Operator Manual

M. Jodi Rell Governor Robert M. Ward Commissioner

Prepared By Motorcycle Safety Foundation Adapted with Permission By

Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles 60 State Street Wethersfield, Connecticut 06161

R-217 (Rev. 12-09)

GettInG your connectIcut Motorcycle enDorSeMent
Getting your connecticut Motorcycle endorsement .................................................... 1 Motorcycling and connecticut law ........... 2 Motorcycle training permit............................ 3 taking the Skills test ........................................ 4 Sharing the road .............................................. 7

crash avoidance .................................................28 Quick Stops .......................................................28 Swerving or turning Quickly ......................29 cornering ..........................................................30 Handling Dangerous Surfaces .......................31 uneven Surfaces and obstacles ................31 Slippery Surfaces ............................................32 railroad tracks, trolley tracks and pavement Seams .............................33 Grooves and Gratings ...................................33 Mechanical problems ........................................34 tire failure .........................................................34 Stuck throttle ...................................................34 Wobble ...............................................................34 Drive train .........................................................35 engine Seizure .................................................35 animals ...................................................................35 flying objects ......................................................36 Getting off the road .........................................36 carrying passengers and cargo ........................................................36 equipment ........................................................36 Instructing passengers .................................37 riding With passengers ................................37 carrying loads ................................................37 Group riding ........................................................38 Keep the Group Small ...................................38 Keep the Group together ............................38 Keep your Distance ........................................38

preparInG to rIDe
Wear the right Gear ............................................ 8 Helmet use ......................................................... 8 Helmet Selection .............................................. 8 eye and face protection ................................. 9 clothing .............................................................10 Know your Motorcycle ......................................10 the right Motorcycle for you .....................10 Borrowing and lending ...............................11 Get familiar with the Motorcycle controls ................................11 check your Motorcycle .................................12 Know your responsibilities .............................13

rIDe WItHIn your aBIlItIeS
Basic Vehicle control .........................................14 Body position ...................................................14 Shifting Gears ..................................................14 Braking ...............................................................15 turning ...............................................................15 Keeping your Distance ......................................16 lane positions ..................................................16 following another Vehicle ..........................17 Being followed ...............................................18 passing and Being passed ...........................18 lane Sharing ....................................................20 Merging cars ....................................................20 cars alongside .................................................20 See ............................................................................21 Intersections .........................................................22 Blind Intersections .........................................23 passing parked cars .......................................24 parking at the roadside ...............................24 Increasing conspicuity .....................................25 clothing .............................................................25 Headlight ...........................................................25 Signals ................................................................25 Brake light .........................................................26 using your Mirrors ..........................................26 Head checks .....................................................27 Horn ....................................................................27 riding at night ................................................28

BeInG In SHape to rIDe
Why this Information Is Important ........................................................40 alcohol and other Drugs in Motorcycle operation .................................40 alcohol in the Body ...........................................40 Blood alcohol concentration ............................................41 alcohol and the law ..........................................42 consequences of conviction ...................................................42 Minimize the risks ..............................................42 Step in to protect friends ................................43 fatigue ....................................................................43


Knowledge test ...............................................44 on-Motorcycle Skill test ..............................45

GettInG a connectIcut Motorcycle enDorSeMent
What is a motorcycle endorsement?
a motorcycle endorsement, designated by the letter “M,” may appear on a connecticut motor vehicle driver’s license.

What is a motorcycle training permit?
Before earning your motorcycle endorsement, you must obtain a motorcycle training permit. the permit allows you to drive a motorcycle with certain restrictions to help prepare you for your skills test.

Who needs a motorcycle endorsement?
any connecticut motor vehicle driver’s license holder who plans to drive a motorcycle.

Who does not need a motorcycle endorsement from connecticut?
any non-resident or temporary resident who holds a valid operator’s license issued by another jurisdiction, which authorizes the operation of a motorcycle. this may include: • • • Members of the armed forces Students enrolled in a higher education institution non-residents employed in connecticut.

What do you need to obtain a motorcycle endorsement?
If you already have a connecticut motor vehicle driver’s license, you must: • pass the vision and knowledge tests to obtain a motorcycle training permit. then, you must schedule a motorcycle skills test appointment within 60 days of earning your permit, and pass the skills test. obtain a connecticut motor vehicle driver’s license and pass the vision and knowledge tests to obtain a motorcycle training permit. then, you must schedule a motorcycle skills test appointment within 60 days of earning your permit, and pass the skills test. complete a novice motorcycle-training course approved by the commissioner of Motor Vehicles. the Department of transportation’s (Dot) connecticut rider education program meets these requirements, as do certain privately operated courses.

If you do not have a connecticut motor vehicle driver’s license, you must: •

In addition, if you are under 18 years of age, you must also: •

connecticut rider education program course
• an applicant for a motorcycle endorsement who is under the age of 18 must successfully complete a novice motorcycle training course that is offered by Dot or any other firm or organization that has developed a curriculum approved by the commissioner of Motor Vehicles. for additional information concerning the connecticut rider education program, call 1-800-uSa-rIDe (1-800-872-7433) or visit the Web site at additional information concerning other approved courses can be obtained from the DMV Web site at

pleaSe note: DMV is permitted to waive the on-the-road skills portion of the endorsement examination for any applicant, regardless of age, who presents evidence of satisfactorily completing an approved motorcycle training course within 180 days of finishing the course.

MotorcyclInG anD connectIcut laW
What is a motorcycle?
connecticut motor vehicle law defines a motorcycle as a motor vehicle having not more than three wheels in contact with the ground and a saddle or seat on which the rider sits or a platform on which the rider stands, and with or without a side car, except any vehicle in which the driver’s seat is completely or partially enclosed and the motor on such vehicle is not within such enclosed area. note: connecticut does not allow sidecars or three-wheel vehicles for motorcycle skills testing. Motor-Driven cycles (Mopeds) connecticut law distinguishes the difference between a motorcycle and a motor-driven cycle, commonly known as a moped. a motor-driven cycle is defined as any motorcycle, motor scooter, or bicycle with an attached motor that has a seat height of at least 26 inches and a motor that produces no more than five brake horsepower. you must have a valid driver’s license to operate a motor-driven scooter, but do not need a motorcycle endorsement. note: effective october 1, 2008,16-and 17-year-olds must wear protective headgear when operating a motor-driven scooter. In addition, if the speed limit on a road is greater than the maximum speed of the motor-driven cycle, you may only operate that cycle in the right hand traffic lane or on a usable shoulder on the right side of the road, except if preparing to turn left at an intersection or into or from a private road or driveway. a motor-driven cycle cannot be operated on a limited access highway or turnpike.

In addition. the applicant must be 16 years of age. (applicants 16-17 years of age must complete a Driver education course.m. religious or medical-related reasons. and in violation of connecticut law is held accountable to the same penalties and fines as are other motorists. note: Sixteen-and 17-year-olds drivers who obtain their driver’s license on or after august 1.3 Driver’s license required to operate any Motor Vehicle to operate a motorcycle on the public streets and highways in the State of connecticut. each applicant issued a motorcycle training permit. be physically and mentally capable of operating a motor vehicle and have successfully completed both a written and on-road driver’s examination. Motorcycle license plate connecticut law states that the motorcycle license plate is to be fastened immovably in an upright position to the rear of the motorcycle so that it is plainly visible and legible from behind the cycle. no 16-or 17-year-old may transport any passenger on a motorcycle for a period of six months after receiving his or her motorcycle endorsement.m. 16-and 17 year-old Motorcycle endorsement Holders connecticut law prohibits 16-and 17 year-olds with a driver’s license from driving between midnight and 5 a. to obtain a connecticut driver’s license. 2008. Motorcycle traInInG perMIt What do you need to obtain the motorcycle training permit? • • • • you must possess a connecticut motor vehicle driver’s license. while operating a . with a motorcycle endorsement or a motorcycle training permit. regulations. and 5 a. are prohibited from driving between 11 p. school. you must present a parental consent form if under 18 years of age. unless they are traveling for employment. you must pass vision and knowledge tests. unless they are traveling for employment. hold a learner’s permit and have parental consent.) Motorcycle operator required to observe all connecticut traffic laws the operator of a motorcycle on the public streets and highways of the State of connecticut is required to observe all connecticut traffic laws. the motorcycle operator is required to have a valid driver’s license.m. religious or medical-related reasons. school. and rules of the road.

S. taKInG tHe SKIllS teSt How do you apply to take the motorcycle skills test? you may make an appointment for the driving (skills) test while at the branch or you may call 1-800-842-8222 or 263-5700 in the Greater Hartford area to make an appointment. you cannot carry passengers on your motorcycle*. your permit is valid for 60 days. What will the motorcycle training permit test include? • • the knowledge examination will consist of questions taken from parts of this manual and the connecticut Driver’s Manual for new Drivers. you cannot operate your motorcycle at night. Motorcycle skill tests are only conducted at select offices. Department of transportation (uSDot) or national Highway traffic Safety administration (nHtSa) approved protective headgear regardless of age. you cannot operate your motorcycle out-of-state. • pay the required fee for testing and the permit. .4 motorcycle. must wear u. What you need to know about operating a motorcycle with a motorcycle training permit: • • • • • • • you must have your motorcycle permit and your driver’s license in your possession while operating the motorcycle. Sixteen and 17-year-old drivers are prohibited from carrying passengers for six months after obtaining a motorcycle endorsement. you cannot operate your motorcycle on a limited access highway. please be in the office no later than one-half hour before closing.S. *note: you may not transport passengers for 90 days after obtaining a motorcycle endorsement. the vision test will measure your visual acuity (how clearly you see) and your horizontal vision (how far you can see to either side while looking straight ahead) as well as depth and color perception. no appointment is necessary. Department of transportation (uSDot) or national Highway traffic Safety administration (nHtSa) approved protective headgear regardless of age. Where do you apply to take the motorcycle training permit test? • you may take the knowledge and vision test for a motorcycle permit at any full-service branch office on a “walk in” basis. you must wear u.

