Motorcycle operator manual [2001]

Drivers License Issuance Facilities

*+ CSC 40 . Albany

.... 1229) 430-4251

CSC 10 . Americus .. . . .. 1229) 931 -2535

CSC 32 . Athen s...... .... 1706) 542 -9928

* CSC 51 Augusta.. ... (706) 771 7815

CSC 27 . Blue Ridge .. .. .. 1706) 632-2216

* CSC 23 Brunswick

1912) 264-7394

CSC 43 Calhoun . .... 1706) 624- 1333

CSC 2B . Canton ...... .. 1770) 720-3599

CSC 50 Capitol ....... 14041 656-2189

* CSC 03 Cartersville 1770) 387 -3703

CSC 29 Cedartown .. 1770) 749-2203

*csC 55 . Columbu~ ... :706) 569-3033

CSC 46 Conyers.... .. .... 1770) 388-5015

* CSC 30 Cordele ......... . 1229) 276-2332

CSC OB Covington .... .. 1770) 784-3097

*csc 37. Cumming ....... 17701 205-5401

*c sc 05. Dalton ..

... 1706! 272 -2272

*+csc 36 . Douglas.

1912) 384-1600

CSC 20 Dublin ..

.... 14 78) 275-6600

CSC 63 fvans .... , ....... 1706) 868-8138

CSC 59 Forest Park . .... 1404) 669-3978

CSC 06 Gainesville ...... 17701 532- 5051

* CSC 01 Griffin.. . .... 17701 229-3411

CSC 16 Helena. ..

. 1229) 868-6441

*csc 11 . Hinesville.. .. 19121 370-2604

*+csc 02 LaGrange.. .... .. .17061 845 -4108 CSC 54 Lawrenceville ... 1770) 995-6935
*+csc 53 Macon .... ...... .. 14781 751 -6031 *csc 56 Marietta .... . ... .. 17701 528-3251 ;csc 33 Milledgeville.....14781445-4717 CSC 52 Moreland ... .... .. 1404) 624-2 469 CSC 24 Newnan .......... 1770) 254-7270 CSC 18 Reidsville ......... I9121 557-7780 CSC 62 Rincon .. ......... 1912) 754- 1425 CSC 41 Rock Springs .... I706) 638- 5506 *csc 38 Rome.. ....... ... .. 17061 295-6013
*+csc 58 Sandy Springs.. I770) 551-7373 *csc 42 Savannah ........ I9121 651 -3004 *csc 45 Statesboro ....... 1912) 681 -5999 CSC 19 Swainsboro.... . 1478) 289-2595 *csc 26 Thomaston .... .. 17061 646-6454 CSC 12 Thomasville ..... 1229) 227-2500 *csc 25 Thomson ... ...... 17061 595-2973 CSC 13 Tifton .......... . 12291 386-3530 CSC 07 Toccoa ........... 1706) 282-4532
*+csc 60 Union City ....... 17701 306-6909 *+csc 31 Valdosta ... ....... 12291 333-5385
: CSC 04 Villa Rica ... ...... (770) 459-3549 CSC 61 Warner Robins (478) 929-6774
*+ CSC 22 Waycross .. ...... 19121 285-6296

Norma l hours of operation for licensing facilities is from 9:00 A.M. until 5:00 PM. Many license fac ility pers onnel travel away from assigned facilities during designat ed days of each mon th.

Motorcycle written examinations (for license and permits) are administered at ALL license facilities.

*License facilities administering the motorcyc le road /s kill test.

+ Must first call facility for motorcycle road test times or appointment.

Note:

In several metropolitan areas across the state, License Renewal Stations have been opened to help reduce waiting lines. For additional informat ion concerni ng renewal stations and driver's license call (404) 657-9300.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE www.gadmvs.com/g msp

PREFACE

Operating a motorcycle safely in traffic requires special skills and knowledge. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has made this manual available to help novice motorcyclists reduce their risk of having a crash. The manual conveys essential safe-driving information and has been designed for use in safe licensing programs. While designed for the novice, all motorcyclists can benefit from the information this manual contains.
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 cooperative agreement between NHTSA and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. The manual and related tests were used in a multi-year study of improved motorcycle operator licensing procedures, conducted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles under contract to NHTSA.
The purpose of this manual is to educate the reader to help avoid crashes while safely operating a motorcycle. For this edition, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has updated and expanded the content of the original manual.

These revisions reflect: The latest finding of motorcyclesafety research. Comments and guidance provided by the motorcycling, licensing, and traffic-safety communities. Expanded alcohol and drug information. In promoting improved licensing
programs, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation works closely with state licensing agencies. The Foundation has helped more than half the states in the nation adopt the "Motorcycle Operator Manual" for use in their licensing systems.
Improved licensing, along with quality motorcycle rider education and increased public awareness, has the potential to reduce crashes. Staff at the Foundation are available to assist state, private and governmental agencies in efforts to improve motorcycle safety.
Tim Buche President

MOTORCYCLES MAKE SENSE... SO DOES PROFESSIONAL TRAINING

They are inexpensive to operate, fun to ride and easy to park. Unfortunately, many riders never learn critical skills needed to ride safely.

Professional training for beginning and experienced riders prepares them for real world traffic situations. Motorcycle RiderCourses teach and improve such skills as:

Effective turning Obstacle avoidance

Braking maneuvers Traffic strategies

Protective apparel selection Maintenance

For the beginning or experienced RiderCourse nearest you,
call toll free: (800) 446-9227

MOTORCYCLE SAFETY FOUNDATION

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation's purpose is improving safety of motorcycles on the nation's streets and highways. In an attempt to reduce motorcycle accidents and injuries, the Foundation has programs in rider education, licensing improvement, public information and statistics. These programs are designed for both motorcyclists and motorists. A national not-for-profit organization, MSF is sponsored by the U.S. motorcycle distributors: BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha.
The information contained in this publication is offered for the benefit of those who have an interest in riding

motorcycles. The information hasbeen compiled from publications, interviews and observations of individuals and organizations familiar with the use of motorcycles, accessories, and training. Because there are many differences in product design, riding styles, Federal, State and local laws, there may be organizations and individuals who hold differing opinions. Consult your local regulatory agencies for information concerning the operation of motorcycles in your area. Although the Motorcycle Safety Foundation will continue to research, field test and publish responsible viewpoints on the subject, it disclaims any liability for the views expressed herein.

Printing and distribution courtesy of
Motorcycle Safety Foundation
2 Jenner Street, Suite 150, Irvine, CA 92618-3806 http://www.msfusa.org

Second Revision .................. December J978 Third Revision .............. ........ February I 98 1 Fourth Revision. .... .... ..... ....January I 983 Fifth Revision ... . ........ .... ... October I 987

Sixth Revision...

.... April /99/

Seventh Revision ... ....... ...September I 992

Eighlh Revision .......... ........ ... .Januarv I 999

Printed in USA

00015-1

2

CONTENTS

PREPARING TO RIDE
WEAR THE RIGHT GEAR ...................... 4 Helmet Use.......................................... 4 Helmet Selection .................... ............. 4 Eye and Face Protection ...................... 5 Clothing ............................................... 6
KNow YOUR MOTORCYCLE ................ 6 The Right Motorcycle For You ........... 6 Borrowing and Lending ...................... 7 Know Your Motorcycle Controls ........ 7 Check Your Motorcycle ...................... 8
KNow YOUR RFSPONSIWLITIES .......... 9
RIDE WITHIN YOUR ABILITIES
BASIC VEmcLE CoNTROL.................. 10 Body Position ............. ....................... I 0
Shifting Gears ................................... 10 Braking ............... ............................. ... 11 Tuming ............................................... 11
KEEPING YOUR DISTANCE ................. 12 Lane Positions ................................... 12 Following Another Vehicle ............... 13 Being Followed ................................. 14 Passing and Being Passed ........ ......... 14 Lane Sharing .. .............. ..................... I6 Merging Cars..................................... I6 Cars Alongside ............. ..................... I6
SIPDE .................................................. 17 Intersections ...................................... 18 Blind Intersections ............................ 19 Passing Parked Cars .......................... 20 Parking at the Roadside ..................... 20
INCREASING CONSPICUITY ................. 21 Clothing ...................................... ..... .. 21 Headlight .. ............... .. ........................ 21 Signals ............................................... 21 Brake Light ....................................... 22 Using Your Mirrors ........................... 22 Head Checks ............... ............... ....... 23 Hom .................................................. 23 Riding at Night .................................. 24
CRASH AVOIDANCE ............................. 24 Quick Stops ....................................... 24 Swerving or Turning Quickly ........... 25 Cornering ......... ........... .. .................... 26

HANDLING DANGEROUS SURFACES.... 27 Uneven Surfaces and Obstacles......... 27 Slippery Surfaces ............................... 28 Tracks and Pavement Seams .. ............ 29 Grooves and Gratings ....................... 29
MECHANICAL PROBLEMS ...................30 Tire Failure ....................................... .30 Stuck Throttle .................................... 30 Wobble ..................................... ..........30 Chain Problems .................................. 3I Engine Seizure ................................... 3I
ANIMALS ..............................................31
FLYING OBJECTS................................. 32
GETTING Ow THE RoAD ...................32
CARRYING PASSENGERS AND CARGO ..........................................32
Equipment .......... ................................ 32 Instructing Passengers .......... ............. 33 Riding With Passengers ..................... 33 Carrying Loads .................................. 33 GROUP RIDING..................................... 34 Keep the Group Small ....................... 34 Keep the Group Together................... 34 Keep Your Distance .......... .. ............... 34
BEING IN SHAPE TO RIDE
WHY INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT ...36
ALCOHOL AND 0rHER DRUGS IN MOTORCYCLE OPERATION ................. 36
ALCOHOL IN THE BODY ......................37 Blood Alcohol Concentration..................................... 37
ALCOHOL AND THE LAW .................... 38 Consequences of Conviction ..........................................38
MINIMIZE THE R.lsKS .......................... 38
STEP IN TO PROTECT FRIENDS 39 FATIGUE ...............................................39
EARNING YOUR LICENSE
Knowledge Test ....... .. ........................ 40 On-Cycle Skill Test .......... ..................41

3

PREPARING TO RIDE
What you do before you start a trip goes a long way toward determining whether or not you 'll get where you want to go safely . Before taking off on any trip, a safe 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.

