Go Back   Motorcycle Forum > Motorcycle.Com General Discussion > Motorcycle News > Old News > MO Reader Feedback

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-17-2007, 03:42 PM   #151
ER1B
Founding Member
 
ER1B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The great state of Houston
Posts: 41
Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

I started on a Honda CB160, went to a Honda 750 (69hp in it's day!) and so on from R1 to Electra-Glide. I talk to Newbies every day about a good 'starter' bike and in every case, I was ignored in favor of the high powered Supa Sport. I pray that these guys don't end up as the next statistic. Some have...There was a response made earlier from an insurance guy about a bet he made with new owner/clients-steak dinner if they make 90 days without incident. When I moved to Harris County, Texas (Houston), my full coverage for my R1 quadrupled. I was in my forties with a clean record. The local dealer told me the R1 had a 80% 'kill' rate in the first 90 days of ownership. I think that probably speaks for itself.
ER1B is offline   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links Remove Advertisements
Motorcycle Forum
Advertisement
Old 01-17-2007, 03:48 PM   #152
ER1B
Founding Member
 
ER1B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The great state of Houston
Posts: 41
Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

I think that you may not be wrong. I think it is called the Mystery Amendment....No is quite sure when it snuck in there. It just appeared one day, but it's written in verrrry light ink....
ER1B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2007, 03:51 PM   #153
ER1B
Founding Member
 
ER1B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The great state of Houston
Posts: 41
Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

Darn, I knew I should have previewed! ...No one is quite sure when it snuck in there.
ER1B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2007, 04:30 PM   #154
DaveFla
Founding Member
 
DaveFla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 328
Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

One thing that really bugs me about the pilot training analogy: when you screw up in an urban area on your scoot, it obviously has FAR fewer consequences than when you turn your aircraft into a lawn dart!



Flying is on another level entirely, and for good reasons.

DaveFla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2007, 04:43 PM   #155
DaveFla
Founding Member
 
DaveFla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 328
Default Re: Drivers the issue

Lack of driving skills kills 55 times more people than war in the US. Whassup with that?!?



Well, for a start, government efforts at traffic safety have been run by epidemiologist types for decades now... these are people who think that accidents, like disease, are going to happen no matter what, so let's emphasize minimizing the effects. It's hard to get them to focus on operator education in place of reducing trauma levels, etc.

DaveFla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2007, 05:49 PM   #156
bondo
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 6
Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

um, a gsxr at 150 makes a nice "dart" too.

but no amount of training will prevent that if the individual does not have the will to ride responsibly.



bondo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2007, 05:58 PM   #157
BimotaRich
Founding Member
 
BimotaRich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 21
Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint Japanese Test Requirements

Maybe some of the readers would like to know about tiered motorcycle testing in Japan.



Japan is license and test crazy. There are licenses and associated tests required to do just about anything. For motorcycles there is a test system divided into engine size classifications. 0-49cc requires just a car license. 50-249cc requires a small bike license. 250-749 requires a medium bike license, and 750+ requires a large bike license. There is talk of collapsing the smaller two classes together and make them share the the middle class requirements. There is also talk of a special scooter only license which would do away with clutching and you would take the test on a 400cc scooter. There are no wait time restrictions on which license you acquire other than the minimum age for driving which is 18. (I think you can get a 50cc license when you are 16 but I am not sure). If you can pass the test then you can get the license. The only "wait" time is for passengers and highways. You must have ridden a year to use the expressway or have a passenger. You must have ridden for 3 years before you can use the expressway with a passenger.



There are 3 parts to the test.



The first part is a vision test. It includes a color check.

The second part is a paper test. Not too difficult. Mostly just the basics of Japanese traffic regulations. Nothing bike specific, but more involved than the typical US license test.

The riding portion of the test is bike size specific and is done at a special test track on a provided motorcycle (in my case you got the luck of the draw...either a Honda CB 750 or a VFR 750 - with riser handle bars - the bikes are outfitted with a variety of signal lights so that the judge knows your speed and clutch positions). The track is shared by people testing for all sorts of motor vehicle licenses so there are semis, cars, buses, construction vehicles etc along with the other bikes, all using the test track simultaneously. This makes for some pretty difficult traffic situations because ALL the drivers sharing the road are beginners and nervous. The test track is basically a microcosm of real life obstacles including lights, signs, traffic, parked cars, and turns and hills of various degrees. A mock city area of about 4 blocks square with a variety of obstacles and special courses incorporated. You must demonstrate an ability to control all aspects of the bike with the emphasis being on correct clutch usage (start on a STEEP hill and clutch engaged in all corners) and low speed manuevering (much more important here in Japan where tight slow corners are the rule rather than the exception - a knee grip is crucial). You must stay within 10 inches of an invisible line through out the test (this includes lane positioning). You can never put your right foot down at stops. You must memorize the course and execute it without any assistance. You must demonstrate that you can shift into 3rd gear and accelerate and deaccelerate appropriately for turns (max speed must hit between 40 and 50 MPH). The more challenging parts of the course are the slalom, "S", crank, balance beam, and washboard. For the record I failed the balance beam the first time I tested because I was 2 seconds too fast.