If you are under 18 years old. Vehicle check/overall control this is an equipment and protective gear check. Sharp left turn the applicant makes a sharp left turn through the cones and must stay within the turning boundary. physical disability requires a favorable medical certificate. this also tests a rider’s ability to demonstrate reasonable skill to locate and identify controls and to operate those controls while the cycle is in motion. for more information. 3. (the Department of Motor Vehicles does not furnish the motorcycle. 2. this tests a rider’s ability to judge the turn. right of the second cone and continue weaving past all the cones. al-MoSt (alternate Motorcycle operator Skill test) 1. . this tests a rider’s ability to perform a precise stop. contact the DMV’s Medical review Division at (860) 263-5223.) the reGIStratIon certIfIcate and the current proof of insurance for the motorcycle. off-Set cone Weave the applicant is required to ride to the left of the first cone. It is to call attention to any gear not considered safe.5 What do you need to bring with you to the skills test? • • • • • • your valid motor vehicle driver's license and your motorcycle training permit. this exercise tests a rider’s ability to control the cycle while avoiding known obstacles. a course completion card from an approved motorcycle education course. What will the motorcycle skills test include? • the motorcycle skill test is the al-MoSt. normal Stop test the applicant must come to a smooth stop with the front tire completely inside a designated box. the Motorcycle on which you will take your skills test. set speed and maintain control. 4. you MuSt BrInG your appoIntMent letter WItH you.

7. obstacle turn the applicant accelerates normally along a straight path until reaching a designated point. right “u” turn the applicant is required to make a right “u” turn.6 5. Quick Stop the applicant accelerates in a straight path until a designated point is reached. protectIVe Gear the following protective gear is highly recommended for test administration: Helmet . this exercise tests a rider’s ability to swerve the motorcycle quickly (countersteer) in order to avoid an unexpected obstacle. safe stop using both appropriately fitted helmet in good condition that meets adopted standards (ManDatory) Gloves .boots or shoes that cover the ankle made of sturdy material that doesn’t interfere with operation of motorcycle controls eye protection .designed for use when operating a motorcycle or other gloves that permit freedom to operate controls Jacket .a snug-fitting jacket of sturdy material footwear . staying within a confined area. the applicant must stop in the shortest possible distance. the rider makes a quick turn to the right or left in order to avoid a barrier line painted across the course.face shield and/or goggles that meet adopted standards (ManDatory) . 6. this demonstrates a rider’s ability to come to a quick. this exercise tests a rider’s balance and control.

allow for more following distance. Motorcycles have a much smaller profile than vehicles. following a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. allow the motorcyclist a full lane width. wet or slippery surfaces. which can make it more difficult to judge the speed and distance of an approaching vehicle. this allows the motorcyclist to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position. remember that road conditions which are minor annoyances to you pose major hazards to motorcyclists. gravel. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed. always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic. Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals usually are not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. railroad crossings and grooved pavement. pavement seams. three or four seconds. Motorcycles are small and may be difficult to see. remember the following: • • Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any vehicle on the road. In dry conditions motorcycles can stop more quickly than a car. nearly 40 percent were caused by the other vehicle turning left in front of the motorcyclist. approximately one-half of all motorcycle crashes involve another motor vehicle. the national Highway traffic Safety administration (nHtSa) has compiled a list of facts for all motorists to remember when riding a motorcycle or driving near a motorcycle. remember the motorcycle needs room to maneuver safely.7 SHare tHe roaD In an effort to increase safety on the road. remember that motorcyclists are often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot or missed in a quick look due to their smaller size. Motorcyclists may change speed or adjust their position within a lane suddenly in reaction to road and traffic conditions such as potholes. although it may seem as though there is enough room in the traffic lane for an automobile and a motorcycle. always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections. • • • • • • • .

Be a responsible rider. crash analyses show that head and neck injuries account for a majority of serious and fatal injuries to motorcyclists.8 preparInG to rIDe What you do before you start a trip goes a long way toward determining whether or not you’ll get where you want to go safely. Wear the right gear. head and neck injuries are reduced by properly wearing an approved helmet. just a few minutes after starting out. check the motorcycle equipment. beginning riders. • An approved helmet lets you see as far to the sides as necessary. • Most crashes happen on short trips (less than five miles long). a safe rider makes a point to: 1. 3. others wear helmets only on long trips or when riding at high speeds. • Most riders are riding slower than 30 mph when a crash occurs. Whichever style you choose. helmeted riders are three times more likely to survive head injuries than those not wearing helmets at the time of the crash. Helmet use crashes can occur — particularly among untrained. In any crash. with few exceptions. Here are some facts to consider: Helmet Selection there are two primary types of helmets. did not find even one case in which a helmet kept a rider from spotting danger. where 40% of the riders wore helmets. at these speeds. research also shows that. Become familiar with the motorcycle. providing two different levels of coverage: three-quarter and full face. and one out of every five motorcycle crashes results in head or neck injuries. you can get the most protection by making sure that the helmet: . you have a far better chance of avoiding serious injury if you wear: • An approved helmet. 4. no matter what the speed. helmets can cut both the number and the severity of head injuries by half. your gear is “right” if it protects you. a study of more than 900 motorcycle crashes. • Face or eye protection. Head injuries are just as severe as neck injuries — and far more common. • Protective clothing. Before taking off on any trip. Wear tHe rIGHt Gear When you ride. Some riders don’t wear helmets because they think helmets will limit their view to the sides. 2.

dirt. Whatever helmet you decide on. these problems are distracting and can be painful. • Fasten securely. keep it securely fastened on your head when you ride. loose padding or frayed straps. so it does not blow off. If you have to deal with them. to be effective.9 HelMetS • Is designed to meet U. though they won’t protect the rest of your face like a faceshield does. It also protects you from wind. Department of transportation (Dot) and state standards. a windshield is not a substitute for a faceshield or goggles. • Permit air to pass through. dust. Goggles protect your eyes. rain. it’s likely to fly off your head before it gets a chance to protect you. if you are involved in a crash. tinted eye protection should not be worn at night or any other time when little light is available. to reduce fogging. otherwise. Glasses won’t keep your eyes from watering. . • Give a clear view to either side.S. Helmets with a label from the Snell Memorial foundation give you an added assurance of quality. eye and face protection a plastic shatter-resistant faceshield can help protect your whole face in a crash. all the way around. • Permit enough room for eyeglasses or sunglasses. neither will eyeglasses or sunglasses. • Be resistant to penetration. and they might blow off when you turn your head while riding. Most windshields will not protect your eyes from the wind. insects and pebbles thrown up from cars ahead. • Fits snugly. eye or faceshield protection must: • Be free of scratches. if needed. you can’t devote your full attention to the road. • Has no obvious defects such as cracks.

Good-quality rainsuits designed for motorcycle riding resist tearing apart or ballooning up at high speeds. your clothes should keep you warm and dry. even on summer days. Does not protect your face as well as goggles. debris and hot and moving parts of the motorcycle. as well as protection from heat. your feet should reach the ground while you are seated on the motorcycle. and the controls should be easy to operate. Smaller motorcycles are usually easier for beginners to operate. Sturdy synthetic material provides a lot of protection as well. you cannot control a motorcycle well if you are numb. only protects your eyes. they should fit snugly enough to keep from flapping in the wind. durable. teSt yourSelf a plastic shatter-resistant face shield: a. the right Motorcycle for you first. It also provides comfort. • Check the motorcycle before every ride. Helps protect your whole face. • Avoid add-ons and modifications that make your motorcycle harder to handle. In cold or wet weather.10 clothing the right clothing protects you in a collision. • Gloves allow a better grip and help protect your hands in a crash. preparInG to rIDe KnoW your Motorcycle there are plenty of things on the highway that can cause you trouble. • Start with the right motorcycle for you. slip-resistant material. It should “fit” you. It can also make you more visible to others • Jacket and pants should cover arms and legs completely. Soles should be made of hard. as well as protect you from injury. your motorcycle should not be one of them. Is not necessary if you have a windshield. • Boots or shoes should be high and sturdy enough to cover your ankles and give them support. tuck in laces so they won’t catch on your motorcycle. cold. Many are designed to protect without getting you 45 . make sure your motorcycle is right for you. to make sure that your motorcycle won’t let you down: • read the owner’s manual first. your gloves should be made of leather or similar durable material. leather offers the most protection. c. • Be familiar with the motorcycle controls. wrists and waist. riding for long periods in cold weather can cause severe chill and fatigue. B. a winter jacket should resist wind and fit snugly at the neck. D. Wear a jacket even in warm weather to prevent dehydration. yet loosely enough to move freely. • Keep it in safe riding condition between rides. Keep heels short so they do not catch on rough surfaces. 1 answer .

beware. how to ride before allowing them out into traffic. and if you lend your motorcycle to friends. If you borrow a motorcycle. • Horn. your street-legal motorcycle should have: • Headlight. Borrowing and lending Borrowers and lenders of motorcycles. If you are going to use an unfamiliar motorcycle: Motorcycle controlS light Switch (high/low) engine cut-off Switch choke (varies) electric Start turn-Signal Button Switch Ignition Key (varies) Horn Button throttle clutch lever Speedometer & odometer front Brake lever tachometer (if equipped) fuel Supply Valve (if equipped) Gear-changelever rear Brake pedal Kick Starter (if equipped) . Be sure to review the owner’s manual. no matter how experienced you may be. ride extra carefully on any motorcycle that’s new or unfamiliar to you. taillight and brakelight. riding an unfamiliar motorcycle adds to the problem.11 at minimum. this is particularly important if you are riding a borrowed motorcycle. crashes are fairly common among beginning riders — especially in the first months of riding. get familiar with it in a controlled area. • Front and rear brakes. More than half of all crashes involve riders with less than five months of experience on their motorcycle. make sure they are licensed and know Get familiar with the Motorcycle controls Make sure you are completely familiar with the motorcycle before you take it out on the street. • Two mirrors. • Turn signals.

