Operator’s Manual


Provided by the

Idaho Transportation Department P.O. Box 7129 Boise, ID 83707-1129 itd.idaho.gov/dmv July 2008

Cover photo courtesy of: American Motorcyclist Association 13515 Yarmouth Drive Pickerington, OH 43147

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is committed to compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and all related regulations and directives. ITD assures that no person shall on the grounds of race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any ITD service, program, or activity. The department also assures that every effort will be made to prevent discrimination through the impacts of its programs, policies, and activities on minority and low-income populations. In addition, the department will take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to services for persons with limited English proficiency.

Idaho Motorcycle Operator’s Manual
July 2008 Published by The Idaho Transportation Department Division of Motor Vehicles P.O. Box 7129 Boise, ID 83707-1129 Phone # Fax # Web Address (208) 334-8735 (208) 334-8739 dmv.idaho.gov

This handbook paraphrases the language of the Idaho Motor Vehicle Code. Courts go by the actual language of the code, not this text. 01-968130-3

and a member of the Idaho Coalition of Motorcycle Safety. Improved licensing along with quality motorcycle rider education and increased public awareness have the potential to reduce the number and severity of motorcycle accidents. While designed for the novice. developed the original Motorcycle Operators Manual. * A motorcycle means every motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground. The National Public Services Research Institute. These individuals used their own riding experience. but excluding a tractor and moped. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation helped Idaho and 40 other states to adopt the Motorcycle Operators Manual for use in their licensing programs. all motorcyclists can benefit from the information contained in this manual. and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s outlines used by other states. . representatives from the Department of Education. under contract to the National Highway Safety Administration. The Idaho Transportation Department also received assistance from a certified MSF Motorcycle Chief Instructor. The purpose of this manual is to educate Idaho motorcycle operators and to convey essential safe-driving information that will help them avoid accidents while safely operating a motorcycle. Idaho and 28 other states utilize the related motorcycle written tests. The Idaho Transportation Department used information provided by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) to compile the Idaho Motorcycle Operators Manual and written tests. In addition. to assist the department in developing a motorcycle program for the state of Idaho.PREFACE Operating a motorcycle* safely in traffic requires special skills and knowledge.

but does not include a motor-driven cycle. excluding tractor. a motorbike. Review the definitions below to see if the vehicle you operate is a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle that requires you to have a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license.generic terms. motocross bikes or dual purpose motorcycles which are not originally manufactured for use on public roadways. If converted. Such vehicles shall be titled and a motorcycle endorsement is required for its operation. operation on public roads requires a motorcycle endorsement. you will also need to add a motorcycle endorsement to your Idaho driver’s license. Definitions: • “Motorcycle” [49-114(11)] every motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three (3) wheels in contact with the ground. upon certification by the owner of the installation and use of conversion components that make the motorbike compliant with FMVSS. and does not include mopeds. a tractor or a moped. enduro bikes. manufactured for use on public . If you operate a motorcycle on public roadways. A two or three-wheeled vehicle of any size. Such vehicle shall be titled and may be approved for motorcycle registration. • “Motorbike” [49-114(10) means a vehicle as defined in [67-7101(9)] – means any self-propelled two (2) wheeled motorcycle or motor-driven cycle. Motor cycles require a motorcycle endorsment. • “Motor-Driven Cycle” [49-114(13)] means a cycle with a motor that produces five (5) brake horsepower or less as originally manufactured that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards as originally designed. designed for or capable of traveling off developed roadways and highways and also referred to as trail bikes. • “Motor Scooter” and “Scooter” .Do you need a motorcycle endorsement? If you operate any motorized vehicle on public roadways. trials bikes. Idaho law requires you to have a valid driver’s license and acceptable proof of liability insurance. not defined in the Idaho traffic law manual. referring to a wide variety of motorized cycles and toys. and includes a converted motorbike. that meets the federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) as originally designed.

with an electric propulsion system limiting the maximum speed to fifteen (15) miles per hour or less. has an automatic transmission. • If you are under 21. If an internal combustion engine is used. A vehicle with two or more wheels not manufactured for use on public roadways and sold by retail variety stores is probably a toy. Adding lights and a seat to any of these vehicles still does not make them street legal. which is powered solely by electrical energy.roadways and sold by a licensed dealer is probably a motorcycle. so these cannot legally be operated on roadways. you must also successfully complete an approved motorcycle rider training course. whether two (2) or three (3) wheels are in contact with the ground during operation. . and as originally manufactured. • “Moped” 49-114(9) means a limited-speed motor-driven cycle having: (a) Both motorized and pedal propulsion that is not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed in excess of thirty (30) miles per hour on level ground. and are not manufactured for use on streets. • “Pedestrian” [49-117(5)] means any person afoot and any person operating a wheelchair. motorized wheelchair or electric personal assistive mobility device. (*Vehicle must have FMVSS labeling certifying compliance with these NHSTA requirements.a self-balancing two (2) non-tandem wheeled device designed to transport only one (1) person. a motor which produces less than two (2) gross brake horsepower. • “Segway” is considered an “Electric personal assistive mobility device” [49-106(1)] .(50) cubic centimeters and the moped shall have a power drive system that functions directly or automatically without clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged. ITD policy prohibits the titling and registration of vehicles not manufactured for use on highways. is capable of propelling the device at a maximum speed of not more than thirty (30) miles per hour on level ground. or (b) Two (2) wheels or three (3) wheels with no pedals.) A moped is not required to be titled and no motorcycle endorsement is required of its operator. How Do You Get a Motorcycle Endorsement? • You must pass a written knowledge test and a motorcycle skills test. • “Motorized Toys” are not considered mopeds. meets federal motor vehicle safety standards* (FMVSS) for motor-driven cycles. the displacement shall not exceed fifty .

2008 Vehicle is classified as a motorcycle FMVSS Labeling required Moped. 2008 Not originally manufactured as a street legal vehicle * Motor-Driven Cycle Effective July 1. less than 50 cc’s Effective July 1. * Driver’s license and Motorcycle endorsement are required if the motorbike is converted and operated on public roads. regardless of engine size or description Originally manufactured to meet FMVSS requirement for operation as a street legal vehicle. Motorbike. > 50 CCs Vehicle is classified as a motorcycle Moped. MC ENDORSEMENT Y Y Y N N CLASS D DRIVER LICENSE REGISTRATION OFF-HIGHWAY .VEHICLE TITLE Motorcycle.see definition. ≤ 50 CCs Vehicle is not classified as a motorcycle FMVSS Labeling may be required . 50 cc’s or larger Not originally manufactured as a street legal vehicle * Motorbike. ≤ 30 MPH. Segway Motorized Toys not manufactured for street use Y Y Y Y Y N Y N/A N/A N N N N/A N/A Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N N Y Y N N N N CANNOT be legally operated on any public roadway or sidewalk. > 30 MPH. FMVSS Labeling required.

............................................................. Borrowing and Lending....... KNOW YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES..................................................................................... The Right Motorcycle for You................ Eye and Face Protection................... Body Position.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 2 2 3 3 4 5 5 5 6 6 7 9 RIDE WITHIN YOUR ABILITIES BASIC VEHICLE CONTROL....................................................................................................................................................................................... Get Familiar with the Motorcycle Controls.............................................................................................................................. Passing and Being Passed.......................................................... 19 ............................... Turning......................................... KNOW YOUR MOTORCYCLE..................................... 1 PREPARING TO RIDE RIDING GEAR....................... Lane Positions........................................ Braking............................................................................ Shifting Gears............... Helmet Use................................Table of Contents EARNING YOUR LICENSE ENDORSEMENT AND TEST FEES................................................................ Required Equipment...................... 10 10 11 11 12 13 13 14 15 15 17 17 18 “SIPDE”............................................ Merging Cars.................................................................................. Lane Sharing............................................. Helmet Selection.... Following Another Vehicle..................................................................................... Cars Alongside........................................................... KEEPING YOUR DISTANCE............. Being Followed.. Clothing.............. Check Your Motorcycle................................

........................ Using Your Mirrors....................................................................INTERSECTIONS................... Swerving or Turning Quickly.................................................... 38 ................ Grooves and Gratings............................................................................... 37 GETTING OFF THE ROAD........... 37 FLYING OBJECTS............... HANDLING DANGEROUS SURFACES..... Slippery Surfaces............................................................................... 21 22 22 22 23 23 24 24 24 24 25 25 26 26 27 28 28 29 30 31 31 32 33 33 35 35 35 35 36 36 ANIMALS............ Trolley Tracks................................................................................. Clothing.............................................................................. Stuck Throttle................ Head Checks................................ CRASH AVOIDANCE................................................... Engine Seizure. Riding at Night............................................................... Headlight........................................... 38 Equipment...... Pavement Seams.............................................................................................................................. Quick Stops......................... Stop Signs and Signals............................................................................................................ Brake Light............ 37 CARRYING PASSENGERS AND CARGO..................................................................................................................................................................................... Parking at the Roadside............................ Passing Parked Cars.................. Traffic Control Signals......................................... Blind Intersections............................................................................... Railroad Tracks............... Wobble................................................................................................................................. Signals....................... Horn..................................................................................................... Drivetrain Problems..................................................................................................................................................................................... MECHANICAL PROBLEMS............................................................... Tire Failure.. SEE AND BE SEEN.......................................................................................................................................... Riding a Curve............................... Uneven Surfaces and Obstacles..................................................

............ ALCOHOL TEST REFUSAL.. MAKE AN INTELLIGENT CHOICE............................... 39 GROUP RIDING................................................................................................. 49 PROFESSIONAL TRAINING INFORMATION........... ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSIONS...... 53 ...................................................................... STEP IN TO PROTECT FRIENDS...................................... Keep Your Distance.............. BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION (BAC)............ 50 KNOWLEDGE TEST (Sample Questions)....................................................................................................................................... 38 Riding with Passengers................................... 49 ANSWERS TO SAMPLE QUESTIONS............................................................................................................................................................................... Keep the Group Small............................. ALCOHOL IN THE BODY.................................... MINIMIZE THE RISKS.................. Keep the Group Together....Instructing Passengers... 44 44 45 45 46 46 47 47 48 48 48 FATIGUE.. 41 41 41 41 BEING IN SHAPE TO RIDE WHY THIS INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT............................................................................................................ 39 Carrying Loads........................................ ALCOHOL AND THE LAW.. 52 MOTORCYCLE SKILL TEST............................... CONSEQUENCES OF CONVICTION................... ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS IN MOTORCYCLE OPERATION.........................................................

