Motorcycle license testing.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by keepngoal, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. keepngoal

    keepngoal Jobless Jerk
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    Jun 20, 2006
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    I am planning on getting my motorcycle license here in Iowa. I could take a weekend long class at Kirkwood for 155. Or take the written and driving tests at he dmv. I heard the written is a bit tricky. And for the driving I need to find a smaller more manageable bike. Any input on this before I move forward? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. SwirlingFloater

    Dec 19, 2008
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    Do you have much experience on motorcycles?

    I rode dirt bikes out on my cousins farm quite a bit growing up and didn't find the riding test difficult at all. Do yourself a favor and test on a lightweight and maneuverable bike. I bought a Harley road bike but still tested on a dirt bike.

    I didn't find the written test that tricky. Look up the online Iowa DOT motorcycle booklet, read through it a couple times and save yourself the $155.
     
  3. mfelske

    mfelske Active Member

    Mar 20, 2006
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    I took it in VT, but I think it's pretty similar. Read the manual that the DMV puts out and you will do fine on the written test. I took the driving test on a 800 and passed (barely) on the first try. The course was laid out online, so I practiced for a few weeks before hand.
     
  4. Cyclones_R_GR8

    Cyclones_R_GR8 Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2007
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    The written test is a breeze if you have read the manual.
    I would recommend the class at Kirkwood (I assume it is an MSF course)
    The MSF course is very good, they train everyone as if they have never ridden before. They will give you safety tips and hands on experience. I'm not sure how it is in Iowa but in Nebraska if you pass the MSF course you just take your card to the DMV and they add the motorcycle endorsement to your license.
     
  5. cyclonesurveyor

    Jan 26, 2009
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    a couple of us in college rented a big 150 CC scooter (minimum CC required for the driving test) from Zylstra to use for the test. EZ.
     
  6. cyfan964

    cyfan964 Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2006
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    It all depends on if you have have ever ridden before. I raced dirtbikes my entire childhood. If you have ridden before just take the written test and the driving test at the DMV. I passed the written test the first time and aced the driving test.

    If you haven't ridden a bike much definitely go the Kirkwood route. The instruction is worth $155.
     
  7. VTXCyRyD

    VTXCyRyD Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2010
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    If you get a smaller bike for the test, make sure it runs good. I drove with my cousin when he got his license and there was someone else there with an old, small Suzuki 2 stroke. Every time he let go of the throttle it stalled, not his fault, just not in good running shape. He got dinged everytime the bike stalled and failed the test. Also if you borrow a bike make sure that all the lights and horn work as well. They won't test you unless it is.
     
  8. CykoAGR

    CykoAGR Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008
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    Echo what others have said if you are an experienced rider just go the DMV route otherwise I think its worth it to spend the time/$$ on the course.

    I took the riding test on an 883 sportster with minimal experience and just BARELY passed the first time.
     
  9. Cyclones_R_GR8

    Cyclones_R_GR8 Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2007
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    I guess the big question for the OP is whether they have any real experience riding. If not the course is definitely the way to go. If they do then get the book, and a find someone with a smaller bike to test on.
    But the MSF course is always a good idea. Even for more seasoned riders.
     
  10. fatkid1974

    fatkid1974 Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2010
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    I took the test on a fully dressed 1500 goldwing and had only one point deducted. I rode the bike daily for a couple months before I just winged it. I don't believe the size of the bike matters as much as how much experience you've had on it.
     
  11. keepngoal

    keepngoal Jobless Jerk
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    Jun 20, 2006
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    I have moderate riding experience. I guess I will practice his weekend in a large parking lot and then try to find a smaller bike for the test next weekend.

    Would anyone have a lead on lending/borrowing a smaller motorcycle for nextweekend in CR?
     
  12. SeattleClone

    SeattleClone Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2006
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    Don't know about CR, but the main DMV in Ankeny has paint marks in the parking lot where they put the cones down for the test. Look the test up online so you know what the drills are, and then go there on Sunday and practice.

    But for those who don't have experience riding, I'll add another vote for the MSF course. Check with your insurance company, some companies offer a discount if you have taken the MSF course within the last 3 years. Don't remember how much the discount was, but might help offset the cost of the course.
     
  13. dmclone

    dmclone Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2006
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    What bike you thinking about buying?
     
  14. BleedCycloneRed

    Sep 1, 2009
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    I took the test in Illinois and they have 2 different levels of licenses. An L license if you took the test on a bike smaller than 150CC, and an M license for 150 and up. I took a 150CC scooter for my test and did fine, although I have been riding it prior to the test. As somebody recommended, you can stop by the testing facility and see the stripes and get an idea of what they will test you one (riding wise). A 180 degree turn in a right radii, quick stop, avoiding something in the road, etc... We never left the back of the facility for the riding test.
     
  15. ISUKyro

    ISUKyro Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2006
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    The MSF course is the best thing in the world you can do to get the M on your license.
    And the best part is you get to learn on their crappy little bikes - if you drop it no one will care (you will be laughed at, but at least one will drop in your group).
     
  16. HawkFanISUalum

    HawkFanISUalum Active Member

    May 17, 2009
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    I took the class at Kirkwood, as I had never ridden a motorcycle before, and wanted to learn how to do things the "right way".

    Also, I believe some insurance companies will give you a discount if you take the MSF-endorsed class.
     
  17. cychhosis

    cychhosis Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2006
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    Is this accurate? I have read through the manual twice and found no reference. I am planning to barrow a buddy's Honda 70 with automatic transmission to do the test. Lots easier than loading up my bike.
     
  18. cyclonesurveyor

    Jan 26, 2009
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    thats what the Zylstra guy told us. it was also a scooter. maybe a smaller street legal bike would work too. i think the main thing was that the bike had to be licensed.
     
  19. keepngoal

    keepngoal Jobless Jerk
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    Jun 20, 2006
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    150 minimum for the test.
     
  20. HawkFanISUalum

    HawkFanISUalum Active Member

    May 17, 2009
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    We had little Honda 250cc bikes for our test. Easy to balance and maneuver. I wouldn't think a bike with an automatic transmission would be allowed for the test, as downshifting coming to a stop was part of the test for us. Who knows though...it's been about 5 years since I took the test.
     

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