Motorcycle operator manual [2004]

Department of Driver Services
Customer Service Centers
'Albany ........................2062 Newton Road .................................. 229-430-4258 Americus ....................506 W. Lamar Street. ............................... 229-931-2535 Athens ........................ 1505 Highway 29 North ........................... 706-542-9306 Atlanta ....................... .445 Capitol Avenue ................................ .404-463-1491
'Augusta .......................3423 Mike Padgett Highway .................... 706-771-7815 Blue Ridge .................. 159 Industrial Boulevard .......................... 706-632-8468
'Brunswick .................... 101 Perry Lane ........................................ 912-264-7390 'Calhoun ...................... .402 Belwood Road .................................. 706-624-1334
Canton ........................1083 Marietta Highway............................ 770-720-3599 carrollton .....................502 Old Newnan Road ............................ 770-836-4603 'Cartersville .................. 1300 Joe Frank Harris Parkway, S.E....... 770-387-3704
Cedartown ..................Highway 27 North Cedartown ................. 770-749-2203 Colquitt .......................308 East Crawford Street, Highway 27 ... 229-758-5837 'Columbus ....................8397 Macon Road ................................... 706-569-3034 Conyers ...................... 2206 East View Parkway ......................... 770-918-5822 'Cordele....................... .409 South Midway Road ......................... 229-276-2332 covington ....................8134 Geiger Street, N.W. ........................ 770-784-3195 'Cumming .................... .4055 County Way Road .......................... 770-205-5401 Cuthbert .....................6088 Southside Plaza ............................. 229-732-5215 'Dalton ..........................104 S Thornton Avenue ........................... 706-272-2388 'Decatur........................ 2801 Candler Road ................................. 404-244-2178 'Douglas .......................348 Thomas Fryer Senior Drive .............. 912-384-1600 Dublin ......................... 1504 Telfair Street .................................. 478-275-6600 Elberton ......................45 Forest Avenue .................................... 706-213-2201 Evans ......................... 4408 Evans Lock Road ........................... 706-860-3616 Fayetteville..................278 McElroy Road ................................... 770-460-2736 Forest Park ................. 5036 Highway 85 ..................................... 404-669-3978 'Gainesville................... 101 O Aviation Boulevard .......................... 770-532-5308 'Griffin........................... 1313 Arthur K. Bolton Parkway ............... 770-229-3415 Helena ........................ Rt. 1, Box 246 .......................................... 229-868-3073 'Hinesville .....................2301 Airport Road ................................... 912-370-2604 Kingsland .................... 333 Ashley Street, Highway 40 ............... 912-729-1362 LaGrange ...................2573 Hamilton Road ................................ 706-845-4108 'Lawrenceville...............310 Hurricane Shoals Road .................... 770-995-6855 'Lithonia........................8000 Rockbridge Road ............................ 678-413-4230 'Locust Grove ...............619 Tanger Boulevard.............................. 678-565-4360 'Macon .........................100 Willie Smokie Glover Drive ............... 478-751-6031 'Marietta .......................1605 County Services Parkway .............. 770-528-3250 'Milledgeville.................Carl Vinson Road .................................... 478-445-4717 Newnan ......................201 Temple Avenue ................................. 770-254-7203 'Norcross ......................2211 Beaver Ruin Road, Suite 100......... 770-840-2282 'North Cobb ..................2800 Canton Road .................................. 770-528-5400 'Reidsville .....................3092 Highway 47 ..................................... 912-557-7780 'Rincon .........................2792 Highway 21 South .......................... 912-754-1425 Rock Spring ................ 156 Pin Oak Drive ................................... 706-638-5506 'Rome .........................3386 Martha Berry Highway.................... 706-295-6032 sandy Springs.............7741 Roswell Road ................................. 770-551-7371 savannah ....................117 Eisenhower Drive ............................. 912-691-7400 statesboro ...................202 Randy Lowery Road ......................... 912-681-5999 Swainsboro.................994 Highway 1 North ............................... 478-289-2595 'Thomson ..................... 172 Bob Kirk Road .................................. 706-595-9751 Thomasville ................4800 Highway 84 Bypass ........................ 229-227-2500 'Thomaston ..................281 Knight Trail. .......................................706-646-6454 Tifton .......................... .413 Fulwood Boulevard ........................... 229-386-3530 'Toccoa .........................144 E Doyle Street .................................. 706-282-4821 'Union City ................... 1000 Shannon Mall ................................. 770-306-6933 'Valdosta ......................371 Gil Harbin Industrial Boulevard ........ 229-333-5385 warner Robins ............Carl Vinson Parkway ...............................478-929-6775 waycross.....................US 1 South Jacksonville Highway ........... 912-285-6296
*CSCs providing the motorcycle road test.
The above numbers can provide you with a recorded message with the dates and times of operation for that CSC. To speak with an agent or make reservations for certain services you may call 678-413-8400, or outside Metro-Atlanta, Toll Free at 866-754-3687 Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM until 4:00 PM.
http:/lwww.dds.ga.gov/Training