* Successful completion of an approved motorcycle rider training course may waive the requirement for the riding skills test. B. the one-time motorcycle endorsement fee will be waived. or you may contact the STAR program at the Idaho Department of Education at (208) 426-5552. Motorcycle riding skills tests are conducted in a controlled. go online to www. or D license. you must pay the endorsement fee. off-street area. • Daylight riding only • No freeway riding • No passengers You must pass the written motorcycle knowledge test before applying for an instruction permit. Taking a motorcycle knowledge test is the best way to determine if you have the minimum knowledge necessary to operate a motorcycle safely in traffic. If you add the motorcycle endorsement to your Idaho driver’s license during the instruction permit period.50 (one-time fee) $11. Once the instruction permit has expired. For information and to register for the beginning or experienced rider course nearest you. practices.org. you must know and understand road rules and safe riding practices. A motorcycle instruction permit is available to anyone who holds a valid Idaho Class A.50 (valid for 180 days) .idahostar. and it’s even harder for friends and relatives to be totally honest about your riding skills. In order to pass the test. if completed within the year prior to adding the endorsement to your license. Any person under 21 will be required to take a written knowledge test and successfully complete a motorcycle rider training course (see page 50 of this manual). The Idaho STAR tollfree number is (888) 280-STAR (7827). Objectively assessing your own riding skills and knowledge is difficult at best. This permit is valid for 180 days and allows motorcycle operators to practice riding under the following restrictions.Earning Your License Safe riding requires a combination of knowledge and skill. Any person applying for a motorcycle endorsement will be required to pass both a written knowledge test and motorcycle skills test*. and concepts found in this manual. C. Knowledge test questions are based on information. You will have to pay one or more of the following fees in addition to the cost of your regular license: Motorcycle “M” Endorsement: Motorcycle Instruction Permit: 1 $11. It is a good idea to take this course even if you are over 21.

Check the motorcycle equipment. Accident analysis show that head and neck injuries account for a majority of serious and fatal injuries to motorcyclists. Some riders don’t wear helmets because they think helmets will limit their view to the sides. • Protective clothing. • Most crashes happen on short trips (less than five miles long).00 (paid to skills tester) $3. Helmet Use Crashes can occur. 2 . just a few minutes after starting out. Consider the following: • A DOT-approved helmet lets you see as far to the sides as necessary. Become familiar with the motorcycle. Be a responsible rider. Idaho law requires all persons under the age of 18 to wear a DOT-approved protective helmet while riding on or operating a motorcycle or ATV on or off road. and are more common. Before taking off on any trip. Head injuries are just as severe as neck injuries. particularly among untrained beginning riders. And one out of every five motorcycle crashes result in head or neck injuries. you must wait three days to retest and pay the fee again. 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. did not find even one case in which a helmet kept a rider from spotting danger. Research shows that. with few exceptions. RIDING GEAR When you ride. where 40% of the riders wore helmets. In any collision. you have a far better chance of avoiding serious injury if you wear: • An approved helmet. A study of more than 900 motorcycle crashes. head and neck injuries are reduced by properly wearing an approved helmet. Others wear helmets only on long trips or when riding at high speeds.00 (paid to county) If you fail a written and/or skills test. your gear is “right” if it protects you.Motorcycle Skills Test: Motorcycle Written Test: $5. • Face or eye protection. a safe rider makes a point to: • • • • Wear the right gear.

Otherwise. Neither will eyeglasses or sunglasses. At these speeds. Glasses won’t keep your eyes from watering. insects. providing three different levels of coverage: half. HALF 3 . A windshield is not a substitute for a faceshield or goggles. loose padding. or frayed straps.• Most motorcycle collisions occur at less than 30 mph. Goggles protect your eyes. The single most important thing you can do to improve your chances of surviving a crash is to wear a securely-fastened. it’s likely to fly off your head before it gets a chance to protect you. Most windshields will not protect your eyes from the wind. approved helmet. keep it securely fastened on your head when you ride. Whichever style you choose.S. • Fits snugly. and they may blow off when you turn your head while riding. Department of Transportation (DOT) and state standards. rain. and pebbles thrown up from vehicles ahead. and it gives the most eye and face protection while riding. These problems can be distracting and painful. Helmet Selection There are three primary types of helmets. helmets can cut both the number and the severity of head injuries by half. • Has no obvious defects such as cracks. No matter what the speed. helmeted riders are three times more likely to survive head injuries than those not wearing helmets at the time of the crash. Eye and Face Protection A plastic shatter-resistant faceshield can help protect your whole face in a crash. you can get the most protection by making sure that the helmet: • Meets U. dust. It also protects your face from wind. all the way around. though they won’t protect the rest of your face like a faceshield does. Whatever helmet you decide on. dirt. you can’t devote your full attention to your safety and the road. and full face. if you are involved in a crash. Wearing a faceshield may help prevent a collision. Helmets with labels from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation give you an added assurance of quality. If you have to deal with them. threequarter.

your clothes should keep you warm and dry. 1. They should fit snugly enough to keep from flapping in the wind. to prevent dehydration. Only protects your eyes. debris. D. Soles should be made of hard. Permit air to pass through. wrists. Jacket and pants should cover your arms and legs completely. slip-resistant material. Does not protect your face as well as goggles. It can also make you more visible to others. Fasten securely. A winter jacket should resist wind and fit snugly at the neck. Helps protect your whole face. Tuck laces in so they won’t catch on your motorcycle. Clothing The right clothing protects you in a crash. Is not necessary if you have a windshield. Wear a jacket even in warm weather. Sturdy synthetic material provides a lot of protection as well. Answers to sample questions are located on page 49. Gloves allow a better grip and help protect your hands in a crash. Tinted eye protection should not be worn at night or any other time when little light is available. 4 . to reduce fogging. Boots or shoes should be high and sturdy enough to cover your ankles and give them support. as well as protect you from injury. Riding for long periods in cold weather can cause severe chill and fatigue. durable. Permit enough room for eyeglasses or sunglasses. eye or face protection must: • • • • • • Be free of scratches. yet loosely enough to move freely. as well as protection from heat. You cannot control a motorcycle well if you are numb from the cold. if needed. Be resistant to penetration. Good-quality rainsuits designed for motorcycle riding resist tearing apart or ballooning up at high speeds. A plastic shatter-resistant face shield: A. cold. B. Many are designed to protect without getting you overheated. and waist. In cold or wet weather. Give a clear view to either side. even on summer days. C. so it does not blow off. Choose boots or shoes with short heels so they do not catch on rough surfaces.To be effective. Leather is very popular and offers good protection. Your gloves should be made of leather or similar durable material. It also provides comfort. and hot and moving parts of the motorcycle.

It should “fit” you. Start with the right motorcycle for you.KNOW YOUR MOTORCYCLE There are plenty of things on the highway that can cause you trouble. not less than 200 feet when traveling 25-35 mph. The Right Motorcycle For You First. • Fenders: All motorcycles must have fenders on both wheels that extend in full width from a point just forward of the center of the tire to a point not more than 20” above the surface of the highway. • Headlight: Motorcycles must have a headlight sufficient to reveal a person or vehicle not less than 100 feet ahead when traveling 25 mph or less. To make sure that your motorcycle won’t let you down: • • • • • • Read the owner’s manual first. Check the motorcycle before every ride. Required Equipment Idaho law requires all motorcycles operated on Idaho roads to have the following: • Brakes: The law requires a brake on at least one wheel. Your motorcycle should not be one of them. 5 . make sure your motorcycle is right for you. and not less than 300 feet when traveling more than 35 mph. Your feet should reach the ground while you are seated on the motorcycle. Avoid add-ons and modifications that make your motorcycle harder to handle. • Passenger Seat and Footrests: Motorcyclists are prohibited from carrying passengers unless a permanently attached seat and footrests are provided for the passenger. Smaller motorcycles are usually easier for beginners to operate. Passenger footrests must be designed exclusively for use by the passenger. Keep it in safe riding condition between rides. and the controls should be easy to operate. It can be operated by hand or by foot. Be familiar with the motorcycle controls.

Crashes are fairly common among beginning riders — especially in the first months of riding. • Find out where everything is. If you lend your motorcycle to friends. particularly the turn signals. so give yourself a greater margin for errors. No matter how experienced you may be. and brakes a few times before you start riding. • Ride very cautiously. Accelerate gently. • Mirror: Motorcycles must have a mirror that provides a view of the highway for at least 200 feet to the rear. Riding an unfamiliar motorcycle adds to the problem. If you are going to use an unfamiliar motorcycle: • Review the owner’s manual. • Know the gear pattern. • Stop Light: A red stop light that comes on when you work the brakes must be visible for 100 feet to the rear during normal sunlight. 6 . ride extra carefully on any motorcycle that’s new or unfamiliar to you. on or off road. clutch. and engine cut-off switch (usually located on right hand grip).000. Borrowing and Lending Borrowers and lenders of motorcycles. • Horn: You must have a horn that can be heard up to 200 feet away. Get Familiar with the Motorcycle Controls Make sure you are completely familiar with the motorcycle before you take it out on the street. More than half of all crashes occur on motorcycles that have been ridden by the operator for less than six months. fuel-control valve. Learn to operate these items without having to look for them. • Make all the checks you would on your own motorcycle. • Insurance: You must have (and carry on your person) liability insurance in an amount of not less than $25. and leave extra room for stopping. horn. take turns more slowly. If you borrow a motorcycle. Work the throttle. because you are liable. It takes time to adjust. beware. • Muffler: Motorcycles must have a muffler that does not increase engine noise to a level above that of the muffler originally installed by the motorcycle manufacturer. get familiar with it in a controlled area and make sure it is insured. headlight switch. All controls react a little differently. This is particularly important if you are riding a borrowed motorcycle. • Taillight: Motorcycles must have one red taillight visible for 500 feet to the rear.• Helmet: Any person under the age of 18 must wear a protective helmet while operating or riding on a motorcycle or ATV. make sure they are licensed and know how to ride before allowing them out into traffic.

