermining whether or not youll get where you want to go

    afely. Before taking off on any trip, a safe rider makes aoint to:

    . Wear the right gear.

    . Become familiar with the motorcycle.

    . Check the motorcycle equipment.

    . Be a responsible rider.

    4.2 - Wear the Right Gear

    When you ride, your gear is right if it protects you. In anyrash, you have a far better chance of avoiding serious injuryyou wear:

    An approved helmet.

    Face or eye protection.Protective clothing.


    Helmet UseCrashes are not rare events particularly among beginningders. And one out of every five motorcycle crashes results

    n head or neck injuries. Head injuries are just as severe aseck injuries and far more common. Crash analyses show

    hat head and neck injuries account for a majority of seriousnd fatal injuries to motorcyclists. Research also shows that,

    with few exceptions, head and neck injuries are reduced byhe proper wearing of an approved helmet.

    Some riders dont wear helmets because they think helmetswill limit their view to the sides. Others wear helmets only onong trips or when riding at high speeds. Here are some factso consider:

    An approved helmetlets you see as far to the sides asnecessary. A study of more than 900 motorcyclecrashes, where 40% of the riders wore helmets, did notfind even one case in which a helmet kept a rider fromspotting danger.Most crashes happenon short trips (less than fivemiles long), just a few minutes after starting out.Most ridersare riding slower than 30 mph when a crash

    occurs. At these speeds, helmets can cut both thenumber and the severity of head injuries by half.

    No matter what the speed, helmeted riders are three timesmore likely to survive head injuries than those not wearingelmets at the time of the crash.

    Helmet SelectionThere are two primary types of helmets, providing two

    ifferent levels of coverage: three-quarter and full face.

    Whichever style you choose, you can get the most proteby making sure that the helmet:

    Meets U.S.Department of Transportation (DOT) andstate standards. Helmets with a label from the SnellMemorial Foundation give you an added assurance oquality.

    Fits snugly,all the way around.

    Has no obvious defectssuch as cracks, loose padd

    or frayed straps.

    Whatever helmet you decide on, keep it securely fasteon your head when you ride. Otherwise, if you are invoin a crash, its likely to fly off your head before it gechance to protect you.

    4.2.2 - Eye and Face Protection

    A plastic shatter-resistant faceshield can help protect yourwhole face in a crash. It alsoprotects you from wind, dust,dirt, rain, insects and pebbles

    thrown up from cars ahead.These problems aredistracting and can be painful. If you have to deal with thyou cant devote your full attention to the road. Gogprotect your eyes, though they wont protect the rest of face like a face shield does. A windshield is not a substfor a face shield or goggles. Most windshields will not proyour eyes from the wind. Neither will eyeglassessunglasses. Glasses wont keep your eyes from wateand they might blow off when you turn your head wriding.

    To be effective, eye or face shield protection must:

    Be freeof scratches. Be resistantto penetration.

    Give a clear viewto either side. Fasten securely, so it does not blow off.

    Permit airto pass through, to reduce fogging. Permit enough roomfor eyeglasses or sunglasses,


    Tinted eye protection should not be worn at night or anyother time when little light is available.

    4.2.3 - Clothing

    The right clothing protects you in a collision. It also prov

    comfort, as well as protection from heat, cold, debris andand moving parts of the motorcycle.

    Jacket and pantsshould cover arms and legscompletely. They should fit snugly enough to keep frflapping in the wind, yet loosely enough to move freeLeather offers the most protection. Sturdy syntheticmaterial provides a lot of protection as well. Wear ajacket even in warm weather to prevent dehydration.Many are designed to protect without getting youoverheated, even on summer days.

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    Boots or shoesshould be high and sturdy enough tocover your ankles and give them support. Soles shouldbe made of hard, durable, slip-resistant material. Keepheels short so they do not catch on rough surfaces. Tuckin laces so they wont catch on yourmotorcycle.Glovesallow a better grip and help protect your handsin a crash. Your gloves should be made of leather orsimilar durable material.

    n cold or wet weather, your clothes should keep you warmnd dry, as well as protect you from injury. You cannotontrol a motorcycle well if you are numb. Riding for longeriods in cold weather can cause severe chill and fatigue. A

    winter jacket should resist wind and fit snugly at the neck,wrists and waist. Good-quality rain suits designed formotorcycle riding resist tearing apart or ballooning up at highpeeds.