PREFACE

Operating a motorcycle safely in traffic requires special skills and knowledge. The Motorcycle Safety Fo undation (MSF) has made this manua l ava ilable to help novice motorcyclists red uce their risk of having a crash. The manual conveys essentia l safe ri ding information and has been designed for use in licensing programs. While designed for the novice, all motorcycli sts can benefit from the infor mat ion this manual contains.
The ori gina l Motorcycle Operator Manua l was developed by the National Public Services Research Institute (NPSRJ) under contract to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and within the terms of a cooperative agreement between NHTSA and the MSF. The manual and related tests were used in a multi-year study of improved motorcycle operator licensing procedures, cond ucted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles under contract to NHTSA.
The purpose of this manual is to educate the reader to help avo id crashes while safely operating a motorcyc le. For this edition, the MSF has updated and expanded the content of the original manual.

These revisions reflect:
The latest findjng of motorcyclesafety research.
Comments and guidance provided by the motorcycling, licensing and traffic safety communities.
Expa nded alcoho l and drug in forma ti on.
In promoting improved licensing programs, th e MSF works closely with state licensing agenc ies. The Foundation has he lped more than half the states in the nation adopt the Motorcycle Operator Manual for use in their licensing systems.
lmproved licensing, along with high-quality motorcycle rider education and increased public awareness, has the potentia l to reduce crashes. Staff at the Fou ndation are available to assist state, private and governmental agencies in efforts to improve motorcyc le safety.

2 Jenner Street, Suite 150 Irvine, CA 92618-3806

MOTORCYCLES MAKE SENSE ... SO DOES PROFESSIONAL TRAINING

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

Professional trai ning for beginning and experienced riders prepares them for real-world traffic situations. Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCourses5" teach
and improve such skills as:

Effective turning Obstacle avoidance

Braking maneuvers Traffic strategies

Protective apparel selection Maintenance

For the basic or experienced RiderCourse nearest you, call toll free: 800.245.4410

The Motorcycle

been com-piled from

Safety Foundation's

publications, interviews

(MSF) purpose is to improve the safety

/tfOTlJIICl'CLE SAFETY FDIJNDATIDN9

and observations of individuals and

of motorcyclists on

organizations familiar

the nation 's streets and highways. In an with the use of motorcycles, acces-

attempt to reduce motorcycle crashes

sories, and training.

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, the MSF is sponsored by BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki , KTM, PiaggioNespa, Suzuki, Victory

Because there are many differences in product design, riding styles, federal , state and local laws, there may be orga-nizations and individuals who hold dif-fering opinions. Consult your local regulatory agencies for information concerning the operation of motor-cycles in your area. Although

and Yamaha.

the MSF will continue to research,

The information contained in this

field test and publish responsible

publication is offered for the benefit of viewpoints on the subject, it dis-

those who have an interest in riding

claims any liability for the views

motorcycles. The information has

expressed herein.

Motorcycle Safety Foundation 2 Jenner Street, Suite 150, Irvine, CA 92618-3806

econd Revision Third Revision Foun.h Revision ..... Fifth Revision Sixth Revision ..........

...... December 1978 .... February 198 1 ..... .January 19 3 October 1987 ... Apri l 199 1