WEAR THE RIGHT GEAR
When you ride, your gear is "right" if it protects you. In any crash, you have a far better change of avoiding serious injury if you wear:
An approved helmet.
Face or eye protection.
Protective clothing.
HELMET USE
Crashes are not rare events particularly among beginning riders. And one out of every five motorcycle crashes result in head or neck injuries. Head injuries are just as severe as neck injuries - and far more common. Crash analyses show that head and neck injuries account for a majority of serious and fatal injuries to motorcyclists. Research also shows that, with few exceptions, head and neck injuries are reduced by the proper wearing of an approved helmet.
Some riders don 't wear helmets because they think helmets will limit their view to the sides. Others wear helmets only on long trips or when riding at high speeds. Here are some facts to consider:

An approved helmet lets ycu see as far to the sides as necessary. A study of more than 900 motorcycle crashes, where 40% of the riders wore helmets, did not find even one case in which a helmet kept a rider from spotting danger.
Most crashes happen on short trips (less than five miles long), just a few minutes after starting out.
Most riders are riding slow-'.':r than 30 mph when a crash occurs. At these speeds, helmets can cut both the number and the severity of head injuries by half.
No matter what the speed, helmeted riders are three times more likely to survive head injuries than those not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.
HELMET SELECTION
There are two primary types of helmets, providing two different levels of coverage: three-quarter and full face.
Whichever sty le you choose, you can get the most protection by making sure that the helmet:

4

Ht.LMt.JS



Meets U.S. Department of

Goggles protect your eyes,

Transportation (DOT) and state

though they won't protect the rest of

sta::.dards. (Helmets with a label from the Snell Memorial

your face like a faceshield does. A windshield is not a substitute for a

~ ~

Foundation gives you an added assurance of quality.)

faceshield or goggles. Most windshields will not protect your

t_,,j
> z

Fits snugly, all the way around.

eyes from the wind. Neither will

0

Has no obvious defects such as

eyeglasses or sunglasses. Glasses

~

cracks, loose padding or frayed

won't keep your eyes from watering, C"")

straps.
Whatever helmet you decide on, keep it securely fastened on your

and they might blow off when you tum your head while riding.
To be effective, eye orfaceshield

t_,,j
-:
0
~

head when you ride. Otherwise, if

protection must:

t_,,j C"")

you are involved in a crash, it's likely Be free of scratches.

.~...

to fly off your head before it gets a chance to protect you.

Be resistant to penetration.

0 z

Give a clear view to either side.

EYE AND FACE PROTECTION
A plastic shatter-resistant faceshield can help protect your whole face in a crash. It also protects you from wind, dust, dirt, rain, insects, and pebbles thrown up from cars ahead. These problems are distracting and can be painful. If you have to deal with them, you can't devote your full attention to the road.

Fasten securely, so it does not blow off.
Permit air to pass through, to reduce fogging.
Permit enough room for eyeglasses or sunglasses, if needed.
Tinted eye protection should not be worn at night or any other time when little light is available.

5

CLOTHING

c.,

~

The right clothing protects you

:r:: in a collision. It also provides

E-0

comfort, as well as protection from

u,..;j heat, cold, debris, and hot and moving parts of the motorcycle.

Jacket and pants should cover arms and legs completely. They should fit snugly enough to keep from flapping in the wind, yet loosely enough to move freely. Leather offers the most protection. Sturdy synthetic material provides a lot of protection as well. Wear a jacket even in warm weather to prevent dehydration. Many are designed to protect without getting you overheated, even on summer days.

Boots or shoes should be high and sturdy enough to cover your ankles and give them support. Soles should be made of hard, durable slip resistant material. Keep heels short so they do not catch on rough surfaces. Tuck laces in so they won't catch on your motorcycle.

Gloves allow a better grip and help protect your hands in a crash. Your gloves should be made of leather or similar durable material .

In cold or wet weather, your clothes should keep you warm and dry , as well as protect you from injury. You cannot control a motorcycle well if you are numb. Riding for long periods 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 rainsuits designed for motorcycle riding resist tearing apart or ballooning up at high speeds.

KNOW YOUR MOTORCYCLE
There are plenty of things on the highway that can cause you trouble. Your motorcycle should not be one of them. To make sure that your motorcycle won't let you down: Read owner's manual first. Start with the right motorcycle for
you. Be familiar with the motorcycle
controls. Check the motorcycle before every
ride . Keep it in safe riding condition
between rides. Avoid add-ons and modifications
that make your motorcycle harder to handle.
THE RIGHT MOTORCYCLE
FOR You
First, make sure your motorcycle is right for you. It should "fit" you. Your feet should reach the ground while you are seated on the motorcycle.
~
A plastic shatter-resistantface shield: A. ls not necessary if you have a
windshield. B. Only protects your eyes. C. Helps protect your whole face . D. Does not protect your face as well
as goggles.
Answer -pag, 40

6

At minimum, your street-legal motorcycle should have: Headlight, taillight and
brakelight. Front and rear brakes. Turn signals. Horn. Two mirrors.
BORROWING AND LENDING Borrowers and lenders of
motorcycles, beware. Crashes are fairly common among beginning riders - especially in the first months of riding . Riding an unfamiliar motorcycle adds to the problem. If you borrow a motorcycle, get familiar with it in a controlled area. And if you lend your motorcycle to friends, make sure they
MUI UXCYC.:Lt.: CUNIRUL'i

are licensed and know how to ride before allowing them out into traffic.
No matter how experienced you may be, ride extra carefully on any motorcycle that's new or unfamiliar to you. More than half of all crashes occur on motorcycles ridden by the operator for less than six months.
GET FAMILIAR WITH THE MOTORCYCLE CONTROLS
Make sure you are completely familiar with the motorcycle before you take it out on the street. Be sure to review the owner's manual. This is particularly important if you are riding a borrowed motorcycle. If you are going to use an unfamiliar motorcycle:

7

Make all the checks you would on your own motorcycle.
Find out where everything is , particularly the turn signals, horn, headlight switch, fuel-control valve, and engine cut-off switch. Find and operate these items without having to look for them.
Know the gear pattern. Work the throttle, clutch, and brakes a few times before you start riding. All controls react a little differently.
Ride very cautiously and be aware of surroundings. Accelerate gently , take turns more slowly, and leave extra room for stopping.
CHECK YOUR MOTORCYCLE
A motorcycle needs more frequent attention than a car. A minor technical failure in a car seldom leads to anything more than an inconvenience for the driver.
If something's wrong with the motorcycle, you'll want to find out about it before you get in traffic. Make a complete check of your motorcycle before every ride.
Before mounting the motorcycle make the following checks:
Tires - Check the air pressure, general wear and tread.
Fluids - Oil and fluid levels. At a minimum, check hydraulic fluids and coolants weekly . Look under the motorcycle for signs of an oil or gas leak.
Headlights and Taillight - Check them both. Test your switch to make sure both high and low beams are working.
Turn Signals - Tum on both right and left turn signals. Make sure all lights are working properly.

Brake Light - Try both brake controls, and make sure each one turns on the brake light.
Once you have mounted the motorcycle, complete the following checks before starting out:
Clutch and Throttle - Make sure they work smoothly. The throttle should snap back when you let go. The clutch should feel tight and smooth.
Mirrors- Clean and adjust both mirrors before starting. It's difficult to ride with one hand while you try to adjust a mirror. Adjust each mirror so you can see the lane behind and as much as possible of the lane next to you. When properly adjusted, a mirror may show the edge of your arm or shoulder-but it's the road behind and to the side that's most important.
Brakes - Try the front and rear brake levers one at a time. Make sure each one feels firm and holds the motorcycle when the brake is fully applied.
Horn - Try the horn. Make sure it works.
In addition to the checks you should make before every trip, check the following items at least once a week: Wheels, cables, fasteners, and fluid checks. Follow your owner's manual to get recommendations.

2

Te.~t Your.~elf

--------

--

More than halfofall crashes:

A. Occur at speeds greater than 35 mph.

B. Happen at night.

C. Are caused by worn tires.

D. Involve riders who have ridden their motorcycles less than six months.

8

KNOW YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
"Accident" implies an unforeseen event that occurs without anyone's fault or negligence. Most often in traffic, that is not the case. In fact, most people involved in a crash can usually claim some responsibility for what takes place.
Consider a situation where someone decides to try to squeeze through an intersection on a yellow light turning red. Your light turns green. You pull into the intersection without checking for possible latecomers. That is all it takes for the two of you to tangle. It was the driver's responsibility to stop. And it was your responsibility to look before pulling out. Neither of you held up your end of the deal. Just because someone else is the first to start the chain of events leading to a crash, doesn't leave any of us free of responsibility.
As a rider you can't be sure that other operators will see you or yield the right of way. To lessen your chances of a crash occurring:

Be visible - wear proper clothing, use your headlight, ride in the best lane position to see and be seen.
Communicate your intentionsuse the proper signals, brake light, and lane position.
Maintain an adequate space cushion - following, being followed, lane sharing, passing and being passed.
Scan your path of travel 12 seconds ahead.
Identify and separate multiple hazards.
Be prepared to act- remain alert and know how to carry out proper crash-avoidance skills.
Blame doesn't matter when someone is injured in a crash. There is rarely a single cause of any crash. The ability to ride aware, make critical decisions, and carry them out separates responsible riders from all the rest. Remember, it is up to you to keep from being the cause of, or an unprepared participant in, any crash.

9

RIDE WITHIN YOUR ABILITIES
This manual cannot teach you how to control direction, speed, or balance. That's something you can learn only through practice. But control begins with knowjng your abilities and riding within them, along with knowing and obeying, the rules of the road.

BASIC VEHICLE CONTROL
BODY POSITION To control a motorcycle well:
Posture - Sit so you can use your arms to steer the motorcycle rather than to hold yourself up.
Seat - Sit far enough forward so that arms are slightly bent when you hold the handlegrips. Bending your arms permits you to press on the handlebars without having to stretch.
Hands - Hold the handlegrips firmly to keep your grip over rough surfaces. Start with your right wrist flat. This will help you keep from accidentally using
H LJ)JN(,' H D _ ,RIP.
RIGHT
WRONG

too much throttle. Also, adjust the handlebars so your hands are even with or below your elbows. This permits you to use the proper muscles for precision steering.
Knees - Keep your knees against the gas tank to help you keep your balance as the motorcycle turns.
Feet-Keep your feet firmly on the footpegs to maintain balance. Don't drag your feet. If your foot catches on something, you can be injured and it could affect your control of the motorcycle. Keep your feet near the controls so you can get to them fast if needed. Also, don't let your toes point downward-they may get caught between the road and the footpegs.
SHIFTING GEARS
There is more to shifting gears than simply getting the motorcycle to pick up speed smoothly. Leaming to use the gears when downshifting, turning, or starting on hills is important for safe motorcycle operation.
Shift down through the gears with the clutch as you slow or stop. Remain in first gear while you are stopped so that you can move out quickly if you need to.

Make certain you are riding slowly enough when you shift into a lower gear. If not, the motorcycle will lurch, and the rear wheel may skid. When riding downhill or shifting into first gear you may need to use the brakes to slow enough before downshifting safely . Work towards a smooth, even clutch release, especially when downshifting.
It is best to change gears before entering a tum. However, sometimes shifting while in the tum is necessary. If so, remember to do so smoothly. A sudden change in power to the rear wheel can cause a skid.
BRAKING
Your motorcycle has two brakes: one each for the front and rear wheel. Use both of them at the same time. The front brake is more powerful and can provide at least three-quarters of your total stopping power. The front brake is safe to use if you use it properly.
Remember:
Use both brakes every time you slow or stop. Using both brakes for even "normal" stops will permit you to develop the proper habit or skill of using both brakes properly in an emergency. Squeeze the front brake and press down on the rear. Grabbing at the front brake or jamming down on the rear can cause the brakes to lock, resulting in control problems.
H you know the technique, using both brakes in a turn is possible, although it should be done very carefully. When leaning the motorcycle some of the traction is used for cornering. Less traction is available for stopping. A skid

can occur if you apply too much brake. Also, using the front brake incorrectly on a slippery surface may be hazardous. Use caution and squeeze the brake lever, never grab.
Some motorcycles have integrated braking systems that link the front and rear brakes together by applying the rear brake pedal. (Consult the owner's manual for a detailed explanation on the operation and effective use of these systems.)
TuRNING
Riders often try to take curves or turns too fast. When they can't hold the tum, they end up crossing into another lane of traffic or going off the road. Or, they overreact and brake too hard, causing a skid and loss of control. Approach turns and curves with caution.
Usefour steps for better control:
SLOW
LOOK
LEAN
ROLL
SLOW - Reduce speed before the turn by closing the throttle and, if necessary, applying both brakes.
LOOK- Look through the tum to where you want to go. Tum just your head, not your shoulders, and keep your eyes level with the horizon.
LEAN - To tum, the motorcycle must lean. To lean the motorcycle, press on the handgrip in the direction of the turn. Press left-lean left-go left. Press right- lean right-go right. Higher speeds and/or tighter turns require the motorcycle to lean more.

