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Thread: Ca DMV skills test

  1. #1

    Ca DMV skills test

    After getting my first Cal DMV M1 endorsement in the dark ages, which I did not renew as I had no motorcycle at some point, I am now scheduled for my M skills test. When I got my first endorsement years ago I recall a simple figure 8 which was easy on my R75. Now they have 2 concentric circles 20 and 21 feet in diameter I believe. They want you to enter the circles and not let the front tire go outside the 21 ft circle and go around twice, like a circus clown and later in the test go the other direction twice. No similarity to any real world motoring. I do fine in parking lots, gas stations and limited room u turns. I have watched countless youtube videos on this subject. Many suggest renting a small bike for this test, and there are companies in big cities that offer this, but I am not there. After my rant my question is has anyone passed the Ca DMV circle jerk test with an R1100S or similar? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    take a brick, some string, a tape measure and chalk to a big High school parking lot on a Saturday morning and draw the circles and practice. It's not that hard. its ok to be better at maneuvering the bike than you think you need to be 😀
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  3. #3
    One of the keys to riding tight circles is to keep one's head up and look where you wish to go. It is easy to look down which will cause to bike's path to vary from the desired route. It is also easy to let one's speed drop and the bike will want to fall over.

    It is advisable to practice, practice, practice. It would be worthwhile to attend a training course where one can receive some coaching in achieving a proper technique to purposefully control the motorcycle.

    I believe that the standard for motorcycle police officers is to be able to make a turn in a 15-foot circle. This corresponds to the width of a normal 2 lane road. Thus, the motor-officer can make a "U-turn" in a 2 lane road. This level of skill requires much training and practice.

  4. #4
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    What a hassle.

    I got my MC license in New York when I was 20, moved to Connecticut for almost ten years, and came back to New York.

    MC license still valid, and didn't even have a bike again until last year, when I was 55.

    Good luck on the test.

    SPP

  5. #5
    drgnhtr
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    Are you sure that you have to take the skills test. I just went in to get my "Real I.D." and was told that the tests weren't being given due to covid restrictions. I was able to renew my license with nothing but an eye test.

  6. #6

    Thanks

    Thanks for the replies. Gonna practice today. The closest DMV to me was where I applied for my real id but they could not complete the process. They said my pending MC endorsement was holding it up and I had to complete the skills test. Then the supervisor told me they were not currently doing the test as the lines needed repainting. I half in jest suggested giving me a pass so I could get my real ID. "Nice try" was the reply. I was able to schedule one at a DMV an hour away. It's a nice ride there.

  7. #7
    Are we there yet? tonyfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mntngrown View Post
    They want you to enter the circles and not let the front tire go outside the 21 ft circle and go around twice, like a circus clown and later in the test go the other direction twice. No similarity to any real world motoring.
    This was the test when I got my endorsement back in 1984 in California. No figure 8 on the course.
    2009 K1300 GT
    1984 Kawasaki ZX750-E1 Turbo
    2005 R1200 RT - gone

  8. #8

    Nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by slowpokepete View Post
    What a hassle.

    I got my MC license in New York when I was 20, moved to Connecticut for almost ten years, and came back to New York.

    MC license still valid, and didn't even have a bike again until last year, when I was 55.

    Good luck on the test.

    SPP
    I wish Ca maintained the status like NY. Mine probably dropped off hen I was not renewing it during the years I had no MC.

  9. #9
    Are we there yet? tonyfr's Avatar
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    I got my endorsement in California, moved to New York, back to California and then to Texas. I've kept the same endorsement for 37 years. I did have to take a writtem test in New York.
    2009 K1300 GT
    1984 Kawasaki ZX750-E1 Turbo
    2005 R1200 RT - gone

  10. #10
    Registered User drneo66's Avatar
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    Have you considered just signing up for a Motorcycle Safety Course? The MSF (or equivalent) course will count to getting your endorsement (in most states), plus you'll get a good review of the basics to boot.
    Current: 2007 BMW R1200RT, 2013 F800GS
    Former: 1995 BMW K75S, 2009 BMW G650GS
    MOA Member #:150400, IBA#: 37558

  11. #11

    Living in the boondocks

    Quote Originally Posted by drneo66 View Post
    Have you considered just signing up for a Motorcycle Safety Course? The MSF (or equivalent) course will count to getting your endorsement (in most states), plus you'll get a good review of the basics to boot.
    The locations are hours away since I am in podunk and they were closed for covid. Now they are full for a long way out. Zoom for classroom then commute 2 days, 2 hours plus each way but I will consider it as a last resort.

  12. #12
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    In CA, you can try going to the DMV when they are closed and practice on the 'painted' circles in the lot.
    If you take a riders safety course to freshen up, you can take the completion certificate to the DMV and that will waive the req'd skill test at the DMV.

  13. #13
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    When I moved here from the northeast (~45 years ago), not only did I have to do the circles, but I had to do two Figure Eights diagonally within the box.
    (Also the "serpentine", and demonstrate a couple of shifts, all without putting a foot down.)
    The test supervisor saw my bike and said I could take a practice run.
    I did it on my '70 Sportster with 4" tubes up front and a 5x16 on the rear.
    He passed me, no second run necessary.

  14. #14
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    Considering the fact that CA allows lane splitting (filtering) I kinda like the idea that they have some kind of advanced skill requirement... not sure if what's described really qualifies as that.

    If someone is going to be allowed to skim the mirrors of my car in traffic I'd hope they can do more than walk and chew gum at the same time.... (grin).

  15. #15
    Registered User r0ckrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordonb View Post
    In CA, you can try going to the DMV when they are closed and practice on the 'painted' circles in the lot.
    If you take a riders safety course to freshen up, you can take the completion certificate to the DMV and that will waive the req'd skill test at the DMV.
    This. I can do the circles on my '16 R1200R no problem - wife is still practicing for her endorsement on a scooter, so I get to show her some tips. I have even done it with all 3 boxes, but without is easier. Go practice a time or two, have someone with a go-pro record it, and see how you do. Wife said the current requirement is weave the cones, around the circle, and weave the cones out - that's at the Long Beach DMV.

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