eventh Revision ................ September I992

Eighth Revision

.........January 1999

Ninth Revision

...............March 2000

Tenth Revision........................January 2002

Eleventh Revision....... ................. July 2002

Twelfth Revision

................ May 2004

Printed in USA 000254

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 Get Familiar with the Motorcycle Controls ........................ 7 Check Your Motorcycle ..................... 8
KNOW YOUR RESPONSIBlLJTIES ......... 9
RIDE WITHIN YOUR ABILITIES
BASIC VEmCLE CONTROL ........ .. ..... . 10 Body Position ...................... ............. 10 Shifting Gears .................................. 1O Braking .............................. ... ...... ...... 11 Turning .......... ... .... .......................... .. 11
KEEPING YOUR DISTANCE .... ..... .. ..... 12 Lane Positions .......... ... ................ ..... 12 Following Another Vehicle ............... 13 Being Followed .... .... ....... ................. 14 Passing and Being Passed ................ I4 Lane Sharing .. ...................... .. .......... I6 Merging Cars ... .... ......... ...... ............. 16 Cars Alongside .... .............. .... .... ....... I6
SEE ........................ ............ ................. 17
INTERSECTIONS ............. ....... ......... .... 18 Blind Intersections .............. ............. I9 Passing Parked Cars ...... .. .... .. .......... . 20 Parking at the Roadside .. ... ....... .. ..... 20
INCREASING CONSPICUJTY ..... .... .. ... . 2 I Clothing .............. ......... ... ....... ... .. ..... 21 Headlight ..... .. ......... .... .. .......... .. ... ..... 21 Signals ............. .... ... .. ......... ..... .. ... .. ... 21 Brake Light ....... .......... .... .... .. ... .. ....... 22 Using Your Mirrors .. .............. ... ....... 22 Head Checks ............ ... .............. ....... 23 Horn .. .... ........ ........ ... .......... ...... ... .. ... 23 Riding at Night .... ...... ..... ........ ..... .... 24
CRASH A VOlDANCE ...... .. .................... 24 Quick Stops .... .................................. 24 Swerving or Turning Quickly ...... ..... 25 Cornering ...................... ..... .... .. ....... . 26

HANDLING D ANGEROUS SURFACES .. 27 Uneven Surfaces and Obstacles ...... . 27 Slippery Surfaces ............................. 28 Railroad Tracks, Trolley Tracks and Pavement Seams .... ......... .... ... 29 Grooves and Gratings .... .. ........ ....... . 29
MECHANICAL PROBLEMS ... .... ...... .. .. 30 Tire Failure .. ....... .. .. ...... ......... ... .. ..... . 30 Stuck Throttle .... ........ ........ .. .. ........... 30 Wobble ..... ............... ................... ...... 30 Chain Problems .. ...... ......... ...... ...... ... 31 Engine Seizure .... ...... .... .... ............... 31
ANIMALS .......... ................... ........ ...... .. 31 FLYING O BJECTS ........ ........... ............ 32
GETTING O FF 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 Tms INFORMATION Is
IMPORTANT ....... .................. .... ... .. .. . 36
ALCOHOL AND OTHER 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 RISKS ......... ..... ...... .. .. 38 STEP IN TO PROTECT FRIENDS ........ . 39 FATIGUE .... .... .... ....... ... .... ..... .......... ... .. 39
EARNING YOUR LICENSE
Knowledge Test ................................ 40 On-Motorcycle 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 chance of avoiding serious injury if you wear:
An approved helmet.
Face or eye protection.
Protective clothing.
HELMET USE
Crashes can occur particularly among untrained, beginning riders. And one out of every five motorcycle crashes results 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 properly wearing 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 you 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 slower 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 style you choose, you can get the most protection by making sure that the helmet:

4

~
HELHETS

Meets U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and state standards. Helmets with a label from the Snell Memorial Foundation give you an added assurance of quality.
Fits snugly, all the way around.
Has no obvious defects such as cracks, loose padding or frayed straps.
Whatever helmet you decide on, keep it securely fastened on your head when you ride. Otherwise, if you are involved in a crash, it's likely to fly off your head before it gets a chance to protect you.
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.

Goggles protect your eyes, though they won't protect the rest of your face like a faceshield does. A windshield is not a substitute for a faceshield or goggles. Most windshields will not protect your eyes from the wind. Neither will eyeglasses or sunglasses. Glasses won't keep your eyes from watering, and they might blow off when you turn your head while riding.
To be effective, eye or faceshield protection must:
Be free of scratches.
Be resistant to penetration.
Give a clear view to either side.
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
The right clothing protects you in a collision. It also provides comfort, as well as protection from 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 in laces 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.

KNOWYOUR 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 the 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
FoRYou
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.

I

Te.\( J'ounel

A plastic shatter-resistant face
shield:
A. Is 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 - page 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

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:

JIOTORCJ'CLE CO.\ TROLS
Choke (varies) Turn-Signal Switch
Ignition Key (varies)

Clutch Lever
Fuel Supply Valve (if equipped) Gear-Change Lever

Throttle
Tachometer (if equipped)
Kick Starter - - (ifequipped)
7

---

Make all the checks you would on your own motorcycle.
Find out where everything is, particularly the turn signals, horn, headlight switch, fuel-supply 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.
8

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 levels. Follow your owner's manual to get recommendations.