11

ROLL- Roll on the throttle through the turn to stabilize suspension. Maintain steady speed or accelerate gradually through the tum. This will help keep the motorcycle stable.
In normal turns, the rider and the motorcycle should lean together at the same angle.
RIie _ f R I i

3.

Te.~t Ymme(l

When riding, you should:

A . Tum your head and shoulders to look through tmns.
B. Keep your arms straight.

C. Keep your knees away from the gas tank.
D. Tum just your head and eyes to look where you are goin,4g,...,...,. __e,o

KEEPING YOUR DISTANCE
The best protection you can have is distance - a "cushion of space" all around your motorcycle. If someone else makes mistake, distance permits you:
Time to react.
Space to maneuver.

In slow tight turns, counterbalance by leaning the motorcycle only and keeping your body straight.
sum fURNINU

LANE POSITIONS
In some ways the size of the motorcycle can work to your advantage. Each traffic lane gives a motorcycle three paths of travel, as indicated in the illustration.
Your lane position should:
Increase your ability to see and be seen.
Avoid others' blind spots. Avoid surface hazards. Protect your lane from other
drivers. Communicate your intentions. Avoid wind blast from other
vehicles. Provide an escape route.
Select the appropriate path to maximize your space cushion and make yourself more easily seen by others on the road.

12

In general , there is no single best position for riders to be seen and to maintain a space cushion around the motorcycle. No portion of the lane need be avoided - including the center.
Position yourself in the portion of the lane where you are most likely to be seen and you can maintain a space cushion around you. Change position as traffic situations change. Ride in path 2 or 3 if vehicles and other potential problems are on your left only. Remain in path I or 2 if hazards are on your right only . If vehicles are being operated on both sides of you, the center of the lane, path 2, is usually your best option.
The oily strip in the center portion that collects drippings from cars is usually no more than two feet wide . Unless the road is wet, the average center strip permits adequate traction to ride on safely. You can operate to the left or right of the grease strip and still be within the center portion of the traffic lane. Avoid riding on big buildups of oil and grease usually found at busy intersections or toll booths.

FOLLOWING ANOTHER
VEHICLE
"Following too closely" is a major factor in crashes involving motorcyclists. In traffic, motorcycles need as much distance to stop as cars. Normally, a minimum oftwo seconds distance should be maintained behind the vehicle ahead.
To gauge your following distance:
Pick out a marker, such as a pavement marking or lamppost, on or near the road ahead.
When the rear bumper of the vehicle ahead passes the marker, count off the seconds: "onethousand-one, one-thousandtwo ."
If you reach the marker before you reach "two," you are following too closely.
A two-second following distance leaves a minimum amount of space to stop or swerve if the driver ahead stops suddenly. It also permits a better view of potholes and other hazards in the road.
A larger cushion of space is needed if your motorcycle will take longer than normal to stop. If the pavement is slippery, if you cannot

13

see through the vehicle ahead, or if traffic is heavy and someone may squeeze in front of you, open up a three second or more following distance.
Keep well behind the vehicle ahead even when you are stopped. This will make it easier to get out of the way if someone bears down on you from behind. It will also give you a cushion of space if the vehicle ahead starts to back up for some reason.
When behind a car, ride where the driver can see you in the rearview mirror. Riding in the center portion of the lane should put your image in the middle of the rearview mirror where a driver is most likely to see you.
Riding at the far side of a lane may permit a driver to see you in a sideview mirror. But remember that most drivers don't look at their sideview mirrors nearly as often as they check the rearview mirror. If the traffic situation allows, the center portion of the lane is usually the best place for you to be seen by the drivers ahead and to prevent lane sharing by others.

BEING FOLLOWED Speeding up to lose someone
following too closely only ends up with someone tailgating you at a higher speed.
A better way to handle tailgaters is to get them in front of you. When someone is following too closely, change lanes and let them pass. If you can't do this, slow down and open up extra space ahead of you to allow room for both you and the tailgater to stop. This will also encourage them to pass. If they don't pass, you will have given yourself and the tailgater more time and space to react in case an emergency does develop ahead.
PASSING AND BEING PASSED Passing and being passed by
another vehicle is not much different than with a car. However, visibility is more critical. Be sure other drivers see you, and that you see potential hazards.

14

PASSING
I. Ride in the left portion of the lane at a safe following distance to increase your line of sight and make you more visible. Signal and check for oncoming traffic. Use your mirrors and turn your head to look for traffic behind.
2. When safe, move into the left lane and accelerate. Select a lane position that doesn't crowd the car you are passing and provides space to avoid hazards in your lane.
3. Ride through the blind spot as quickly as possible.
4. Signal again, and complete mirror and headchecks before returning to your original lane and then cancel signal.
Remember, passes must be completed within posted speed limits, and only where permitted. Know your signs and road markings!

stay in the center portion of your

~

lane. Riding any closer to them could >

put you in a hazardous situation. Avoid being hit by:

r:,J
.rz.:,.J.

~

The other vehicle - A slight

mistake by you or the passing

driver could cause a sideswipe.

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

Objects thrown from windows -

Even if the driver knows you're

there, a passenger may not see

you and might toss something on

you or the road ahead of you.

Blasts of wind from larger vehicles - They can affect your control. You have more room for error if you are in the middle portion when hit by this blast than

=.lz:.'.l'.j
~
> ~

if you are on either side of the

r:,J r:,J

lane.

l:'l'j

I::,

Do not move into the portion of

the lane farthest from the passing

BEING PASSED

vehicle. It might invite the other

When you are being passed from behind or by an oncoming vehicle,

driver to cut back into your lane too

early.

~- -... ..
1,
lg

I

IC -

l .Ji

.,

n
A
i~ ">/
, \ __ - j

'1:'

I t~

f ' t x ~ 0 ,'

r-:i
tf=~::i

15

LANE SHARING Cars and motorcycles need a full
lane to operate safely. Lane sharing is usually prohibited.
Riding between rows of stopped or moving cars in the same lane can leave you vulnerable to the unexpected. A hand could come out of a window; a door could open; a car could turn suddenly. Discourage lane sharing by others. Keep a centerportion position whenever drivers might be tempted to squeeze by you. Drivers are most tempted to do this:
In heavy, bumper-to-bumper traffic.
When they want to pass you.
When you are preparing to turn at an intersection.
When you are getting in an exit lane or leaving a highway .

another lane if one is open. If there is no room for a lane change, adjust speed to open up space for the merging driver.
CARS .ALONGSIDE
Do not ride next to cars or trucks in other lanes if you do not have to. You might be in the blind spot of a car in the next lane, which could switch into your lane without warning. Cars in the next lane also block your escape if you come upon danger in your own lane. Speed up or drop back to find a place clear of traffic on both sides.

MERGING CARS
Drivers on an entrance ramp may not see you on the highway. Give them plenty of room. Change to

-I

Te.~t Yourself

Usually, a good way to handle

tailgaters is to:

A. Change lanes and let them pass.

B. Use your horn and make obscene gestures,

C. Speed up to put distance between you and the tailgater.

D. lgnore them.

Answer -page 40

16

SIPDE
Good experienced riders remain aware of what is going on around them. They improve their riding strategy by using SIPDE, a 5-step process used to make appropriate judgments, and apply them correctly in different traffic situations:
Scan Identify Predict Decide Execute Let's examine each of these steps.
SCAN
Search aggressively ahead, to the sides and behind to avoid potential hazards even before they arise. How assertively you search, and how much time and space you have, can eliminate or reduce harm. Focus even more on finding potential escape routes in or around intersections, shopping areas, school and construction zones.
Search/or:
Oncoming traffic that may turn left in front of you.
Traffic coming from the left and right.
Traffic approaching from behind. Hazardous road conditions.
Be especially alert in areas with limited visibility. Visually "busy" surroundings could hide you and your motorcycle from others.

IDENTIFY
Locate hazards and potential conflicts.
Vehicles and other motorcycles - may move into your path and increase the likelihood of a crash.
Pedestrians and animals - are unpredictable, and make short, quick moves.
Stationary objects- potholes, guard rails, bridges, roadway signs, hedges, or trees won't move into your path but may influence your riding strategy.
.PREDICT
Consider speed, distance, and direction of hazards to anticipate how they may affect you. Cars moving into your path are more critical than those moving away or remaining stationary.
Predict where a collision may occur. Completing this "what if .. .?" phrase to estimate results of contacting or attempting to avoid a hazard depends on your knowledge and experience.
DECIDE
Determine what you need to do based on your prediction.
The mental process of determining your course of action depends on how aggressively you searched. The result is your action and knowing which strategy is best for the situation. You want to eliminate or reduce the potential hazard. You must decide when, where and how to take action. Your constant decision making tasks must stay sharp to cope with constantly changing traffic situations.
17

The decisions you make can be grouped by the types of hazards you encounter. Single hazard
Two hazards Multiple hazards
EXECUTE Carry out your decision.
To create more space and minimize harm from any hazard:
Communicate your presence with lights and/or horn.
Adjust your speed by accelerating, stopping or slowing.
Adjust your position and/or direction.
Apply the old adage "one step at a time" to handle two or more hazards. Adjust speed to permit two hazards to separate. Then deal with them one at a time as single hazards. Decision making becomes more complex with three or more hazards. Weigh consequences of each and give equal distance to the hazards.
In potential high risk areas, such as intersections, shopping areas, school and construction zones, cover the clutch and both brakes to reduce the time you need to react.

INTERSECTIONS
The greatest potential for conflict between you and other traffic is at intersections. An intersection can be in the middle of an urban area or at a driveway on a residential street-anywhere traffic may cross your path of travel. Over one-half of motorcycle/car crashes are caused by drivers entering a rider's right-ofway. Cars that tum left in front of you, including cars turning left from the lane to your right, and cars on side streets that pull into your lane, are the biggest dangers. Your use of SIPDE [p. 17] at intersections is critical.
There are no guarantees that others see you. Never count on "eye contact" as a sign that a driver will yield. Too often, a driver looks right at a motorcyclist and still fails to "see" him. The only eyes that you can count on are your own. If a car can enter your path, assume that it will . Good riders are always "looking for trouble"-not to get into it, but to stay out of it.
Increase your chances of being seen at intersections. Ride with your headlight on in a lane position that provides the best view of oncoming traffic. Provide a space cushion around the motorcycle that permits you to take evasive action.

-
--C:::::1

5

I Test _Yourselj :J

To reduce your reaction time, you

f""-

should:

A Ride slower than the speed limit. B. Cover the clutch and the brakes. C. Shift into neutral when slowing. D, Pull in the clutch when turning.
Answer -pag, 40

18

.. ,,..
v
t I
I
I
I -

I I I I I I
--

As you approach the intersection, select a lane position to increase your visibility to the driver. Cover the clutch and both brakes to reduce reaction time.
Reduce your speed as you approach an intersection. After entering the intersection, move away from vehicles preparing to tum.
Do not change speed or position radically. The driver might think that you are preparing to tum.