Make sure all teSt yourSelf More than half of all crashes: 2 a. check hydraulic fluids and coolants weekly. • Find out where everything is. test your switch to make sure both high and low beams are working. • Brakes — try the front and rear brake levers one at a time. D. When properly 45 . make the following checks: • tires — check the air pressure. In addition to the checks you should make before every trip. the clutch should feel tight and smooth. c. headlight switch. Happen at night. B. answer . follow your owner’s manual to get recommendations. Work the throttle.12 • Make all the checks you would on your own motorcycle. the throttle should snap back when you let go. preparInG to rIDe lights are working properly. complete the following checks before starting out: • Clutch and Throttle — Make sure they work smoothly. general wear and tread. particularly the turn signals. • Brake Light — try both brake controls. Involve riders who have less than five months of experience on their motorcycle. • Know the gear pattern. It’s difficult to ride with one hand while you try to adjust a mirror. a mirror may show the edge of your arm or shoulder—but it’s the road behind and to the side that’s most important. • Horn — try the horn. check your Motorcycle a motorcycle needs more frequent attention than a car. adjust each mirror so you can see the lane behind and as much as possible of the lane next to you. • Mirrors — clean and adjust both mirrors before starting. a minor technical failure in a car seldom leads to anything more than an inconvenience for the driver. cables. you’ll want to find out about it before you get in traffic. at a minimum. accelerate gently. Make sure it works. all controls react a little differently. fasteners and fluid levels. • Ride very cautiously and be aware of surroundings. If something’s wrong with the motorcycle. Make sure each one feels firm and holds the motorcycle when the brake is fully applied. • Fluids — oil and fluid levels. Before mounting the motorcycle. • Turn Signals — turn on both right and left turn signals. are caused by worn tires. clutch and brakes a few times before you start riding. horn. once you have mounted the motorcycle. check the following items at least once a week: Wheels. find and operate these items without having to look for them. • Headlights and Taillight — check them both. Make a complete check of your motorcycle before every ride. look under the motorcycle for signs of an oil or gas leak. and make sure each one turns on the brake light. take turns more slowly and leave extra room for stopping. occur at speeds greater than 35 mph. fuel-supply valve and engine cut-off switch.

or an unprepared participant in. make critical decisions and carry them out separates responsible riders from all the rest. It was the driver’s responsibility to stop. as a rider you can’t be sure that other operators will see you or yield the right of way. the ability to ride aware.13 KnoW your reSponSIBIlItIeS “accident” implies an unforeseen event that occurs without anyone’s fault or negligence. • Identify and separate multiple hazards. it doesn’t leave any of us free of responsibility. and it was your responsibility to look before pulling out. • Be prepared to act — remain alert and know how to carry out proper crash-avoidance skills. remember. passing and being passed. consider a situation where someone decides to try to squeeze through an intersection on a yellow light turning red. that is not the case. it is up to you to keep from being the cause of. . Just because someone else is the first to start the chain of events leading to a crash. you pull into the intersection without checking for possible latecomers. Most often in traffic. lane sharing. to lessen your chances of a crash occurring: • Be visible — wear proper clothing. your light turns green. • Maintain an adequate space cushion — following. most people involved in a crash can usually claim some responsibility for what takes place. brake light and lane position. • Communicate your intentions — use the proper signals. there is rarely a single cause of any crash. In fact. neither of you held up your end of the deal. being followed. • Search your path of travel 12 seconds ahead. use your headlight. any crash. Blame doesn’t matter when someone is injured in a crash. ride in the best lane position to see and be seen. that is all it takes for the two of you to tangle.

also. When riding downhill or shifting into first gear you may need to use the brakes to slow enough before downshifting safely. Shifting Gears there is more to shifting gears than simply getting the motorcycle to pick up speed smoothly. Don’t drag your feet. along with knowing and obeying the rules of the road. adjust the handlebars so your hands are even with or below your elbows. Make certain you are riding slowly enough when you shift into a lower gear. this permits you to use the proper muscles for precision steering. this will help you keep from accidentally using too much throttle. the motorcycle will lurch. Bending your arms permits you to press on the handlebars without having to stretch. Work toward a smooth. even clutch release. don’t let your toes point downward — they may get caught between the road and the footrests. If your foot catches on something. Shift down through the gears with the clutch as you slow or stop. HolDInG HanDGrIpS rIGHt WronG . • Hands — Hold the handgrips firmly to keep your grip over rough surfaces. Keep your feet near the controls so you can get to them fast if needed. and the rear wheel may skid. turning or starting on hills is important for safe motorcycle operation. speed or balance. that’s something you can learn only through practice. especially when downshifting. also. If not. BaSIc VeHIcle control Body position to control a motorcycle well: • Posture — Sit so you can use your arms to steer the motorcycle rather than to hold yourself up. • Feet — Keep your feet firmly on the footrests to maintain balance.14 rIDe WItHIn your aBIlItIeS this manual cannot teach you how to control direction. But control begins with knowing your abilities and riding within them. • Knees — Keep your knees against the gas tank to help you keep your balance as the motorcycle turns. preferably in a formal course of instruction like an MSf ridercourse. Start with your right wrist flat. • Seat — Sit far enough forward so that arms are slightly bent when you hold the handlegrips. learning to use the gears when downshifting. remain in first gear while you are stopped so that you can move out quickly if you need to. you could be injured and it could affect your control of the motorcycle.

remember to do so smoothly. less traction is available for stopping. they overreact and brake too hard. the higher the speed in a turn. and keep your eyes level with the horizon. the front brake is safe to use if you use it properly. . this helps stabilize the motorcycle. although it should be done very carefully. using both brakes for even “normal” stops will permit you to develop the proper habit or skill of using both brakes properly in an emergency. use both of them at the same time. (consult the owner’s manual for a detailed explanation on the operation and effective use of these systems. • PRESS — to turn. the motorcycle must lean. the front brake is more powerful and can provide at least three-quarters of your total stopping power. using both brakes in a turn is possible. approach turns and curves with caution. • Some motorcycles have integrated braking systems that activate the front and rear brakes together when applying the rear brake pedal. sometimes shifting while in the turn is necessary. to lean the motorcycle.) Braking your motorcycle has two brakes: one each for the front and rear wheel. resulting in control problems. Squeeze the front brake and press down on the rear. if necessary. • If you know the technique. • LOOK — look through the turn to where you want to go. press left handgrip — lean left — go left. a sudden change in power to the rear wheel can cause a skid. However. applying both brakes. turn just your head. remember: • Use both brakes every time you slow or stop. using the front brake incorrectly on a slippery surface may be hazardous. they end up crossing into another lane of traffic or going off the road. the greater the lean angle. press right handgrip — lean right — go right. use caution and squeeze the brake lever. use four steps for better control: • SLOW — reduce speed before the turn by closing the throttle and. also. When leaning the motorcycle some of the traction is used for cornering. never grab. turning riders often try to take curves or turns too fast. press on the handgrip in the direction of the turn. If so. • roll — roll on the throttle to maintain or slightly increase speed. causing a skid and loss of control.15 It is best to change gears before entering a turn. not your shoulders. When they can’t hold the turn. a skid can occur if you apply too much brake. or. Grabbing at the front brake or jamming down on the rear can cause the brakes to lock.

counterbalance by leaning the motorcycle only and keeping your body 45 KeepInG your DIStance the best protection you can have is distance — a “cushion of space” — all around your motorcycle. • Avoid others’ blind spots. lane positions In some ways the size of the motorcycle can work to your advantage. In slow. • Avoid wind blast from other vehicles. the rider and the motorcycle should lean together at the same angle. 3 norMal turnS a. as indicated in the illustration. Select the appropriate path to maximize your space cushion and make yourself more easily seen by others on the road. tight turns. each traffic lane gives a motorcycle three paths of travel. If someone else makes a mistake. • Space to maneuver. Keep your arms straight. answer . turn just your head and eyes to look where you are going. c. B. D. your lane position should: • Increase your ability to see and be seen. • Provide an escape route. distance permits you: • Time to react. Keep your knees away from the gas tank. • Protect your lane from other drivers.16 rIDe WItHIn your aBIlItIeS teSt yourSelf When riding. tIGHt turnS . you should: In normal turns. • Communicate your intentions. turn your head and shoulders to look through turns. SloW. • Avoid surface hazards.

