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 Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing

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mattmartz
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PostSubject: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:46 am

I just took the motorcycle license road test in Georgia on my Silverwing and wanted to share my story. I personally had a little trouble finding information on license testing with a Silverwing, particularly related to GA, so hopefully this will be helpful to someone…

I've been riding motorcycles in GA on and off for over 15 years. I've previously owned two Honda Shadows and a Ninja. For many years I believed the completely erroneous information I received first-hand from other experienced riders who told me that interstate riding on a motorcycle learner's permit was no big deal--that you might get a tiny fine but would probably be let off with a warning. Obviously I now know this to be completely false, and I'm not proud that I risked complete loss of driving privileges, which is what would most likely happen if caught on a permit in GA (including riding at night, on interstates, or with a passenger). Basically, I simply got lucky for a long time. Very dumb luck, though…

Having recently purchased a 2007 Silverwing--which I LOVE--I decided to take the full licensure road test ASAP and get legal. GA DMV's are mostly awful--it took me five hours of a day to simply obtain my permit, for example. However, once you have it you can schedule your road test by appointment, which turned out to be on time and pretty smooth/easy. Here's the helpful part I wanted to share...

A few days before my scheduled test I rode to the DMV and did some practice on the course before being kicked off by security (I didn't know I wasn't allowed). My practice experience was disheartening and intimidating. The cone weave and 90 degree turn tests felt nearly impossible on the Silverwing, as they are executed at speeds of about 3 to 5 mph at most and basically require figure 8's and such. I was baffled and worried that I might not pass. I've done a lot of safe motorcycle reading, have a variety of experience, wear high-vis, and consider myself a safe and proficient rider. But this kind of slow speed maneuvering was absent from my experience, particularly on a maxi-scoot like the Silverwing.

I immediately went and bought some small soccer cones and did some practice sessions of my own in large abandoned parking lots, setting the cones up precisely like the GA test (12 ft apart, 5 cones, then left hand u-turn, etc). With a little practice, I was able to figure it out and once I did, I seemed to be able to do it every time. The trick is obviously balance, but also working the back brake to create a friction zone on the Silverwing. Once you figure it out, you've got it. But it definitely takes practice in my opinion…

So I took the test with my Silverwing on my scheduled day and made zero errors or foot dabs--passed 100%. But I'm convinced that if I had just rolled up there thinking that it would be easy as pie, I'm certain I would've failed. Moral of the story: If you've not taken the MSF course or are even unfamiliar with very slow speed maneuvering on the Silverwing, you probably need to practice before you test on it.
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billc.
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PostSubject: Re: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:27 am

Good thoughts on your experience. You DEFINITELY need to use the left hand brake (controls the rear brake and a little of the front brake) for good, consistent tight slow speed turns on the SWING. Gln ad you practiced it before your test. Congrats on passing. By the way, if you pass the MSF course, you automatically pass the riding portion of the motorcyle license requirements in Georgia and in most other states. billc.
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kbcmdba
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PostSubject: Re: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:58 am

Congratulations on passing your test! I bet you'll be glad you took the time to set up that obstacle course for yourself later on too. Slow speed maneuvering is a skill that can really help in tight spots and can help you stay gear up longer... :-)
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toolboxjesse
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PostSubject: Re: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:12 am

I took the MSF course a few years ago when I was living in NJ, and I also had a problem with low-speed maneuvering until the instructor taught me this trick- when you are turning, don't look down at the road beside you- turn your head all the way in the direction you are turning and look at the horizon. Somehow this keeps you balanced at low speeds.

Jesse in Atlanta
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som2002
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PostSubject: Re: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:59 pm

Congrats on passing and being legal. Smile When my Dad took his cycle test 20 years ago they had the slow speed parking lot obstacle course as you mention. When I took my test 5 or so years ago all I had to do was a road test where he follows you in a car and barks commands into your helmet via an earpiece. Only slow speed he had me do was a u-turn between the 2 curbs of a city street without feet, and racing up to his door as he was pulled over and doing a panic stop right next to him. Other than that just followed me around regular type driving making sure I blinkered and twisted neck to check blind spots...etc. Fairly simple stuff. At some point they must have done away with the parking lot exercises in Wisconsin. Or at least in our town.
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Texas Winger
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PostSubject: Re: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:11 pm

I took ERC course last year on Silverwing. No problems, do as others mentioned, use rear brake for slow speed manuveers.
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robert
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PostSubject: Re: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:06 pm

