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How to Pass Your Motorcycle Road Test on the First Try?

How to Pass Your Motorcycle Road Test on the First Try?

How to Pass Your Motorcycle Road Test on the First Try?

The thought of riding a motorcycle can thrill any motorcycle enthusiast; however, to ride a two-wheeler on America’s beautiful motorcycle roads, you first need to pass the nerve-wracking motorcycle license test. Contrary to popular belief, the motorcycle license test is not too challenging; it is due to a lack of experience or practice that results in most first-time test-takers failing.

Since motorcycle dealerships and rental services will not sell or let you borrow motorcycles without a valid motorcycle endorsement, most riders have trouble finding a motorcycle to practice riding and give tests on. Moreover, borrowing a motorcycle from a friend or a family member is not an option available to all first-time test takers. This results in riders being unprepared for the motorcycle road test.

Many test-takers become anxious due to fear of failing, having to retake the tests, and having to pay the minimum fee of $200-$300. This article by Viking Bags provides tips on how to improve your chances of succeeding on the motorcycle road test on the first attempt, save time and money, and get your motorcycle endorsement.

1. Take a State-Approved Motorcycle Training Course

Although riders 18 years old or older are not required to enroll in a motorcycle training course before taking the motorcycle test, it is recommended riders enroll in a state-approved motorcycle safety course for the following reasons:

  • During motorcycle training classes, riders get access to beginner-friendly motorcycles and learn to improve their riding skills in a safe environment.
  • Motorcycle safety courses focus on improving key skills necessary to pass the motorcycle road test.

State-approved motorcycle training centers, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), often have multiple predetermined routes used for the DMV road tests. Riders enrolled in motorcycle training classes can practice on these routes to better prepare for the actual test.

1.1 Who Can Join a Motorcycle Safety Course?

To join a motorcycle safety course, you must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate ability to balance and ride a bicycle
  • Have a valid driver's license or motorcycle learner’s permit

1.2 Why Should You Join a Motorcycle Safety Course?

The best way to pass your motorcycle test on the first attempt is to first enroll in motorcycle training classes and apply for a road test waiver.

The biggest advantage of completing a motorcycle safety course is that riders 18 years old or above are eligible to receive a road skills test waiver. Afterward, you would only have to pass a written test.

However, keep in mind that this option is available in all states. Depending on the state you live in, you may have to pass a knowledge and road skills test even after completing a motorcycle training course.

To find out which states in the U.S. provide road skills test waivers to riders who successfully complete their motorcycle training courses, check the chart below:

List of U.S. States That Provide Motorcycle Road Skills Test Waivers 
New York
North Dakota 
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

Listed in the chart below are the U.S. states which have mandatory motorcycle skills tests: These states allow riders to give their DMV tests through their respective motorcycle safety centers, but complete waivers are not provided.

List of U.S. States Where The Road Skills Test Is Not Waived 
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
North Carolina

2. Common Mistakes Made During the Motorcycle Road Test

If you live in a state where the motorcycle road skills test is required, this exam will be held on the DMV test center’s premises. During the motorcycle road skills test, the following skills will be tested:

  • Starting the motorcycle
  • Making smooth stops at marked points
  • Handling and control when using clutch, throttle, gears, and brakes
  • Making slow cone weave
  • Turning
  • Cornering
  • Making U-turns
  • Shoulder checks and using indicators when turning and changing lanes
  • Emergency stops
  • Swerving around obstacles

Here are common mistakes to avoid during the motorcycle road skills test:

  • Forgetting shoulder checks while turning or changing lanes
  • Inability to balance and slow down the bike when making a U-turn
  • Inability to operate the clutch, throttle, and brakes correctly
  • Making high-speed maneuvers when practicing the serpentine ride or swerving around obstacle
  • Failing to accelerate and the brake when signaled to do so
  • Ignoring important road signs

You can avoid these mistakes by practicing and being vigilant. On the day of the test, try to stay calm and dress in proper riding gear.

3. Frequently Asked Questions

3.1 How Much Does the MSF Motorcycle Training Course Cost?

The MSF motorcycle training course costs around $150- $350, depending on the number of classes you take.

3.2 Do I Have to Bring My Motorcycle for the Motorcycle Road Test?

Yes. DMV test centers do not provide motorcycles you can use during the test. If you don’t own a motorcycle, you can borrow a vehicle from a friend, or a family member, or rent from a DMV scooter/motorcycle rental service. DMV rental services, such as DMV scooter rental in California and NJ Rent a Scooter, will bring your motorcycle rental to the DMV test site on the scheduled date. However, this service is only available to riders who have a learner’s permit. Alternatively, you can borrow a motorcycle from motorcycle training centers if you are willing to pay an extra fee to the training center.

4. Takeaway

The motorcycle road test is often the last obstacle between riders and their motorcycle licenses. After passing the knowledge test, acquiring a learner’s permit, and completing a motorcycle training course, the last thing you want is to fail the road test. If you cannot get a road skills test waiver, continue practicing on your motorcycle until the test date. Besides having confidence and conviction, you need strong riding skills to pass the motorcycle test on the first attempt.

Related: California Motorcycle Laws - The Updated 2021 Edition

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