    4.3 - Know Your Motorcycle

    There are plenty of things on the highway that can causeou trouble. Your motorcycle should not be one of them. To

    make sure that your motorcycle wont let you down:Readthe owners manual first.Startwith the right motorcycle for you.Be familiarwith the motorcycle controls.Checkthe motorcycle before every ride.

    Keepit in safe riding condition between rides.Avoidadd-ons and modifications that make yourmotorcycle harder to handle.

    The Right Motorcycle for YouFirst, make sure your motorcycle is right for you. It shouldfit you. Your feet should be flat on the ground while you areeated on the motorcycle.

    At minimum, your street-legal motorcycle should have:

    Headlight, tail-light and brake-light.

    Front and rear brakes.

    Turn signals.


    Two mirrors.

    .3.1 - Borrowing and Lending

    Borrowers and lenders of motorcycles, beware. Crashes areairly common among beginning riders especially in therst months of riding. Riding an unfamiliar motorcycle addso the problem. If you borrow a motorcycle, get familiar with it

    n a controlled area. If you lend your motorcycle to friends,make sure their license is motorcycle endorsed and knowow to ride before allowing them out into traffic. No matterow experienced you may be, ride extra carefully on any

    motorcycle thats new or unfamiliar to you. More than half ofll crashes occur on motorcycles ridden by the operator for

    ess than six months.

    Get Familiar with the Motorcycle ControlsMake sure you are completely familiar with the motorcycle

    efore you take it out on the street. Be sure to review the

    owners manual. This is particularly important if youriding a borrowed motorcycle.

    If you are going to use an unfamiliar motorcycle:

    Make all the checks you would on your own motorcy

    Find out where everything is located, particularly thesignals, horn, headlight switch, fuel-control valve engine cut-off switch.

    Find and operate these items without having to loothem.

    Know the gear pattern. Work the throttle, clutch brakes a few times before you start riding. All conreact a little differently.

    Ride very cautiously and be aware of surroundings.Accelerate gently, take turns more slowly and leaveextra room for stopping.

    4.3.2 - Check Your Motorcycle

    A motorcycle needs more frequent attention than a caminor technical failure in a car seldom leads to anytmore than an inconvenience for the driver. If someth

    wrong with the motorcycle, youll want to find out abobefore you get in traffic. Make a complete check of motorcycle before every ride.

    Before mounting the motorcycle, make the following chec

    TiresCheck the air pressure, general wear and tr

    FluidsOil and fluid levels. At a minimum, checkhydraulic fluids and coolants weekly. Look under themotorcycle for signs of anoil or gas leak.

    Head-lights and Tail-lightCheck them both. Tesyour switch to make sure both high and low beams aworking.

    Turn SignalsTurn on both right and left turn signaMake sure all lights are working properly.

    Brake-Light Try both brake controls, and make seach one turns on the brake light.

    Once you have mounted the motorcycle, complete thefollowing checks before starting out:

    Clutch and ThrottleMake sure they work smoothThe throttle should snap back when you let go. Theclutch should feel tight and smooth.

    MirrorsClean and adjust both mirrors before starIts difficult to ride with one hand whileyou try to adjuMirror. Adjust each mirror so you can see the lanebehind and as much as possible of the lane next to yWhen properly adjusted, a mirror may show the edgeyour arm or shoulderbut its the road behind and toside thats most important.

    Brakes Try the front and rear brake levers one time. Make sure each one feels firm and holdsmotorcycle when the brake is fully applied.

    HornTry the horn. Make sure it works.

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    n addition to the checks you should make before every trip,heck the following items at least once a week: wheels,ables, fasteners and fluid levels. Follow your owners

    manual to get recommendations.

    .3.3 - Know Your Responsibilities

    Accident implies an unforeseen event that occurs withoutnyones fault or negligence. Most often in traffic, that is not

    he case. In fact, most people involved in a crash can usuallylaim some responsibility for what takes place.

    Consider a situation where someone decides to try toqueeze through an intersection on a yellow light turning red.

    Your light turns green. You pull into the intersection withouthecking for possible latecomers. That is all it takes for thewo of you to tangle. It was the drivers responsibility to stop.And it was your responsibility to look before pulling out.Neither of you held up your end of the deal. Just becauseomeone else is the first to start the chain of events leadingo a crash, it doesnt leave any of us free of responsibility.