2

Tc,t founel

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.
Answer - page 40

----

KNOWYOUR 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, it 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 intentions use 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

l

RIDE WITHIN YOUR ABILITIES

I

This manual cannot teach you how to control direction, speed or balance.

I

That's something you can learn only through practice. But control begins with

knowing your abilities and riding within them, along with knowing and obey-

ing 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
HOLDf\G H4 \'DLEGRJPS
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 footrests to maintain balance. Don't drag your feet. If your foot catches on something, you could 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 footrests.
SHIFTING GEARS
There is more to shifting gears than simply getting the motorcycle to pick up speed smoothly. Learning 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.

10

r I

I

Make certain you are riding

Also, using the front brake

b:i

I

slowly enough when you shift into a

incorrectly on a slippery surface

~

lower gear. If not, the motorcycle will lurch, and the rear wheel may skid.

may be hazardous. Use caution and squeeze the brake lever, never

~ z

When riding downhill or shifting into grab.

C'l

first gear you may need to use the brakes to slow enough before downshifting safely. Work toward a smooth, even clutch release, especially when downshifting.

Some motorcycles have integrated braking systems that activate the front and rear brakes together when applying the rear brake pedal. (Consult the owner's

It is best to change gears before entering a turn. However, sometimes shifting while in the turn is necessary.

manual for a detailed explanation on the operation and effective use of these systems.)

If so, remember to do so smoothly. A

sudden change in power to the rear

TURNING

wheel can cause a skid.

Riders often try to take curves

BRAKING
Your motorcycle has two brakes: one each for the front and rear wheel. Use both of them at the same time.

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

e ~
~ z""
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The front brake is more powerful and loss of control. Approach turns and

can provide at least three-quarters curves with caution.

of your total stopping power. The

Use four steps for better control:

front brake is safe to use if you use SLOW

it properly.

LOOK

Remember:

PRESS

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

ROLL
SLOW - Reduce speed before the turn by closing the throttle and,
if necessary, applying both brakes.

in an emergency. Squeeze the front LOOK - Look through the tum

brake and press down on the rear.

to where you want to go. Tum just

Grabbing at the front brake or

your head, not your shoulders, and

jamming down on the rear can

keep your eyes level with the

cause the brakes to lock, resulting

horizon.

in control problems.

PRESS - To turn, the motorcycle

If 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.

must lean. To lean the motorcycle, press on the handlegrip 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 the suspension. Maintain steady speed or accelerate gradually through the turn. This will help keep the motorcycle stable.
In normal turns, the rider and the motorcycle should lean together at the same angle.

3

Tc,t founcl

When riding, you should:

A. Turn your head and shoulders to look through turns.

B. Keep your arms straight.

C. Keep your knees away from the gas tank.

D. Turn just your head and eyes to
look where you are going.
Answer - a e 40

\0Rl/4l TLR\S

KEEPING YOUR DISTANCE

The best protection you can have

is distance - a "cushion of space"

- all around your motorcycle. If

zr.r, .0...

someone else makes a mistake, distance permits you:

.Er..-.r<.,
0

Time to react. Space to maneuver.

~

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~

LANE POSITIONS In some ways the size of the

motorcycle can work to your

advantage. Each traffic lane gives a

In slow tight turns, counterbalance motorcycle three paths of travel, as by leaning the motorcycle only and indicated in the illustration.

keeping your body straight.

Your lane position should:

SLOII, TIGHT TL RSS

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

.....
I

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" could be a factor in crashes involving motorcyclists. In traffic, motorcycles need as much distance to stop as cars. Normally, a minimum of two 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-thousand-two."
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

13

7

pavement is slippery, if you cannot 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 behi11d.
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 the signal.
Remember, passes must be completed within posted speed limits, and only where permitted. Know your signs and road markings!
BEING PASSED
When you are being passed from behind or by an oncoming vehicle,

stay in the center portion of your lane. Riding any closer to them could put you in a hazardous situation.
Avoid being hit by:
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 if you are on either side of the lane.
Do not move into the portion of the lane farthest from the passing vehicle. It might invite the other driver to cut back into your lane too early.