Here in Az. you take the MSF course on their M/C, you pass the course, take your certificate to MVD, they endorse your Lic. and your good to ride off into the sunset.
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billc.
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PostSubject: Re: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:35 pm

Same here in Georgia, Robert...although MSF does have an advanced rider course where you use your own bike/scooter. It is more of a "street-saftey" type course than a basic ability course...billc.
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"Hi Yo"
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PostSubject: Re: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:34 pm

cheers cheers Thanks for passing on your experience. cheers cheers
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hotwings
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PostSubject: Re: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:11 pm

This story made me recall getting my motorcycle licence as a kid back in 1987 in British Columbia, Canada. It was the typical parking lot scenario test, lines of pylons everywhere. I was scheduled to be the first test of the day so i headed to the parking lot about an hour early to do some practicing. The motor vehicle building was across the road. I was alone and practiced the figure eights, straight lines, turning, braking etc. till i was confident about my skills. I was aproaching my appointment time when the instructor came over from across the road smiling. He said I didnt have to do any testing because he was watching me the whole time!! Boy was I relieved. He did make me do a simple emergency brake stop, but that was it! Needless to say I left that parking lot beaming with pride !!
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CathyN
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PostSubject: Re: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:39 pm

As hotwings said this story reminds me of getting my motorcyle license.

I to took the MSF course in IL. But I did not pass. I just chalked it up to being a better passenger when I rode with my husband. That is why I took the course in the first place. Those slow speed turns were horrible especially on a bike that was two small for me.

After the course I was driving one day and saw my first Maxi-scooter. I believe it was a Burgman 650. I thought it was a motorcyle. It got me thinking and looking at scooters. I decided to take a scooter course.

I got to take my test at the school where I took my course. We got to practice on a larger cc scooter before the test. It was a Kymco 150. I was practicing the course before taking the test when I braked in a slow turn. Down I went did I feel stupid. I got lucky and the instructor did not see me go down.

It was my turn to take my test. I was very nervous. This was my first chance of two. The school would let you try twice. I passed!! cheers

Like hotwings said: I was smiling from ear to ear all the way home. The rest is history. Over 25,000 miles later on my Swing I'm still smiling ear to ear.

Thank's for sharing.
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the7smiths
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PostSubject: Re: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:05 am

Utah has restriction on the size of motorcycle you test on and the motorcycle you are allowed to ride:

If you test on a motorcycle/scooter 90 cc or less, you will be restricted to riding motorcycles/scooters 90 cc or less.
If you test on a motorcycle/scooter 249 cc or less, you will be restricted to riding motorcycles/scooters 249 cc or less.
If you test on a motorcycle/scooter 649 cc or less, you will be restricted to riding motorcycles/scooters 649 cc or less.
If you test on a motorcycle/scooter larger than 650 cc, you will not be restricted, you will be authorized to ride any size motorcycle/scooter.

Just before the new law was enacted I hurried and tested on my little 150 so my endorsement is for any size. I can promise you that I will never let my endorsement laps. I don't want to do that test again.
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"Hi Yo"
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PostSubject: Re: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:36 am

I'm sure glad Texas didn't have those size restrictions way back when I tested on my big old Honda CB-350 motorcycle. And my license hasn't lapsed in over forty years. Too much fun. chickendance
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DarthJ
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PostSubject: Re: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:24 pm

I researched before I too the MSF course. Now, in TX, you must take the MSF course before you can get your license, and there's still no size restrictions, I took the test on a crappy Kawasaki 250(had trouble with its shifter) and I'm able to ride anywhere from a 50cc to a Goldwing if I wanted to, but I like my Shadow 750.
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lewjayjr
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PostSubject: Re: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:46 pm

I think I was grandfathered in on the motorcycle endorsement in Ga. Don't remember ever taking a test. When I worked at Ft Benning a few years ago, they required you to take the Motorcycle Safety Course. Since I already had the endorsement, I got to take the advanced class and I used my little Suzuki GZ250.
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Easyrider
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PostSubject: Re: Georgia License Road Test on Silverwing   Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:07 pm

I got licensed in the 60's and continued to ride until 1972. I let my endorsement expire. Then in 2012 I purchased a 2002 Swing. Got a learner's permit, signed up for a MSF class. The course showed me my bad habits. I passed the written test without any errors. My past riding experience helped me with the riding test. The examiner mentioned that I scored the top score. About half the class failed the course. The bikes that were supplied were std transmission. Almost dropped my Swing on the way home when making a u-turn into my driveway and finding that the left lever was not the clutch. LOL!
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