BLIND INTERSECTIONS
If you approach a blind intersection, move to the portion of the lane that will bring you into another driver's field of vision at the earliest possible moment. In this picture, the rider has moved to the left portion of the lane- away from the parked car-so the driver on the cross street can see him as soon as possible.

Remember, the key is to see as much as possible and remain visible to others while protecting your space.
19

If you have a stop sign or stop line, stop there first. Then edge forward and stop again, just short of where the cross-traffic lane meets your lane. From that position, lean your body forward and look around buildings, parked cars, or bushes to see if anything is coming. Just make sure your front wheel stays out of the cross lane of travel while you're looking.
PASSING PARKED CARS
When passing parked cars, stay toward the left of your lane. You can avoid problems caused by doors opening, drivers getting out of cars, or people stepping from between cars. If oncoming traffic is present, it is usually best to remain in the center-lane position to maximize your space cushion.
A bigger problem can occur if the driver pulls away from the curb without checking for traffic behind. Even if he does look, he may fail to see you.

In either event, the driver might cut into your path. Slow down or change lanes to make room for someone cutting in.
Cars making a sudden U-tum are the most dangerous. They may cut you off entirely, blocking the whole roadway and leaving you with no place to go. Since you can't tell what a driver will do, slow down and get the driver's attention. Sound your horn and continue with cimtinn
PARKING AT THE ROADSIDE
Park at a 90 angle to the curb with your rear wheel touching the curb.

Making eye contact with other drivers:
A Is a good sign they see you. B. Is not worth the effort it takes. C. Doesn't mean that the driver will
yield. D. Guarantees that the other driver
will yield to you.
Answer-page 40
20

INCREASING
CONSPICUITY
In crashes with motorcyclists, drivers often say that they never saw the motorcycle. From ahead or behind, a motorcycle's outline is much smaller than a car's. Also, it's hard to see something you are not looking for, and most drivers are not looking for motorcycles. More likely, they are looking through the skinny, two-wheeled silhouette in search of cars that may pose a problem to them.
Even if a driver does see you coming, you aren't necessarily safe. Smaller vehicles appear farther away , and seem to be traveling slower than they actually are. It is common for drivers to pull out in front of motorcyclists, thinking they have plenty of time. Too often, they are wrong.
However, you can do many things to make it easier for others to recognize you and your cycle.
CLOTHING
Most crashes occur in broad daylight. Wear bright colored clothing to increase your chances of being seen. Remember, your body is half of the visible surface area of the rider/motorcycle unit.
Bright orange, red, yellow or green jackets or vests are your best bets for being seen. Your helmet can do more than protect you in a crash. Brightly colored helmets can also help others see you.
Any bright color is better than drab or dark colors. Reflective, bright colored clothing (helmet and jacket or vest) is best.

Reflective material on a vest and on the sides of the helmet will help drivers coming from the side spot you. Reflective material can also be a big help for drivers coming toward you or from behind.
HEADLIGHT
The best way to help others see your motorcycle is to keep the headlight on - at all times (although motorcycles sold in the U.S. since 1978 automatically have the headlights on when running.) Studies show that, during the day, a motorcycle with its light on is twice as likely to be noticed. Use of the high beam during the day increases the likelihood that oncoming drivers will see you. Use low beam at night and in cloudy weather.
SIGNALS
The signals on a motorcycle are similar to those on a car. They tell others what you plan to do.

21

However, due to a rider's added vulnerability, signals are even more important. Use them anytime you plan to change lanes or tum. Use them even when you think no one else is around. It's the car you don't see that's going to give you the most trouble. Your signal lights also make you easier to spot. That's why it's a good idea to use your tum signals even when what you plan to do is obvious.
When you enter onto a freeway, drivers approaching from behind are more likely to see your signal blinking and make room for you.
Turning your signal light on before each tum reduces confusion and frustration for the traffic around you. Once you tum, make sure your signal is off or a driver may pull directly into your path, thinking you plan to tum again. Use your signals at every tum so drivers can react accordingly . Don't make them guess what you intend to do.
BRAKE LIGHT
Your motorcycle's brake light is usually not as noticeable as the brake lights on a car-particularly when your taillight is on. (It goes on with the headlight.) If the situation will permit, help others notice you by flashing your brake light before you slow down. It is especially important to flash your brake light before:

You slow more quickly than others might expect (turning off a highspeed highway).
You slow where others may not expect it (in the middle of a block or at an alley).
If you are being followed closely, it's a good idea to flash your brake light before you slow. The tailgater may be watching you and not see something ahead that will make you slow down. This will hopefully discourage them from tailgating and warn them of hazards ahead they may not see.
USING YOUR MIRRORS
While it's most important to keep track of what's happening ahead, you can't afford to ignore situations behind. Traffic conditions change quickly. Knowing what's going on behind is essential for you to make a safe decision about how to handle trouble ahead.
Frequent mirror checks should be part of your normal scanning routine. Make a special point of using your mirrors:
When you are stopped at an intersection. Watch cars coming up from behind. If the driver isn't paying attention, he could be on top of you before he sees you.
Before you change lanes. Make sure no one is about to pass you.
Before you slow down. The driver behind may not expect you to slow, or may be unsure about where you will slow. For example, you signal a tum and the driver thinks you plan to tum at a distant intersection, rather than at a nearer driveway.

22

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

HEAD CHECKS
Checking your mirrors is not enough. Motorcycles have "blind spots" like cars. Before you change lanes, tum your head, and look to the

:

~ i ' l - - < ,, ;

side for other vehicles.

On a road with several lanes,

I

I

B: X ~

Blind Spots

1/. I

I

I

I

I

check the far lane and the one next to you. A driver in the distant lane may head for the same space you plan to take.
Frequent head checks should be your normal scanning routine, also. Only by knowing what is happening

all around you, are you fully

Some motorcycles have rounded (convex) mirrors. These provide a wider view of the road behind than

prepared to deal with it. HORN

=:0z:=

do flat mirrors. They also make cars

Be ready to use your horn to get

seem farther away than they really

someone's attention quickly.

are. If you are not used to convex mirrors, get familiar with them. (While you are stopped, pick out a parked car in your mirror. Form a mental image ofhow far away it is.

It is a good idea to give a quick beep before passing anyone that may move into your lane.
Here are some situations:

Then, turn around and look at it to see how close you came.) Practice with your mirrors until you become a

A driver in the lane next to you is driving too closely to the vehicle ahead and may want to pass.

good judge of distance. Even then, allow extra distance before you

A parked car has someone in the driver's seat.

change lanes.

Someone is in the street, riding a

bicycle or walking.

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

Keep in mind that a motorcycle's horn isn't as loud as a car's, therefore, use it, but don't rely on it. Other strategies may be appropriate along with the horn.

23

c., RIDING AT NIGHT

25

At night it is harder for you to

Q see and be seen. Picking your

Q headlight or taillight out of the car

-~
c.,
z

lights around you is not easy for other drivers. To compensate, you should: Reduce Your Speed - Ride even

slower than you would during the

day - particularly on roads you

don't know well. This will

increase your chances of avoiding

a hazard.

Increase Distance - Distances are

harder to judge at night than

during the day . Your eyes rely

upon shadows and light contrasts

to determine how far away an

object is and how fast it is

u z ~

coming. These contrasts are missing or distorted under

<
Q
-< 0 >
=0<0
uer.:

artificial lights at night. Open up a three-second following distance or more. And allow more distance to pass and be passed.
Use the Car Ahead-The headlights of the car ahead can give you a better view of the road than even your high beam can.

Taillights bouncing up and down

can alert you to bumps or rough

pavement.

Use Your High Beam -Get all the

light you can. Use your high

beam whenever you are not

following or meeting a car. Be

visible, wear reflective materials

00

when riding at night.

0=-- Be flexible about lane position.

E-00

Change to whatever portion of

-u::id
;;i

. the lane is best able to help you see, be seen, and keep an adequate space cushion.

0

Reflective clothing should: A Be worn at night. B. Be worn during the day. C. Not be worn. D. Be worn day and night
Answer - page 40

CRASH AVOIDANCE
No matter how careful you are, there will be times when you find yourself in a tight spot. Your chances of getting out safely depend on your ability to react quickly and properly. Often, a crash occurs because a rider is not prepared or skilled in crashavoidance maneuvers.
Know when and how to stop or swerve, two skills critical to avoiding a crash. It is not always desirable or possible to stop quickly to avoid an obstacle. Riders must also be able to swerve around an obstacle. Determining the skill necessary for the situation is important as well.
Studies show that most crashinvolved riders:
Underbrake the front tire and overbrake the rear.
Did not separate braking from swerving or did not choose swerving when it was appropriate
The following information offers some good advice.
QUICK STOPS
To stop quickly, apply both brakes at the same time. Don't be shy about using the front brake, but don't "grab" it, either. Squeeze the brake lever firmly and progressively. If the front wheel locks, release the front brake immediately then reapply it firmly . At the same time, press down on the rear brake. If you accidentally lock the rear brake on a good traction surface, keep it locked until you have completely stopped. Even with a locked rear wheel, you can control the motorcycle on a straightaway ifit is upright and going in a straight line.

24

, PP/ , /)/, 1 'E

the last few feet of stopping, the motorcycle should then be straight up and in balance.

Always use both brakes at the same time to stop. The front brake can provide 70% or more of the potential stopping power.
If you must stop quickly while turning or riding a curve, the best technique is to straighten the bike upright first and then brake. However, it may not always be possible to straighten the motorcycle and then stop. If you must brake while leaning, apply light brakes and reduce the throttle. As you slow, you can reduce your lean angle and apply more brake pressure until the motorcycle is straight and maximum brake pressure is possible. You should "straighten" the handlebars in

SWERVING OR TuRNING
QUICKLY
Sometimes you may not have enough room to stop, even if you use both brakes properly. An object might appear suddenly in your path. Or the car ahead might squeal to a stop. The only way to avoid a crash may be to turn quickly, or swerve around it.
A swerve is any sudden change in direction. It can be two quick turns, or a rapid shift to the side. Apply a small amount of hand pressure to the handgrip located on the side of your intended direction of escape. This will cause the motorcycle to lean quickly. The sharper the turn(s), the more the motorcycle must lean.
Keep your body upright and allow the motorcycle to lean in the direction of the turn while keeping your knees against the tank and your feet solidly on the pegs. Let the

\l I I t I
25

motorcycle move underneath you. Make your escape route the target of your vision. Press on the opposite handgrip once you clear the obstacle to return you to your original direction of travel. To swerve to the left, press the left handgrip, then press the right to recover. To swerve to the right, press right, then left.
IF BRAKING IS REQUIRED, SEPARATE IT FROM SWERVING. Brake before or after - never while swerving.

CORNERING
A primary cause of singlevehicle crashes is motorcyclists running wide in a curve or turn and colliding with the roadway or a fixed object.
Every curve is different. Be alert to whether a curve remains constant, gradually widens, gets tighter, or involves multiple turns.
Ride within your skill level and posted speed limits.
Your best path may not always follow the curve of the road.