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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 center- portion 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 moving into 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

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16

Blind I Spots I
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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. Ignore them.
Answer - page 40

,.--

SEE

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Good experienced riders remain Road and surface characteristics t,,,j

aware of what is going on around

- Potholes, guardrails, bridges,

them. They improve their riding

telephone poles and trees won't

strategy by using SEE, a three-step

move into your path but may

process used to make appropriate

influence your riding strategy.

judgments, and apply them correctly Traffic control devices - Look

in different traffic situations:

for traffic signals, including

Search

regulatory signs, warning signs,

Evaluate Execute
Let's examine each of these steps.

and pavement markings, to help you evaluate circumstances ahead.
Vehicles and other traffic -

May move into your path and

SEARCH

increase the likelihood of a crash.

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 and school and construction zones.
Search for factors such as:

Think about your time and space requirements in order to maintain a margin of safety. You must leave yourself time to react if an emergency arises.
EXECUTE
Carry out your decision. To create more space and minimize harm from any hazard:

Oncoming traffic that may tum left in front of you.

Communicate your presence with lights and/or horn.

Traffic coming from the left and right.

Adjust your speed by accelerating, stopping or slowing.

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

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 the consequences of each and give equal distance to the hazards.

17

---

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

5

Te,t Jounel

To reduce your reaction time, you

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 - page 40

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 turn 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 SEE [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 or her. 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.

18

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As you approach the intersection, select a lane position that increases 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 turn. Do not change speed or position radically. The driver might think that you are preparing to turn.

cross street can see him as soon as possible.

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

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

19

------------,

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 turn reduces confusion and frustration for the traffic around you. Once you turn, make sure your signal is off or a driver may pull directly into your path, thinking you plan to turn 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 high-speed 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 searching routine. Make a special point of using your mirrors:
When you are stopped at an intersection. Watch cars coming up
from behind. If the drivers aren't paying attention, they could be on top of you before they see 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 turn and the driver thinks you plan to turn at a distant intersection, rather than at a nearer driveway.

22

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HEAD CHECKS
Checking your mirrors is not enough. Motorcycles have "blind spots" like cars. Before you change lanes, turn your head, and look to the side for other vehicles.
On a road with several lanes, 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 prepared to deal with it.

Some motorcycles have rounded (convex) mirrors. These provide a wider view of the road behind than do flat mirrors. They also make cars seem farther away than they really 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. Then, turn around and look at it to see how close you came.) Practice with your mirrors until you become a good judge of distance. Even then, allow extra distance before you change lanes.

HORN
Be ready to use your horn to get someone's attention quickly.
It is a good idea to give a quick beep before passing anyone that may move into your lane.
Here are some situations:
A driver in the lane next to you is driving too closely to the vehicle ahead and may want to pass.
A parked car has someone in the driver's seat.
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

RIDINGAT NIGHT
At night it is harder for you to see and be seen. Picking your headlight or taillight out of the car 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 coming. These contrasts are missing or distorted under 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 when riding at night.
Be Flexible About Lane Position. Change to whatever portion of the lane is best able to help you see, be seen and keep an adequate space cushion.

7

Te,t found

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

24

--

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 crash-

avoidance maneuvers.

Know when and how to stop or swerve, two skills critical in 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 which skill is 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, you can keep it locked until you have completely stopped; but, even with a locked rear wheel, you can control the motorcycle on a straightaway if it is upright and going in a straight line.

...........----

STOPPI\G DISTA \CE
REAR
]
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 the last few feet of stopping. The motorcycle should then be straight up and in balance.
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 handlegrip 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

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feet solidly on the footrests. Let the motorcycle move underneath you. Make your escape route the target of your vision. Press on the opposite handlegrip once you clear the obstacle to return you to your original direction of travel. To swerve to the left, press the left handlegrip, 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.

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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.

8

Test Yrmne/

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 - page 40

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.

27

Rise slightly off the seat with your weight on the footrests 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 (painted lines), steel plates and manhole covers, especially when wet.
To ride safely on slippery surfaces:
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 develop 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

RAILROAD TRACKS, TROLLEY TRACKS AND PAVEMENT SEAMS
Usually it is safer to ride straight within your lane to cross tracks. Turning to take tracks head-on (at a 9Q 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 pavement seams to cross at an angle of at least 45'. Then, make a quick, sharp turn. Edging across could catch your tires and throw you off balance. 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.
GR.ff CROSS/\GS-IJ ROYG
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9

Te\l four.\el

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.
Answer - page 40

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MECHANICAL

STUCK THROTTLE

r.;i PROBLEMS

Twist the throttle back and forth

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You can find yourself in an emergency the moment something

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goes wrong with your motorcycle. In dealing with any mechanical problem, take into account the road and traffic conditions you face. Here

u are some guidelines that can help you

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handle mechanical problems safely.