Make a complete check of your motorcycle before every ride. 6. 13. Turn-Signal Switch (may be on both handles) Gear-Change Lever Tachometer (if equipped) Speedometer & Odometer Rear Brake Pedal Throttle Clutch Lever Engine Cut-Off Switch Light Switch (high/low) Kick Starter (if equipped) 11. you’ll want to find out about it before you get in traffic. 12. At a minimum. 14. 16. • Fluids — Oil and fluid levels. If something’s wrong with the motorcycle. 3. 7 . Before mounting any motorcycle. and tread. Check Your Motorcycle A motorcycle needs more frequent attention than a car. 5. make the following checks: • Tires — Check the air pressure. 8. 7. A minor technical failure in a car seldom leads to anything more than an inconvenience for the driver. 4. Front Brake Lever Horn Button Electric Starting Switch Fuel Supply Valve (if equipped) Choke (varies) Ignition key or switch (varies) NOTE: Check this equipment before you pull onto the road. general wear. 9. Look under the motorcycle for signs of fluid leaks. 15. 2.15 16 13 14 1. check hydraulic fluids and coolants weekly. each motorcycle may be different. 10.

• Horn — Try the horn. Happen at night. Occur at speeds greater than 35 m. and make sure each one turns on the brake light. D. The throttle should snap back to the idle position when you let go. • Turn Signals — Turn on both right and left turn signals. • Mirrors — Clean and adjust both mirrors before starting. More than half of all crashes: A. 2. Test your switch to make sure both high and low beams are working. but will stall after the lines are empty. complete the following checks before starting out: • Clutch and Throttle — Make sure they work smoothly. When properly adjusted. In addition to the checks you should make before every trip. Make sure each one feels firm and holds the motorcycle when the brake is fully applied. Are caused by worn tires. B. check the wheels. C.h.p. • Brakes — Try the front and rear brake levers one at a time. and fasteners at least once a week.• Headlights and Taillight — Check them both. • Fuel Supply Valve — Make sure the valve is open. Your motorcycle may start with the fuel still in the lines. Make sure it works. cables. Adjust each mirror so you can see the lane behind and as much as possible of the lane next to you. Once you have mounted the motorcycle. a mirror may show the edge of your arm or shoulder — but what’s more important is seeing the road behind and to the side of you. 8 . • Brake Light — Try both brake controls. It’s difficult to ride with one hand while you try to adjust a mirror. The clutch should feel tight and smooth. Make sure all four lights are working properly. Involve riders who have ridden their motorcycles less than six months.

There is rarely a single cause of any crash. • Communicate your intentions — use the proper signals. In fact. use your headlight (set on dim during daylight hours). and carry them out separates responsible riders from all the rest. make critical decisions. • Search your path of travel 20 seconds ahead. brake light. Just because someone else is the first to start the chain of events leading to a collision. The ability to ride aware. passing. That is all it takes for the two of you to tangle. most people involved in a crash can usually claim some responsibility for what takes place. Your light turns green. and ride in the best lane position to see and be seen. any crash. and being passed. It was the other driver’s responsibility to stop. • Identify and separate multiple hazards in your path of travel. Remember. • Be prepared to act — remain alert and know how to use proper crashavoidance skills. that is not the case.KNOW YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES “Accident” implies an unforeseen event that occurs without anyone’s fault or negligence. or an unprepared participant in. And it was your responsibility to look before pulling out. You pull into the intersection without checking for possible latecomers. it doesn’t leave any of us free of responsibility. 9 . Neither of you held up your end of the deal. lane sharing. As a rider you can’t be sure that other operators will see you or yield the right of way. To lessen your chances of a crash occurring: • Be visible — wear proper clothing. • Maintain an adequate space cushion — allow extra space when following. Blame doesn’t matter when someone is injured in a crash. Most often in traffic. being followed. Consider a situation where someone tries to squeeze through an intersection on a yellow light that is turning red. it is up to you to keep from being the cause of. and lane position.

and obeying the rules of the road. • Hands — Hold the handgrips firmly to keep your grip over rough surfaces. Keep your feet near the controls so you can get to them quickly if needed. Start with your right wrist flat. • Knees — Keep your knees against the gas tank to help you keep your balance as the motorcycle turns.Ride Within Your Abilities This manual cannot teach you how to control direction. Also. • Posture — Sit so you can use your arms to steer the motorcycle rather than to hold yourself up. don’t let your toes point downward — they may get caught between the road and the footpegs. This will help you keep from accidentally using too much throttle — especially if you need to reach for the brake suddenly. Don’t drag your feet. you can be injured and it could affect your control of the motorcycle. BASIC VEHICLE CONTROL Body Position To control a motorcycle well: • Seat — Sit far enough forward so that arms are slightly bent when you hold the handlegrips. or balance. 10 . This permits you to use the proper muscles for precesion steering. adjust the handlebars so your hands are even with or below your elbows. Bending your arms permits you to press on the handlebars without having to stretch. Also. If your foot catches on something. • Feet — Keep your feet firmly on the footpegs to maintain balance. speed. riding within them. But control begins with knowing your abilities. That’s something you can learn only through practice and proper training.

Less traction is available for stopping. the sooner it will start slowing you down. and the rear wheel may skid. • Apply both brakes at the same time. Grabbing at the front brake or jamming down on the rear can cause the brakes to lock. Shift down through the gears with the clutch as you slow or stop. Remember: • Use both brakes every time you slow or stop. A sudden change in power to the rear wheel can cause a skid. A skid can occur if you apply too much brake. If not. Use both of them at the same time.) 11 . (Consult the owner’s manual for a detailed explanation on the operation and effective use of these systems. Make certain you are riding slowly enough when you shift into a lower gear. Use caution and squeeze the brake lever. remember to shift smoothly. Learning to use the gears correctly when downshifting. • Squeeze the front brake and press down on the rear. • If you know the technique. resulting in control problems. It is best to change gears before entering a turn. • Some motorcycles have integrated braking systems that activate the front and rear brakes together by applying the rear brake pedal. If so. especially when downshifting. although it should be done very carefully. Work toward a smooth. When leaning the motorcycle. turning. or starting on hills is important for safe motorcycle operation. and squeeze the brake lever. When riding downhill or shifting into first gear you may need to use the brakes to slow down enough before downshifting safely.Shifting Gears There is more to shifting gears than simply getting the motorcycle to pick up speed smoothly. even clutch release. Use caution. some of the traction is used for cornering. The front brake is safe if you use it properly. The sooner you apply the front brake. Braking Most motorcycles have two brakes: one each for the front and rear wheel. using both brakes in a turn is possible. using the front brake incorrectly on a slippery surface may be hazardous. Remain in first gear while you are stopped so that you can move out quickly if you need to. the motorcycle will lurch. The front brake is more powerful and can provide as much as three-quarters of your total stopping power. never grab. However. sometimes shifting while in the turn is necessary. 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. Also.

• PRESS — To turn. they end up crossing into another lane of traffic or going off the road. the rider and the motorcycle should lean together at the same angle. Turn just your head and eyes. Press the right handgrip — lean right — go right. When turning. D. 3. When they can’t hold the turn. B. the greater the lean angle. Or. you should: A. the motorcycle must lean. Approach turns and curves with caution. counterbalance by leaning the motorcycle only and keeping your body straight. C. • ROLL — Roll on the throttle through the turn. The higher the speed in a turn. Maintain steady speed or accelerate gradually. In normal turns. Avoid decelerating in the turn. Turn just your head and eyes to look where you are going. Use four steps for better control: • SLOW — Reduce speed before the turn by closing the throttle and. and keep your eyes level with the horizon. Press the left handgrip — lean left — go left. applying both brakes. causing a skid and loss of control. they overreact and brake too hard. Turn your head and shoulders to look through turns.Turning Riders often try to take curves or turns too fast. push on the handgrip in the direction of the turn. not your shoulders. Keep your knees away from the gas tank. • LOOK — Look through the turn to where you want to go. In slow tight turns. if necessary. Keep your arms straight. 12 . To lean the motorcycle.

Under normal circumstances.KEEPING YOUR DISTANCE The best protection you can have is distance — a “cushion of space” — all around your motorcycle. Avoid other drivers’ blind spots. Avoid wind blast from other vehicles. Lane Positions In some ways the size of the motorcycle can work to your advantage. no portion of the lane need be avoided — including the center. Communicate your intentions. there is no single best position for riders to be seen and to maintain a space cushion around the motorcycle. 1 ② 2 ➂ 3 ➃ Select the appropriate path to maximize your space cushion and make yourself more visible to others on the road. Provide an escape route. In general. If someone else makes a mistake. • Space to maneuver. Each traffic lane gives a motorcycle three areas or paths of travel as indicated in the illustration. 13 . Your lane position should: • • • • • • • • Increase your ability to see and be seen. Avoid surface hazards. distance permits you: • Time to react. Provide a space cushion. Protect your lane from other drivers.

This will make it easier to get out of the way if someone bears down on you from behind. Unless the road is wet. A three-second following distance leaves a minimum amount of space to stop or swerve if the driver ahead stops suddenly. It also permits a better view of potholes and other hazards in the road. Remain in path 1 or 2 if hazards are on your right only. Ride in path 2 or 3 if vehicles and other potential problems are on your left only. if traffic is heavy and someone may squeeze in front of you. the average center strip (path 2) permits adequate traction to ride safely. When the rear bumper of the vehicle ahead passes the marker. The strip in the center portion of the lane that collects drippings from cars is usually no more than two feet wide.” you are following too closely. one-thousand three. To gauge your following distance: 1.” 3. motorcycles need the same amount of distance as cars to stop safely. count off the seconds: “one-thousand-one. Pick out a marker. Following Another Vehicle “Following too closely” is a major factor in crashes caused by motorcyclists. if you cannot see through the vehicle ahead. Keep well behind the vehicle ahead even when you are stopped. It will also give you a cushion of space if the vehicle ahead starts to back up for some reason. 14 . usually found at busy intersections or toll booths. on or near the road ahead. Change position as traffic situations change. or if you are pulling a trailer. path 2. 2. are most likely to be seen. Normally. one-thousand-two. If vehicles are being operated on both sides of you. If you reach the marker before you reach “three. is usually your best option. a minimum of three seconds distance should be maintained behind the vehicle ahead. A larger cushion of space is needed if your motorcycle will take longer than normal to stop. Avoid riding on big buildups of oil and grease.Position yourself in the portion of the lane where you have the best view of the road. and where you can maintain a space cushion around you. You can operate to the left or right of the grease strip and still be within the center portion of the traffic lane. the center of the lane. open up a three-second or more following distance. such as a pavement marking or lamppost. In traffic. If the pavement is slippery.

