Archive | June, 2011

The Road Test – What to Expect

17 Jun

A month has almost passed already since I passed my road test; I really need to set aside some time to blog!

A quick recap of my motorcycle adventure so far:
1. Wrote learner’s test one day when bored in early February
2. Purchased bike in late February
3. Lots of parking lot practice and little bit of back roads
4. Took skills test late March
5. Low traffic practice for most of April, higher traffic practice in May
6. Road test late May
7. Outgrew bike – Sold bike
8. Dreaming of next bike and future bike trips!!!

So I last blogged about prepping for the road test with a road assessment. I found this to be pretty useful to fine tune a few things like lane positioning. I didn’t take a novice course but do plan on taking a more advanced maneuvers course in the future.

The Road Test – What to Expect

I arrived with a bit of nerves at the licensing office. I always find it funny, you know that there is no point in being nervous (it’s not like you will be executed if you fail the test) but a little part of you still is. I got all the paper work taken care of and then sat down to wait. They passed a card that had these tips on it (or something very similar to):


Riders will do best on Class 6 road test if they make the following skills part of their everyday riding routine:
-Keep to posted speed limits.
-Do not keep up to speeding traffic.
-Watch for school zones and playgrounds.
-Make full stops for stop signs and stop in the correct position.
-When turning right, shoulder check to the right to ensure there are no cyclists, pedestrians or other road users.
-Mirror check and shoulder check whenever you change lanes or direction.
-Keep a safe distance from other vehicles and maintain a dominant lane position.
-Scan intersections before riding through, even if the light is green when you approach.

I then got suited up with an ICBC vest and radio to hear directions from the examiner. As we wandered over to my bike I noticed two extra people get into the examiner’s car…so now there were 4 sets of eyes for my test! Just my luck that the supervisors were joining the ride.

The examiner had me go through a pre-trip inspection with him. He was quite nice but of course had to make a joke about my 125 being a girly bike 🙂 Then it was off to the races. I made it through my test with only one thing marked off – I went through a yellow light. I thought that I would have a restriction on my license of no passengers since I was riding the 125 but they didn’t actually put that on. All in all it was a fairly straight forward process. Here are a few tips:

1. Don’t wait for the examiner’s vehicle just ride as if you were on your own. The less they see the better. If they want you to pull over they will tell you. I was often quite far ahead and I never once had to pull over.

2. Exaggerate your scanning a little bit – I know this seems ridiculous but they can’t see your eyes but they can see your head movement. So make it obvious that you are looking around for hazards and scanning intersections by completely moving your head even though you could scan with just your eyes.

3. Put a sticker or piece of coloured tape on the back of your helmet. If you have a single colour helmet add something to the back of it so that your head movements are more obvious to an observer behind you.

4. Don’t slow down unnecessarily for corners etc. that have a suggested speed limit (yellow sign). They want to see that you can ride confidently and in a manner that is with the flow of traffic.

5. See Examiner’s tips above.

6. Ask for clarification or repetition of instructions by tapping your head if you need.

7. Relax and enjoy it as much as you enjoy your normal rides!

So there you go my short journey so far into the world of motorbikes! I got a message this week from one of my best friends in Calgary. She has decided to sign up for a novice course this summer and also decided to treat herself to a Ducati Monster 696. Plans for a coastal road trip next summer are in the works – I am so thrilled!!!