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I'm about to take the DMV road test for California. I'm comfortable riding around on my bike, but I'm curious to know if there is anything that i should practice before taking it.
Thanks in advance
 

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Take the MSF course, even if you pass the DMV test. There is so much good information in that class, I can't recommend it enough. What you learn about contersteering, "look where you go, go where you look", the friction zone/low-speed handling and braking in turns makes the cost of the class worthwhile.

I had ridden a lot as a kid (dirtbikes), and am just getting back into riding. I took (and passed) the MSF course here in WA over the Memorial Day weekend. Riding on the street is not the same as riding dirtbikes, and besides it had been quite a while since I had ridden at all.

For what it's worth: in my class there were four folks that did not pass (and one other person dropped at the beginning of the first range day). Three of those that did not pass already owned their own bikes and had been riding them, a lot. Being comfortable on a bike and riding it correctly are two different things, in my opinion.

Jimmie
 

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It would have been easier to take the MSF course and skip the road test. :lol

When I took it a few years ago, it had several parts. First they inspect your bike to make sure that all the lights etc. work. Don't know what they'd do with "illegal" lights and/or license plate placement. If you don't have an undertail or flushmounts or a really loud exhaust, you should be OK. Then they ask you about all the controls to make sure you have a clue.

The actual riding part was a weave through some cones (painted dots on the parking lot actually), 2 full turns in each direction around the "circle", and a quick spin around the block while they watch from the parking lot.

The circle part is the hardest on a sportbike. Go find a circle with a double line in their parking lot. You have to ride around it 2 full turns in each direction with your front wheel between the lines. Doesn't matter if the rear wheel stays in the lines. You can't put your foot down and it gets tough to go slowly enough. I would suggest practicing this part before your test. The circle is 24 feet in diameter. My bike has a minimum turning diameter at full lock of 22 feet. This is much easier to do on a small cruiser that's lower to the ground and has a tighter turning diameter. If you have trouble while practicing, try setting your idle a little high, counter weighting (leaning toward the outside of the turn), looking far ahead through the circle, and dragging some rear brake to control your speed.

Good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Kalvyn: Thanks for the advice, I plan to take the MSF course here, but i'd rather spend just $78, for more experienced riders, rather than $198 for beginners. I already knew the "basics" of riding because of my past experience with dirt bikes. So I didn't think a beginners course would do much more than the experience course.

RayOSV: Thanks alot for the tips. I kept my bike stock(kept blinkers and license alone) because of this test. I'll be sure to practice the circles before I take the test.
 

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you'll still learn alot on MSF even w/ your D/B experience..
 

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jodizzle said:
Kalvyn: Thanks for the advice, I plan to take the MSF course here, but i'd rather spend just $78, for more experienced riders, rather than $198 for beginners. I already knew the "basics" of riding because of my past experience with dirt bikes. So I didn't think a beginners course would do much more than the experience course.

RayOSV: Thanks alot for the tips. I kept my bike stock(kept blinkers and license alone) because of this test. I'll be sure to practice the circles before I take the test.
Can you tell me a little bit more about this $78 class? I was planning to get my permit and ride around for a few months, then take the DMV road test but is it possible to take this class and be exempt from the road tests?
 

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srd240sx said:
Can you tell me a little bit more about this $78 class? I was planning to get my permit and ride around for a few months, then take the DMV road test but is it possible to take this class and be exempt from the road tests?
There are 2 MSF classes, beginning riders course (BRC) and experienced riders course (ERC?). The BRC is a great introduction to street riding using their 125 or 250 cc bikes. When you pass the course, you take your certificate to the DMV and they allow you to get your M1 endorsement without taking the on-the-bike test. Cost in the Bay Area is about $200 I believe and is usually a Friday evening in the classroom, all day Saturday mostly on the bike, almost all day Sunday split between class and on the bike with written and on-the-bike tests. The BRC course is great and would be worthwhile for you to take in general (in addition to avoiding the lame DMV road test).

The ERC is for riders with at least several months (a year or more?) and several thousand miles riding experience. It's one day and you use your bike. Cost is on the order of $80 I believe. I don't believe that taking this class gets you out of the DMV road test. As a matter of fact, you may need your M1 license to enroll in the ERC.
 

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the classroom portion of MSF is soooo damn boring, just read Twist of The Wrist 2, Sport Riding Techniques, Total Control. Those 3 books are more useful IMO than MSF _IF_ you already know the basics of riding. I took the DMV test 3 days after getting my bike, passed it easily, and that was the first time i had ever ridden a motorycle before. For the DMV test, just make sure you can handle good at low speeds and practice weaving and U-turns at low (under 8mph) speeds.
 
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