You must be able to mount and dismount from the bike without using the kick stand. You must make a pre ride check and be able to take it off the center stand, mount it, finish the check, ride away smoothly, and make a U turn and when finished stop in a short box and dismount and put the bike onto the center stand all while never using the kick stand. You must also be able to set the bike on its side and pick it back up (it has engine gaurds which make this a bit easier as it doesnt get too flat on the ground). Passing this... Then the real test starts.



All turns must be appropriately signaled and be precipitated by appropriate lane positioning. The clutch must be out when turning. You must pump your brakes before turns. You must accelerate through the turns.



The slalom must be done in a minimum amount of time. The larger the bike, the faster the time. It requires a fair amount of leaning and good use of the throttle on a big bike!



The S is a tight narrow S curve. Its about 3 feet wide. Not too hard. You must do it in second gear.



The crank is very tight and narrow... basically its a series of 6, 90degree turns on 3 foot wide pavement. 1st or second gear is OK as is the clutch. No feet!



The balance beam is just that... a long narrow (50yrdsx.5FT) steel girder which you must SLOWLY traverse after mounting via a small ramp. The bigger the bike the slower you have to go. Too fast or foot down and you are out! It's basically a slow walking speed in a perfectly straight line on a slightly raised beam. Clutch, brake work, and balance are key.



The washboard is a 50m series of metal 2x4s which cross your path every 2 feet. The path is about 2 ft wide. You have to stand on your pegs and cross it without leaving the course.



There is also an on hill start and stop (30 degree angle each way) and several U turns which are almost full crank incorporated into the course.



I met people who had taken the test more than 10X and were doin it again. I had been riding for a decade in America and Japan before the test. I took 2 hours of special classes and did some solo training before I took the test. I failed the first time but passed the second time (I took 2 more hours of classes and I practiced on the course for an hour on my own bike as well - much easier since I am very familiar with my Triumph).



All in all, a very tough test and Japanese riders are a result generally very good. If you have a big bike license then at least you have the minimum skill to control your bike well. Good judgement, well that is a whole nother story.



Insurance prices seem about the same here as in America, while everything else is MORE expensive here. So perhaps the tiered system helps keep insurance prices low. The lessons are generally 50 dollars an hour and the test is also about that price (plus the price of the license which is about $30). Most people take 20-40 hours of classes for their first license and end up spending a bit over 2 grand. Not cheap. But better than dying or paying even more through high insurance premiums.
__________________
1200 Triumph Daytona
BimotaRich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2007, 06:03 PM   #158
BimotaRich
Founding Member
 
BimotaRich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 21
Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

Too True.. I live in Japan where licensing is a *****. I have yet to meet another foreigner here who has a legit Japanese bike license. For the record I do! It was a bit tough to get and a giant hassle. But I am a better rider for it. I had taken MSF courses prior to my move here and was licensed in the US. But I learned way more here in Japan preparing for the test. Way too often friends here ask about getting a bike in Japan. I tell them to get a license first and they almost always say... yeah right... some will only learn the hard way! The school of hard knocks knocks very hard! I hope they live long enough for me to tell em I told you so!
__________________
1200 Triumph Daytona
BimotaRich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2007, 06:03 PM   #159
ptschett
Registered Member
 
ptschett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 13
Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

It wasn't always that way.



http://www.muckraker-report.org/id18.html -- they might be nuts but it is a fun read...
__________________
ptschett
'99 Kawasaki KLR650
ptschett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2007, 06:38 PM   #160
ksquid
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: My new favorite site is CycleWorld.com
Posts: 3,775
Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint Japanese Test Requirements

Great stuff very interesting.. .I suspect a lot of American riders would have trouble passing these test.. GPTB you know who you are I would love to test myself on my Ninja..
ksquid is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off