is usually your best option. the average center strip permits adequate traction to ride on safely. avoid riding on big buildups of oil and grease usually found at busy intersections or toll booths. no portion of the lane need be avoided — including the center. • When the rear bumper of the vehicle ahead passes the marker. In traffic. you can operate to the left or right of the grease strip and still be within the center portion of the traffic lane. path 2. a larger cushion of space is needed if your motorcycle will take longer . one-thousand-two. remain in path 1 or 2 if hazards are on your right only.” you are following too closely. unless the road is wet. count off the seconds: “onethousand-one. It also permits a better view of potholes and other hazards in the road. ride in path 2 or 3 if vehicles and other potential problems are on your left only. such as a pavement marking or lamppost. change position as traffic situations change.17 lane poSItIonS In general. following another Vehicle “following too closely” could be a factor in crashes involving motorcyclists. motorcycles need as much distance to stop as cars. If vehicles are being operated on both sides of you. the oily strip in the center portion that collects drippings from cars is usually no more than two feet wide. there is no single best position for riders to be seen and to maintain a space cushion around the motorcycle. position yourself in the portion of the lane where you are most likely to be seen and you can maintain a space cushion around you. normally. the center of the lane. a minimum of two seconds distance should be maintained behind the vehicle ahead. to gauge your following distance: • Pick out a marker.” • If you reach the marker before you reach “two. a two-second following distance leaves a minimum amount of space to stop or swerve if the driver ahead stops suddenly. on or near the road ahead.

this will also encourage them to pass. if you cannot see through the vehicle ahead. ride where the driver can see you in the rearview mirror. riding in the center portion of the lane should put your image in the middle of the rearview mirror — where a driver is most likely to see you. and that you see potential hazards. a better way to handle tailgaters is to get them in front of you. open up a three-second or more following distance. . However. the center portion of the lane is usually the best place for you to be seen by the drivers ahead and to prevent lane sharing by others. this will make it easier to get out of the way if someone bears down on you from behind. Be sure other drivers see you. change lanes and let them pass. riding at the far side of a lane may permit a driver to see you in a sideview mirror. Being followed Speeding up to lose someone following too closely only ends up with someone tailgating you at a higher speed. Keep well behind the vehicle ahead even when you are stopped. When someone is following too closely. When behind a car. you will have given yourself and the tailgater more time and space to react in case an emergency does develop ahead. passing and Being passed passing and being passed by another vehicle is not much different than with a car. If the pavement is slippery. If they don’t pass. or if traffic is heavy and someone may squeeze in front of you. slow down and open up extra space ahead of you to allow room for both you and the tailgater to stop. But remember that most drivers don’t look at their sideview mirrors nearly as often as they check the rearview mirror. If you can’t do this. It will also give you a cushion of space if the vehicle ahead starts to back up for some reason. visibility is more critical. If the traffic situation allows.18 folloWInG rIDe WItHIn your aBIlItIeS than normal to stop.

ride through the blind spot as quickly as possible. ride in the left portion of the lane at a safe following distance to increase your line of sight and make you more visible. 2. When safe. riding any closer to them could put you in a hazardous situation. and complete mirror and headchecks before returning to your original lane and then cancel the signal. Know your signs and road markings! Being passed When you are being passed from behind or by an oncoming vehicle. • Objects thrown from windows — even if the driver knows you’re there. passes must be completed within posted speed limits. avoid being hit by: • The other vehicle — a slight mistake by you or the passing driver could cause a sideswipe. use your mirrors and turn your head to look for traffic behind. a passenger may not see you and might toss something on you or the road ahead of you. move into the left lane and accelerate. It might invite the other driver to cut back into your lane too early. you have more room for error if you are in the middle portion when hit by this blast than if you are on either side ofthe lane. • Extended mirrors — Some drivers forget that their mirrors hang out farther than their fenders. 3. 4. Do not move into the portion of the lane farthest from the passing vehicle.19 passing 1. Select a lane position that doesn’t crowd the car you are passing and provides space to avoid hazards in your lane. remember. • Blasts of wind from larger vehicles — they can affect your control. stay in the center portion of your lane. and only where permitted. paSSInG BeInG paSSeD . Signal and check for oncoming traffic. Signal again.

• When you are moving into an exit lane or leaving a highway. D. bumper-to-bumper traffic. change to another lane if one is open. c. a door could open. adjust speed to open up space for the merging driver. BlInD SpotS Merging cars Drivers on an entrance ramp may not see you on the highway. Drivers are most tempted to do this: • In heavy. change lanes and let them pass. Give them MerGInG teSt yourSelf usually. a hand could come out of a window. Discourage lane sharing by others. lane sharing is usually prohibited.20 lane Sharing rIDe WItHIn your aBIlItIeS plenty of room. cars in the next lane also block your escape if you come upon danger in your own lane. you might be in the blind spot of a car in the next lane. • When you are preparing to turn at an intersection. which could switch into your lane without warning. a good way to handle tailgaters is to: 4 a. B. Speed up or drop back to find a place clear of traffic on both sides. use your horn and make obscene gestures. answer . Speed up to put distance between you and the tailgater. If there is no room for a lane change. Ignore them. a car could turn suddenly. cars and motorcycles need a full lane to operate safely. riding between rows of stopped or moving cars in the same lane can leave you vulnerable to the unexpected. cars alongside Do not ride next to cars or trucks in other lanes if you do not have to. • When they want to pass you. Keep a center-portion position whenever drivers might be tempted to squeeze by 45 .

can eliminate or reduce harm. to the sides and behind to avoid potential hazards even before they arise. How assertively you search. evaluate think about how hazards can interact to create risks for you. shopping areas and school and construction zones. Search for factors such as: • Oncoming traffic that may turn left in front of you. you must leave yourself time to react if an emergency arises. . anticipate potential problems and have a plan to reduce risks. think about your time and space requirements in order to maintain a margin of safety. • Traffic coming from the left and right. • Traffic control devices — look for traffic signals. stopping or slowing. • Vehicles and other traffic — May move into your path and increase the likelihood of a crash. guardrails. Search Search aggressively ahead. Be especially alert in areas with limited visibility. apply the old adage “one step at a time” to handle two or more hazards. to help you evaluate circumstances ahead. bridges. evaluate the consequences of each and give equal distance to the hazards. they improve their riding strategy by using MSf’s SeeSM strategy. Visually “busy” surroundings could hide you and your motorcycle from others. • Traffic approaching from behind. • Road and surface characteristics — potholes. a threestep process used to make appropriate judgments. • Adjust your speed by accelerating. and apply them correctly in different traffic situations: • Search • Evaluate • Execute let’s examine each of these steps. to create more space and minimize harm from any hazard: • Communicate your presence with lights and/or horn. then deal with them one at a time as single hazards. including regulatory signs. telephone poles and trees won’t move into your path but may influence your riding strategy. • Hazardous road conditions. Decisionmaking becomes more complex with three or more hazards. • Adjust your position and/or direction. focus even more on finding potential escape routes in or around intersections. warning signs. and pavement markings. execute carry out your decision. and how much time and space you have.21 See Good experienced riders remain aware of what is going on around them. adjust speed to permit two hazards to separate.

provide a space cushion around the motorcycle that permits you to take evasive action. too often. ride with your headlight on and in a lane position that provides the best view of oncoming traffic. an intersection can be in the middle of an urban area or at a driveway on a residential street — anywhere traffic may cross your path of travel. Good riders are always “looking for trouble” — not to get into it. 17] at intersections is critical. pull in the clutch when turning. you should: 5 a. there are no guarantees that others see you. cover the clutch and both brakes to reduce the time you need to react. Increase your chances of being seen at intersections. shopping areas and school and construction zones. B. D. but to stay out of it. cars that turn left in front of you. the only eyes that you can count on are your own. and cars on side streets that pull into your lane. including cars turning left from the lane to your right. are the biggest dangers. your use of See [p. Shift into neutral when slowing. over one-half of motorcycle/car crashes are caused by drivers entering a rider’s right-of-way. c. a driver looks right at a motorcyclist and still fails to “see” him or her. answer . cover the clutch and the brakes. ride slower than the speed limit. teSt yourSelf to reduce your reaction time. In potential high-risk areas. such as intersections.22 rIDe WItHIn your aBIlItIeS InterSectIonS the greatest potential for conflict between you and other traffic is at intersections. never count on “eye contact” as a sign that a driver will 45 SMall InterSectIonS . assume that it will. If a car can enter your path.

Do not change speed or position radically. select a lane position that increases your visibility to the driver.23 larGe InterSectIonS as you approach the intersection. reduce your speed as you approach an intersection. move away from vehicles preparing to turn. after entering the intersection. the driver might think that you are preparing to turn. the rider has moved to the left portion of the lane — away from the parked car — so the driver on the cross street can see him as soon as possible. cover the clutch lever and both brakes to reduce reaction time. move to the portion of the lane that will bring you into another driver’s field of vision at the earliest possible moment. the key is to see as much as possible and remain visible to others while protecting your space. In this picture. remember. . BlInD InterSectIonS Blind Intersections If you approach a blind intersection.

slow down and get the driver’s attention. 6 c. they may cut you off entirely. he may fail to see you.24 Stop SIGnS rIDe WItHIn your aBIlItIeS parKeD carS If you have a stop sign or stop line. parked cars or bushes to see if anything is coming. Sound your horn and continue with caution. even if he does look. from that position. stay toward the left of your lane. it is usually best to remain in the centerlane position to maximize your space cushion. parKInG at curBS teSt yourSelf Making eye contact with other drivers: a. Is a good sign they see you. Since you can’t tell what a driver will do. the driver might cut into your path. drivers getting out of cars or people stepping from between cars. stop there first. answer . you can avoid problems caused by doors opening. then edge forward and stop again. If oncoming traffic is present. Slow down or change lanes to make room for someone cutting in. just short of where the cross-traffic lane meets your lane. In either event. blocking the whole roadway and leaving you with no place to go. checking for traffic behind. Doesn’t mean that the driver will yield. D. Just make sure your front wheel stays out of the cross lane of travel while you’re looking. lean your body forward and look around buildings. Guarantees that the other driver will yield to you. a bigger problem can occur if the driver pulls away from the curb without parking at the roadside park at a 90˚ angle to the curb with your rear wheel touching the curb. B. passing parked cars When passing parked 45 . Is not worth the effort it takes. cars making a sudden u-turn are the most dangerous.