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 sound may not immediately decline. Once the motorcycle is "under control," pull

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off and stop.

TIRE FAILURE

After you have stopped, check

You will seldom hear a tire go the throttle cable carefully to find the

flat. If the motorcycle starts handling source of the trouble. Make certain

differently, it may be a tire failure.

the throttle works freely before you

This can be dangerous. You must be start to ride again.

able to tell from the way the

motorcycle reacts. If one 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 front-wheel 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.

WOBBLE
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

If either tire goes flat

recommended for that much weight.

while riding:

Make sure windshields and fairings

Hold handlegrips firmly, ease off are mounted properly.

the throttle, and keep a straight

Check for poorly adjusted

course.

steering; worn steering parts; a front

If braking is required, however, wheel that is bent, misaligned, or out

gradually apply the brake of the

of balance; loose wheel bearings or

tire that isn't flat, if you are sure which one it is.

spokes; and worn swingarm bearings. If none of these is determined

~

When the motorcycle slows, edge to the side of the road, squeeze the clutch and stop.

to be the cause, have the motorcycle checked out thoroughly by a qualified professional.

\

30

Trying to "accelerate out of a wobble" will only make the motorcycle more unstable. Instead:
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.

JO

Te\t Yoursel

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.

Answer - page 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. If you 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.

I I

Test fourse/

I/you are chased by a dog: A. Kick it away.

B. Stop until the animal loses interest.

C. Swerve around the animal.

D. Approach the animal slowly, then
speed up.
Answer - page 40

31

00 FLYING OBJECTS

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From time to time riders are

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tires of the vehicle ahead. If you 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.

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GETTING OFF THE ROAD

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If you need to leave the road to

=~ check the motorcycle (or just to rest
~ for a while), be sure you:

~ Check the roadside - Make sure

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the surface of the roadside is firm

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enough to ride on. If it is soft grass, loose sand or if you're just

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not sure about it, slow way down

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before you tum onto it.

Signal - Drivers behind might

not expect you to slow down. Give

a clear signal that you will be

slowing down and changing

direction. Check your mirror and

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any action.

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Pull off the road - Get as far off the road as you can. It can be very

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hard to spot a motorcycle by the side of the road. You don't want

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someone else pulling off at the same place you are.

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, speeds up and slows down. Before taking a passenger or a 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.
Footrests - 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,
belt, or to the bike's passenger handholds. Keep both feet on the footrests, even when stopped. Keep legs away from the mufller(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 and speed up - especially on a light motorcycle.
Passengers should: A. Lean as you lean. B. Hold on to the motorcycle seat. C. Sit as far back as possible. D. Never hold onto you.
Answer - page 40

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.
Warn 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 saddlebags. 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. Tankbags keep loads forward, but use caution when loading hard or sharp objects. Make sure the tankbag 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 Evenly Load 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. If your group is larger than four or five riders, divide it up into two or more smaller groups.

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

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

Enj:I

t
2
s

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

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34

cushion. The leader rides in the 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.
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\l Your.\e/

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.

Answer - page 40

35

i BEING IN SHAPE TO RIDE Riding a motorcycle is a demanding and complex task. Skilled riders pay

s 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

00. drugs, more than any other factor, degrade your ability to think clearly and to

.z... .cz.;,.:.,

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 THIS INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT
Alcohol is a major contributor to motorcycle crashes, particularly fatal

substance abuse don't mix. Take positive steps to protect yourself and prevent others from injuring themselves.

crashes. Studies show that 40% to 45% of all riders killed in motorcycle crashes had been drinking. Only one- third 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.

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.

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

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.

are too overwhelming to ignore.
By becoming knowledgeable about the effects of alcohol and other drugs you will see that riding and

ALCOHOL IN THE BODY
Alcohol enters the bloodstream quickly. Unlike most foods and

36

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.
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 5- ounce 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 other factors, these examples illustrates why time is a critical factor when a rider decides to drink.
A person drinking:
- Seven drinks over the span of three hours would have at least four (7 - 3 = 4) drinks remaining in their system at the end of the three hours. They would need at least another four hours to eliminate the four remaining drinks before they consider riding.

