Although I am typically a loner and even a misfit, I thought, well, I would agree to meet this woman motorcyclists and perhaps we could become riding partners. We have been communicating via email. One email lead to another and the topic of riding experience came up. She mentioned an upcoming organized ride, but she said her boyfriend thought she wasn't ready for highway travel. That sparked my curiousity. I decided to ask her about her other riding experience, i.e. group riding. Her reply intrigued me, she said something to the effect, "Group riding experience. What is the big deal about group riding?"
That perked another interest. I immediately asked, "Have you completed Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Riding course?" She replied she hadn't yet.
My next question was, "Do you have a motorcycle learner's permit?" Her answer was no. I started mentally taking inventory. She has a Sportster. She rides with her boyfriend leading her. She doesn't have a license or learner's permit. I asked her where she rides. She told me she rides around town and usually following her boyfriend. I told her taking the written test at DMV only takes 10 minutes and it is a cinch. She then replies, "I have had several back surgeries. DMV won't give me a permit because of that, even though I have a letter from my doctor."
Call me conversative, call me a law-abiding citizen, call me a person knows my limits. I have been riding a year. I know my limits and try to stay within them. I would never get out on the road on a motorcycle with at least a learner's permit. I would (and did) complete a basic riding course.
Motorcyclists are required by law to carry a motorcycle-specific driver's license, but licensing requirements differ from state to state. Some states accept licenses issued in other states, while others do not. Some states provide state-funded rider education classes to help riders earn their licenses, and some states allow riders to waive rider education classes by taking a skill test. It is important to be familiar with the motorcycle laws in your state, including insurance requirements, so that you can avoid a citation and enjoy your ride.
Before you can get a motorcycle license (also known as a motorcycle endorsement), most states require you to obtain a motorcycle permit. The permit is a conditional license that may prohibit you from carrying a passenger or riding after dark. In order to get a motorcycle permit, you will need to take a written test. Some states also require you to take a class in conjunction with a written test. Once you have a motorcycle permit, you may be required to log a certain amount of riding time and/or wait a certain period before you are allowed to have a motorcycle license.
Although motorcycle licensing requirements differ from state to state, there are some general guidelines to be aware of when obtaining your motorcycle license. Most states require you to pass a series of written tests in order to obtain a motorcycle permit. These tests will question you about state-specific rules and regulations, traffic laws, and conduct on the road. Classes and books are available to help you prepare for the written test. After having a motorcycle permit for a certain amount of time and/or riding a certain number of hours, you may proceed to take a series of written and skill tests to obtain your motorcycle license.
A skill test is meant to test a driver's highway riding ability. A driver may be asked to perform simple maneuvers, such as left and right turns. Drivers must also demonstrate the ability to start and stop smoothly. More complicated maneuvers, such as S-turns, U-turns, sharp turns to avoid obstacles, and quick stops will also have to be successfully executed. Once a driver passes all written and skill tests, he or she is granted a motorcycle license. Unlike a permit, a license allows the driver to carry passengers and ride after dark.