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Old 10-13-2010, 12:59 PM   #1
RoninCP OP
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Anyone tried the CA DMV Rider Skills Test on a Boxer GS?

Ha! Dented my ego.... 32 years on bikes, 20 years on the road.... I've taken my GS places it has no business going.... And yet...

FAILED

I'm new to the US and have been riding on my Australian (Queensland) licence. So the insanity is, after I failed the test I rode home!

Seems a very arbitrary test to me... I mean I totally appreciate the slow ride exam... BUT.... On a 250 it would be a piece of cake. On the GS it is unforgiving! I had to stand up just to see the lines. Sitting down I couldn't guarantee the wheel was within the lines....

Did the slalom and two circles no problem but there was little room before the entry to the parallel lines of the "slow ride" section and on entry I put the front over half an inch! FAIL

Doing it again today.... No guarantees!

Ah well.... Adventure comes in many forms I guess!
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:10 PM   #2
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I took it on a Honda V45 Magna, failed the first time, passed it the second. I thought I had to keep both wheels in between the circles. Second time I just kept the front wheel in and passed. Good luck.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:25 PM   #3
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The test is stupid. It is virtually impossible to pass on a modern sport bike. Most people borrow a small dual sport to take the test.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lensgrinder
I took it on a Honda V45 Magna, failed the first time, passed it the second. I thought I had to keep both wheels in between the circles. Second time I just kept the front wheel in and passed. Good luck.
If someone showed up on a Magna, I would flunk them just on general principles.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:44 PM   #5
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I did

On Monday. I had practiced all weekend, overheating the thing and probably destroying the clutch. Didn't do so well practicing but when time came to actually do the test...I PASSED

All I can recommend is get on the course and practice, practice, practice.

It is stupid by the way.

Great luck next time, relax and you will be fine.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:27 PM   #6
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Yeah, you'd never do it on a sportbike. Would be hard on a GS.

If you look on Craigslist, there is usually someone that will rent you a 250 Nighthawk for the DMV test cheap, and deliver it to the testing center.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:46 PM   #7
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i would recommend taking the MSF Safety course. it is an 8 hour road and an 8 hour classroom seminar and can be crammed into a Fri (evening), Sat (all day) & Sun (morning). the class will be a joke for you, but when you get their certificate, you can skip the road skills part at the DMV and all you have to take is the written test. the MSF class gets you ready for that exam too. i believe the class costs a couple hundred dollars but BMW NA used to pay for the class if you were going to buy a bike from them. even if you have to pay out of pocket, insurance companies will give you a discount (around 10% to 20%) for having taken the class, so it will pay for itself over time. and if you learn something that you didn't know, that is good too.

edit: i forgot to mention: they supply the bikes for the road course, usually a nighthawk 250. they also have helmets, but you would probably bring your own.
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:33 PM   #8
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I second the MSF. I think I took mine on a Honda 125. Was fun couple of days that the military paid for. Plus the iinsurance perk. The skills test is a pain. I have had buddies that have had to borrow a bike and go to the DMV on the weekend and practice just to have a shot at passing.
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:21 PM   #9
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I'm a big fan of the MSF course too, although I've never taken it. (I got my motorcycle endorsment when bikes were steam powered) The insurance discount and automatic pass on the riding part of the exam would be worth it, IMO.
I'm quite certain I wouldn't pass on my 1200GS either.
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:48 AM   #10
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In Colorado we offer the BRC II with license waiver. Six hours on your bike and then the riding test. Written test also. Pass both and go to the DMV. 90% pass rate vs 50% for the DMV riding test. The 6 hours of practice makes the difference.

Maybe CA offers the same class. It is MSF
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:50 AM   #11
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MO must have the same ridiculous test. I've had bikes for many years, all
sizes, but didn't make it past the first part with my R1150R. The high first
gear didn't help matters any.

The testing gal came as close as she dared to admitting it was ridiculous,
and said something like "I have to test you on what you bring" implying I
could use even a scooter. I've since heard of many folks with large bikes,
esp older retirees, being totally unable to pass that test. And I have
found that some states have different tests for different sized bikes,
which makes so much more sense.

I checked the local BMW dealer but he didn't have anything appreciably
smaller to loan or rent.

We have a state univ in town and I just happened to drive by a scooter
rental near the school yesterday. If the state wants to be stupid with their test,
I'll just take advantage of it and use a scooter. Problem solved!

When I'm working (heavy construction) it's always long hours so no time
for the safety course. Right now I'm "between jobs" so can't afford it.
It's fairly costly around my area.
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustKip
I'm a big fan of the MSF course too, although I've never taken it. (I got my motorcycle endorsment when bikes were steam powered) The insurance discount and automatic pass on the riding part of the exam would be worth it, IMO.
I'm quite certain I wouldn't pass on my 1200GS either.
I used to be a fan of the MSF course, but my GF got her M1 certification that way and the instruction was mediocre at best and just plain scary wrong at worst.
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmex
If someone showed up on a Magna, I would flunk them just on general principles.
SNOB

Well you have to do one or the other. You can't just walk up to the window and expect them to just give it to you because of your charming personality, but then again you might think that. Who gives a shit what you think anyway. Thanks for contributing NOTHING to this thread.
Not all of us are rich enough to buy a BMW right away.
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lensgrinder
SNOB

Well you have to do one or the other. You can't just walk up to the window and expect them to just give it to you because of your charming personality, but then again you might think that. Who gives a shit what you think anyway. Thanks for contributing NOTHING to this thread.
Not all of us are rich enough to buy a BMW right away.
Just because you are poor does not mean you have to buy an ugly bike.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:45 AM   #15
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I'll also agree about the MSF class for two reasons. One is the skill test is part of the class, so once you complete the class, all you do it take the written test at DMV and you're done. Plus, they supply the bike. Also, many insurance companies offer discounted rates if you take and pass the class, so in the long run it might be a wash money wise.

Also, if you borrow a bike, make sure it is over 250cc. That's because if it's under that, you'll get an M2 endorsement, which is basically a moped license. Most DMV workers won't explain that, they'll just let you do the ride without comment and then shazzam, you have an M2 without knowing it or the difference.
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