When someone is following too closely. This will also encourage them to pass. slow down and open up extra space ahead of you to allow room for both you and the tailgater to stop. 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. If you can’t do this. Be sure other drivers see you. However. ride where the driver can see you in the rearview mirror. you will have given yourself and the tailgater more time and space to react in case an emergency does develop. Riding in the left third of a lane may permit a driver to see you in a sideview mirror and helps you see the traffic ahead. If they don’t pass. the center portion of the lane may be the best place for you to be seen by the drivers ahead and to prevent lane sharing by others. visibility is more critical. Passing and Being Passed Passing and being passed by another vehicle is not much different than with a car.When behind a car. A better way to handle tailgaters is to get them in front of you. If the traffic and road situation allows. change lanes when possible and let them pass. 15 . Being Followed Speeding up to lose someone following too closely only ends up with someone tailgating you at a higher speed. But remember that most drivers don’t look at their sideview mirrors nearly as often as they check the rearview mirror. and that you see potential hazards.

complete mirror and headchecks before returning to your original lane. 4. 16 . Ride in the left portion of the lane at a safe following distance to increase your line of sight and make you more visible. Signal and check for oncoming traffic.Passing 1. Use your mirrors and turn your head to the left to look for traffic behind. 4 3 2 1 Remember. • Extended mirrors — Some drivers forget that their mirrors hang out farther than their fenders. and then cancel the signal. Signal again. and only where permitted. 3. move into the left lane and accelerate. Know your signs and road markings! Being Passed When you are being passed from behind or by an oncoming vehicle. Ride through the blind spot quickly. When safe. Select a lane position that doesn’t crowd the car you are passing and provides space to avoid hazards in your lane. Avoid being hit by: • The other vehicle — A slight mistake by you or the passing driver could cause a sideswipe. stay in the center portion of your lane. passes must be completed within posted speed limits. 2.

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 of the lane. It might invite the other driver to cut back into your lane too early. A hand could come out of a window.• Objects thrown from windows — Even if the driver knows you’re there. Discourage lane sharing by others. adjust your speed to open up space for the merging driver. When you are moving into an exit lane or leaving a highway. When you are preparing to turn at an intersection. a car could turn suddenly. Riding any closer to these hazards could put you in a dangerous position. • Blasts of wind from larger vehicles — They can affect your control. Change to another lane if one is open. Drivers are most tempted to do this: • • • • In heavy. Lane Sharing Cars and motorcycles need a full lane to operate safely. Keep a center-portion position whenever drivers might be tempted to squeeze by you. When they want to pass you. Riding between rows of stopped or moving cars in the same lane can leave you vulnerable to the unexpected. If there is no room for a lane change. Merging Cars Drivers on an entrance ramp may not see you on the highway. a door could open. 17 . a passenger may not see you and might toss something on you or the road ahead of you. Do not move into the portion of the lane farthest from the passing vehicle. bumper-to-bumper traffic. Give them plenty of room.

B. Speed up or drop back to find a place clear of traffic on both sides. Usually. Change lanes if possible and let them pass. Use your horn and make obscene gestures. C. -------- 4. D. Speed up to put distance between you and the tailgater.Cars Alongside Do not ride next to cars or trucks in other lanes if you do not have to. Ignore them. a good way to handle tailgaters is to: A. 18 . You might be in the blind spot of a car in the next lane. Cars in the next lane also block your escape if you come upon danger in your own lane. which could switch into your lane without warning.

and how much time and space you have. guard rails. quick moves. Visually “busy” surroundings could hide you and your motorcycle from others. Predict Consider the speed. and direction of hazards to anticipate how they may affect you. 19 . How assertively you search. Scan Search aggressively ahead. Focus even more on finding potential escape routes in or around intersections. • Stationary objects — potholes. Identify Locate hazards and potential conflicts. • Traffic approaching from behind. can eliminate or reduce harm. lumber. • Pedestrians and animals — are unpredictable and make short. Search for: • Oncoming traffic that may turn left in front of you. tire debris. and behind to avoid potential hazards even before they arise. • Other vehicles — may move into your path and increase collision risk. They improve their riding strategy by using “SIPDE”—a five-step process used to make appropriate judgments—and by applying the steps correctly in different traffic situations: • • • • • Scan Identify Predict Decide Execute Let’s examine each of these steps. school zones. to the sides. and construction zones. but may influence your riding strategy. Be especially alert in areas with limited visibility. roadway signs. • Traffic coming from the left and right. bridges. shopping areas. distance.“SIPDE” Good experienced riders remain aware of what is going on around them. Cars moving into your path are more critical than those moving away or remaining stationary. or trees won’t move into your path. hedges.

. Then deal with them one at a time as single hazards.. To create more space and minimize harm from any hazard: • Communicate your presence with lights and/or horn. whether single or multiple hazards are involved. or slowing. • Adjust your speed by accelerating. Apply the old adage “one step at a time” to handle two or more hazards.?” phrase to estimate results of contacting or attempting to avoid a hazard depends on your knowledge and experience. 20 . Execute In high potential risk areas. stopping. such as intersections. and construction zones. Completing this “what if. Decide Decide when. and how to act based on types of hazards you encounter: • • • • Single Hazard Multiple Hazards Stationary Moving Weigh consequences of each hazard separately. cover the clutch and both brakes to reduce the time you need to react.Predict where a collision may occur. • Adjust your position and/or direction. Weigh the consequences of each and give equal distance to the hazards. Adjust speed to permit two hazards to separate. where. Decision-making becomes more complex with three or more hazards. school zones. shopping areas.

Over half of motorcycle/car crashes are caused by drivers entering a rider’s right-of-way. Never count on “eye contact” as a sign that a driver will yield. The only eyes that you can count on are your own. Cars that turn left in front of you. and cars on side streets that pull into your lane.INTERSECTIONS The greatest potential for conflict between you and other traffic is at intersections. There are no guarantees that other drivers see you. Good riders are always “looking for trouble” — not to get into it. assume that it will. are the two biggest dangers. but to stay out of it. Ride with your headlight on (set on dim during daylight hours) and in a ----q --q------------lane position that provides the best view of oncoming traffic. Too often. Provide a space cushion around the motorcycle that permits you to take evasive action. including cars turning left from the lane to your right. If a car can enter your path. 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. 21 . Increase your chances of being seen at intersections. Your use of SIPDE (page 19) at intersections is critical. drivers look right at motorcyclists and still fail to “see” them.

From that position. Effective July 1. In this picture. 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 sight at the earliest possible moment. to proceed with caution through a red light at an intersection. Motorcycle riders must still obey traffic signals when the traffic 22 . Stop Signs and Signals If you have a stop sign or stop line. Just make sure your front wheel stays out of the cross lane of travel while you’re looking. parked cars. after coming to a complete stop. stop there first. 2006. especially if there is other traffic around you. Traffic Control Signals Due to their size. Then edge forward and stop again. whether an intersection is involved or not. Remember. Blind Intersections If you approach a blind intersection. you may only do so if the signal fails to operate after you wait through one complete cycle of that traffic signal. just short of where the cross-traffic lane meets your lane. and you must yield to any traffic in or approaching the intersection. the key is to see as much as possible and remain visible to others while protecting your space. Be prepared to brake hard and hold your position if an oncoming vehicle fails to stop or if it turns in front of you. move away from the vehicle. After entering the intersection. as drivers might think that you are preparing to turn. This law change does not provide a defense for violations of traffic laws under Section 49-801. the law was amended to allow a motorcycle rider. Idaho Code (“Obedience to and required traffic control devices”). motorcycles do not always trigger traffic control signals when approaching an intersection. 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 the rider as soon as possible. Do not change speed or position radically. However. or bushes to see if anything is coming. lean your body forward and look around buildings. slow down and select a lane position to increase your visibility to that driver.When approaching an intersection where a vehicle driver is preparing to cross your path. This strategy should also be used whenever a vehicle in the oncoming lane of traffic is signaling for a left turn.

When possible. Park at a 90º angle to the curb with your rear wheel touching the curb. Parking at the Roadside Angle your motorcycle to see in both directions without straining or having the cycle in the lane of travel. it is usually best to remain in the center-lane position to maximize your space cushion. Since you can’t tell what a driver will do. Passing Parked Cars When passing parked cars. The greatest danger for a rider occurs when a driver pulls away from the curb without checking for traffic behind. They may cut you off entirely. C. or people stepping from between cars. Cover the clutch and the brakes. B. drivers getting out of cars. Shift into neutral when slowing. If oncoming traffic is present. the driver might cut into your path. Cars making a sudden U-turn are extremely dangerous. To reduce your reaction time. blocking the whole road-way and leaving you with no place to go. Is important when approaching an intersection. Ride slower than the speed limit. Is a good sign that they see you. 6. 5. Sound your horn and continue with caution. D. Even a driver who does look may fail to see you. D.control signal device can be triggered by the size of motorcycle they are operating. Decreases your chances of being involved in a collision. C. 23 . B. get the driver ’s attention. stay toward the left of your lane. you should: A. In either event. You can avoid problems caused by car doors opening. Making eye contact with other drivers: A. Slow down or change lanes to make room for someone cutting in. Doesn’t mean that the driver will yield. A clear view is particularly important to turn across a lane of traffic. or if the intersection in question does not have a signal triggered by a vehicle detection device. Pull in the clutch when turning. back into the parking spot to permit riding the motorcycle out into traffic.