you aren’t necessarily safe. Brightly colored helmets can also help others see you. reflective. reflective material on a vest and on the sides of the helmet will help drivers . Smaller vehicles appear farther away and seem to be traveling slower than they actually are. reflective material can also be a big help for drivers coming toward you or from behind. from ahead or behind. use low beam at night and in fog. even if a driver does see you coming. they are wrong. coming from the side to spot you. you can do many things to make it easier for others to recognize you and your motorcycle. it’s hard to see something you are not looking for. Bright orange. thinking they have plenty of time. twowheeled silhouette in search of cars that may pose a problem to them. during the day. too often. your helmet can do more than protect you in a crash. Studies show that. It is common for drivers to pull out in front of motorcyclists. your body is half of the visible surface area of the rider/motorcycle unit. they tell others what you plan to do. red. Signals the signals on a motorcycle are similar to those on a car. More likely. bright-colored clothing (helmet and jacket or vest) is best. a motorcycle with its light on is twice as likely to be noticed. a motorcycle’s outline is much smaller than a car’s.25 IncreaSInG conSpIcuIty In crashes with motorcyclists. Headlight the best way to help others see your motorcycle is to keep the headlight on — at all times (new motorcycles sold in the uSa since 1978 automatically have the headlights on when running). also. SIGnalInG clothing Most crashes occur in broad daylight. they are looking through the skinny. Wear bright-colored clothing to increase your chances of being seen. However. yellow or green jackets or vests are your best bets for being seen. any bright color is better than drab or dark colors. drivers often say that they never saw the motorcycle. remember. and most drivers are not looking for motorcycles.

traffic conditions change quickly. . • Before you change lanes. signals are even more important. • Before you slow down. If the drivers aren’t paying attention. or may be unsure about where you will slow. If you are being followed closely. it’s a good idea to flash your brake light before you slow. However. (It goes on with the headlight. they could be on top of you before they see you. make sure your signal is off or a driver may pull directly into your path. Make sure no one is about to pass you.26 rIDe WItHIn your aBIlItIeS • You slow where others may not expect it (in the middle of a block or at an alley). that’s why it’s a good idea to use your turn signals even when what you plan to do is obvious. It’s the car you don’t see that’s going to give you the most trouble. using your Mirrors While it’s most important to keep track of what’s happening ahead. your signal lights also make you easier to spot. drivers approaching from behind are more likely to see your signal blinking and make room for you. help others notice you by flashing your brake light before you slow down. use them even when you think no one else is around. use your signals at every turn so drivers can react accordingly. the tailgater may be watching you and not see something ahead that will make you slow down. this will hopefully discourage them from tailgating and warn them of hazards ahead they may not see. thinking you plan to turn again. the driver behind may not expect you to slow. turning your signal light on before each turn reduces confusion and frustration for the traffic around you. once you turn. It is especially important to flash your brake light before: • You slow more quickly than others might expect (turning off a high-speed highway). Brake light your motorcycle’s brake light is usually not as noticeable as the brake lights on a car — particularly when your taillight is on. Don’t make them guess what you intend to do. you signal a turn and the driver thinks you plan to turn at a distant intersection. Make a special point of using your mirrors: • When you are stopped at an intersection. Knowing what’s going on behind is essential for you to make a safe decision about how to handle trouble ahead. When you enter a freeway. due to a rider’s added vulnerability. use them anytime you plan to change lanes or turn.) If the situation will permit. you can’t afford to ignore situations behind. for example. frequent mirror checks should be part of your normal searching routine. Watch cars coming up from behind. rather than at a nearer driveway.

get familiar with them. frequent head checks should be your normal scanning routine. (While you are stopped. but don’t rely on it.27 uSInG MIrrorS on a road with several lanes. In an emergency. • Someone is in the street. Before you change lanes. Head checks checking your mirrors is not enough. It is a good idea to give a quick beep before passing anyone that may move into your lane. use it. pick out a parked car in your mirror. form a mental image of how far away it is. a driver in the distant lane may head for the same space you plan to take. allow extra distance before you change lanes. Keep in mind that a motorcycle’s horn isn’t as loud as a car’s — therefore. then. Here are some situations: • A driver in the lane next to you is driving too closely to the vehicle ahead and may want to pass. Some motorcycles have rounded (convex) mirrors. they also make cars seem farther away than they really are. check the far lane and the one next to you. and look to the side for other vehicles. • A parked car has someone in the driver’s seat. press the horn button loud and long. also. other strategies. these provide a wider view of the road behind than do flat mirrors. only by knowing what is happening all around you are you fully prepared to deal with it. turn your head. riding a bicycle or walking. like having time and space to maneuver. even then. turn around and look at it to see how close you came. If you are not used to convex mirrors.) practice with your mirrors until you become a good judge of distance. . Horn Be ready to use your horn to get someone’s attention quickly. Be ready to stop or swerve away from the danger. may be appropriate along with the horn. Motorcycles have “blind spots” like cars.

Don’t be shy about using the front brake. release the front brake immediately then reapply it firmly. your chances of getting out safely depend on your ability to react quickly and properly. • Did not separate braking from swerving or did not choose swerving when it was appropriate. be seen and keep an adequate space cushion. but. but don’t “grab” it. you can keep it locked until you have completely stopped. use your high beam whenever you are not following or meeting a car. • Increase Distance — Distances are harder to judge at night than during the day.28 riding at night at night it is harder for you to see and be seen. there will be times when you find yourself in a tight spot. • Use the Car Ahead — the headlights of the car ahead can give you a better view of the road than even your high beam can. Quick Stops to stop quickly. these contrasts are missing or distorted under artificial lights at night. • Be Flexible About Lane Position. press down on the rear brake. Be worn at 45 . open up a three-second following distance or more. either. you can control the motorcycle on a straightaway if it is upright and going in a straight line. If you accidentally lock the rear brake on a good traction surface. you should: rIDe WItHIn your aBIlItIeS craSH aVoIDance no matter how careful you are. B. c. change to whatever portion of the lane is best able to help you see. Squeeze the brake lever firmly and progressively. Determining which skill is necessary for the situation is important as well. the following information offers some good advice. It is not always desirable or possible to stop quickly to avoid an obstacle. at the same time. not be worn. taillights bouncing up and down can alert you to bumps or rough pavement. Know when and how to stop or swerve. Be worn during the day. If the front wheel locks. apply both brakes at the same time. D. this will increase your chances of avoiding a hazard. riders must also be able to swerve around an obstacle. picking your headlight or taillight out of the car lights around you is not easy for other drivers. two skills critical in avoiding a crash. even with a locked rear wheel. • Reduce Your Speed — ride even slower than you would during the day — particularly on roads you don’t know well. and allow more distance to pass and be passed. to compensate. often. your eyes rely upon shadows and light contrasts to determine how far away an object is and how fast it is coming. a crash occurs because a rider is not prepared or skilled in crash-avoidance maneuvers. teSt yourSelf reflective clothing should: a. • Use Your High Beam — Get all the light you can. Studies show that most crashinvolved riders: • Underbrake the front tire and overbrake the rear. Be visible: Wear reflective materials when riding at night. Be worn day and night 7 answer .

the motorcycle should then be straight up and in balance. Keep your body upright and allow the motorcycle to lean in the direction of the turn while keeping your knees BraKe. tHen SWerVe always use both brakes at the same time to stop. as you slow. It can be two quick turns. or swerve around it. the front brake can provide 70% or more of the potential stopping power. it may not always be possible to straighten the motorcycle and then stop. or the car ahead might squeal to a stop. even if you use both brakes properly. an object might appear suddenly in your path. this will cause the motorcycle to lean quickly. you can reduce your lean angle and apply more brake pressure until the motorcycle is SWerVe.29 StoppInG DIStance straight and maximum brake pressure is possible. you should “straighten” the handlebars in the last few feet of stopping. the only way to avoid a crash may be to turn quickly. tHen BraKe . the more the motorcycle must lean. or a rapid shift to the side. If you must stop quickly while turning or riding a curve. the best technique is to straighten the bike upright first and then brake. If you must brake while leaning. However. Swerving or turning Quickly Sometimes you may not have enough room to stop. the sharper the turn(s). apply a small amount of pressure to the handgrip located on the side of your intended direction of escape. apply light brakes and reduce the throttle. a swerve is any sudden change in direction.

gradually widens. gets tighter or involves multiple turns. every curve is different. If BraKInG IS reQuIreD. then press the right to recover. let the motorcycle move underneath you. press on the opposite handgrip once you clear the obstacle to return you to your original direction of travel. Make your escape route the target of your vision. then left. Be alert to whether a curve remains constant. to swerve to the left. to swerve to the right. Separate It froM SWerVInG. press the left handgrip. ride within your skill level and posted speed limits. your best path may not always follow the curve of the road. conStant curVeS DecreaSInG curVeS (tIGHter turnS) WIDenInG curVeS . MultIple curVeS against the tank and your feet solidly on the footrests. Brake before or after — never while swerving. press right.30 rIDe WItHIn your aBIlItIeS cornering a primary cause of single-vehicle crashes is motorcyclists running wide in a curve or turn and colliding with the roadway or a fixed object.