lLCOHOL COSCESTR4TIOS

--

37

- Four drinks over the span of two hours would have at least two (4 - 2 = 2) drinks remaining in their system at the end of the two hours. They would need at least another two hours to eliminate the two remaining drinks before they consider riding.
There are times when a larger person may not accumulate as high a concentration of alcohol for each drink consumed. They have more blood and other bodily fluids. But because of individual differences it is better not to take the chance that abilities and judgment have not been affected. Whether or not you are legally intoxicated is not the real issue. Impairment ofjudgment and skills begins well below the legal limit.
ALCOHOLANDTHELAW
In most states, a person with a BAC of .08% or above is considered intoxicated; in others the legal limit is .10%. It doesn't matter how sober you may look or act. The breath or urine test is what usually determines whether you are riding 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.
CONSEQUENCES OF
CONVICTION
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 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.
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.
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."
MINIMIZE THE RISKS
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. Control your drinking or control your riding.
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 ability to exercise good judgment is

38

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 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. Take their key, if you can.
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 yourself from 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 drugs Artificial stimulants often result in extreme fatigue or depression when they start to wear off. Riders are unable to concentrate on the task at hand.

14

Te\t J'ounel

Ifyou wait one hour per drink for the

alcohol to be eliminatedfrom your

body 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 - age 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)
I. 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 of the 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. Tum the handlebars quickly. C. Press the handlegrip in the
direction of the tum. D. Press the handlegrip in the
opposite direction of the tum.

4. If a tire goes flat while riding 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, 11-D, 12-A, 13-A, 14-C
40

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

ON-MOTORCYCLE
SKILL TEST
Basic vehicle control and crash-avoidance skills are included in on-motorcycle tests to determine your ability to handle normal and hazardous traffic situations.
You may be tested for 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-motorcycle skill tests are not designed for sidecars or three-wheeled vehicles. Those vehicles maneuver differently than a two-wheeled motorcycle. Depending on the state, an examiner may follow you on a car test-route. Restrictions (sidecar, three-wheeled vehicle) may be added until completion of a two-wheeled motorcycle test.
Diagrams and drawings used in this manual are for reference only and are not to correct scale for 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.
MOTORCYCLE OPERATOR LICENCE REQUEIREMENTS
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 give a refund for the remaining period of validity of the 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 the a license, license renewals, expired license, the organ donor program or any other information concerning divers 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 my return to the issuing station and take a road test. It is not mandatory for a Class MP license applicant to 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 hears 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 in helmets as set forth by the American National Standards Institute-Z90. l. Your helmet should be comfortable and must be securely strapped on.
Eye Protective Devices: Eye protective devises must be worn by operators and passengers of all motorcycles either in the form of windshields, glasses, goggles, or face shields of safety glass or plastic lens. All eye protective devises shall meet the minimum standards as the established by the Georgia Department of Public Safety. The Georgia standards in compliance with the standards on eye protective devises 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 then 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 Clothing: 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 you 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 inspec tion of the motorcycle by the license examiner before the driving test is given.
EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS FOR APPLICANTS
The Motorcyclist Licensing Skill Test is an offstreet riding test conducted by a licensing examiner. To pass the Motorcyclist Licensing Skill Test, you.must complete three exercises. These three exercises assess basic motorcycle control, riding judgment, and hazard avoidance skills.
Exercise 1
Exercise 1 tests basic handling skills. Starting from a full stop, you must accelerate in a straight line. Stabilize at a speed between 12-18 mph before you reach the first timing line. Then hold a steady throttle until you each the end of the timing zone. At that point, you will slow to a normal stop at a specific location. The stopping point will be marked.
Then you will continue to the right side of the course and complete a short, 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 complete a sharp tum will be checked.
Exercise 2
Exercise 2 tests your ability to determine an accapable speed and remain safely within left and right curved paths. During each run you must accelerate from a full stop and ride through the curve as fast as you safely can.
Penalty points will be assessed according to the speed traveled 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 straight away used in Exercise I and as many as six runs may be required.
Starting 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 required.
Stopping performance is graded according to how far you travel after the center light comes on. No penalty point 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 at any time. Inform the examiner that you do not wish to continue the test. The examiner will explain the conditions for taking the test at a later date. The examiner also has the right to stop the test if you (a) fail to demonstrate basic control skills, (b) accumulate more than the 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. If 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.
MOTORCYCLIST UCEN31NG SKILL TEST COURSE LAY-OUT
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45

Signs, Signals and Markings
It is extremely important to obey igns and signals. To obey them you must be able to recogni ze 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, including bicyclists, must obey official highway igns and traffic control signals unless otherwi e directed by a police officer.
Shapes of Signs
There are seven basic shapes of signs with each shape having a different meaning. Know sign by their shape 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 unti l you yield the right-of-way to pedestrians or clo ely approaching traffic. If it is a four-way stop, wait your turn. In any case, you must wait until a safe interval occurs.

