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Today I had a day off so I thought it would be a great time to get my license, great weather, bike running good, winter around the corner, only a few more weeks for the permit to be valid, just a perfect time for this ordeal. My bike was running good today, as I drove to the place I went over in my head all the rules that I THOUGHT would be on the test, every biker I know said the driving part is a joke, so dont worry, you'll have no trouble with it. So , I guess I was a little cocky before I even started, because I had put 6400 miles on my Hammer in the short time I've owned it. No problem, the first part I was to locate various controls on the bike, in rappet fashion, with no hesitation, as the instrutor said, What a B$%$#$ she was. I passed this part, thinking this IS a joke, THOSE OTHER BIKERS WERE RIGHT. Ok, lets get this done. Next part, weave in and out of the cones, without putting your feet down and when you finish this turn the bike around and stop on #1, then when she gave me the ok, take off shifting from 1st to 2nd then downshift to 1st and stop on the line. No problem, well there was a problem, the cones were only 10 feet apart, theres no way in hell you can do this on a wide tired hammer, that only knows how to go straight and fast. There were about 10 cones, here I go,made it around the first cone, setting up for the second cone,next thing I know, my feet are on the ground, made it around ONE cone and that was it, I only had 9 more to go----ITS IMPOSSIBLE TO DO THIS TEST ON A LARGE BIKE WITH A LARGE BACK TIRE THAT ONLY LIKES TO GO STRAIGHT. The instrutor told me to go inside and meet her at the window, I did, I asked her if I could use another bike and she said as long as its over 50cc. I said Thanks for nothing and I will see her again with a bike over 50 ccs. Has anyone else ever had this probllem?:crzy:
 

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daaaaaaaaamn! I'm certain you'll have better luck next time. Maybe some practice with YOUR bike? Just an idea, . and I got a million of em.
 

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After deciding to take the road test here in MN with my Honda shadow, i was talking to my neighbor who suggested I use his 125cc Yamaha scooter. I initially declined until we drove over to a testing station that had the course painted on the parking lot. It was obvious there was no way with my skill level and that large of bike. We traded and I used the scooter with a good passing grade. I know a very skilled rider can manuever his bike through the cones and do the extremely tight U turn, but it seemed impossible to me. There were 4 others along with me as I went first. I am positive the 2 behind me failed as they did not come into the building to finish the paperwork. I think that the course is really designed to encourage you to take the Basic Motorcyle Safety course which pretty much guarantees you your endorsement once you finish. That may not be the worst thing however it seems as though the test was not very easy for a larger bike for sure.
 

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The Diamond
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Don't get me wrong Gary but 6400 miles really isn't THAT much experience on a wide tire especially if you haven't been doing tight maneuvers.

I would bet you that if you set up the same course and practiced for a a while you would get it down pat. Of course it depends on the distance between the cones too.

In California you have to do a figure eight. There is NO way that could be done on my bike the way she is set up now with the rake. I know because just for S&G I took Porti to DMV and couldn't walk her through the figure 8.

Luckily in California if you take the MSF course you don't have to do the driving test!! So I didn't have to do that part.
 

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Here in PA if you take the safety course and pass they give you a license. They supply the 250cc cycles and you will learn a thing or two.
 

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Here in PA if you take the safety course and pass they give you a license. They supply the 250cc cycles and you will learn a thing or two.
Seriously, this is one of the best courses I've ever taken. They do a great job of building the skills and confidence needed to be a safe and defensive rider.
 

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Taking the MSF course comes with no guarantee that you will pass....I took the course a few years back and we had 3 people (2 women and 1 guy) that failed it.(no, one wasn't me....LOL) You need to pay attention and you need to be familiar with riding a bit....I enjoyed the hell out of it....2 solid full days in the saddle with a sort of practical test the final late afternoon....best part the bikes were only 250cc's and they provided them and the gas.....trying to do a road test on a full blooded "big boy" bike is almost impossible....figure eights in a roadway without putting a paw on the turf can be tough on our "roadways"........LOL Better luck next time.....for shits and giggles show up on a 50 cc scooter......I dare you LOL
 

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The DMV course has to be practiced before hand, even if you do go take it on a scoot. My local DMV has the course on an inclined section, and the asphalt is all waves from the roots of nearby trees. If you just show up to the course for the first time, you're almost guaranteed to fail, regardless what you ride.

Go practice the course a few days, and you'll see how your comfort level with the course starts to grow.

The miles you rode don't mean anything for the DMV test, unless you rode over 6000 miles in 1st gear alone ;-)
 

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Taking the MSF course comes with no guarantee that you will pass....I took the course a few years back and we had 3 people (2 women and 1 guy) that failed it.
Must've been a good class. When I took the MSF, 5 people failed it (2 girls, 3 guys), not counting the one that got kicked out in the first day for dropping the bike 3 times. Usually those with a cocky attitude fail it - they come to the course to show off what they can do, not ready to learn anything new.
 

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The Diamond
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Taking the MSF course comes with no guarantee that you will pass....I took the course a few years back and we had 3 people (2 women and 1 guy) that failed it.(no, one wasn't me....LOL) You need to pay attention and you need to be familiar with riding a bit....I enjoyed the hell out of it....2 solid full days in the saddle with a sort of practical test the final late afternoon....best part the bikes were only 250cc's and they provided them and the gas.....trying to do a road test on a full blooded "big boy" bike is almost impossible....figure eights in a roadway without putting a paw on the turf can be tough on our "roadways"........LOL Better luck next time.....for shits and giggles show up on a 50 cc scooter......I dare you LOL

I 100% disagree with that one statement! Before I took the MSF class in April of 2006 I had maybe 1 hour MAX on a motorcycle driving it and it had been at least 8 years since the last ride.