I I I
------,,II

Change lane position depending on traffic, road conditions and curve of the road. If no traffic is present, start at the outside of a curve to increase your line of sight and the effective radius of the turn. As you turn, move toward the inside of the curve, and as you pass the center, move to the outside to exit.
Another alternative is to move to the center of your lane before entering a curve - and stay there until you exit. This permits you to spot approaching traffic as soon as possible. You can also adjust for traffic "crowding" the center line, or debris blocking part of your lane.
The best way to stop quickly is to: A Use the front brake only. B. Use the rear brake first. C. Throttle down and use the front
brake . D. Use both brakes at the same time.
Answer-poge,o

HANDLING DANGEROUS SURFACES
Your chance of falling or being involved in a crash increases whenever you ride across:
Uneven surfaces or obstacles. Slippery surfaces. Railroad tracks. Grooves and gratings.
UNEVEN SURFACES AND OBSTACLES
Watch for uneven surfaces such as bumps, broken pavement, potholes, or small pieces of highway trash.
Try to avoid 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. Look where you want to go to control your path of travel. If you have to ride over the obstacle, you should:
Slow down as much as possible before contact.
Make sure the motorcycle is straight.

26

27

Rise slightly off the seat with your weight on the footpegs to absorb the shock with your knees and elbows, and avoid being thrown off the motorcycle.
Just before contact, roll on the throttle slightly to lighten the front end. If you ride over an object on the
street, pull off the road and check your tires and rims for damage before riding any farther.
SLIPPERY SURFACES Motorcycles handle better when
ridden on surfaces that permit good traction. Surfaces that provide poor traction include:
Wet pavement, particularly just after it starts to rain and before 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, especially when wet.
To ride safely on slippery suifaces:
Reduce Speed - Slow down before you get to a slippery surface to lessen your chances of skidding. Your motorcycle needs more distance to stop. And, it is particularly important to reduce speed before entering wet curves.
Avoid Sudden Moves -Any sudden change in speed or direction can cause a skid. Be as smooth as possible when you speed up, shift gears, turn or brake.
Use Both Brakes -The front brake is still effective, even on a

slippery surface. Squeeze the brake lever gradually to avoid locking the front wheel. Remember, gentle 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 cars. Often, the left tire track will be the best position, depending on traffic and other road conditions as well.
Watch for oil spots when you put your foot down to stop 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 from highways. Be aware of what's on the edge of the road, particularly when making sharp turns and getting on or off freeways at high speeds.
Rain dries and snow melts faster on some sections of a road than on others. Patches of ice tend to crop up in low or shaded areas and on bridges and overpasses. Wet surfaces or wet leaves are just as slippery. Ride on the least slippery portion of the lane and reduce speed.
Cautious riders steer clear of roads covered with ice or snow. If you can't avoid a slippery surface, keep your motorcycle straight up and proceed as slowly as possible. If you encounter a large surface so slippery that you must coast, or travel at a walking pace, consider letting your feet skim along the surface. If the motorcycle starts to fall, you can catch yourself. Be sure to keep off the brakes. If possible, squeeze the clutch and coast. Attempting this maneuver at anything other than the slowest of speeds could prove hazardous.

28

pavement seams to cross at an angle

of at least 45. Then, make a quick,



sharp tum. Edging across could catch your tires and throw you off balance.

RAILROAD ThAcKS, 'IlmLLEY
TRACKS AND PAVEMENf SEAMS
Usually it is safer to ride straight within your lane to cross tracks. Turning to take tracks head-on (at a 90 angle) can be more dangerous your path may carry you into another lane of traffic.
For track and road seams that run parallel to your course, move far enough away from tracks, ruts, or

GROOVES AND GRATINGS Riding over rain grooves or
bridge gratings may cause a motorcycle to weave. The uneasy, wandering feeling is generally not hazardous. Relax, maintain a steady speed and ride straight across. Crossing at an angle forces riders to zigzag to stay in the lane. The zigzag is far more hazardous than the wandering feeling.
URA 1ECROSS/NU-WRONU
<iRATECROSS/N(,'-R/UHT

- - ~ - - - - J'!I~ ~~

. ~~- ,

~ :-tJ

rl -:__w:~ ~ :~

--------------
PARALLEL TRA CKS-WRON(i
-------------,J ----
- c{~ '"'llll:
""'Ill{'
r-gr:J
l:-- -~------------" '

9

Test Yourself

When it starts to rain it is usually best to:

A. Ride in the center of the lane.

B. Pull off to the side until the rain stops.

C. Ride in the tire tracks left by cars

D. Increase your speed.

29

MECHANICAL PROBLEMS
You can find yourself in an emergency the moment something goes wrong with your motorcycle. In dealing with any mechanical problem, take into account the road and traffic conditions you face. Here are some guidelines that can help you handle mechanical problems safely.
TIRE FAILURE You will seldom hear a tire go
flat. If the motorcycle starts handling differently, it may be a tire failure . This can be dangerous. You must be able to tell from the way the motorcycle reacts. Ifone of your tires suddenly loses air, react quickly to keep your balance. Pull off and check the tires.
If the front tire goes flat, the steering will feel "heavy." A frontwheel flat is particularly hazardous because it affects your steering. You have to steer well to keep your balance.
If the rear tire goes flat, the back of the motorcycle may jerk or sway from side to side.
If either tire goes flat while riding:
Hold handlegrips firmly , ease off the throttle, and keep a straight course.
H braking is required, however, gradually apply the brake of the tire that isn't flat , if you are sure which one it is.
When the motorcycle slows,edge to the side of the road, squeeze clutch and stop.

STUCK THROTTLE
Twist the throttle back and forth several times. If the throttle cable is stuck, this may free it. If the throttle stays stuck immediately operate the engine cut-off switch and pull in the clutch at the same time. This will remove power from the rear wheel, though engine noise may not immediately decline. Once the motorcycle is "under control," pull off and stop.
After you have stopped, check the throttle cable carefully to find the source of the trouble. Make certain the throttle works freely before you start to ride again.
WO BBLE
A "wobble" occurs when the front wheel and handlebars suddenly start to shake from side to side at any speed. Most wobbles can be traced to improper loading, unsuitable accessories, or incorrect tire pressure. If you are carrying a heavy load, lighten it. If you can't, shift it. Center the weight lower and farther forward on the motorcycle. Make sure tire pressure, spring pre-load, air shocks, and dampers are at the settings recommended for that much weight. Make sure windshields and fairings are mounted properly .
Check for poorly adjusted steering; worn steering parts; a front wheel that is bent, misaligned, or out of balance; loose wheel bearings or spokes; and swingarm bearings. If none of these are determined to be the cause, have the motorcycle checked out thoroughly by a qualified professional.
Trying to "accelerate out of a wobble" will only make the motorcycle more unstable. Instead:

30

Grip the handlebars firmly, but don't fight the wobble.
Close the throttle gradually to slow down. Do not apply the brakes; braking could make the wobble worse.
Move your weight as far forward and down as possible.
Pull off the road as soon as you can to fix the problem.
Ifyour motorcycle starts to wobble: A Accelerate out of the wobble. B. Use the brakes gradually. C. Grip the handlebars firmly and
close the throttle gradually. D. Downshift.
An.rwer - pll(fe 40
CHAIN PROBLEMS
A chain that slips or breaks while you're riding could lock the rear wheel and cause your cycle to skid. Chain slippage or breakage can be avoided by proper maintenance.
Slippage - If the chain slips when you try to speed up quickly or ride uphill, pull off the road. Check the chain and sprockets. Tightening the chain may help. If the problem is a worn or stretched chain or worn or bent sprockets, replace the chain, the sprockets, or both before riding again.
Breakage - You'll notice an instant loss of power to the rear wheel. Close the throttle and brake to a stop.

ENGINE SEIZURE
When the engine "locks" or "freezes" it is usually low on oil. The engine's moving parts can't move smoothly against each other, and the engine overheats. The first sign may be a loss of engine power or a change in the engine's sound. Squeeze the clutch lever to disengage the engine from the rear wheel. Pull off the road and stop. Check the oil. If needed, oil should be added as soon as possible or the engine will seize. When this happens, the effect is the same as a locked rear wheel. Let the engine cool before restarting.

ANIMALS
Naturally, you should do everything you safely can to avoid hitting an animal. Ifyou are in traffic, however, remain in your lane. Hitting something small is less dangerous to you than hitting something big like a car.
Motorcycles seem to attract dogs. If you are chased, downshift and approach the animal slowly . As you approach it, accelerate away and leave the animal behind. Don't kick at an animal. Keep control of your motorcycle, and look to where you want to go.
For larger animals (deer, elk, cattle) brake and prepare to stop, they are unpredictable.

~
Ifyou 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, then

speed up.

,.,...,.., __, ,o

31

FLYING OBJECTS

r,J

=..,uE--
rail
0

From time to time riders are struck by insects, cigarettes thrown from cars, or pebbles kicked up by the tires of the vehicle ahead. If you

t,:,
~
>,

are wearing face protection., it might get smeared or cracked, making it

~

difficult to see. Without face protection, an object could hit you in

the eye, face, or mouth. Whatever

happens, keep your eyes on the road

and your hands on the handlebars.

When safe, pull off the road and

repair the damage.

GETTING OFF THE ROAD

= <

If you need to leave the road to

~ check the motorcycle (or just to rest

rail for a while), be sure you:

~ Check the roadside - Make sure

~

the surface of the roadside is firm

~

enough to ride on. If it is soft

0

grass, loose sand, or if you're just

t,:,

not sure about it, slow way down

~

before you tum onto it.

E-E--

Signal - Drivers behind might not

rail
C,

expect you to slow down. Give a

clear signal that you will be

slowing down and changing

direction. Check your mirror and

make a head check before you

take any action.

r,J

= Pull off the road - Get as far off

~

the road as you can. It can be very

~

hard to spot a motorcycle by the

-zt,:,
>,

side of the road. You don't want someone else pulling off at the same place you are.

u~ Park carefully - Loose and sloped shoulders can make setting the side or center stand

difficult.

CARRYING PASSENGERS AND CARGO
Only experienced riders should carry passengers or large loads. The extra weight changes the way the motorcycle handles, balances, turns, speeds up, and slows down. Before taking a passenger or heavy load on the street, practice away from traffic.
EQUIPMENT
To carry passengers safely:
Equip and adjust your motorcycle to carry passengers.
Instruct the passenger before you start.
Adjust your riding technique for the added weight.
Equipment should include:
A proper seat- large enough to hold both of you without crowding. You should not sit any farther forward than you usually do.
Footpegs - for the passenger. Firm footing prevents your passenger from falling off and pulling you off, too.
Protective equipment - the same protective gear recommended for operators.
Adjust the suspension to handle the additional weight. You will probably need to add a few pounds of pressure to the tires if you carry a passenger. (Check your owner's manual for appropriate settings.) While your passenger sits on the seat with you, adjust the mirror and headlight according to the change in the motorcycle's angle.

32

INSTRUCTING PASSENGERS
Even if your passenger is a motorcycle rider, provide complete instructions before you start. Tell your passenger to:
Get on the motorcycle only after you have started the engine.
Sit as far forward as possible without crowding you.
Hold firmly to your waist, hips, or belt.
Keep both feet on the pegs, even when stopped.
Keep legs away from the muffler(s), chains or moving parts.
Stay directly behind you, leaning as you lean.
Avoid unnecessary talk or motion. Also, tell your passenger to
tighten his or her hold when you:
Approach surface problems. Are about to start from a stop. Warn that you will make a sudden
move.
RIDING WITH PASSENGERS
Your motorcycle will respond more slowly with a passenger on board. The heavier your passenger, the longer it will take to slow down, speed up, or turn - especially on a light motorcycle.

I 2

Te.~t Yourse(f I

Passengers should:

A Lean as you lean.