    As a rider you cant be sure that other operators will see your yield the right of way. To lessen your chances of a crashccurring:

    Be visiblewear proper clothing, use your headlight,ride in the best lane position to see and be seen.Communicate your intentionsuse the propersignals, brake light and lane position.Maintain an adequate space cushionfollowing,being followed, lane sharing, passing and being passed.Scan your pathof travel 12 seconds ahead.Identify and separatemultiple hazards.Be prepared to actremain alert and know how tocarry out proper crash-avoidance skills.

    Blame doesnt matter when someone is injured in a crash.There is rarely a single cause of any crash. The ability to ride

    ware, make critical decisions and carry them out separatesesponsible riders from all the rest. Remember, it is up toou to keep from being the cause of, or an unpreparedarticipant in, any crash.

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    Section 5Ride Within Your Abilities

    This manual cannot teach you how to control direction,peed or balance. Thats something you can learn onlyhrough practice. But control begins with knowing yourbilities and riding within them, along with knowing andbeying the rules of the road.

    5.1 - Basic Vehicle Control

    .1.1 - Body Position

    To control a motorcycle well:

    Posture Sit so you can use your arms to steer themotorcycle rather than to hold yourself up.SeatSit far enough forward so that arms are slightlybent when you hold the handle-grips. Bending yourarms permits you to press on the handlebars without

    having to stretch.HandsHold the handle-grips firmly to keep your gripover rough surfaces. Start with your right wrist flat. Thiswill help you keep from accidentally using too muchthrottle. Also, adjust the handlebars so your hands areeven with or below your elbows. his permits you to usethe proper muscles for precision steering.KneesKeep your knees against the gas tank to helpyou keep your balance as the motorcycle turns.FeetKeep your feet firmly on the foot-pegs tomaintain balance. Dont drag your feet. If your footcatches on something, you could be injured and it couldaffect your control of the motorcycle. Keep your feet near

    the controls so you can get to them fast if needed. Also,dont let your toes point downwardthey may getcaught between the road and the foot-pegs.

    .1.2 - Shifting Gears

    There is more to shifting gears thanimply getting the motorcycle to pickp speed smoothly. Learning to use

    he gears when downshifting, turningr starting on hills is important forafe motorcycle operation. Shiftown through the gears with thelutch as you slow or stop. Remain

    n first gear while you are stopped sohat you can move out quickly if youeed to. Make certain you are riding slowly enough whenou shift into a lower gear. If not, the motor-cycle will lurch,nd the rear wheel may skid. When riding downhill or shifting

    nto first gear, you may need to use the brakes to slownough before downshifting safely. Work toward a smooth,ven clutch release, especially when downshifting. It is best

    o change gears before entering a turn. However, sometimeshifting while in the turn is necessary. If so, remember to do

    so smoothly. A sudden change in power to the rear wcan cause a skid.

    5.1.3 - Braking

    Your motorcycle has two brakes: one each for the frontrear wheel. Use both of them at the same time. The fbrake is more powerful and can provide at least thquarters of your total stopping power. The front brak

    safe to use if you use it properly.Remember:

    Use both brakes every time you slow or stop. Uboth brakes for even normal stops will permit yodevelop the proper habit or skill of using both braproperly in an emergency. Squeeze the front brake press down on the rear. Grabbing at the front brakjamming down on the rear can cause the brakelock, resulting in control problems.

    If you know the technique,using both brakes in ais possible, although it should be done very careWhen leaning the motorcycle, some of the tractioused for cornering. Less traction is available

    stopping. A skid can occur if you apply too much brAlso, using the front brake incorrectly on a slippery sumay be hazardous. Use caution and squeeze the blever, never grab.

    Some motorcycleshave integrated braking systemthat link the front and rear brakes together by applyinthe rear brake pedal. Consult the owners manual fordetailed explanation on the operation and effective uof these systems.)

    5.1.4 - Turning

    Riders often try to take curves or turns too fast. When cant hold the turn, they end up crossing into another lantraffic or going off the road. Or, they overreact and brakehard, causing a skid and loss of control. Approach turnscurves with caution.


    Look Press Roll

    SlowReduce speed before the turn by closing the thrand, if necessary, applying both brakes.