Wear bright clothing to increase your chances of being seen. a motorcycle with its light on is twice as likely to be noticed. yellow. due to a rider’s added vulnerability. Any bright color is better than drab or dark colors. you can do many things to make it easier for others to recognize you and your motorcycle. Reflective. More likely. it’s hard to see something you are not looking for. and most drivers are not looking for motorcycles. From ahead or behind. They tell others what you plan to do. or green clothing is your best bet for being seen. Signals The signals on a motorcycle are similar to those on a car. Headlight The best way to help others see your motorcycle is to keep the headlight on — at all times. Your helmet can do more than protect you in a crash. and seem to be traveling slower than they actually are. Wearing bright orange. during the day. Reflective material on the sides of your helmet and clothing will help drivers coming from the side notice you. two-wheeled silhouette in search of cars that may pose a problem to them. Also. Clothing Most crashes occur in broad daylight. drivers often say that they never saw the motorcycle. It is common for drivers to pull out in front of motorcyclists. a motorcycle’s outline is much smaller than a car’s. your body is half of the visible surface area of the rider/motorcycle unit. bright colored clothing (helmet and jacket or vest) is best. Be sure the headlight is adjusted properly and use the “dim” setting during daylight hours. red. Use them anytime you plan to change lanes or turn.SEE AND BE SEEN In crashes with motorcyclists. (New motorcycles sold in the USA since 1978 automatically have the headlights on when running. thinking they have plenty of time. Reflective material can also be a big help for drivers coming toward you or from behind. signals are even more important.) Studies show that. Smaller vehicles appear farther away. However. Remember. Even if a driver does see you coming. However. you aren’t necessarily safe. Too often. Brightly colored helmets can help others see you. they are wrong. Use them 24 . they are looking through the skinny.

it’s a good idea to flash your brake light before you slow. The tailgater may be watching you and not see something ahead that will make you slow down. Once you turn. Knowing what’s going on behind can help you make a safe decision about how to handle trouble ahead. Traffic conditions change quickly.even when you think no one else is around. 25 . When you enter a freeway. drivers approaching from behind are more likely to see your signal blinking and make room for you. Turning your signal light on before each turn reduces confusion and frustration for the traffic around you. you can’t afford to ignore situations behind. It’s the car you don’t see that’s going to give you the most trouble. which goes on with the headlight. It is especially important to flash your brake light before: • You slow more quickly than others might expect (turning off a highspeed highway). If you are being followed closely. Help others notice you by flashing your brake light before you slow down. Using Your Mirrors While it’s most important to keep track of what’s happening ahead. • You slow where others may not expect it (in the middle of a block or at an alley). 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. make sure your signal is off or a driver may pull directly into your path. Use your signals at every turn so drivers can react accordingly. This will hopefully discourage them from tailgating and warn them of hazards ahead they may not see. That’s why it’s a good idea to use your turn signals even when what you plan to do is obvious. Your signal lights also make you easier to spot. thinking you plan to turn again. Don’t make them guess what you intend to do.

Make a special point of using your mirrors: • When you are stopped at an intersection. turn around and look at it to see how close you came. If you are not used to convex mirrors. 26 . allow extra distance before you change lanes. Blind Spot ----q-----q------- Some motorcycles have rounded (convex) mirrors. Before you change lanes. merge onto a freeway. Head Checks Checking your mirrors is not enough. Here are some situations: • A driver in the lane next to you is driving too close to the vehicle ahead and may want to pass. They also make cars seem farther away than they really are. The driver behind may not expect you to slow. These provide a wider view of the road behind than do flat mirrors. (While you are stopped. For example. or may be unsure about where you will slow. get familiar with them. It is a good idea to give a quick beep before passing anyone that may move into your lane. • Before you slow down or stop. Motorcycles have “blind spots” like cars. • Before you change lanes. you signal a turn and the driver thinks you plan to turn at a distant intersection rather than at a nearer driveway. If the drivers aren’t paying attention. On a road with several lanes. Only by knowing what is happening all around you are you fully prepared to deal with it.Frequent mirror checks should be part of your normal scanning routine. A driver in the distant lane may head for the same space you plan to take. Watch cars coming up from behind. Form a mental image of how far away it is. Even then. or pass another vehicle. Make sure no one is about to pass you.) Practice with your mirrors until you become a good judge of distance. turn your head and look for other vehicles. pick out a parked car in your mirror. Horn Be ready to use your horn to get someone’s attention quickly. Then. they could be on top of you before they see you. check the far lane and the one next to you. Frequent head checks should be your normal scanning routine.

D. • Use Your High Beam — Get all the light you can. Use your high beam whenever you are not following or meeting a car. These contrasts are missing or distorted under artificial lights at night. • Increase Distance — Distances are harder to judge at night than during the day. Change lanes. and allow more distance to pass and be passed. All of the above. Be ready to stop or swerve away from the danger. Open up a threesecond following distance or more. press and hold the horn button. use it. In an emergency. Other strategies. and keep an adequate space cushion. 27 .• A parked car has someone in the driver’s seat. • Someone is in the street. but don’t rely on it. B. riding a bicycle or walking. You should always perform a head check before you: A. To compensate. Merge onto a freeway. be seen. you should: • Reduce Your Speed — Ride even slower than you would during the day — particularly on roads you don’t know well. 7. Noticing your headlight or taillight amid the car lights around you is not easy for other drivers. • Be flexible about lane position — Change to whatever portion of the lane is best able to help you see. Riding at Night At night it is harder for you to see and be seen. Your eyes rely upon shadows and light contrasts to determine how far away an object is and how fast it is coming. This will increase your chances of avoiding a hazard because a headlight does not allow you to see as far ahead as in daylight. like having time and space to maneuver. Pass another vehicle. C. Keep in mind that a motorcycle’s horn isn’t as loud as a car’s — therefore. • Use the Car Ahead — The headlights of the car you are following can give you a better view of the road than even your high beam can. Headlights and/or taillights bouncing up and down can alert you to bumps or rough pavement. may be appropriate along with the horn. Be visible: wear reflective materials when riding at night.

Even with a locked rear wheel. Riders must also be able to swerve around an obstacle. Often. Know when and how to stop or swerve. If the rear wheel is aligned with the front. Concentrate on the front brake and keep your head and eyes up. It is not always desirable or possible to stop quickly to avoid an obstacle. two skills critical to avoiding a crash. keeping the rear brake locked and skidding to a stop reduces the risk of a high-side. At the same time. Don’t be shy about using the front brake. As you slow. there will be times when you find yourself in a dangerous situation. but don’t “grab” at it. if the wheels are out of alignment. a crash occurs because a rider is not prepared or skilled in obstacle-avoidance maneuvers. immediately release the front brake then reapply firmly. apply both brakes at the same time. Your chances of getting out safely depend on your ability to react quickly and properly. you can control the motorcycle on a straightaway if it is upright and going in a straight line. If you must brake while leaning. If you must stop quickly while turning or riding a curve. The following information offers some good advice. If you accidentally lock the rear brake while on a good traction surface. Squeeze the brake lever steadily and firmly. Apply the front brake fully.CRASH AVOIDANCE No matter how careful you are. Determining which skill is necessary for the situation is important as well. you can reduce your lean angle and apply more brake pressure until the motorcycle is straight and maximum brake pressure is possible. either. the motorcycle should be straight up and in balance. press down on the rear brake. or do not choose swerving when appropriate. 28 Stopping Distance Rear Brake Front Brake Both Brakes . If you “straighten” the handlebar in the last few feet of stopping. Quick Stops To stop quickly. ease pressure on the rear brake and allow the wheel to resume rolling. • Underbrake the front tire and overbrake the rear. Studies show that most riders involved in crashes: • Are untrained or unskilled in avoiding crashes. However. • Do not separate braking from swerving. If the front wheel locks. apply the brakes gradually and reduce the throttle. you can keep it locked until you have completely stopped. it may not always be possible to straighten the motorcycle and then stop.

29 . Apply a small amount of pressure to the handgrip located on the side of your intended direction of escape. To swerve to the left. A swerve is any sudden change in direction. The car ahead might squeal to a stop or an object might appear suddenly in your path. Try to stay in your own lane. press right. The front brake can provide 70% or more of the motorcycle’s stopping power. The sharper the turn(s). The only way to avoid a crash may be to turn quickly. press the left handgrip. then left. Once you clear the obstacle. Make your escape route the target of your vision. Swerve. press on the opposite handgrip to return to your original direction of travel. swerve. Change lanes only if you have enough time to make sure there are no vehicles in the other lane. Let the motorcycle move underneath you. Brake before or after — never while swerving. It can be two quick turns. To swerve to the right. Then Swerve IF BRAKING IS REQUIRED. then press the right handgrip to recover. Swerving or Turning Quickly Sometimes you may not have enough room to stop. SEPARATE IT FROM SWERVING. or ride over the obstacle. the more the motorcycle must lean. or a rapid shift to the side. Then Brake Brake. even if you use both brakes properly. This will cause the motorcycle to lean quickly. Keep your knees against the tank and your feet solidly on the pegs. You should be able to squeeze by most obstacles without leaving your lane.Always use both brakes at the same time to stop.

your bike may straighten upright and cause you to swerve out into the oncoming lane of traffic. 30 . Your best path may not always follow the curve of the road. If no traffic is present and your riding abilities are up to it. 8. You can adjust for traffic “crowding” the center line. Be alert to whether a curve remains constant.Riding a Curve 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. and curve of the road. If you brake too hard. Use both brakes at the same time. Throttle down and use the front brake. B. C. and as you pass the center. you may choose to start at the outside of a curve to increase your line of sight and the effective radius of the turn. Another alternative is to move to the center area of your lane before entering a curve — and stay there until you exit. Ride within your skill level and within the posted speed limits. gradually widens. road conditions. Use caution when braking on right turns. As you turn. move toward the inside of the curve. The best way to stop quickly is to: A. Every curve is different. D. Use the rear brake first. gets tighter. This permits you to spot approaching traffic as soon as possible. Use the front brake only. or involves multiple turns. Change lane position depending on traffic. move to the outside to exit. or debris blocking part of your lane.

Approach it at as close to a 90° angle as possible. potholes. Try to avoid obstacles by slowing or by going around them. Grooves and gratings. Uneven Surfaces and Obstacles Watch for uneven surfaces such as bumps. If you must go over the obstacle. controlling the throttle can be somewhat tricky from this position. Rising off the seat will reduce your chances of being thrown off the motorcycle. or small pieces of highway trash.HANDLING DANGEROUS SURFACES Your chance of falling or being involved in a collision increases whenever you ride across: • • • • Uneven surfaces or obstacles. If you have to ride over the obstacle. Railroad tracks. Practice this in an area such as an empty parking lot away from traffic. Look where you want to go to control your path of travel.) • Just before contact. (However. roll on the throttle slightly to lighten the front end. Slippery surfaces. broken pavement. 31 . first determine if it is possible. • Make sure the motorcycle is straight. you should: • Slow down to reduce the jolt if time permits. • Rise slightly off the seat with your weight on the footpegs to absorb the shock with your knees and elbows.