B. Hold on to the motorcycle seat.

C. Sit as far back as possible.

D. Never hold onto you.

Ride a little slower, especially when taking curves, corners, or bumps.
Start slowing earlier as you approach a stop.
Open up a larger cushion of space ahead and to the sides.
Wait for larger gaps to cross, enter, or merge in traffic.
Wam your passenger of special conditions - when you will pull out, stop quickly, turn sharply, or ride over a bump. Turn your head slightly to make yourself understood, but keep your eyes on the road ahead.
CARRYING LOADS
Most motorcycles are not designed to carry much cargo. Small loads can be carried safely if positioned and fastened properly.
Keep the Load Low- Fasten loads securely, or put them in saddle bags. Piling loads against a sissybar or frame on the back of the seat raises the motorcycle's center of gravity and disturbs its balance.
Keep the Load Forward - Place the load over, or in front of, the rear axle. Tank bags keep loads forward, but use caution when loading hard or sharp objects. Make sure tank bag does not interfere with handlebars or controls. Mounting loads behind the rear axle can affect how the motorcycle turns and brakes. It can also cause a wobble.
Distribute the Load EvenlyLoad saddlebags with about the same weight. An uneven load can cause the motorcycle to drift to one side.

33

Secure the Load - Fasten the load securely with elastic cords (bungee cords or nets). Elastic cords with more than one attachment point per side are more secure. A tight load won't catch in the wheel or chain, causing it to lock up and skid. Rope tends to stretch and knots come loose, permitting the load to shift or fall.
Check the Load - Stop and check the load every so often to make sure it has not worked loose or moved.
GROUP RIDING
If you ride with others, do it in a way that promotes safety and doesn't interfere with the flow of traffic.
KEEP THE GROUP SMALL
Small groups make it easier and safer for car drivers who need to get around them. A small number isn't separated as easily by traffic or red lights. Riders won't always be hurrying to catch up. Ifyour group is larger than four or five riders, divide it up into two or more smaller groups.
KEEP THE GROUP TOGETHER
Plan - The leader should look ahead for changes and signal early so "the word gets back" in plenty of time. Start lane changes early to permit everyone to complete the change.
Put Beginners Up Front- Place inexperienced riders just behind the leader. That way the more experienced riders can watch them from the back.
Follow Those Behind - Let the tailender set the pace. Use your mirrors to keep an eye on the person behind. If a rider falls behind, everyone should slow

down a little to stay with the tail ender.
Know the Route - Make sure everyone knows the route. Then, if someone is separated they won't have to hurry to keep from getting lost or taking a wrong turn. Plan frequent stops on long rides.
KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
Maintain close ranks but at the same time keep a safe distance to allow each rider in the group time and space to react to hazards. A close group takes up less space on the highway, is easier to see and is less likely to be separated. However, it must be done properly.
Don't Pair Up- Never operate directly alongside another rider. There is no place to go if you have to avoid a car or something on the road. To talk, wait until you are both stopped.
Staggered Formation-This is the best way to keep ranks close yet maintain an adequate space cushion. The leader rides in the

I

I

I .,.

-. I
L....

J
_

I I

a
8 E C

0

I

N D

I +8

t .,.

I I

a
E C

0

I

N D

I

8
,,.I..

I

I

I

34

left side of the lane, while the second rider stays one second behind in the right side of the lane. A third rider maintains in the left position, two seconds behind the first rider. The fourth rider would keep a two-second distance behind the second rider. This formation keeps the group close and permits each rider a safe distance from others ahead, behind and to the sides.
Passing in Formation - Riders in a staggered formation should pass one at a time.
First, the lead rider should pull out and pass when it is safe. After passing, the leader should return to the left position and continue riding at passing speed to open room for the next rider.
After the first rider passes safely, the second rider should move up to the left position and watch for a safe chance to pass. After passing, this rider should return to the right position and open up room for the next rider.
<,'ROUP PASSJN<i fsr1c;1: 11
I I I
i;-7
R
L-1
I I I

Some people suggest that the leader should move to the right side after passing a vehicle. This is not a good idea. It encourages the second rider to pass and cut back in before there is a large enough space cushion in front of the passed vehicle. It's simpler and safer to wait until there is enough room ahead of the passed vehicle to allow each rider to move into the same position held before the pass.
Single-File Formation- It is best to move into a single-file formation when riding curves, turning, entering or leaving a highway.

13

Te.~t Yo,melj

When riding in a group, inexperienced riders should position themselves:

A. Just behind the leader B. In front of the group. C. At the tail end of the group.

D. Beside the leader.

Amwer - page 40

<iROUP PASSIN<i (ST \(;f; ~)
I I I I I I
..-- -7
'1_ \
i~-:,J
lk.J

35

BEING IN SHAPE TO RIDE
Riding a motorcycle is a demanding and complex task. Skilled riders pay attention to the riding environment and to operating the motorcycle, identifying potential hazards, making good judgments, and executing decisions quickly and skillfully . Your ability to perform and respond to changing road and traffic conditions is influenced by how fit and alert you are. Alcohol and other drugs, more than any other factor, degrade your ability to think clearly and to ride safely. As little as one drink can have a significant effect on your performance.
Let's look at the risks involved in riding after drinking or using drugs. What to do to protect yourself and your fellow riders is also examined.

__ WHY TIIlS INFORMATION

' ..

_,

IS IMPORTANT

Alcohol is a major contributor to motorcycle crashes, particularly fatal crashes. Studies show that 40% to 45% of all riders killed in motorcycle crashes had been drinking. Only onethird of those riders had a blood alcohol concentration above legal limits. The rest had only a few drinks in their systems-enough to impair riding skills. In the past, drug levels have been harder to distinguish or have not been separated from drinking violations for the traffic records. But riding "under the influence" of either alcohol or drugs poses physical and legal hazards for every rider.
Drinking and drug use is as big a problem among motorcyclists as it is among automobile drivers. Motorcyclists, however, are more likely to be killed or severely injured in a crash. Injuries occur in 90% of motorcycle crashes and 33% of automobile crashes that involve abuse of substances. On a yearly basis, 2,100 motorcyclists are killed and about 50,000 seriously injured in this same type of crash. These statistics are too overwhelming to ignore.
By becoming knowledgeable about the effects of alcohol and other

36

drugs you will see that riding and substance abuse don't mix. Take positive steps to protect yourself and prevent others from injuring themselves.
ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS IN MOTORCYCLE OPERATION
No one is immune to the effects of alcohol or drugs. Friends may brag about their ability to hold their liquor or perform better on drugs, but alcohol or drugs make them less able to think clearly and perform physical tasks skillfully. Judgment and the decision-making processes needed for vehicle operation are affected long before legal limitations are reached.
Many over-the-counter, prescription, and illegal drugs have side effects that increase the risk of riding. It is difficult to accurately measure the involvement of particular drugs in motorcycle crashes. But we do know what effects various drugs have on the process involved in riding a motorcycle. We also know that the combined effects of alcohol and other drugs are more dangerous than either is alone.

ALCOHOL IN THE BODY
Alcohol enters the bloodstream quickly. Unlike most foods and beverages, it does not need to be digested. Within minutes after being consumed, it reaches the brain and begins to affect the drinker. The major effect alcohol has is to slow down and impair bodily functions both mental and physical. Whatever you do, you do less well after consuming alcohol.
BLOOD ALCOHOL
CONCENTRATION
Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC is the amount of alcohol in relation to blood in the body . Generally, alcohol can be eliminated in the body at the rate of almost one drink per hour. But a variety of other factors may also influence the level of alcohol retained. The more alcohol in your blood, the greater the degree of impairment.
Three factors play a major part in determining BAC:
The amount of alcohol you consume.
How fast you drink.
Your body weight.
ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION

Other factors also contribute to the way alcohol affects your system. Your sex, physical condition and food intake are just a few that may cause your BAC level to be even higher. But the full effects of these are not completely known. Alcohol may still accumulate in your body even if you are drinking at a rate of one drink per hour Abilities and judgment can be affected by that one drink.
A 12-ounce can of beer, a mixed drink with one shot of liquor and a 5ounce glass of wine all contain the same amount of alcohol.
The faster you drink, the more alcohol accumulates in your body. If you drink two drinks in an hour, at the end of that hour, at least one drink will remain in your bloodstream.
Without taking into account any of the other factors, the formula below illustrates the LEAST amount of drinks remaining in the bloodstream:

Total
drinks consumed

#hours
since last drink

drinks EQUALS left
in body

--

37

A person drinking:

~
<
~

8 drinks in 4 hours would have at least 4 drinks remaining in their

f;l;l

system.

~ 7 drinks in 3 hours would have at

Q

least 4 drinks remaining in their

~

system.

There are times when a larger

=..;i
0

person may not accumulate as high a

concentration of alcohol for each

u0 drink consumed. They have more

..;i blood and other bodily fluids. But

< because of individual differences it is

better not to take the chance that

those penalties are mandatory , meaning that judges must impose them.
If you are convicted of riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may receive any of the following penalties:
License Suspension- Mandatory suspension for conviction, arrest or refusal to submit to a breath test.
Fines - Severe fines are another aspect of a conviction usually levied with a license suspension.

abilities and judgment have not been

. '.

affected. Whether or not you are

legally intoxicated is not the real

~
r,J

issue. Impairment of judgment and skills begins well below the legal

~ limit.

Community Service Performing tasks such as picking up litter along the highway , washing cars in the motor-vehicle pool, or working at an emergency ward.

f;l;l

-~
~
!

ALCOHOL AND THE LAW
In most states, a person with a BAC of .10% or above is considered intoxicated; in others the legal limit is

.08% or .05%. It doesn't matter how

sober you may look or act. The

Costs-Additional lawyer's fees to pay; lost work time spent in court or alcohol-education programs; public transportation costs (while your license is suspended); and the added psychological costs of being tagged a "drunk driver. "

breath or urine test is what usually

determines whether you are riding

MINIMIZE THE RISKS

legally or illegally.
Your chances of being stopped for riding under the influence of alcohol are increasing. Law enforcement is being stepped up across the country in response to the senseless deaths and injuries caused by drinking drivers and riders.

Your ability to judge how well you are riding is affected first. Although you may be performing more and more poorly, you think you are doing better and better. The result
is that you ride confidently, taking greater and greater risks. Minimize the risks of drinking and riding by

taking steps before you drink.

CONSEQUENCES OF CONVICTION

Control your drinking or control your riding.

Years ago, first offenders had a good chance of getting off with a small fine and participation in alcohol-abuse classes. Today the laws of most states impose stiff penalties on drinking operators. And

DON'T DRINK Don't Drink- Once you start,
your resistance becomes weaker.
Setting a limit or pacing yourself are poor alternatives at best. Your

38

ability to exercise good judgment is one of the first things affected by alcohol. Even if you have tried to drink in moderation, you may not realize to what extent your skills have suffered from alcohol's fatiguing effects.
Or Don't Ride - If you haven't controlled your drinking, you must control your riding.
Leave the motorcycle home so you won't be tempted to ride. Arrange another way to get home.
Wait - If you exceed your limit, wait until your system eliminates the alcohol and its fatiguing effects.
STEP INTO
PROTECT FRIENDS
People who have had too much to drink are unable to make a responsible decision. It is up to others to step in and keep them from taking too great a risk. No one wants to do this - it's uncomfortable, embarrassing and thankless. You are rarely thanked for your efforts at the time. But the alternatives are often worse.
There are several ways to keep friends from hurting themselves:
Arrange a safe ride - Provide alternative ways for them to get home.
Slow the pace of drinking Involve them in other activities.
Keep them there - Use any excuse to keep them from getting on their motorcycle. Serve them food and coffee to pass the time. Explain your concerns for their risks of getting arrested or hurt, or hurting someone else.
Get friends involved - Use peer pressure from a group of friends to intervene.