    LookLook through the turn to where you want to go. just your head, not your shoulders, and keep your eyes

    with the horizon.Press To turn, the motorcycle must lean. To leanmotorcycle, press on the handle-grip in the direction ofturn. Press leftlean leftgo left. Press rightlean riggo right. Higher speeds and/or tighter turns requiremotorcycle to lean more.

    Roll Roll on the throttle through the turn to stabsuspension. Maintain steady speed or accelerate gradthrough the turn. This will help keep the motorcycle stabl

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    5.2 - Keeping Your Distance

    The best protection you can have is distance a cushionf space all around your motorcycle. If someone elsemakes a mistake, distance permits you:

    Time to react.

    Space to maneuver.

    5.3 - Lane Positions

    n some ways the size of the motorcycle can work to yourdvantage. Each traffic lane gives a motorcycle three pathsf travel, as indicated in the illustration.

    Your lane position should:

    Increaseyour ability to see and be seen.

    Avoidothers blind spots.

    Avoidsurface hazards.Protectyour lane from other drivers.

    Communicateyour intentions.Avoidwind blast from other vehicles.Providean escape route.

    Select the appropriate path to maximize your space cushionnd make yourself more easily seen by others on the road.

    In general, there is no single best position for riders toseen and to maintain a space cushion around motorcycle. No portion of the lane need be avoidedincluding the center.

    Position yourself in the portion of the lane where youmost likely to be seen and you can maintain a space cusaround you. Change position as traffic situations chaRide in path 2 or 3 if vehicles and other potential problare on your left only. Remain in path 1 or 2 if hazards aryour right only. If vehicles are being operated on both sof you, the center of the lane, path 2, is usually your option.

    The oily strip in the center portion that collects drippings cars is usually no more than two feet wide. Unless the is wet, the average center strip permits adequate tractioride on safely. You can operate to the left or right ofgrease strip and still be within the center portion of the trlane. Avoid riding on big buildups of oil and grease usfound at busy intersections or toll booths.

    5.4 - Following Another Vehicle

    Following too closely could be a factor in crashes invomotorcyclists. In traffic, motorcycles need as much distato stop as cars. Normally, a minimum of two secodistance should be maintained behind the vehicle aheadTo gauge your following distance:

    Pick out a marker,such as a pavement marking orlamppost, on or near the road ahead.When the rear bumperof the vehicle ahead passesmarker, count off the seconds: one-thousand-one, othousand-two.

    If you reach the markerbefore you reach two, you

    following too closely.A two-second following distance leaves a minimum amof space to stop or swerve if the driver ahead ssuddenly. It also permits a better view of potholes and ohazards in the road. A larger cushion of space is needyour motorcycle will take longer than normal to stop. Ifpavement is slippery, if you cannot see through the veahead, or if traffic is heavy and someone may squeezfront of you, open up a three-second or more follodistance.

    In normal turns, the

    rider and the

    motorcycle should

    lean together at the

    same angle.

    In slow turns,

    counterbalance by

    leaning the

    motorcycle only

    and keeping your

    body straight.

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    Keep well behind the vehicle ahead even when you aretopped. This will make it easier to get out of the way ifomeone bears down on you from behind. It will also giveou a cushion of space if the vehicle ahead starts to back upor some reason. When behind a car, ride where the driveran see you in the rearview mirror. Riding in the centerortion of the lane should put your image in the middle of theearview mirror where a driver is most likely to see you.

    Riding at the far side of a lane may permit a driver to seeou in a side view mirror. But remember that most driversont look at their side view mirrors nearly as often as theyheck the rearview mirror. If the traffic situation allows, theenter portion of the lane is usually the best place for you toe seen by the drivers ahead and to prevent lane sharing bythers.

    5.5 - Being Followed

    Speeding up to lose someone following too closely only endsp with someone tailgating you at a higher speed. A better

    way to handle tailgaters is to get them in front of you. When

    omeone is following too closely, change lanes and let themass. If you cant do this, slow down and open up extrapace ahead of you to allow room for both you and theailgater to stop. This will also encourage them to pass. Ifhey dont pass, you will have given yourself and the tailgatermore time and space to react in case an emergency does

    evelop ahead.

    5.6 - Passing and Being Passed

    Passing and being passed by another vehicle is not muchifferent than with a car. However, visibility is more critical.