Roads are the slickest when it first starts to rain until the dirt and oil are washed away. Your motorcycle needs more distance to stop. • The center of a lane can be hazardous when wet. • Lane markings. steel plates. Patches of ice tend to crop up in low or shaded areas and on bridges and overpasses. ride in the tire tracks left by cars. • Mud. 32 . The center portion of a lane will usually be most slippery. Ride on the least slippery portion of the lane and reduce your speed. and manhole covers. shift gears. Stay away from the edge of the road. Wet surfaces or wet leaves are just as slippery. Often. gentle pressure on the rear brake. or brake. • Gravel roads. or where sand and gravel collect. • Rain dries and snow melts faster on some sections of a road than on others. • Dirt and gravel collect along the sides of the road — especially on curves and ramps leading to and from highways. pull off the road and check your tires and rims for damage before riding any farther. even on a slippery surface. particularly just after it starts to rain and before surface oil washes to the side of the road. the left tire track will be the best position. Sand and gravel are most likely to collect at the sides of paved roads. turn. You may slip and fall. Be as smooth as possible when you speed up. To ride safely on slippery surfaces: • Reduce Speed — Slow down before you get to a slippery surface to lessen your chances of skidding when stopping or turning. • Use Both Brakes — The front brake is still effective.If you ride over an object on the street. Slippery Surfaces Motorcycles handle better when ridden on surfaces that permit good traction. When it starts to rain. • Watch for oil spots when you put your foot down to stop or park. Squeeze the brake lever gradually to avoid locking the front wheel. Remember. snow. particularly when making sharp turns and getting on or off freeways at high speeds. It is particularly important to reduce speed before entering wet curves. • Avoid Sudden Moves — Any sudden change in speed or direction can cause a skid. depending on traffic and other road conditions. Surfaces that provide poor traction include: • Wet pavement. and ice. especially when wet.

---- ---q---- Move far enough away from tracks. Grooves and Gratings Riding over rain grooves or bridge gratings may cause a motorcycle to weave. The uneasy. If possible.Cautious riders steer clear of roads covered with ice or snow. maintain a steady speed and ride straight across. Crossing at an angle forces riders to zigzag to stay in the lane. keep your motorcycle straight up and proceed slowly. The zigzag is far more hazardous than the wandering feeling. Then. 33 . or pavement seams that run parallel to your course to cross at an angle of at least 45°. Be sure to keep off the brakes. If you can’t avoid a slippery surface. If you encounter a large surface that’s so slippery that you must coast or travel at a walking pace. and Pavement Seams Usually it is safer to ride straight within your lane to cross tracks. Trolley Tracks. make a deliberate turn. you can catch yourself. If the motorcycle starts to fall. wandering feeling is generally not hazardous. Edging across could catch your tires and throw you off balance. Relax. 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. ruts. consider letting your feet skim along the surface. squeeze the clutch and coast. Attempting this maneuver at anything other than the slowest of speeds could prove hazardous.

34 . and ride straight across. D. Slowly zig-zag across the grating. Ride at the far right of the lane.9. B. C. Increase your speed. Relax. When you ride across a bridge grating: A. maintain a steady speed.

and stop. If the rear tire goes flat. Pull off and check the tires. Tire Failure You will seldom hear a tire go flat. If one of your tires suddenly loses air. incorrect tire pressure. lighten it. check the throttle cable carefully to find the source of the trouble. If the front tire goes flat. ease off the throttle. Once the motorcycle is “under control. If the throttle cable is stuck. If the throttle stays stuck. • When the motorcycle slows. or misaligned tires and/or chain drive. If you can’t. gradually apply the brake of the tire that isn’t flat.” pull off and stop. • If you must brake. If either tire goes flat while riding: • Hold the handlegrips firmly.” A front-wheel flat is particularly hazardous because it affects your steering. Here are some guidelines that can help you handle mechanical problems safely.MECHANICAL PROBLEMS You can find yourself in an emergency the moment something goes wrong with your motorcycle. You have to steer well to keep your balance. If the motorcycle starts handling differently. take into account the road and traffic conditions you face. the back of the motorcycle will jerk or sway from side to side. Center the weight lower and farther forward on the motorcycle. react quickly to keep your balance. the steering will feel “heavy. Stuck Throttle Twist the throttle back and forth several times. immediately operate the engine cut-off switch and pull in the clutch at the same time. Make certain the throttle works freely before you start to ride again. and keep a straight course. this may free it. though engine noise may not immediately decline. Wobble A “wobble” occurs when the front wheel and handlebars suddenly start to shake from side to side at any speed. unsuitable accessories. After you have stopped. if you are sure which one it is. shift it. This can be dangerous. it may be a tire failure. squeeze the clutch. edge to the side of the road. If you are carrying a heavy load. Make 35 . This will remove power from the rear wheel. Most wobbles can be traced to improper loading. In dealing with any mechanical problem. You must be able to tell from the way the motorcycle reacts.

worn steering parts. Use the brakes gradually. When this happens. air shocks. or drive shaft to transfer power from the engine to the rear wheel. Do not apply the brakes. Make sure windshields and fairings are mounted properly. adjustment and maintenance make failure a rare occurance. or out of balance.” it is usually low on oil. have the motorcycle checked out thoroughly by a qualified professional. spring pre-load. Close the throttle and brake to a stop in a safe area. the effect is the same as a locked rear wheel. misaligned. oil should be added as soon as possible or the engine will seize. • Close the throttle gradually to slow the motorcycle. B. Instead: • Grip the handlegrips firmly. Trying to “accelerate out of a wobble” will only make the cycle more unstable. D. braking could make the wobble worse.sure tire pressure. A chain or belt that slips or breaks while you’re riding could lock the rear wheel and cause the motorcycle to skid. 10. loss of oil in the rear differential can cause the rear wheel to lock. The first sign may be a loss of engine power or a change in the engine’s sound. The engine’s moving parts can’t move smoothly against each other. but don’t fight the wobble. Check the oil. If none of these are determined to be the cause. If needed. belt. On models with a drive shaft. Drive Train Problems The drive train for a motorcycle uses either a chain. • Pull off the road as soon as you can to fix the problem. and you may not be able to prevent a skid. and the engine overheats. If the chain or belt breaks. a front wheel that is bent. • Move your weight as far forward and down as possible. Check for poorly adjusted steering. There Is No Substitute For Frequent Motorcycle Maintenance. 36 . Grip the handlegrips firmly and close the throttle gradually. loose wheel bearings or spokes. Let the engine cool before restarting. Squeeze the clutch lever to disengage the engine from the rear wheel. Accelerate out of the wobble. Engine Seizure When the engine “locks” or “freezes. and dampers are at the settings recommended for that much weight. you’ll notice an instant loss of power to the rear wheel. Pull off the road and stop. Downshift. If your motorcycle starts to wobble: A. C. Routine inspection. and swingarm bearings.

elk. If you are chased. Approach the animal slowly. Give a clear signal that you will be slowing down and changing direction. It can be very hard to spot a motorcycle by the side of the road. If you are chased by a dog: A. or if you’re just not sure about it. • Park Carefully — Loose and sloped shoulders make setting the side or center stand difficult. Check your mirror and make a head check before you take any action. keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the handlebars. • Signal — Drivers behind might not expect you to slow down. FLYING OBJECTS From time to time riders are struck by insects. Swerve around the animal. brake and prepare to stop — they are unpredictable.ANIMALS Naturally. or mouth. C. slow way down before you turn onto it. • Pull Off the Road — Get as far off the road as you can. B. If you are wearing face protection. you should do everything you safely can to avoid hitting an animal. face. cattle). be sure you: • Check the Roadside — Make sure the surface of the roadside is firm enough to ride on. pull off the road and repair the damage. When safe. If it is soft grass. As you approach it. and look to where you want to go. however. You don’t want someone else pulling off at the same place you are. 11. making it difficult to see. Don’t kick at an animal. or pebbles kicked up by the tires of the vehicle ahead. loose sand. If you are in traffic. Whatever happens. remain in your lane. then speed up. D. Stop until the animal loses interest. shift down and approach the animal slowly. Keep control of your motorcycle. Hitting something small is less dangerous to you than hitting something big — like a car. For larger animals (deer. cigarettes thrown from cars. an object could hit you in the eye. Kick it away. 37 . GETTING OFF THE ROAD If you need to leave the road to check the motorcycle (or just to rest for a while). it might get smeared or cracked. speed up and leave the animal behind. Motorcycles seem to attract dogs. Without face protection.

38 . balances.CARRYING PASSENGERS AND CARGO Only experienced riders should carry passengers or large loads. Adjust your riding technique for the added weight. A firm footing prevents your passenger from falling off and pulling you off. Adjust the suspension to handle the additional weight. Tell your passenger to: • Get on the motorcycle only after you have started the engine. • Footrests — for the passenger. • Keep both feet on the pegs. • Hold firmly to your waist. The following equipment is required by Idaho law: • A Proper Seat — large enough to hold both of you without crowding. You should not sit any farther forward than you usually do. or a separate. Equipment To carry passengers safely: • • • • Equip and adjust your motorcycle to carry passengers. Before taking a passenger or heavy load on the street. • Sit as far forward as possible without crowding you. too. Instruct the passenger before you start. hips. • Keep legs away from the muffler(s). • A Helmet — any person under the age of eighteen (18) must wear a DOT-approved helmet while operating or riding on a motorcycle. speeds up. Have your passenger wear the same type of protective gear recommended for motorcycle operators. permanently attached passenger seat. • Avoid unnecessary talk or motion. adjust the mirrors and headlight according to the change in the motorcycle’s angle. or the motorcycle’s passenger handholds. Add a few pounds of pressure to the tires if you carry a passenger. (Check your owner’s manual. leaning as you lean. even when stopped. provide complete instructions before you start. turns. practice away from traffic. The extra weight changes the way the motorcycle handles.) While your passenger sits on the seat with you. Instructing Passengers Even if your passenger is a motorcycle rider. belt. • Stay directly behind you. and slows down.