It helps to enlist support from others when you decide to step in. The more people on your side, the easier it is to be firm and the harder it is for the rider to resist. While you may not be thanked at the time, you will never have to say, "If only I had..."
FATIGUE
Riding a motorcycle is more tiring than driving a car. On a long trip, you'll tire sooner than you would in a car. Avoid riding when tired. Fatigue can affect your control of the motorcycle.
Protect yourselffrom the elements - Wind, cold, and rain make you tire quickly . Dress warmly. A windshield is worth its cost if you plan to ride long distances.
Limit your distance Experienced riders seldom try to ride more than about six hours a day.
Take frequent rest breaks Stop, and get off the motorcycle at least every two hours.
Don't drink or use drugsArtificial stimulants often result in extreme fatigue or depression when they start to wear off. Riders are unable to concentrate on the task at hand.

J.I

Te.~t Your.~elf

Ifyou wait an hourfor each drink before riding:

A. You cannot be arrested for drinking and riding.

B. Your riding skills will not be affected.

C. Side effects from the drinking may still remain.

D. You will be okay as long as you ride slowly.
Answer -page 40

39

EARNING YOUR LICENSE
Safe riding requires knowledge and skill. Licensing tests are the best measurement of the skills necessary to operate safely in traffic. Assessing your own skills is not enough. People often overestimate their own abilities. It's even harder for friends and relatives to be totally honest about your skills. Licensing exams are designed to be scored more objectively.
To earn your license, you must pass a knowledge test and an on-cycle skill test. Knowledge test questions are based on information, practices, and ideas from this manual. They require that you know and understand road rules and safe riding practices. An on-cycle skill test will either be conducted in an actual traffic environment or in a controlled, off-street area.

KNOWLEDGE TEST
(Sample Questions)
J. It is MOST important to flash your brake light when:
A. Someone is following 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 how much ofthe potential stopping power?
A. About one-quarter. B. About one-half. C. About three-quarters. D. All of the stopping power.
3. To swerve correctly:
A. Shift your weight quickly. B. Turn the handlebars quickly. C. Press the handgrip in the direction
of the turn. D. Press the handgrip in the opposite
direction of the turn.

4. Ifa tire goes flat while ridi,ng, and you must stop, it is usually best to: A. Relax on the handlegrips . B. Shift your weight toward the good
tire. C. Brake on the good tire and steer to
the side of the road. D. Use both brakes and stop quickly . 5. The car below is waiting to enter the intersection. It is best to: A. Make eye contact with the driver. B. Reduce speed and be ready to
react. C. Maintain speed and position. D. Maintain speed and move right.
I I I I I

Answers to Test Yourself (previous pages) 1-C, 2-D, 3-D, 4-A, 5-B, 6-C, 7-D, 8-D, 9-C, 10-C, II -D, 12-A, 13-A, 14-C
40

Answers to above Knowledge Test: 1-B, 2-C, 3-C, 4-C, 5-B

ON-CYCLE SKILL TEST
Basic vehicle control and crash-avoidance skills are included in on-cycle tests to determine your ability to handle normal and hazardous traffic situations.
You may be testedfor your ability to:
Know your motorcycle and your riding limits.
Accelerate, brake, and turn safely.
See, be seen and communicate with others.
Adjust speed and position to the traffic situation.

Stop, turn and swerve quickly.
Make critical decisions and carry them out.
Examiners may score on factors related to safety such as:
Selecting safe speeds to perform maneuvers.
Choosing the correct path and staying within boundaries.
Completing normal and quick stops.
Completing normal and quick turns, or swerves.

To receive a motorcycle license with full privileges, most states require that maneuvers be performed as designed
On-cycle skill tests are not designed for sidecars or three-wheel vehicles. Those vehicles maneuver differently than a two-wheeled motorcycle. Depending on the state, a driver examiner may follow you on a car test-route. Restrictions (sidecar, three-wheeled vehicle) may be added until completion of a two-wheel cycle test.
Diagrams and drawings used in this manual are for reference only and are not to correct scalefor size ofvehicles and distances.
41

COMPULSORY LIABILITY INSURANCE
Effective July 1, 1983, all vehicles (including motorcycles) must furnish proof of insurance to the licensing authority that the vehicle is covered by either a liability policy or a Self-Insurance Certificate issued by the Insurance Commissioner's Office. Proof of insurance must be carried to be displayed to a law enforcement officer upon request.
MOTORCYCYLE OPERATOR LICENSE REQUIREMENTS A Class M license or a Class M endorsement on another class of license is required to operate legally a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle in Georgia. Every motor vehicle having a saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor and moped, are defined as motorcycles. Georgia law places all types of motorcycles (including scooters, motorbikes and minibikes) into one classification. All are considered motor-driven cycles.
CLASS M - LICENSE REQUIREMENTS 1. Must be 16 years of age and have parental consent if under 18. 2. Must successfully complete a motorcycle examination which includes a
special road signs test, a special road rules test and an actual driving test on a motorcycle. 3. You must also pass a visual acuity test. If the vision test was administered and passed during the year, the eye test may be waived. 4. If the applicant meets the established requirements for a Class M license, and he also possesses a Class C or combination of other classes of permits, that license must be surrendered and a photographic license containing the Class M endorsement will be issued. The applicant will not be given a refund for the remaining period of validity ofthe other license, but such endorsements would run concurrently with the Class M endorsement. 5. Safety equipment as required by law.
If you need additional information on license requirements, license fees, where to get a license, license renewals, expired license, the organ donor program or any other information concerning drivers license you should refer to the Georgia Drivers Manual or you can call the main drivers license telephone number at (404) 657-9300.
42

CLASS MP - LEARNERS PERMIT All applicants must pass an eye test and an examination of motorcycle knowledge. An issued Class MP instruction permit is valid for 6 months, after which time the applicant may return to the issuing station and take a road test. It Is not mandatory for a Class MP license applicantto obtain a Class MP Learners Permit before taking the Class MP examination. Restrictions for a Class MP Instruction or learners permit are the following. 1. Must be at least 16 years old and have parental consent if under 18. 2. Motorcycle operation in daylight hours only. 3. No passengers allowed. 4. No limited access roadways. 5. Safety equipment as prescribed by law.
REQUIRED SAFETY DRESS Helmet Protective headgear is required by law in Georgia. All helmets shall meet the minimum standards as established by the Georgia Department of Public Safety. The Georgia standards are in compliance with the standards on helmets as set forth by the American National Standards lnstitute-290.1 . Your helmet should be comfortable and must be securely strapped on. Eye ProtecUve Devlcea: Eye protective devices must be worn by operators and passenge~s of all motorcycles either in the form of windshields, glasses, goggles. or face shields of safety glass or plastic lens. All eye protective devices shall meet the minimum standards as established by the Georgia Department of Public Safety. The Georgia standards in compliance with the standards on eye protective devices as set forth by the Vehicle Equipment Safety Commission-Regulation VESC-8. Contact lens are not acceptable as eye protective glasses. Footwear. Some type of footwear other than socks must be worn by the operator and any passengers, riding a motorcycle, Common sense overrules riding with sandals and slippers. The best footwear is high-topped leather boots. Protective Clothlnr,: Clothing should be adequate to reduce injury in case of a spill or accident. Long sleeves, regular trousers (rather than shorts), and gloves will help reduce skin abrasions. The heavier the clothing, the more protection, leather provides the best protection. When riding at night it is safest to wear light colored clothing (white, yellow, orange) which will make you much more visible to other motorists.
43

MOTORCYCLE SKILL TEST
Safe motorcycle riding depends largely on your knowledge and skills. The skills for motorcycling require a lot of practice. If you have just learned to handle a motorcycle and have very little riding experience, then the most important part of learning to ride is still ahead. However, before you go out on the street with other traffic, there are certain basic skills needed for your safety. To make sure you have the basic skills to ride, you will be given a riding test. When you report for your test you should have:
1. Clothing that covers your entire body.
2. An approved helmet and protective goggles.
3. You must furnish a motorcycle for the test and pass a safety inspection of the motorcycle by the license examiner before the driving test is given.

.-.,.

EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS FOR APPLICANTS

T he Motorcyclist Licensing Skill Test is an offstreet riding test conducted by a licensing examiner. To pass the Motorcyclis t Licensing Skill Test, you must complete three exercises. These three exercises assess basic motorcycle control, riding judgment, and hazard avoidance skills.

EXERCISE l Exercise 1 tests basic handling skills. Starting
from a full stop, you must accelerate in a straight line. Stabi lize at a speed between 12-18 mph before you reach the first timing line. Then hold a steady throttle until you reac h the end of the timing zone. At that point, you will slow to a nom1al stop at a specific loca tion . The stoppi ng point will be marked .
Then you will continue to the right side of the course and complete a sharp, right tum within designated boundaries.
Your ability to accelerate , maintain a steady speed, ride in a straight line, brake smoothly, stop at a precise location and compl ete a sharp tum will be
checked .

E XERCISE2
Exercise 2 tests your ability to determine an acceptable speed and remain safely within left and right c urved path s. D uring eac h run you must accelerate from a full stop and ride throu gh the curve as fas t as you safely can.
Penalty points will be assessed according to the speed travelled through the curve and whether a path violation occurs.

44

EXERCISE 3 The final exercise tests your ability to stop or
swerve quickly. It is conducted on the same straightaway used in Exerci se I and as many as six runs may be required.
Staning from a full stop, you will accelerate to a speed between 12-18 mph, hold a steady speed through the timing zone and perform the maneuver req uired.
Stopping performance is graded according to how far you travel after the center light comes on. No penalty points are assessed for skidding. Upon stopping, do not move the cycle until the examiner tells you to return to the starting point.
Quick swerves are scored by measuring how far from the center point of the obstacle avoidance line your rear tire is when it crosses. You should not brake during the swerves until you pass the obstacle line. Then straighten the cycle and stop. Wait for my signal before returning to begin another run.
PLEASE NOTE: You have the right to cancel the test al any time. Inform the examiner that you do not wish to continue the test. The examiner will explain th e co nditions for laking the test at a later date. The examiner also has the right to stop th e test if you (a) fail to demonstrate basic control skills, (b) accumulate more than th e maximum number of penalty points allowed, (c) commit any unsafe act (d) fail to understand or follow directions, or (e) fall or drop the motorcycle. In any of these instances, the test will be discontinued. Finally, all testing may be suspended due to inclement weather, equipment failure or other circumstances beyond the control of you or the examiner.
M OTORCYCLIST LICEN31NG SKILL TEST COURSE LAYOUT
7

@

LAHC/TIMl/<fG ZONC IIOUNO,UUES

~ TIMIHG ZONES

~

Sl GH4'. 0[VIC[

~ U.Uol lHCft TIM ING POST $

45

Signs, Signals and Markings

It is extremely important to obey signs and signals. To obey them you must be able to recognize them and understand what they mean.
Since research has shown that people react to symbols more quickly than words, Georgia has included signs which will communicate with symbols rather than words, in an effort to help drivers recognize and react to signs.
All drivers must obey official highway signs and traffic control signals unless otherwise directed by a police officer.

Shapes of Signs

There are seven basic shapes of signs with each shape having a different meaning . Know signs by their shapes and color so that you will know what to do at a distance.

