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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Automotive Chat > The John Norwich Riders Corner

The John Norwich Riders Corner In honour of our fellow moderator: John Norwich R.I.P. September 17th, 2014
Buy, sell, trade bikes and gear, set up bike rallies, meet discussions. #revscenebikes

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Old 09-23-2014, 03:18 PM   #1
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Thinking of getting into motorcycles? Read this First!!

This will be a thread where new riders can find quick information and frequently asked questions about the process of getting into motorcycling. This is a thread that will be constantly updated with new information and as laws may or may not change over time.


1. The License

The process for obtaining a motorcycle license is almost identical to a driver’s license.

First is the “L” which is obtained by taking a motorcycle knowledge test (multiple choice computer test).

Restrictions on “L” License:
• Must be within sight of a qualified supervisor that is 19+ years old with a full class-6 license
• Your speed must not exceed 60km/h
• You must ride only between sunrise and sunset
• No passengers
• “L” sign displayed
• No alcohol or drugs

The “N” requires a motorcycle skills test which is a 15 minute test of basic riding skills. It consists of:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ”From ICBC website”
What to expect
You'll be riding in a paved lot at slow speeds. You'll need to show that you can:
• identify the controls on your motorcycle
• push the motorcycle (non-powered)
• demonstrate using hand signals
• use the side stand or centre stand
• ride slowly and straight while using the clutch
• slalom
• brake
• turn, including u-turns, three-point turns and right turns when moving
• accelerate and decelerate (this may include shifting gears), and
• stop suddenly in a controlled manner
As you ride, your examiner watches:
• how you handle the clutch, throttle and brake controls
• how you shift gears
• whether you keep your feet on the pegs, and
• whether you miss any turns or hit any traffic cones.
Restrictions on “N” license:
• Same restrictions as “L” but speed limit restriction is removed and you can ride without a supervisor

The full class-6 license is obtained by passing an hour long road test. In this test you will be tested on:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ”From ICBC website”
On-road manoeuvres
While riding, you're asked to do a series of manoeuvres. These may include
• riding through and turning right and left at intersections
• entering and leaving traffic
• entering and exiting a highway or freeway
• changing lanes
• parking at the side of the road
• reverse stall parking
• U-turns, and/or cul-de-sac
• general riding, including riding straight and on hills and curves.
Note: remember your lane position at all times.
Restrictions on class-6 license:
• No alcohol or drugs

If you already possess a class 1-5 driver’s license, then after at least 14 days with your Learner’s “L” license you can take the motorcycle skills test and obtain the “N” license. However, if you are taking a course from a certified motorcycle training facility, you may take your motorcycle skills test right away. After at least 30 days of riding with the “N” license, you may take the class-6 road test.

If you do not possess a driver’s license or only have the “L” or “N” driver’s licenses, you must wait 30 days before taking the motorcycle skills test after obtaining your motorcycle “L” license. After which you must wait 12 months before you can take the class 8 road test to obtain the motorcycle “N” license. After that you must wait another 24 months before you may take the class-6 motorcycle road test.

More information about licensing at: Motorcycle licences


2. Riding Course

Taking a motorcycle training course is the best investment that you will ever make in your motorcycle experience. There are numerous certified motorcycle training facilities in the Lower Mainland but the most reputable is Pacific Riding School.

Pacific Riding School |

Courses are approximately 1 week long and cost approximately $800 per student (special discounts may apply). Time is spent in classroom learning about motorcycles and safe riding procedures as well as slow speed parking lot training and road rides. They provide a training motorcycle as well as riding gear.

Before you start investing money into a motorcycle, take a course first.


3. Riding Gear

After you have the license and you’ve taken a riding course, it’s time to start purchasing your riding gear. Unfortunately this is where a lot of riders tend to avoid spending money or not bother wearing their gear especially on hot summer days. Proper riding attire consists of: helmet, jacket w/ back and arm padding, gloves, pants w/ knee and waist protection, and boots. The minimum that is required by law is a helmet. Full riding gear can range in price from $250 to $5000 or more. On average for good quality riding gear you’ll most likely be spending approximately $1500.


4. The Motorcycle

Deciding on which motorcycle to buy first depends on a lot of factors, from how safe you are on the roads to how much driving experience to how confident you feel on two wheels.

For beginners it is best to start small and work your way up over the years. 125-300cc motorcycles are probably what you’d want to start looking for. They are light, easy to maneuver, and forgiving when you accidentally twist the throttle. Some motorcycles to consider in this category include the Honda Grom, Honda CBR125, Honda CBR250, Suzuki TU250, and Kawasaki Ninja 300 or 250. New versions of these bikes cost from $3000-$5500 but used cost from $1500-$4000 and you can usually get most of your money back when buying and selling used.

For riders that may have a bit of past experience riding motorcycles as a child, you may want to consider riding a 400-650cc motorcycle. When I say 600cc I do not mean sports bikes, they are completely different than touring and standard 650cc bikes. Some bikes to consider are: older model Kawasaki Ninja 500, Suzuki GS500, Suzuki SV650, Suzuki Gladius, Kawasaki Ninja 650, and Honda CBR500/CB500. These types of motorcycles offer more power than a 125-300cc motorcycle but are still easy to ride and have smooth power curves for if you accidentally twist the throttle. Also they tend to have a more upright riding position for easier handling and a more comfortable ride.

600-1000cc Sportbikes

Yes they look cool and yes they are extremely fast but they are also the most dangerous. A beginner rider should not attempt to ride a sportsbike as their first motorcycle for a number of different reasons. The throttle and engine are very responsive and if you’re not smooth with your wrist, you could easily accelerate out of control. The brakes provide more than enough stopping power and pulling on the brake lever too hard can result in flipping forwards. The riding position and limited steering angle make sportbikes very difficult to maneuver at slow speeds and can easily tip over. A 600cc motorcycle is the equivalent of driving a 400hp car and a 1000+cc motorcycle is the equivalent of a 600hp car…. or more. A new rider should only consider a 600cc sportbike after at least one full year of riding under their belt.
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Old 09-25-2014, 06:49 PM   #2
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Thanks Mike for writing this informative post. I shall sticky this.
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:21 PM   #3
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Thanks NR for the sticky.

If anyone else has any other information that would be helpful for new riders, please feel free to post it.
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:22 PM   #4
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I completely agree on the gear piece. If you have spent less than $1,500 on gear I would be very suspect of the following; a) the quality of gear purchased and b) did you actually buy complete gear (boots, quality helmet, etc.).

I have had some friends express interest in riding but were appalled at the thought of a helmet in the $400+ range or full-height boots "because they look stupid..." those are probably the types of people that shouldn't be riding anyways.
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:32 PM   #5
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My riding gear was a lot less than 1500. I think it was closer to 800 if I remember correctly. 1500 seems like a lot for riding gear for a beginner. The only thing I’m missing is riding pants since I can't make up my mind on which ones to buy.

Full length boots and gloves are just as important as a good helmet and jacket. I think that is where most people cheap out
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:34 PM   #6
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Full length boots and gloves are just as important as a good helmet and jacket. I think that is where most people cheap out

Totally agree.
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