    Be sure other drivers see you, and that you see potentialazards.

    .6.1 - Passing

    . Ride in the left portionof the lane at a safe followingdistance to increase your line of sight and make youmore visible. Signal and check for oncoming traffic. Useyour mirrors and turn your head to look for traffic behind.

    . When safe,move into the left lane and accelerate.Select a lane position that doesnt crowd the car you arepassing and provides space to avoid hazards in yourlane.

    . Ride through the blind spotas quickly as possible.

    4. Signal again,and complete mirror and head checksbefore returning to your original lane and then cancesignal.

    Remember, passes must be completed within postedspeed limits, and only where permitted. Know yoursigns and road markings!

    5.6.2 - Being Passed

    When you are being passed from behind or by an oncomvehicle, stay in the center portion of your lane. Riding closer to them could put you in a hazardous situation.Avoid being hit by:

    The other vehicle A slight mistake by you orpassing driver could cause a sideswipe.

    Extended mirrors Some drivers forget that mirrors hang out farther than their fenders.

    Objects thrown from windows Even if the dknows youre there, a passenger may not see youmight toss something on you or the road ahead of yo

    Blasts of wind from larger vehiclesCan affect

    control. You have more room for error if you are inmiddle portion When hit by this blast than if you wereither side of the lane. Do notmove into the portiothe lane farthest from the passing vehicle. It might ithe other driver to cut back into your lane too early.

    5.7 - Lane Sharing

    Cars and motorcycles need a full lane to operate saLane sharing is usually prohibited. Riding between rowstopped or moving cars in the same lane can leave vulnerable to the unexpected. A hand could come out window; a door could open; a car could turn suddDiscourage lane sharing by others. Keep a center-po

    position whenever drivers might be tempted to squeezyou. Drivers are most tempted to do this:

    In heavy,bumper-to-bumper traffic.

    When theywant to pass you. When youare preparing to turn at an intersection. When youare getting in an exit lane or leaving a


    5.8 - Merging Cars

    Drivers on an entrance ramp may not see you onhighway. Give them plenty of room. Change to another if one is open. If there is no room for a lane change, ad

    speed to open up space for the merging driver.

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    5.9 - Cars Alongside

    Do not ride next to cars or trucks in other lanes if you do notave to. You might be in the blind spot of a car in the next

    ane, which could switch into your lane without warning.Cars in the next lane also block your escape if you come

    pon danger in your own lane. Speed up or drop back tond a place clear of traffic on both sides.

    5.10 - S.E.E. (SearchEvaluateExecute)Good experienced riders remain aware of what is going on

    round them. They improve their riding strategy by usingSEE, a three-step process used to make appropriateudgments, and apply them correctly in different trafficituations:




    ets examine each of these steps.

    .10.1 - SearchSearch aggressively ahead, to the sides and behind to avoid

    otential hazards even before they arise. How assertivelyou search, and how much time and space you have, canliminate or reduce harm. Focus even more on findingotential escape routes in or around intersections, shoppingreas, school and construction zones.

    Search for factors such as:

    Oncoming trafficthat may turn left in front of you.Trafficcoming from the left and right.

    Trafficapproaching from behind.Hazardousroad conditions.

    Be especially alert in areas with limited visibility. Visuallybusy surroundings could hide you and your motorcyclerom others.

    .10.2 - Evaluate

    Think about how hazards can interact to create risk for you.Anticipate potential problems and have a plan to reduce risk.

    Road and surface characteristicsPotholes,guardrails, bridges, telephone poles, and trees wontmove into your path, but may influence your ridingstrategy.Traffic control devicesLook for traffic signals;

    including regulatory signs, warning signs, and pavementmarkings, to help you evaluate circumstances ahead.Vehicles and other trafficMay move into your pathand increase the likelihood of a crash.

    Think about your time and space requirements in order tomaintain a margin of safety. You must leave yourself time toeact if an emergency arises.

    5.10.3 - Execute

    Carry out your decision.

    To create more space and minimize harm from any haza

    Communicate your presence with lights and/or horn.

    Adjust your speed by accelerating, stopping or slowin Adjust your position and/or direction

    Apply the old adage one step at a time to handle twmore hazards. Adjust speed to permit two hazardseparate. Then deal with them one at a time as sihazards. Decision making becomes more complex with tor more hazards. Weigh the consequences of each and equal distance to the hazards.