Tankbags keep loads forward. the longer it will take to slow down. • • • • Ride a little slower. but keep your eyes on the road ahead. Make sure the tankbag does not interfere with handlebars or controls. Warn your passenger of special conditions — when you will pull out. • Distribute the Load Evenly — Load saddlebags with about the same weight. • Check the Load — Stop and check the load every so often to make sure it has not worked loose or moved. Piling loads against a sissybar or frame on the back of the seat raises the mortorcycle’s center of gravity and disturbs its balance. or turn — especially on a light motorcycle. but use caution when loading hard or sharp objects. turn sharply. or in front of. especially when taking curves. Start slowing earlier as you approach a stop. Wait for larger gaps to cross. The heavier your passenger. Open up a larger cushion of space ahead and to the sides. and • Warn that you are going to make a sudden move. 39 . A tight load won’t catch in the wheel or chain. or ride over a bump. • Keep the Load Forward — Place the load over. or merge in traffic. • Keep the Load Low — Fasten loads securely. stop quickly. Riding With Passengers Your motorcycle will respond more slowly with a passenger on board. tell your passenger to tighten his or her hold when you: • Approach surface problems. or put them in saddle bags. or bumps. It can also cause a wobble. the rear axle. Carrying Loads Most motorcycles are not designed to carry much cargo. An uneven load can cause the motorcycle to drift to one side. Mounting loads behind the rear axle can affect how the mortorcycle turns and brakes. Rope tends to stretch and knots come loose. permitting the load to shift or fall. • Secure the Load — Fasten the load securely with elastic cords (bungee cords or nets). speed up. Small loads can be carried safely if positioned and fastened properly. Turn your head slightly to make yourself understood. corners.Also. • Are about to start from a stop. enter. which could cause the motorcycle to lock up and skid.

12. Passengers should: A. Stay directly behind you, leaning as you lean. B. Always sit upright. C. Sit as far back as possible. D. Never hold onto you.


If you ride with others, do it in a way that promotes safety and doesn’t interfere with the flow of traffic. Keep the Group Small Small groups make it easier and safer for car drivers who need to get around them. A small number isn’t separated as easily by traffic or red lights. Riders won’t always be hurrying to catch up. If your group is larger than four or five riders, divide it up into two or more smaller groups. Keep the Group Together • Plan — The leader should look ahead for changes and signal early so “the word gets back” in plenty of time. Start lane changes early to permit everyone to complete the change. • Put Beginners Up Front — Place inexperienced riders just behind the leader. That way, the more experienced riders can watch them from the back. • Follow Those Behind — Let the tailender set the pace. Use your mirrors to keep an eye on the person behind. If a rider falls behind, everyone should slow down a little to stay with the tailender. • Know the Route — Make sure everyone knows the route. Then, if someone is separated they won’t have to hurry to keep from getting lost or taking a wrong turn. 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. A close group takes up less space on the highway, is easier to see and is less likely to be separated. However, it must be done properly. • Don’t Pair Up — Never operate directly alongside another rider. There is no place to go if you have to avoid a car or something on the road. To talk, wait until you are both stopped.



• Staggered Formation — This is the best way to keep ranks close yet maintain an adequate space cushion. The leader rides in the left side of the lane, while the second rider stays one second behind in the right side of the lane. A third rider stays in the left position, two seconds behind the first rider. The fourth rider would keep a two-second distance behind the second rider. This formation keeps the group close and permits each rider a safe distance from others ahead, behind, and to the sides, and discourages traffic from breaking into the formation. • Passing in Formation — Riders in a staggered formation should pass one at a time. Some people suggest that the leader should move to the right side after passing a vehicle. This is not a good idea. It encourages the second rider to pass and cut back in before there is a large enough space cushion in front of the passed vehicle. 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. • Single-File Formation — It is best to move into a single-file formation when riding curves or turning, and when entering or leaving a highway.

First, the lead rider should pull out and pass when it is safe. After passing, the leader should return to the left position and continue riding at passing speed to open room for the next rider.

After the first rider passes safely, the second rider should move up to the left position and watch for a safe chance to pass. After passing, this rider should return to the right position and open up room for the next rider.


D. C. At the tail end of the group. inexperienced riders should position themselves: A. Just behind the leader. In front of the group. B.13. 43 . When riding in a group. Beside the leader.

Your ability to perform and respond to changing road and traffic conditions is influenced by how fit and alert you are. Motorcyclists. making good judgments. drug levels have been harder to distinguish or have not been separated from drinking violations for the traffic records. and illegal drugs have side effects that 44 . Alcohol and other drugs. 2.100 motorcyclists are killed and about 50. Injuries occur in 90% of motorcycle crashes and 33% of automobile crashes that involve abuse of substances.000 seriously injured in this same type of crash. In the past. however. Only one-third of those riders had a blood alcohol concentration above legal limits. are more likely to be killed or severely injured in a crash. identifying potential hazards. Many over-the-counter. degrade your ability to think clearly and to ride safely. and executing decisions quickly and skillfully. On a yearly basis. more than any other factor. prescription. Let’s look at the risks involved in riding after drinking or using drugs.BEING IN SHAPE TO RIDE Riding a motorcycle is a demanding and complex task. Why This Information is Important Alcohol is a major contributor to motorcycle crashes. Skilled riders pay attention to the riding environment and to operating the motorcycle. particularly fatal crashes. Drinking and drug use is as big a problem among motorcyclists as it is among automobile drivers. These statistics are too overwhelming to ignore. Studies show that 40% to 45% of all riders killed in motorcycle crashes had been drinking. Alcohol and Other Drugs in Motorcycle Operation No one is immune to the effects of alcohol or drugs. but alcohol or drugs make them less able to think clearly and perform physical tasks skillfully. As little as one drink can have a significant effect on your performance. What to do to protect yourself and your fellow riders is also examined. Take positive steps to protect yourself and to protect others from injuring themselves. The rest had only a few drinks in their systems — enough to impair riding skills. Friends may brag about their ability to hold their liquor or perform better on drugs. By becoming knowledgeable about the effects of alcohol and other drugs. Judgment and the decision-making processes needed for vehicle operation are affected long before legal limitations are reached. you will see that riding and substance abuse don’t mix. But riding “under the influence” of either alcohol or drugs poses physical and legal hazards for every rider.

• Your body weight. Your sex. Three factors play a major part in determining BAC: • The amount of alcohol you consume. Within minutes after being consumed. Alcohol may still accumulate in your body even if you are drinking at a rate of one drink per hour. But the full effects of these are not completely known. it reaches the brain and begins to affect the drinker. Whatever you do. alcohol can be eliminated in the body at the rate of almost one drink per hour. Abilities and judgment can be affected by that one drink. the greater the degree of impairment. But we do know what effects various drugs have on the processes involved in riding a motorcycle. Unlike most foods and beverages. The more alcohol in your blood.5 oz 5 oz 12 oz Other factors also contribute to the way alcohol affects your system. It is difficult to accurately measure the involvement of particular drugs in motorcycle crashes. Alcohol in the Body Alcohol enters the bloodstream quickly.increase the risk of riding. Wine Beer Whiskey 1. 45 . Generally. Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is the amount of alcohol in relation to blood in the body. We also know that the combined effects of alcohol and other drugs are more dangerous than either is alone. physical condition. But a variety of other factors may also influence the level of alcohol retained. you do less well after consuming alcohol. • How fast you drink. it does not need to be digested. and food intake are just a few that may cause your BAC level to be even higher. The major effect alcohol has is to slow down and impair bodily functions — both mental and physical.

the more alcohol accumulates in your body. A person who drinks: • Seven drinks over the span of three hours would have at least four (7 .04 or more if you are operating a commercial vehicle. • Four drinks over the span of two hours would have at least two (4 .000 fine. a mixed drink with one shot of liquor. mandatory driver’s license suspension of at least 90 days days and up to 46 . . these examples illustrate why time is a critical factor when a rider decides to drink. They would need at least another four hours to eliminate the four remaining drinks before they consider riding. If you’re convicted in Idaho. at the end of that hour. Alcohol and the Law Under Idaho law.20 or more carries even stiffer penalties. There are times when a larger person may not accumulate as high a concentration of alcohol for each drink consumed. first offenders had a good chance of getting off with a small fine and participation in alcohol-abuse classes. you are considered to be driving under the influence if your BAC is . and a 5-ounce glass of wine all contain the same amount of alcohol. and . the criminal penalties are: • For a first conviction — Up to six months in jail. at least one drink will remain in your bloodstream. Today the laws of most states impose stiff penalties on drinking operators. If you drink two drinks in an hour. An alcohol concentration of .A 12-ounce can of beer. The faster you drink.3 = 4) drinks remaining in their system at the end of the three hours. up to a $1. Even if your BAC is less than .02 or more if you under 21 years of age.2 = 2) drinks remaining in their system at the end of the two hours. They have more blood and other bodily fluids. But because of individual differences. meaning that judges must impose them. Impairment of judgment and skills begins well below the legal limit. you may be convicted of driving under the influence of other intoxicating substances. And those penalties are mandatory. Whether or not you are legally intoxicated is not the real issue.08. Consequences of Conviction Years ago. They would need at least another two hours to eliminate the two remaining drinks before they consider riding.08 or more if you are 21 or older. it is better not to take the chance that abilities and judgment have not been affected. Without taking into account any other factors.

• For three or more convictions within 10 years — Mandatory jail sentence of from 30 days to five years. This conviction is a felony. If you receive an Administrative License Suspension. There are enhanced penalties for CDL drivers who drive under the influence. up to the lifetime loss of CDL privileges. This penalty is in addition to any penalty you receive in court for the DUI conviction. up to a $5. The officer may issue you a temporary driving permit good for 30 days or until a hearing in court is held on the seizure of your license. you will be asked to take an evidentiary (breath.000 fine.000 fine. mandatory driver’s license suspension from one to five years. The Administrative License Suspension penalty is a civil penalty and is separate and apart from any criminal penalties imposed by the court system. blood. mandatory driver’s license suspension of one year (two years if you are under 21). If the court upholds the officer’s findings. with absolutely no driving privileges for the first 30 days. Administrative License Suspensions If you are arrested for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances and you fail an evidentiary test by having an alcohol concentration over the legal limit. Alcohol Test Refusal If you are arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicating substances. A second refusal within 10 years will result in a two-year suspension.180 days (one year if you’re under 21). • For a second conviction within 10 years — Mandatory jail sentence from 10 days to one year (30 days if you are under 21). Idaho Code. If you refuse to take the test as requested. and also appear in court on your appointed date regarding the criminal DUI charges brought against you. you must comply with the ALS requirements. that is issued in accordance with Section 18-8002A. This notice is an Idaho Transportation Department-imposed administrative driver’s license suspension (ALS). 47 . your license will be seized by the arresting officer. a peace officer will serve you with a Notice of Suspension. up to a $2. You have the right to request an administrative hearing on the suspension before a hearing officer designated by the department. your license will be suspended for one year with absolutely no driving privileges of any kind for refusing to take the alcohol concentration test if it is your first offense. or urine) test.