I passed the MSF with the top score!

The instructors of my class said the worst students are the ones that have been riding a long time because they've learned and or developed bad riding habits. In my class 2 people didn't pass one guy had been riding over 20 years!!! The lady had been riding about 12 years!
 

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I am in NC and just took my road test this wednesday. I have had a vegas for about 6 weeks now. Its been 25 yrs since I last rode and I have put about 1500 miles on mine. Our road course was tough as well, the biggest problem I had was the turn area they gave us. I held it up and passed but I still plan on taking the safety corse. I am old enough to know that I need to know more...... but I do have the "M" endorsement now LOL.
 

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My comment was in reference to those that think....chit, never rode a bike...that doesn't matter I take this course and will be able to when I finish....one female taking the class couldn't get the bike moving without stalling it out....she never even drove a vehicle with a standard transmission....I had been riding when I was younger.....(about 20 years ago) and I learned quite a bit....I think it should be manditory for eberyone that wants to ride.....but then again I think the price was a little steep for this....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
failed drivers test

You know the more I think about this, I have come to the conclusion they need a seperate course for big bikes. The Hammer is one of the worse bikes at slow manuvering. Iv read that on every review that Iv ever read. Im sure the jackpot is no different. What about a guy that owns a Bigdog k9 or a stretch out Bourget, those bikes are 10ft. long to begin with. Now I know why 'Mikie' on occ rides a vespa scooter all the time!:)
 

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gary mcclanahan,

Your best bet is to go take the MSF. Even those who take the DMV, go back to the MSF course - so if you're going to take it anyway, might as well make it count for your M endorsement. Why bother with the DMV?

One thing's for sure, and anybody who took the MSF course will confirm this: You will learn! Something you can't say about taking the DMV course.

In my opinion, the DMV test is a silly circus test, while the MSF actually teaches and tests you on real skills you can use on the road.

P.S.: Don't forget to let us know what you end up doing.
 

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Low speed riding is the downfall to most riders including some of those with a lot of miles behind their belt.
Ride like a pro is a great DVD and can help ya with your problem. I am the ride captain for the VFW and ALR in my area. I do a instruction from time to time. It takes practice. The Ride like a pro is a excellent way to improve your riding skills.
It really isn't that hard once you understand the principle of it. The large rear tire does mean you need to practice even more. It can be done. 10 feet is a lot of room to turn in. Stop looking down! That will mess ya up every time. I can hold up my Ultra for 5 seconds at a stop and never put down my feet. If I can do then a lot of folks can do it.
A MSF is a good suggestion. Some riders courses will allow you not to have to take the riders part of the test.
Taking it on a smaller bike may help pass the test but it will not make you a better rider which is what you need to become.

If you are close to north Alabama drop by and I will take you through my course.

just a thought

dd
 

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gary mcclanahan,

Your best bet is to go take the MSF. Even those who take the DMV, go back to the MSF course - so if you're going to take it anyway, might as well make it count for your M endorsement. Why bother with the DMV?

One thing's for sure, and anybody who took the MSF course will confirm this: You will learn! Something you can't say about taking the DMV course.

In my opinion, the DMV test is a silly circus test, while the MSF actually teaches and tests you on real skills you can use on the road.

P.S.: Don't forget to let us know what you end up doing.
+1 Do the MSF!
 

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The Diamond
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I can't recommend the MSF course enough to ALL riders experienced and new.

I am absolutely sure I would have been seriously hurt or even killed if it weren't for what I was taught in the class.

I knew nothing of counter steering on a motorcycle. I was taught that in the class.

This is a true story!

One day I'm riding down I80 in Sacramento at the speed limit of 65mph. There were two gravel trucks in front of me with all kinds of crap flying off.

I decided to pass them. I hit the throttle and came into a sweeper at 88mph (these bikes accelerate FAST!!!). Needless to say at that point of my riding (about 4 months after the class) I was still green. I was rapidly approaching the cement barrier that separated the East and West bound lanes.

Hitting the barrier would either eject me into oncoming west bound traffic or into a car on my side of the highway. I was no more than 6 inches from the barrier when I remembered to counter steer and slowly let down the throttle. She came right back into line.

I literally got off the next exit and went to a car dealership and took a HUGE poop. I was able to hold it! LOL It took me about 45 minutes to calm down and get back on Porti.

TAKE THE COURSE!!!!!thumb up
 

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Not only do I suggest taking the MSF course but I also suggest taking the advance course after a few months of practice.
I use the ride like a pro DVD in all my courses at the VFW riders/American Legion riders.

You can never be too good or can you never have learned too much.

dd
 

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I had bought my first bike back in '07, trailered it home and it sat in the garage for two weeks until after I took the MSF class and had my license in hand. After getting my license, the first place I rode was to an empty parking lot, free of light poles and practiced turns, panic stops, etc. Then I headed to the place I took my MSF class and ran all the exercises, especially the "box", several times to get used to the difference between the 250 I'd learned on and the 900 I owned. I've done the same thing with both bikes since, just to familiarize myself and learn what the machine will do and how it will react before logging miles in traffic.
 
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