you can also adjust for traffic “crowding” the center line. • Make sure the motorcycle is straight. • Grooves and gratings. use the rear brake first. start at the outside of a curve to increase your line of sight and the effective radius of the turn. use both brakes at the same time. you should: • Slow down as much as possible before contact. and as you pass the center. If you have to ride over the obstacle. 8 answer . HanDlInG DanGerouS SurfaceS your chance of falling or being involved in a crash increases whenever you ride across: • Uneven surfaces or obstacles. teSt yourSelf the best way to stop quickly is to: a. approach it at as close to a 90˚ angle as possible. look where you want to go to control your path of travel. If you must go over the 45 oBStacleS . • Railroad tracks. or debris blocking part of your lane.31 change lane position depending on traffic. If no traffic is present. potholes or small pieces of highway trash. this permits you to spot approaching traffic as soon as possible. move to the outside to exit. move toward the inside of the curve. broken pavement. throttle down and use the front brake. uneven Surfaces and obstacles Watch for uneven surfaces such as bumps. another alternative is to move to the center of your lane before entering a curve — and stay there until you exit. c. • Slippery surfaces. try to avoid obstacles by slowing or going around them. D. as you turn. first determine if it is possible. road conditions and curve of the road. use the front brake only. B.

to ride safely on slippery surfaces: • Reduce Speed — Slow down before you get to a slippery surface to lessen your chances of skidding. If you can’t avoid a slippery surface. or where sand and gravel collect. steel plates and manhole covers. Surfaces that provide poor traction include: • Wet pavement. • Dirt and gravel collect along the sides of the road — especially on curves and ramps leading to and from highways. ride in the tire tracks left by cars. remember. If you ride over an object on the street. • Avoid Sudden Moves — any sudden change in speed or direction can cause a skid. • Gravel roads. often. Slippery Surfaces Motorcycles handle better when ridden on surfaces that permit good traction. • Just before contact. • The center of a lane can be hazardous when wet. you can catch yourself. squeeze the clutch and coast. turn or brake. cautious riders steer clear of roads covered with ice or snow. patches of ice tend to develop in low or shaded areas and on bridges and overpasses. If you encounter a large surface so slippery that you must coast. or travel at a walking pace. ride on the least slippery portion of the lane and reduce speed. the left tire track will be the best position. • Watch for oil spots when you put your foot down to stop or park. snow. Be sure to keep off the brakes. and it is particularly important to reduce speed before entering wet curves. attempting this maneuver at anything other than the slowest of speeds could prove hazardous. roll on the throttle slightly to lighten the front end. • Use Both Brakes — the front brake is still effective. even on a slippery surface. When it starts to rain. If the motorcycle starts to fall. Wet surfaces or wet leaves are just as slippery. keep your motorcycle straight up and proceed as slowly as possible. If possible. Be aware of what’s on the edge of the road. shift gears. pull off the road and check your tires and rims for damage before riding any farther. you may slip and fall. especially when wet. and avoid being thrown off the motorcycle. • Rain dries and snow melts faster on some sections of a road than on others. and ice.32 rIDe WItHIn your aBIlItIeS lever gradually to avoid locking the front wheel. • Mud. particularly just after it starts to rain and before surface oil washes to the side of the road. particularly when making sharp turns and getting on or off freeways at high speeds. • Rise slightly off the seat with your weight on the footrests to absorb the shock with your knees and elbows. Be as smooth as possible when you speed up. • Lane markings (painted lines). Squeeze the brake . gentle pressure on the rear brake. consider letting your feet skim along the surface. your motorcycle needs more distance to stop. depending on traffic and other road conditions as well.

33 croSStracKS—rIGHt for track and road seams that run parallel to your course. 9 When it starts to rain it is usually best to: answer . trolley tracks and pavement Seams usually it is safer to ride straight within your lane to cross tracks. ride in the center of the lane. Grooves and Gratings croSStracKS—WronG riding over rain grooves or bridge gratings may cause a motorcycle to weave. the uneasy. D. ruts. Grate croSSInGS—rIGHt railroad tracks. turning to take tracks head-on (at a 90˚ angle) can be more dangerous — your path may carry you into another lane of traffic. move far enough away from tracks. make a deliberate turn. Increase your 45 . then. edging across could catch your tires and throw you off balance. B. maintain a steady speed and ride straight across. parallel tracKS—rIGHt Grate croSSInGS—WronG parallel tracKS—WronG teSt yourSelf a. c. or pavement seams to cross at an angle of at least 45˚. ride in the tire tracks left by cars. relax. crossing at an angle forces riders to zigzag to stay in the lane. pull off to the side until the rain stops. the zigzag is far more hazardous than the wandering feeling. wandering feeling is generally not hazardous.

shift it. and worn swingarm bearings.34 MecHanIcal proBleMS rIDe WItHIn your aBIlItIeS Stuck throttle twist the throttle back and forth several times. Make sure tire pressure. and keep a straight course. If either tire goes flat while riding: • Hold handgrips firmly. In dealing with any mechanical problem. If the rear tire goes flat.” a front-wheel flat is particularly hazardous because it affects your steering. spring preload. If one of your tires suddenly loses air. • If braking is required. take into account the road and traffic conditions you face. tire failure you will seldom hear a tire go flat. . gradually apply the brake of the tire that isn’t flat. after you have stopped. this may free it. you must be able to tell from the way the motorcycle reacts. once the motorcycle is “under control. If the motorcycle starts handling differently. a front wheel that is bent. center the weight lower and farther forward on the motorcycle. this will remove power from the rear wheel. however. Make sure windshields and fairings are mounted properly. the steering will feel “heavy. misaligned. it may be a tire failure. pull off and check the tires. though engine sound may not immediately decline. squeeze the clutch and stop. If you are carrying a heavy load. you can find yourself in an emergency the moment something goes wrong with your motorcycle. Make certain the throttle works freely before you start to ride again. If you can’t. air shocks and dampers are at the settings recommended for that much weight. lighten it. ease off the throttle. you have to steer well to keep your balance. check the throttle cable carefully to find the source of the trouble. Here are some guidelines that can help you handle mechanical problems safely. Wobble a “wobble” occurs when the front wheel and handlebars suddenly start to shake from side to side at any speed. loose wheel bearings or spokes. If the front tire goes flat. the back of the motorcycle may jerk or sway from side to side. If the throttle stays stuck. unsuitable accessories or incorrect tire pressure. Most wobbles can be traced to improper loading. edge to the side of the road. if you are sure which one it is. or out of balance. check for poorly adjusted steering. immediately operate the engine cut-off switch and pull in the clutch at the same time. react quickly to keep your balance. • When the motorcycle slows. If the throttle cable is stuck. have the motorcycle checked out thoroughly by a qualified professional. worn steering parts.” pull off and stop. this can be dangerous. If none of these is determined to be the cause.

• Close the throttle gradually to slow down. If you are chased. When this happens. 11 answer . and the engine overheats. the engine’s moving parts can’t move smoothly against each other. c. D. D. • Move your weight as far forward and down as possible.35 trying to “accelerate out of a wobble” will only make the motorcycle more unstable. on models with a drive shaft. Motorcycles seem to attract dogs. but don’t fight the wobble. Stop until the animal loses interest. Do not apply the brakes. braking could make the wobble worse. engine Seizure When the engine “locks” or “freezes” it is usually low on oil. c. If the chain or belt breaks. Keep control of your motorcycle and look to where you want to go. answer . you’ll notice an instant loss of power to the rear wheel. loss of oil in the rear differential can cause the rear wheel to lock. 10 anIMalS naturally. Downshift. the effect is the same as a locked rear wheel. close the throttle and brake to a stop in a safe area. downshift and approach the animal slowly. Hitting something small is less dangerous to you than hitting something big — like a car. oil should be added as soon as possible or the engine will seize. a chain or belt that slips or breaks while you’re riding could lock the rear wheel and cause your motorcycle to skid. as you approach it. teSt yourSelf If you are chased by a dog: a. approach the animal slowly. belt. Don’t kick at an animal. the first sign may be a loss of engine power or a change in the engine’s sound. and maintenance makes failure a rare occurrence. 45 . use the brakes gradually. you should do everything you safely can to avoid hitting an animal. accelerate out of the wobble. If you are in traffic. 45 Drive train problems the drive train for a motorcycle uses either a chain. teSt yourSelf If your motorcycle starts to wobble: a. accelerate away and leave the animal behind. or drive shaft to transfer power from the engine to the rear wheel. Kick it away. • Pull off the road as soon as you can to fix the problem. Instead: • Grip the handlebars firmly. B. remain in your lane. routine inspection. and you may not be able to prevent a skid. however. cattle) brake and prepare to stop — they are unpredictable. Squeeze the clutch lever to disengage the engine from the rear wheel. Swerve around the animal. Grip the handlebars firmly and close the throttle gradually. check the oil. If needed. then speed up. let the engine cool before restarting. pull off the road and stop. for larger animals (deer. elk.