    In potential high-risk areas; such as intersections, shopareas, school, and construction zones, cover the clutchboth brakes to reduce the time you need to react.

    IntersectionThe greatest potential forconflict between you and othertraffic is at intersections. Anintersection can be in the middleof an urban area or at adriveway on a residentialstreetanywhere traffic maycross your path of travel. Overone-half of motorcycle/carcrashes are caused by drivers entering a riders right-of-Cars that turn left in front of you, including cars turningfrom the lane to your right, and cars on side streets thatinto your lane, are the biggest dangers. Your use of SEintersections is critical.

    There are no guarantees that others see you. Never con eye contact as a sign that a driver will yield. Too oftedriver looks right at a motorcyclist and still fails to see The only eyes that you can count on are your own. If acan enter your path, assume that it will. Good ridersalways looking for troublenot to get into it, but to stayof it.

    Increase your chances of being seen at intersections. with your headlight on in a lane position that providesbest view of oncoming traffic. Provide a space cusaround the motorcycle that permits you to take evaaction. As you approach the intersection, select a

    position to increase your visibility to the driver. Coverclutch and both brakes to reduce reaction time.

    Reduce your speed as you approach an intersection. Aentering the intersection, move away from vehicles prepato turn. Do not change speed or position radically. The dmight think that you are preparing to turn.

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



    round. Its the car you dont see thats going to give you themost trouble. Your signal lights also make you easier to spot;herefore, its a good idea to use your turn signals evenwhen what you plan to do is obvious.

    When you enter onto a freeway, drivers approaching fromehind are more likely to see your signal blinking and makeoom for you.

    Turning your signal light on before each turn reducesonfusion and frustration for the traffic around you. Once youurn, make sure your signal is off or a driver may pull directlynto your path, thinking you plan to turn again. Use yourignals at every turn so drivers can react accordingly. Dont

    make them guess what you intend to do.

    .11.4 - Brake Light

    Your motorcycles brake light is usually not as noticeable ashe brake lights on a carparticularly when your taillight isn. (It goes on with the headlight.) If the situation will permit,elp others notice you by flashing your brake light before youlow down. It is especially important to flash your brake lightefore:

    You slow more quicklythan others might expect (turningff a high-speed highway).

    You slow whereothers may not expect it (in the middle of alock or at an alley).

    f you are being followed closely, its a good idea to flashour brake light before you slow. The tailgater may be

    watching you and not see something ahead that will makeou slow down. This will hopefully discourage them fromailgating and warn them of hazards ahead they may not


    .11.5 - Using Your Mirrors

    While its most important toeep track of whats happeninghead, you cant afford to

    gnore situations behind. Trafficonditions change quickly.

    Knowing whats going onehind is essential for you to

    make a safe decision about howo handle trouble ahead.Frequent mirror checks should

    e part of your normalearching routine. Make apecial point of using your mirrors

    When you are stoppedat an intersection. Watch carscoming up from behind. If the driver isntpayingattention, he can be on top of you before he sees you.Before you change lanes.Make sure no one is aboutto pass you.Before you slow down. The driver behind may notexpect you to slow, or may be unsure about where you

    will slow. For example, you signal a turn and the dthinks you plan to turn at a distant intersection, rathan at a nearer driveway. Some motorcycles hrounded (convex) mirrors. These provide a wider viethe road behind than do flat mirrors. They also mcars seem farther away than they really are. If younot use to convex mirrors, get familiar with them. (Wyou are stopped, pick out a parked car in your mForm a mental image of how far away it is. Then, around and look at it to see how close you caPractice with your mirrors until you become a good juof distance. Even then, allow extra distance beforechange lanes.

    5.11.6 - Head Checks

    Checking your mirrors is not enough. Motorcycles hblind spots like cars. Before you change lanes, turn head, and look to the side for other vehicles.

    On a road with several lanes, check the far lane and thenext to you. A driver in the distant lane may head for the sspace you plan to take.

    Frequent head checks should be your normal scanroutine, also. Only by knowing what is happening all aroyou are you fully prepared to deal with it.

    5.11.7 - Horn

    Be ready to use your horn to get someones attenquickly. It is a good idea to give a quick beep before pasanyone that may move into your lane.