STOP

An Octagon (eight-sided edge) always means stop. When you come to it, you must make a complete stop at a marked stop line. If there is no stop line, stop before entering crosswalk on your side of the intersection. If there is no crosswalk, stop at a point from which you can best see oncoming traffic. You must not start again until you yield the right-of-way to pedestrians or closely approaching traffic . If it is a four-way stop, wait your turn. In any case, you must wait until a safe interval occurs.

Triangle signs mean yield. You must slow down to a speed that is reasonable for existing conditions and stop if necessary. If you must stop, do so at a marked stop line, if one exists. After slowing or stepping, you must yield the right-of-way to other vehicles in the intersection or approaching closely on another roadway or auxiliary road leading into a major highway.

46

Round signs mean railroad crossing. This sign is posted a few hundred feet in front of the tracks and tells you to look, listen and slow down, because you may have to stop. Roll down the car window and listen carefully, for if the wind is blowing in the wrong direction, you may not hear the train. If the train is approaching, stop! Don't try to figure time and distance. You'll never have another chance if you figure incorrectly. Passing is prohibited at a railroad crossing.
Diamond shaped signs warn of existing or possible hazards on roadways or adjacent areas. They are yellow with black letters or symbols. Pay attention to these signs! They tell you what to expect ahead.

Pentagon shaped signs signify school zone and school crossing . When used, they will be erected not less than 150 feet nor more than 700 feet in advance of the school grounds or school crossing.

THRU TRAFFIC

Horizontal Rectangular signs are generally used for guide lines. They show location, direction or other special information.

NO
PARKING
ON
PAVEMENT

Vertical Rectangular signs are generally used for regulatory signs, which tell you what you must do. You must obey them in the same manner as traffic laws.

47

There are three official classifications of signs; Regulatory, Warning, and Guide.
REGULATORY SIGNS Regulatory signs tell the driver what they must do. Drivers, including those on bicycles, must obey them in the same manner as traffic laws. Remember, a red circle with a red slash from upper left to lower right means "No". The picture within the circle shows what is prohibited.

This marks a one-way roadway with traffic coming against you. You must not enter the one-way at this point.

WRONG
WAY
Motorist is approaching oneway highway or ramp.

ONE
W..A.Y
You may travel only in the
direction of the arrow.

You cannot turn around to go in the opposite direction at this intersection.

REDUCED SPEED AHEAD
48

You are approaching an area where a reduced speed limit has been established .

You cannot make a right turn at this intersection.
Bicycles are prohibited from entering this roadway.
SPEED LIMIT
55
55 miles per hour is the top speed permitted in this area.

Trucks are prohibited from entering this roadway.
Traffic is required to keep to the right of medians or obstructions .
NO RIGHT
TURN
ON RED AFTER STOP
After coming to a complete stop, a right turn is permitted but not at an intersection with this sign posted.
49

SLOWER TRAFFIC
KEEP RIGHT
When riding on a two-way four lane roadway, slower traffic should travel in the right {outside) lane.

SCHOOL
SPEED LIMIT
20
OIi SCHOOi. DAYS WHEN CHllDRlN
All PMSENT
You are approaching a school zone where a reduced speed limit is in effect when yellow lights are flashing.

WARNING SIGNS
Warning signs are black and yellow. They alert you to conditions which are immediately ahead, and tell you what to look for. There may be road hazards, changes in direction or some other situation which will require action on your part.

Side road enters highway ahead at an angle.
N
PA
z

This sign warns there is no road straight ahead. Slow down and prepare to yield or stop before turning right or left.
This sign is on the left side of the highway and marks the beginning of a no passing zone. The pass must be completed before reaching this sign.

Sharp turn to the right

Curve to the right

Sharp turn to the right and then sharp turn to the left.

There is a stop sign ahead. Begin to slow down at this sign.

There is a yield sign ahead. Slow down and prepare to stop if necessary.

Room for only two lanes of traffic. Approach with caution.

Winding road ahead 50

Another road crosses the highway ahead.

Side road enters highway ahead.

There is a dip in the roadway. Slow down!

There is a bump in the road ahead. Slow down!

Shoulder of the road is soft. Drive off road only for emergency.

51

Wa~ning of traffic signals

at intersection ahead

Slowdown!



A_pproaching a divided ~1ghway. Keep to the right.

Divided highway ends Get into the proper lane:

Warning that you are leaving a separated one-way high :nd will s~on be driving ;,a~ wo-way highway.

Number of lanes reduced ahead.

Roadway slippery wh w~t, first half-hour : ram most hazardous.

Tanhie.msaelss,igpnesopalleerat nddr1vveehrsic.inlesadmvaayncbeeocfroasresainsgw. here

. CONSTRUCTION AND MAINT

:rnmg s;g ns fo, const,uctlo

. ENANCE WARNING SIGNS

angers ahead and .

n and maintenance .

ingly. These signs a;~v~ryaongueeannodugbhlatcimk.e in whic~r~~eac~~Juasrteyuosuerdstpoeaelderatcycoourdto-

Approaching a low underpass. Don't enter if ~our load exceeds maximum height of sign.

Traffic merging right just ahead .
Steep hill ahead. Slow do_wn and be ready to shift to lower gear to control speed and save brakes.

53 52

SERVICE SIGNS
As you travel along Georgia's highways, the following blue and white signs will give advance notice of service facilities located along the route.

Road Side Park and Rest Area

FOOD - PHONE GAS - LODGING
HOSPITAL CAMPING SECOND RIGHT

GUIDE SIGNS
Guide signs are your best friend when you are driving, especially if you are away from home. They tell you where you are, what road you are on, and how to get to where you wish to go. Many guide signs are rectangular, but some have other shapes as shown for interstate signs. There are several different kinds of guide signs - route markers, information, destination, distance, and location signs. Here are some examples:

INTERSTATE

a,,,
U.S. Route Marker

54

Milepost markers are placed each mile along the edge of the roadway from one end of the state to the other. Zero always starts at the south or west borders where the route begins.

Intersection U.S. Route 47 & Ga. 38. These roads are going to cross or meet the
h;ghwijy you an, us;ng

JUNCTION
m

The numbers on these signs designate specific exits.

Look for this sign when you want to park. It points to a nearby public parking area.
~
BIKE ROUTE
This sign is used to mark an officially designated bicycle trail, watch for cyclists if you are on this road .

The crossbuck is placed at all railroad crossings. Yield to any approaching trains. Slow down, look and listen before crossing. A sign below the crossbuck indicates the number of tracks . A complete stop is required when a red light is flashing.
Caution - a vehicle displaying this emblem is a slow moving vehicle. A slow moving vehicle is defined as any vehicle moving less than 25 miles per hour. They are required by law to display this emblem.
55

TRAFFIC SIGNALS Traffic signals are placed at intersections to control the orderly movement of traffic and to prevent accidents. Drivers (including bicyclists) and pedestrians must obey these signals except when an officer is directing traffic.
A red light means you must make a complete stop before entering the crosswalk or intersection and wait until the light turns to green before proceeding.
A yellow light warns the light is changing from green to red. Slow down and prepare to stop.
A green light means you may proceed if it is safe to do so after yielding to pedestrians and vehicles within the intersection.
A green arrow means you may proceed carefully only in the direction the arrow is pointing after yielding to pedestrians and vehicles within the intersection. In this case you may go straight ahead only.
A green arrow, in this case, means you may turn in the direction of the arrow.
' , ',
A yellow arrow may appear after a green arrow and warns you to clear the intersection.
A red flashing light means you must stop com pletely then proceed with caution.
A yellow flashing light means you must slow down and exercise caution before proceeding through the intersection.
56

LANE CONTROL SIGNALS

Don't use lane, traffic approaching

"Steady" - clear the lane "Flashing" - left turn permitted.

OVERHEAD LANE SIGNS

~
ONLY
Must turn left

Either left or proceed straight. Right turn prohibited.
PEDESTRIAN SIGNALS

Travel in lane
('
ONLY
Must turn right

Leave the curb to cross street

"Flashing" do not leave curb but complete crossing

Do not leave curb 57

::i\/(\i/}\f:\:.::
.,,,-

Stop Lines
Stop lines are white lines painted across the pavement at intersections indicating the exact place to stop. In urban areas the line is usually located about four feet before the crosswalk. Drivers must come to a complete stop at the stop line, when present, not at the stop sign or traffic control signal.

Crosswalk Lines

These white lines are painted across

or partially across the pavement.

., ,,,,

When pedestrians are in these

,,

crosswalks, they have the right-of-

way over motor vehicles. Crosswalks

are sometimes in the middle of the

block in residential areas, and in this

case, a pedestrian crossing sign is

located at the white line.

Railroad Crossings and Crossbucks
In the front of railroad crossings, the pavement is sometimes marked with a large X and two RR 's. This is known as a crossbuck . At railroad crossings a yellow line is always placed on the right side of the center line to prevent passing. The crossing is sometimes equipped with control arms and/or emergency lights, to warn the driver of approaching trains. The driver of the vehicle must stop if the warning signals say a train is approaching.
58

PAVEMENT MARKINGS
Pavement markings, like highway signs, are used to warn and direct drivers to regulate traffic . As with highway signs, pavement markings are also being changed to meet U.S. Department of Transportation requirements. As old markings wear out, they will be repainted as described below.

Q
v
<?,
~ . -::

Center Lines
These are used to separate traffic moving in opposite directions on pci.ved roadways. Broken yellow lines are used when there are only two lanes.
No Passing lines
These are the single, solid yellow lines on two-lane roads which indicate zones where passing is prohibited. These single, solid yellow lines will be located on the right of the broken yellow line when they apply to you.
Edgellnes
These are the solid white iines along the side of the pavement. They serve as safety guides, especially at night when it is difficult to see the edge of the road . A yellow edge line may be used on the left side to warn of narrow or raised medians.
Lane Lines
These are the white dashes which divide streets and highways having more than one lane for traffic moving in the same direction.
When there are four or more lanes with traffic moving in opposite directions, two solid yellow lines mark the center of the roadway .You may cross these lines only to make a left turn into or from an alley, private road, driveway, or other street.

{. t:tt,

59

TURN LANES
This lane. solid ye.low ~nd broken yellow, is in the center of streets a:1d highways 1u make left turns A veh:cl6 desiring to turn left should proceed to the turn lane :..ist p,ior to making lett tum.
- -- ---- - ------
- ------
TRAFFIC STRIPING
These markings, diagonal yellow lines, are on streets and highways indicating that the road is narrowing or there is an obstruction on the roadway . The area is similar to a triangle with solid yellow diagonal lines within the outside lines. Always keep to right o~markings. If traffic striping is white, passing is permitted on either side of marking.
\ \
I
\
60

MOTORCYCLES MAKE SENSE SO DOES PROFESSIONAL TRAINING
They are inexpensive to operate, fun to ride and easy to park. Unfortunately, many riders never learn the critical skills needed to ride safely.
Professional training for beginning and experienced riders prepares them for real world traffic situations. Motorcycle Rider Courses teach and improve activities such as
effective turning braking maneuvers protective apparel selection obstacle avoidance traffic strategies maintenance
FOR THE BEGINNING OR EXPERIENCED RIDER COURSE NEAREST YOU CALL TOLL FREE
800-245-4410

Printing and Distribution Courtesy of
GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY MOTORCYCLE SAFETY PROGRAM 5036 HIGHWAY 85
Forest Park, Georgia 30297-2405

Locations