It can be very hard to spot a motorcycle by the side of the road. you don’t want someone else pulling off at the same place you are. firm footing prevents your passenger from falling off and pulling you off. check your mirror and make a head check before you take any action. pull off the road and repair the damage. balances. adjust the suspension to handle the additional weight. GettInG off tHe roaD If you need to leave the road to check the motorcycle (or just to rest for a while). speeds up and slows down. • Instruct the passenger before you start. making it difficult to see. keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the handlebars.36 flyInG oBJectS rIDe WItHIn your aBIlItIeS carryInG paSSenGerS anD carGo only experienced riders should carry passengers or large loads. (check your owner’s manual for appropriate settings. face or mouth. slow way down before you turn onto it. Before taking a passenger or a heavy load on the street. • Signal — Drivers behind might not expect you to slow down. you will probably need to add a few pounds of pressure to the tires if you carry a passenger. you should not sit any farther forward than you usually do. If you are wearing face protection. If it is soft grass. • Footrests — for the passenger. equipment should include: • A proper seat — large enough to hold both of you without crowding. Whatever happens. • Park carefully — loose and sloped shoulders can make setting the side or center stand difficult. • Pull off the road — Get as far off the road as you can. it might get smeared or cracked. • Adjust your riding technique for the added weight. loose sand or if you’re just not sure about it. from time to time riders are struck by insects. adjust the mirrors and headlight according to the change in the motorcycle’s angle. Give a clear signal that you will be slowing down and changing direction. practice away from traffic. Without face protection. an object could hit you in the eye. too. equipment to carry passengers safely: • Equip and adjust your motorcycle to carry passengers. be sure you: • Check the roadside — Make sure the surface of the roadside is firm enough to ride on.) While your passenger sits on the seat with you. When safe. the extra weight changes the way the motorcycle handles. • Protective equipment — the same protective gear recommended for operators. cigarettes thrown from cars or pebbles kicked up by the tires of the vehicle ahead. .

• Open up a larger cushion of space ahead and to the sides. Hold on to the motorcycle seat. • Avoid unnecessary talk or motion. the longer it may take to slow down and speed up — especially on a light motorcycle. even when stopped. tankbags keep loads forward. Small loads can be carried safely if positioned and fastened properly. leaning as you lean. • Hold firmly to your waist. chains or moving parts. B. provide complete instructions before you start. corners or bumps. or put them in saddlebags. turn sharply or ride over a bump. tell your passenger to tighten his or her hold when you: • Approach surface problems. or to the bike’s passenger handholds. but use caution when loading hard or sharp 45 . • Keep the Load Forward — place the load over. D. • Keep legs away from the muffler(s). 12 answer . belt. riding With passengers your motorcycle will respond more slowly with a passenger on board. It can also cause a wobble. • Warn that you will make a sudden move. • Wait for larger gaps to cross. Warn your passenger of special conditions — when you will pull out. carrying loads Most motorcycles are not designed to carry much cargo. lean as you lean. an uneven load can cause the motorcycle to drift to one side. c. tell your passenger to: • Get on the motorcycle only after you have started the engine. or in front of. but keep your eyes on the road ahead. • Keep both feet on the footrests. never hold onto you. turn your head slightly to make yourself understood. • Start slowing earlier as you approach a stop. • Are about to start from a stop. • Ride a little slower. Mounting loads behind the rear axle can affect how the motorcycle turns and brakes. enter or merge in traffic. hips. • Sit as far forward as possible without crowding you. teSt yourSelf passengers should: a. • Distribute the Load Evenly — load saddlebags with about the same weight. stop quickly. especially when taking curves.37 Instructing passengers even if your passenger is a motorcycle rider. • Keep the Load Low — fasten loads securely. piling loads against a sissybar or frame on the back of the seat raises the motorcycle’s center of gravity and disturbs its balance. Sit as far back as possible. also. Make sure the tankbag does not interfere with handlebars or controls. the rear axle. the heavier your passenger. • Stay directly behind you.

divide it up into two or more smaller groups. If your group is larger than four or five riders. • Secure the Load — fasten the load securely with elastic cords (bungee cords or nets). Start lane changes early to permit everyone to complete the change. However. that way the more experienced riders can watch them from the back. • Follow Those Behind — let the tailender set the pace. is easier to see and is less likely to be separated. Group rIDInG If you ride with others. use your mirrors to keep an eye on the person behind. while the second rider stays one second behind in the right side of the lane. If a rider falls behind. a small number isn’t separated as easily by traffic or red lights. then. • Put Beginners Up Front — place inexperienced riders just behind the leader. wait until you are both stopped. causing it to lock up and skid. to talk. . everyone should slow down a little to stay with the tailender. there is no place to go if you have to avoid a car or something on the road.38 rIDe WItHIn your aBIlItIeS • Know the Route — Make sure everyone knows the route. do it in a way that promotes safety and doesn’t interfere with the flow of traffic. riders won’t always be hurrying to catch up. plan frequent stops on long rides. Keep the Group Small Small groups make it easier and safer for car drivers who need to get around them. rope tends to stretch and knots come loose. the leader rides in the left side of the lane. a tight load won’t catch in the wheel or chain. • Check the Load — Stop and check the load every so often to make sure it has not worked loose or moved. StaGGereD forMatIon Keep the Group together • Plan — the leader should look ahead for changes and signal early so “the word gets back” in plenty of time. if someone is separated they won’t have to hurry to keep from getting lost or taking a wrong turn. Don’t pair up — never operate directly alongside another rider. a close group takes up less space on the highway. it must be done properly. permitting the load to shift or fall. elastic cords with more than one attachment point per side are more secure. Keep your Distance Maintain close ranks but at the same time keep a safe distance to allow each rider in the group time and space to react to hazards. Staggered formation — this is the best way to keep ranks close yet maintain an adequate space cushion.

teSt yourSelf When riding in a group. B. two seconds behind the first rider. after passing. Some people suggest that the leader should move to the right side after passing a vehicle. Just behind the leader. the lead rider should pull out and pass when it is safe. inexperienced riders should position themselves: a. D. this formation keeps the group close and permits each rider a safe distance from others ahead. the second rider should move up to the left position and watch for a safe chance to pass. entering or leaving a highway. the leader should return to the left position and continue riding at passing speed to open room for the next rider. It encourages the second rider to pass and cut back in before there is a large enough space cushion in front of the passed 45 Group paSSInG (StaGe 1) Group paSSInG (StaGe 2) .39 a third rider maintains in the left position. at the tail end of the group. • First. Single-file formation — It is best to move into a single-file formation when riding curves. the fourth rider would keep a two-second distance behind the second rider. 13 answer . turning. Beside the leader. • Passing in Formation — riders in a staggered formation should pass one at a time. c. It’s simpler and safer to wait until there is enough room ahead of the passed vehicle to allow each rider to move into the same position held before the pass. after passing. this rider should return to the right position and open up room for the next rider. behind and to the sides. In front of the group. this is not a good idea. • After the first rider passes safely.

but alcohol or drugs make them less able to think clearly and perform physical tasks skillfully. your ability to perform and respond to changing road and traffic conditions is influenced by how fit and alert you are. the major effect alcohol has is to slow down and impair bodily functions — both mental and physical.000 seriously injured in this same type of crash. alcohol and other drugs. We also know that the combined effects of alcohol and other drugs are more dangerous than either is alone. let’s look at the risks involved in riding after drinking or using drugs. are more likely to be killed or severely injured in a crash. Whatever you do. . particularly fatal crashes. friends may brag about their ability to hold their liquor or perform better on drugs. Motorcyclists. as little as one drink can have a significant effect on your performance. 2. on a yearly basis. it reaches the brain and begins to affect the drinker. What to do to protect yourself and your fellow riders is also examined. only onethird of those riders had a blood alcohol concentration above legal limits. drug levels have been harder to distinguish or have not been separated from drinking violations for the traffic records. making good judgments and executing decisions quickly and skillfully. alcoHol In tHe BoDy alcohol enters the bloodstream quickly. WHy tHIS InforMatIon IS IMportant alcohol is a major contributor to motorcycle crashes. you do less well after consuming alcohol. In the past.100 motorcyclists are killed and about 50. It is difficult to accurately measure the involvement of particular drugs in motorcycle crashes. prescription and illegal drugs have side effects that increase the risk of riding. Judgment and the decisionmaking processes needed for vehicle operation are affected long before legal limitations are reached. Within minutes after being consumed. By becoming knowledgeable about the effects of alcohol and other drugs you will see that riding and substance abuse don’t mix. unlike most foods and beverages. Many over-the-counter. Drinking and drug use is as big a problem among motorcyclists as it is among automobile drivers.40 BeInG In SHape to rIDe riding a motorcycle is a demanding and complex task. the rest had only a few drinks in their systems — enough to impair riding skills. Studies show that 40% to 45% of all riders killed in motorcycle crashes had been drinking. it does not need to be digested. But riding “under the influence” of either alcohol or drugs poses physical and legal hazards for every rider. these statistics are too overwhelming to ignore. Injuries occur in 90% of motorcycle crashes and 33% of automobile crashes that involve abuse of substances. Skilled riders pay attention to the riding environment and to operating the motorcycle. alcoHol anD otHer DruGS In Motorcycle operatIon no one is immune to the effects of alcohol or drugs. degrade your ability to think clearly and to ride safely. however. more than any other factor. But we do know what effects various drugs have on the processes involved in riding a motorcycle. identifying potential hazards. take positive steps to protect yourself and prevent others from injuring themselves.

they would need at least another four hours to eliminate the four remaining drinks before they consider riding. alcohol can be eliminated in the body at the rate of almost one drink per hour. But the full effects of these are not completely known. But a variety of other factors may also influence the level of alcohol retained. a mixed drink with one shot of liquor. physical condition and food intake are just a few that may cause your Bac level to be even higher. If you drink two drinks in an hour. abilities and judgment can be affected by that one drink. the greater the degree of impairment. alcoHol content . your sex. other factors also contribute to the way alcohol affects your system. • Your body weight. the faster you drink. at least one drink will remain in your bloodstream. the more alcohol accumulates in your body. a person drinking: – Seven drinks over the span of three hours would have at least four (7 – 3 = 4) drinks remaining in their system at the end of the three hours. three factors play a major part in determining Bac: • The amount of alcohol you consume. the more alcohol in your blood. Without taking into account any other factors. Generally. and a 5ounce glass of wine all contain the same amount of alcohol. alcohol may still accumulate in your body even if you are drinking at a rate of one drink per hour. • How fast you drink. a 12-ounce can of beer. these examples illustrate why time is a critical factor when a rider decides to drink.41 Blood alcohol concentration Blood alcohol concentration or Bac is the amount of alcohol in relation to blood in the body. at the end of that hour.