    Here are some situations:

    A driver in the lane next to you is driving too close

    the vehicle ahead and may want to pass. A parked carhas someone in the drivers seat. Someone is in the street,riding a bicycle or walking

    In an emergency, press the horn button loud and longready to stop or swerve away from the danger.

    Keep in mind that a motorcycles horn isnt as loud as a ctherefore, use it, but dont rely on it. Other strategies be appropriate along with the horn.

    5.11.8 - Riding At Night

    At night it is harder for you to see and be seen. Picking

    headlight or taillight out of the car lights around you iseasy for other drivers. To compensate, you should:

    Reduce Your Speed Ride even slower than would during the day particularly on roads you dknow well. This will increase your chances of avoidihazard.

    Increase DistanceDistances are harder to judgnight than during the day. Your eyes rely upon shadand light contrasts to determine how far away an ois and how fast it is coming. These contrasts are mis

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


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



    move to the center of your lane before entering a curve nd stay there until you exit. This permits you to spotpproaching traffic as soon as possible. You can also adjust

    or traffic crowding the center line, or debris blocking part ofour lane.

    5.13 - Handling Dangerous Surfaces

    Your chance of falling or being involved in a crash increaseswhenever you ride across:

    Uneven surfaces or obstacles

    Slippery surfacesRailroad tracksGrooves and gratings

    .13.1 - Uneven Surfaces and Obstacles

    Watch for uneven surfaces such as bumps, brokenavement, potholes or small pieces of highway trash. Try tovoid obstacles by slowing or going around them. If you

    must go over the obstacle, first determine if it is possible.Approach it at as close to a 90 angle as possible. Lookwhere you want to go to control your path of travel. If you

    ave to ride over the obstacle, you should:

    Slow down as much as possible before contact.Make sure the motorcycle is straight.Rise slightly off the seat with your weight on the footpegs to absorb the shock with your knees and elbowsand avoid being thrown off the motorcycle.

    Just before contact, roll on the throttle slightly to ligthe front end. If you ride over an object on the street,off the road and check your tires and rims for damagbefore riding any farther.

    5.13.2 -Slippery Surfaces

    Motorcycles handle better when ridden on surfaces thatpermit good traction.

    Surfaces that provide poor traction include:

    Wet pavement, particularly just after it starts to rain andbefore surface oil washes to the side of the road.

    Gravel roads, or where sand and gravel collect.

    Mud, snow, and ice

    Lane markings, steel plates and manhole covers, especwhen wet.

    To ride safely on slippery surfaces:

    Reduce Speed Slow down before you get to aslippery surface to lessen your chances of skidding.Your motorcycle needs more distance to stop; it isparticularly important to reduce speed before enterinwet curves.

    Avoid Sudden Moves Any sudden change in speor direction can cause a skid. Be as smooth as possiwhen you speed up, shift gears, turn or brake.

    Use Both Brakes The front brake is still effectiveeven on a slippery surface. Squeeze the brake levergradually to avoid locking the front wheel. Remembegentle pressure on the rear brake.

    The center of a lane can be hazardous when wet.When it starts to rain, ride in the tire tracks left by carOften, the left tire track will be the best position,depending on traffic and other road conditions as we

    Watch for oil spots when you put your foot down tostop or park. You may slip and fall.

    Dirt and gravel collect along the sides of the road especially on curves and ramps leading to and fromhighways. Be aware of whats onthe edge of the roaparticularly when making sharp turns and getting on off freeways at high speeds.

    Rain dries and snow melts fasteron some sectiona road than on others. Patches of ice tend to crop uplow or shaded areas and on bridges and overpassesWet surfaces or wet leaves are just as slippery. Ridethe least slippery portion of the lane and reduce spe

    Cautious riders steer clear of roads covered with icsnow. If you cant avoid a slippery surface, keep motorcycle straight up and proceed as slowly as possibyou encounter a large surface so slippery that you mcoast, or travel at a walking pace, consider letting yourskim along the surface. If the motorcycle starts to fall, can catch yourself. Be sure to keep off the brakepossible, squeeze the clutch and coast. Attempting maneuver at anything other than the slowest of speeds cprove hazardous.

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    .13.3 - Railroad Tracks, Trolley Tracks and PavementSeamsUsually it is safer to ride straight within your lane to crossracks. Turning to take tracks head-on (at a 90 angle) cane more dangerous your path may carry you into another

    ane of traffic.