Triangle igns 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 it exists. After slowing or stopping, 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

Roulld siglls 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;II 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.
Pentagoll 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. (Warning signs can sometimes be florescent green in color)

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 ofsigns: Regulatory, Warning, and Guide.
REGULATORY SIG S
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 ci rcle with a red slash from upper left to lower right means "No". The picture w ithin 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 one-way highway or ramp.

ONE
WAY It
You may travel only in the direction of the arrow.

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

REDUCm
SPEED
AHEAD

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

48

NO RIGHT
TURN
You cannot make a right turn at this intersection.

NO,
TRUCKS
Trucks are prohibited from entering this roadway.

NO
BICYCLES
Bicycles are prohibited from entering this roadway.
SPEED
LIMIT
55
55 miles per hour is the top speed permitted in this area.

KEEP
RIGHT
Traffic is required to keep to the right of median or obstructions.
NO RIGHT
TURN
ON RED
ARER 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 shou ld travel in the
right (outside) lane.

SCHOOL
SPEED LIMIT
2,0
.llfN FLASHI Ii
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.(Warning signs can also be florescent green in color.) They alert you to conditions which are immediately ahead, and tell you what to look for. There may be road hazards, changes in direc-
tion or some other situation which will require action on your part.

Sharp tum to the right.

Curve to the right.

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

Winding road ahead 50

Another road crosses the highway ahead.

Side road enters highway ahead.

Side road enters highway ahead at angle.
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.

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.

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.

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SIGNAL AHEAD
Warning of traffic signals at intersection
ahead. Slow down!

Approaching a divided highway. Keep to the
right.

Divided highway ends. Get into the proper lane.

TWO WAY TRAFFIC

Warning that you are leaving a separated one-way
highway and will soon be driving on two-way highway.

Number of lanes reduced ahead.

~ ~
Approaching a low underpass. Don't enter if your load exceeds maximum
height of sign.
52

MERGE

HILL

Traffic merging right just ahead.

Steep hill ahead. Slow down and be ready to shift to lower gear to control speed and save
brakes.

SlfflRY
MIIWET
Roadway slippery when wet, first half-hour of rain
most hazardous.

PED

DEER

XING

XING

These signs alert drivers in advance of areas where animals, people and vehi-
cles may be crossing.

CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE WARNING SIGNS
Warning signs for construction and maintenance projects are used to alert you to dangers ahead and give you enough time in which to adjust your speed accordingly. These signs are orange and black.

53

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.
and Rest Area
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
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 route begins.

Intersection U.S. Route 47 & Ga 38. These roads are going to cross or meet the highway you are using.
44

JUNCTION
m

EXIT

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.

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.

This sign is used to mark an officially designated bicycle trai I. Watch for cyclists if you
are on this road.

Caution - a vehicle displaying this emblem i 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. In the event that a traffic signal is inoperable at an intersection, then all traffic will stop for such intersection in the same manner as if a stop sign was posted.
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 tum 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 completely 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.

Travel in lane

OVERHEAD LANE SIG S

~
ONLY
Must turn left

Either left or proceed stright. Right turn prohibited.

('
ON LY
Must turn right

PEDESTRIAN SIGNALS

Leave the curb to cross street

"Flashing" do not leave curb but
complete crossing

LJ
"Flashing" do not leave curb
57

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. Drives 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-ofway 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 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 signsn, are used to warn and direct drivers to regulate traffic. As with highways 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.
Center Lines
These are used to separate traffic moving in opposite directions. On paved 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, sold yellow lines will be located on the right of the broken yellow line when they apply to you.
Edgelines
These are the solid white lines 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
There are the white dashes which divide streets and highways having more then 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 the street.
59

TURN LANES
This lane, solid yellow and broken yellow, is in the center of streets and highways to make left turns. A vehicle desiring to tum left should proceed to the tum lane just prior to making a left 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 sold yellow diagonal lines within the outside lines. Always keep to right of markings. If traffic striping is white, passing is permitted on either side of marking.

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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 EXPERICEND RIDER COURSE NEAREST YOU CALL TOLL FREE
800-245-4410

Printing and Distribution Courtesy of
GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF DRIVER SERVICES MOTORCYCLE SAFETY PROGRAM 5036 HIGHWAY 85
FOREST PARK, GEORGIA 30297-2405

Locations