. lost work time spent in court or alcohol-education programs. taking greater and greater risks.” alcoHol anD tHe laW In all states. • Fines — Severe fines are another aspect of a conviction. washing cars in the motor-vehicle pool or working at an emergency ward. your resistance becomes weaker. Whether or not you are legally intoxicated is not the real issue. there are times when a larger person may not accumulate as high a concentration of alcohol for each drink consumed. Setting a limit or pacing yourself are poor alternatives at best.08% or above is considered intoxicated. and those penalties are mandatory. consequences of conviction years ago. MInIMIZe tHe rISKS your ability to judge how well you are riding is affected first. arrest or refusal to submit to a breath test. you think you are doing better and better.02%. Make an Intelligent choice Don’t Drink — once you start. It doesn’t matter how sober you may look or act. first offenders had a good chance of getting off with a small fine and participation in alcohol-abuse classes. meaning that judges must impose them. BeInG In SHape to rIDe If you are convicted of riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs. • Community Service — performing tasks such as picking up litter along the highway. lower Bac limits (0.00 to 0. the breath or urine test is what usually determines whether you are riding legally or illegally. usually levied with a license suspension. an adult with a Bac of 0. public transportation costs (while your license is suspended) and the added psychological costs of being tagged a “drunk driver. your ability to exercise good judgment is one of the first things affected by alcohol. control your drinking or control your riding. you may receive any of the following penalties: • License Suspension — Mandatory suspension for conviction.42 – four drinks over the span of two hours would have at least two (4 – 2 = 2) drinks remaining in their system at the end of the two hours. law enforcement is being stepped up across the country in response to the senseless deaths and injuries caused by drinking drivers and riders. they have more blood and other bodily fluids. your chances of being stopped for riding under the influence of alcohol are increasing. the result is that you ride confidently. even if you have tried to drink in moderation. they would need at least another two hours to eliminate the two remaining drinks before they consider riding. Minimize the risks of drinking and riding by taking steps before you drink. you may not realize to what extent your skills have suffered from alcohol’s fatiguing effects. although you may be performing more and more poorly. for operators under the age of 21. Impairment of judgment and skills begins well below the legal limit. today the laws of most states impose stiff penalties on drinking operators. depending on state) apply. But because of individual differences it is better not to take the chance that abilities and judgment have not been affected. • Costs — additional lawyer’s fees to pay.

• Limit your distance — experienced riders seldom try to ride more than about six hours a day. • Wait — If you exceed your limit. answer . you are rarely thanked for your efforts at the time. Side effects from the drinking may still remain. • Get friends involved — use peer pressure from a group of friends to intervene. But the alternatives are often worse. fatigue can affect your control of the motorcycle. • Keep them there — use any excuse to keep them from getting on their motorcycle. “If only I had . • Take frequent rest breaks — Stop and get off the motorcycle at least every two hours. no one wants to do this — it’s uncomfortable.. • Slow the pace of drinking — Involve them in other activities.43 or Don’t ride — If you haven’t controlled your drinking. a windshield is worth its cost if you plan to ride long distances. avoid riding when tired. D. It helps to enlist support from others when you decide to step in. take their key. wait until your system eliminates the alcohol and its fatiguing effects. embarrassing and thankless. there are several ways to keep friends from hurting themselves: • Arrange a safe ride — provide alternative ways for them to get home. arrange another way to get home. on a long trip. you will be okay as long as you ride slowly. Step In to protect frIenDS people who have had too much to drink are unable to make a responsible decision. While you may not be thanked at the time. c. the more people on your side. B. you cannot be arrested for drinking and riding.. and rain make you tire quickly.” fatIGue riding a motorcycle is more tiring than driving a car. your riding skills will not be affected. you’ll tire sooner than you would in a car. Serve them food and coffee to pass the time. It is up to others to step in and keep them from taking too great a risk. • Don’t drink or use drugs — artificial stimulants often result in extreme fatigue or depression when they start to wear off. the easier it is to be teSt yourSelf 14 If you wait one hour per drink for the alcohol to be eliminated from your body before riding: a. you must control your riding. explain your concerns for their risks of getting arrested or hurt or hurting someone else. 45 . • Protect yourself from the elements — Wind. riders are unable to concentrate on the task at hand. you will never have to say. Dress warmly. if you can. • Leave the motorcycle — so you won’t be tempted to ride. firm and the harder it is for the rider to resist.

assessing your own skills is not enough. Make eye contact with the driver. c. relax on the handlegrips. D.44 EarnInG your ENDORSEMENT Safe riding requires knowledge and skill. c. to earn your endorsement. D. about three-quarters. B. B. about one-quarter. the car below is waiting to enter the intersection. B. D. It is best to: a. the front brake supplies how much of the potential stopping power? a. licensing tests are the best measurement of the skills necessary to operate safely in traffic. there is a stop sign ahead. it is usually best to: a. c. Maintain speed and position. 2. licensing exams are designed to be scored more objectively. Knowledge test questions are based on information. Brake on the good tire and steer to the side of the road. you will be slowing suddenly. Knowledge test (Sample Questions) 1. press the handlegrip in the opposite direction of the turn. an on-cycle skill test will either be conducted in an actual traffic environment or in a controlled. practices and ideas from this manual. to swerve correctly: a. reduce speed and be ready to react. all of the stopping power. Shift your weight quickly. B. 3. c. Someone is following too closely. they require that you know and understand road rules and safe riding practices. B. . D. 5. It’s even harder for friends and relatives to be totally honest about your skills. If a tire goes flat while riding and you must stop. 4. off-street area. use both brakes and stop quickly. D. Shift your weight toward the good tire. Maintain speed and move right. you must pass a knowledge test and an on-cycle skill test. people often overestimate their own abilities. c. press the handlegrip in the direction of the turn. about one-half. It is MoSt important to flash your brake light when: a. your signals are not working. turn the handlebars quickly.

three-wheeled vehicle) may be added until completion of a two-wheeled motorcycle test. you may be tested for your ability to: • Know your motorcycle and your riding limits.45 on-Motorcycle Skill test Basic vehicle control and crashavoidance skills are included in onmotorcycle tests to determine your ability to handle normal and hazardous traffic situations. 14-c Diagrams and drawings used in this manual are for reference only and are not to correct scale for size of vehicles and distances. 10-c. 3-c. answers to test yourself (previous pages) 1-c. answers to Knowledge test (on page 44): 1-B. those vehicles maneuver differently than a two-wheeled motorcycle. brake and turn safely. 5-B . 4-c. 2-c. be seen and communicate with others. • Completing normal and quick turns or swerves. • Adjust speed and position to the traffic situation. an examiner may follow you on a car test-route. turn and swerve quickly. 8-D. 3-D. • Make critical decisions and carry them out. • See. • Choosing the correct path and staying within boundaries. 9-c. 2-D. to receive a motorcycle license with full privileges. two-wheeled motorcycles. 11-D. most states require that maneuvers be performed as designed for single-track. Depending on the state. 4-a. • Stop. restrictions (sidecar. examiners may score on factors related to safety such as: • Selecting safe speeds to perform maneuvers. 7-D 12-a. on-motorcycle skill tests are not designed for sidecars or three-wheeled vehicles. 6-c. • Accelerate. • Completing normal and quick stops. 5-B. 13-a.

pancreas. . Someone else could be making a decision today that may someday even save your life. small bowel. designate yourself as an organ and tissue donor. for more information. bone and cornea transplants take place successfully every day. kidney. then tell your friends and family what you have done and encourage them to do the same. in the future. But. skin. Make a decision to save someone’s life. call: new england organ Bank at 1-800-446-6362 or lifechoice Donor Services at 1-800874-5215. save someone’s life. lungs. liver.orGan Donor InforMatIon you have an opportunity now to make a decision that could. When you get your driver’s license. the waiting list keeps growing and donors are desperately needed. Heart. complete the donor information on your license and tell your family.

BRP. Triumph. Harley-Davidson. riding styles. KTM.The Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s (MSF) purpose is to improve the safety of motorcyclists on the nation’s streets and highways. and training. Because there are many differences in product design. the Foundation has programs in rider education. the MSF is sponsored by BMW. public information and statistics. Consult your local regulatory agencies for information concerning the operation of motor-cycles in your area. there may be organizations and individuals who hold differing opinions. interviews and observations of individuals and organizations familiar with the use of motorcycles. Suzuki. Honda. accessories. Kawasaki. Victory and Yamaha. it disclaims any liability for the views expressed herein. licensing improvement. The information has been compiled from publications. In an attempt to reduce motorcycle crashes and injuries. The information contained in this publication is offered for the benefit of those who have an interest in riding motorcycles. state and local laws. A national not-for-profit organization. Piaggio/Vespa. Ducati. federal. Although the MSF will continue to research. These programs are designed for both motorcyclists and motorists. field test and publish responsible viewpoints on the subject. .