    For track and road seams that run parallel to your course,move far enough away from tracks, ruts, or pavement seamso cross at an angle of at least 45. Then make a quick,harp turn. Edging across could catch your tires and throwou off balance.

    .13.4 - Grooves and Gratings

    Riding over rain grooves or bridgeratings may cause a motorcycle to

    weave. The uneasy, wanderingeeling is generally not hazardous.Relax, maintain a steady speed andde straight across. Crossing at anngle forces riders to zigzag to stay

    n the lane. The zigzag is far moreazardous than the wandering


    5.14 - Mechanical Problems

    You can find yourself in an emergency the momentomething goes wrong with your motorcycle. In dealing withny mechanical problem, take into account the road and

    raffic conditions you face. Here are some guidelines thatan help you handle mechanical problems safely.

    .14.1 - Tire Failure

    You will seldom hear a tire go flat. If the motorcycle starts

    andling differently, it may be a tire failure. This can beangerous. You must be able to tell from the way themotorcycle reacts. If one of your tires suddenly loses air,eact quickly to keep your balance. Pull off and check theres.

    f the front tire goes flat, the steering will feel heavy. Aront-wheel flat is particularly hazardous because it affectsour steering. You have to steer well to keep your balance. If

    the rear tire goes flat, the back of the motorcycle may jesway from side to side.

    If either tire goes flat while riding:

    Hold handle grips firmly, ease off the throttle, and ka straight course.

    5.14.2 - Stuck Throttle

    Twist the throttle back and forth several times. If the thr

    cable is stuck, this may free it. If the throttle stays simmediately operate the engine cut-off switch and pull inclutch at the same time. This will remove power fromrear wheel, though engine noise may not immedidecline. Once the motorcycle is under control, pull offstop. After you have stopped, check the throttle ccarefully to find the source of the trouble. Make certainthrottle works freely before you start to ride again.

    5.14.3 - Wobble

    A wobble occurs when the front wheel and handlesuddenly start to shake from side to side at any speed. Mwobbles can be traced to improper loading, unsuit

    accessories or incorrect tire pressure. If you are carryinheavy load, lighten it. If you cant, shift it. Center the welower and farther forward on the motorcycle. Make surepressure, spring pre-load, air shocks and dampers are asettings recommended for that much weight. Make windshields and fairings are mounted properly.

    Check for poorly adjusted steering; worn steering partfront wheel that is bent, misaligned, or out of balance; lowheel bearings or spokes; and swing arm bearings. If nof these are determined to be the cause, have motorcycle checked out thoroughly by a quaprofessional.

    Trying to accelerate out of a wobble will only makemotorcycle more unstable.


    Grip the handlebars firmly, but dont fight the wobb Close the throttle gradually to slow down. Do not a

    the brakes; braking could make the wobble worse. Move your weight as far forward and down as poss Pull off the road as soon as you can to fix the proble

    5.14.4 - Chain Problems

    A chain that slips or breaks while youre riding could lock

    rear wheel and cause your cycle to skid. Chain slippagbreakage can be avoided by proper maintenance.

    Slippage If the chain slips when you try to speed quickly or ride uphill, pull off the road. Check the chaand sprockets. Tightening the chain may help. If theproblem is a worn or stretched chain or worn or bentsprockets, replace the chain, the sprockets or bothbefore riding again.

    Breakage You will notice an instant loss of powthe rear wheel. Close the throttle and brake to a stop

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    .14.5 - Engine Seizure

    When the engine locks or freezes it is usually low on oil.The engines moving parts cant move smoothly against

    ach other, and the engine overheats. The first sign may be loss of engine power or a change in the engines sound.

    Squeeze the clutch lever to disengage the engine from theear wheel. Pull off the road and stop. Check the oil. Ifeeded, oil should be added as soon as possible or the

    ngine will seize. When this happens,the effect is the sames a locked rear wheel. Let the engine cool before restarting.

    5.15 - Unavoidable Hazards

    .15.1 - Animals

    Naturally, you should do everything you safely can to avoiditting an animal. If you are in traffic, however, remain inour lane. Hitting something small is less dangerous to youhan hitting something big like a car.

    Motorcycles seem to attract dogs. If you are chased,ownshift and approach the animal slowly.