Make an Intelligent Choice • Don’t drink — Once you start. Serve them food and coffee to pass the time. Your driving privileges will be suspended for one year with absolutely no driving privileges of any kind for a second failure of the test within five (5) years. • Slow the pace of drinking — Involve them in other activities. your driving privileges will be suspended for a period of ninety (90) days. Minimize the Risks Your ability to judge how well you are riding is affected first. Your ability to exercise good judgment is one of the first things affected by alcohol. You will have absolutely no driving privileges during the first thirty (30) days of that ninety (90) day suspension. • Keep them there — Use any excuse to keep them from getting on their motorcycle. You are rarely thanked for your efforts at the time. Arrrange another way to get home. Wait. No one wants to do this — it’s uncomfortable. Although you may be performing more and more poorly. your resistance becomes weaker. taking greater and greater risks. OR • Don’t ride — If you haven’t controlled your drinking.Your notice of suspension becomes effective thirty (30) days after the date of service (the date you received the notice). Step In to Protect Friends People who have had too much to drink are unable to make a responsible decision. and thankless. wait until your system eliminates the alcohol and its fatiguing effects. embarrassing. Setting a limit or pacing yourself are poor alternatives at best. If you exceed your limit. Explain your 48 . Minimize the risks of drinking and riding by taking steps before you drink. But the alternatives are often worse. The result is that you ride confidently. For a first failure. It is up to others to step in and keep them from taking too great a risk. you think you are doing better and better. There are several ways to keep friends from hurting themselves: • Arrange a safe ride — Provide alternative ways for them to get home. Control your drinking or control your riding. Leave the motorcycle so you won’t be tempted to ride. you may not realize to what extent your skills have suffered from alcohol’s fatiguing effects. Even if you have tried to drink in moderation. you must control your riding.

3-D. C. 14. 14-C 49 . 11-D. cold. If you wait one hour per drink for the alcohol to be eliminated from your body before riding: A. B. making it very difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. • Get friends involved — Use peer pressure from a group of friends to intervene. The more people on your side. 10-C. Your riding skills will not be affected. Answers: 1-C. 13-A. On a long trip. the easier it is to be firm and the harder it is for the rider to resist. Dress warmly. you’ll tire sooner than you would in a car. • Protect Yourself From the Elements — Wind. 7-D. 5-B. • Don’t Drink or Use Drugs — Artificial stimulants often result in extreme fatigue or depression when they start to wear off. you will never have to say.” FATIGUE Riding a motorcycle is more tiring than driving a car. 8-D. “If only I had.. D. Fatigue can affect your control of the motorcycle. A windshield is worth its cost if you plan to ride long distances. and rain make you tire quickly. While you may not be thanked at the time. 6-C. Take their key if you can.concerns for their risks of getting arrested or hurt or hurting someone else. 2-D. Side effects from the drinking may still remain. • Take Frequent Rest Breaks — Stop and get off the motorcycle at least every two hours. Avoid riding when you are tired. 9-D. 12-A. You will be okay as long as you ride slowly. 4-A. It helps to enlist support from others when you decide to step in. You cannot be arrested for drinking and riding.. • Limit Your Distance — Experienced riders seldom try to ride more than about six hours a day.

Our training is associated with a 71% reduced crash risk.Whether you have ridden thousands of miles. off-street environment and are designed to help you develop the physical skills as well as the mental strategies needed to successfully navigate today’s roadways.” The Idaho STAR Motorcycle Safety Program provides high quality rider training that makes motorcycling safer and more enjoyable for everyone. Unfortunately. Training for all Levels . Idaho STAR courses are held throughout the state during the riding season. The Basic I Course – This course is designed for the novice rider with no (or limited) street-riding experience. Idaho STAR has a course to fit your needs. and easy to park. or have never even sat on a motorcycle. Motorcycle rider courses teach and improve skills such as effective turning. many riders never learn the critical skills needed to ride safely. The Idaho STAR program is incorporated within the Idaho Department of Education. and an 81% reduction in the risk of a fatal crash. Professional training for beginning and experienced riders prepares them for real-world traffic situations. traffic strategies. training. You will learn fundamental skills required to operate the motorcycle and progress to street-strategies and emergency situation skills. and maintenance. obstacle avoidance. “STAR” is an acronym for “Skills Training Advantage for Riders. Motorcycles and helmets are provided. 50 . understanding. and knowledge to help you develop the skills you need. STAR courses are taught by state-certified instructors who have the patience.PROFESSIONAL TRAINING Motorcycles are inexpensive to operate. • • • • Never ridden before? We have a course for you! Used to ride years ago and ready to come back to the sport? We have a course for you! Been riding dirt bikes and now want to ride on the street? We have a course for you! Experienced rider looking to learn more and improve your skills? We have a course for you. This 15-hour course includes both classroom and on-cycle instruction. Rider training courses are available throughout Idaho. too! STAR courses take place in a controlled. fun to ride. braking maneuvers. protective apparel selection.

stopping. braking and emergency maneuvering skills on your own motorcycle.idahostar. You will practice cornering. If you are under 21.The Basic II Course – This course is designed for riders who are already comfortable with the basic skills of turning. For this course. braking. This course offers experienced riders an opportunity to hone their riding skills and fine-tune the mental strategies needed for survival in traffic.Even if you've been riding for some time. go to www. you may choose to ride one of our motorcycles.idahostar. shifting. Idaho STAR Motorcycle Safety Program www. state law requires completion of a certified motorcycle rider training course before you can apply for a motorcycle endorsement. The Experienced Course. The Idaho STAR Program is sponsored by the Idaho Department of Education. Motorcycle Endorsements Successful completion of an Idaho STAR course will waive the skills test portion of the motorcycle endorsement requirement.org 1-888-280-STAR (7287) 51 . Rider courses are available throughout Idaho.org. You will learn street-strategies and emergency situation skills. and swerving maneuvers on the riding course. For the location of the one nearest you. or you may ride your own. This 8-hour course includes both classroom and on-cycle instruction. and balancing the motorcycle. The Experienced Course is a one day program and is the perfect opportunity to sharpen your cornering. the Experienced Course has something for you.

C. D. B. About three-quarters. D. 4. it is usually best to: A. 52 . turn the handlebars quickly.) 1. shift your weight quickly. B. About one-half. your signals are not working. make eye contact with the driver. D. C. press the handgrip in the direction of the turn. C. hold the handgrips firmly. someone is following too closely. If a tire goes flat while riding. B. To swerve correctly: A. ease off the throttle. use both brakes and stop quickly. A car is waiting to enter the intersection. there is a stop sign ahead. you will be slowing suddenly. maintain speed and move right. D. C. It is MOST important to flash your brake light when: A. 3. D. and apply the brake on the good tire. speed up and be ready to react. C. press the handgrip in the opposite direction of the turn. B. About one-quarter.KNOWLEDGE TEST (Sample Questions) (The answers are printed at the bottom of the next page. 5. brake on the flat tire and steer to the right. or avoid braking. reduce speed and be ready to react. All of the stopping power. It is best to: A. B. 2. shift your weight toward the good wheel and brake. The FRONT brake supplies how much of the potential stopping power? A.

Scoring deductions will be made for: • Not stopping within the maximum distance allowed. Scoring deductions will be made for: • A foot touching the ground. turn. Completing normal and quick turns. you may be tested for your ability to: • • • • • • Know your motorcycle and your riding limits. 53 . Scoring deductions will be made for: • A foot touching the ground.MOTORCYCLE SKILL TEST Basic vehicle control and obstacle-avoidance skills are included in skill tests to determine your ability to handle normal and hazardous traffic situations. Cone Weave and U-Turn You will be required to weave past cones and make a right U-turn. Completing normal and quick stops. • Or a tire touching the boundary line during the U-turn. and swerve quickly. Examiners may score on factors related to safety such as: • • • • Selecting safe speeds to perform maneuvers. Quick Stop You will be required to accelerate to a certain speed and stop as fast as you safely can. See. • And not stopping inside the designated area. Adjust speed and position to the traffic situation. Here are some of the skills you will have to demonstrate during the skills test: A Sharp Turn and A Normal Stop You will be required to demonstrate a sharp left turn inside boundaries and make a smooth. brake. non-skidding stop with your front tire inside a designated area. Make critical decisions and carry them out. • If the motorcycle skids. or swerves. • Skipping or hitting a cone. and communicate with others. • If either tire crosses a boundary line. Accelerate. Stop. For example. be seen. Choosing the correct path and staying within boundaries. and turn safely.

Obstacle Swerve You will be required to accelerate to a certain speed then swerve to avoid hitting an obstacle line. Points will be deducted if you stall your engine while attempting any of the maneuvers.• Not reaching the correct speed range. The examiner also will watch your posture and overall operation and attention. • Not reaching the correct speed range. tell the examiner. three-wheeled vehicle) may be added until completion of a two-wheeled motorcycle test. To receive a motorcycle license with full privileges. Knowledge Test Answers: 1-B. maneuver. Scoring deductions will be made for: • Either tire touching the obstacle line or sideline. turn. If a test is too hard. Restrictions (sidecar. most states require that maneuvers be performed as designed for single-track. Those vehicles maneuver differently than a twowheeled motorcycle. You should not attempt a test you do not feel you can do. You will be graded on your ability to control the cycle. two-wheeled motorcycles. You can make an appointment for another day. 5-B Diagrams and drawings used in this manual are for reference only and are not to correct scale for size of vehicles and distances. 3-C. 2-C. You may stop the test at any time you desire. On-motorcycle skill tests are not designed for sidecars or three-wheeled vehicles. or you cannot safely follow instructions. 4-A. stop quickly and ride in a straight line. 54 .

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