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BikerLady
10-09-2005, 11:50 AM
Don't know if you folks know this but in Germany you have to go to a driving school to get your license. You have to take a certain amount of theory classes before they even let you touch a bike and before you can take the exam which takes approx 1 hour. You also have to have a certain number of riding lessons as well including city, cross-country, autobahn (highways) and night rides. The instructor either drives behind you in a car or on a bike and gives you instructions over a headset. All together I took 14 lessons and each lesson lasts 1,5 hr and it cost me Euro 1400 (approx. USD 1800).

So you can imagine that I am very surprised to hear from some friends that in the US and in other countries like the UK it is much cheaper and that you don't really have driving schools you need to participate.

Then again I think it is good to get that type of intensive training because sometimes it really gets scary on the roads, because there are a lot of fools out there who should not be in possession of a driving license.

So how did you learn riding? And what did you pay? Just curious.

bigwater
10-09-2005, 12:27 PM
You are very correct in your assesment of lax requirements in the US. Sometimes I wonder why they don't just issue drivers licenses as a surprise in the bottom of a box of breakfast cereal. It's about that easy to get one.

I learned to ride when I was 14. My dad tossed me the keys to a CB550 Twin that he had just won in a poker game, and I was off for a ride. Catching the keys was the extent of my training at the time. Several wrecks and a few safety courses later, I'm still not exactly sure that I know everything that needs to be known, but I'm doing all right I guess. 28 years of hard experience has been my main training ground.

BikerLady
10-09-2005, 12:44 PM
You are very correct in your assesment of lax requirements in the US. Sometimes I wonder why they don't just issue drivers licenses as a surprise in the bottom of a box of breakfast cereal. It's about that easy to get one.

I learned to ride when I was 14. My dad tossed me the keys to a CB550 Twin that he had just won in a poker game, and I was off for a ride. Catching the keys was the extent of my training at the time. Several wrecks and a few safety courses later, I'm still not exactly sure that I know everything that needs to be known, but I'm doing all right I guess. 28 years of hard experience has been my main training ground.


BigWater, that was really a tough way of learning but I am sure you know what to do now! As they say: practice makes perfect.
During my training I also laid the bike a couple of times and took a couple of bruises and burns home myself. Unfortunately this is indispensable. In most cases accidents happen because you can't predict what others do. As a biker you have to look out for others - and here I am talking especially about car drivers, not so much what we do. They always underestimate bikers and their speed. But of course we also have some "crazy" bikers around and sometime I wonder how many guardian angels they must have.

I have my car license for 25 years and I am a pretty safe driver, haven't had any accidents for the past 20 years. But since I own a biker license I have to admit that I look at bikers in a different way. May be because it could be me?

bigwater
10-09-2005, 01:18 PM
Well, practice may not make perfect, but it definitely makes for a more concientious rider. There are many variables when you're on a bike that you don't even think about when you're in a car.

I'm sure you've probably learned most of what I'm about to say in your safety courses, so forgive my rant. Cages do NOT look out for bikes. 75% of the time they don't even notice you are there. They are so busy fumbling with their cell phones and coffee cups and cigarette lighters that you might as well be invisible. You have to slow down at intersections, make appropriate lane adjustments, and prepare to take evasive action up to and until the point where you make eye contact with the driver of the cage.

When you hit the brakes in a car, the system applies the brakes appropriately to all four wheels. Not so on a bike. You hit the brake for the front wheel with your hand, the brake for the back wheel with your foot. Too much brake on one or the other can send you skidding off into a ditch, and there is never a guaranteed way to know how much to apply. Road conditions, weather conditions, debris, it all applies to the formula as to how to apply the brakes.

You can run over a dead cat in the middle of the road with a car and never even notice it. Run over the same dead cat on a bike and you could end up in the hospital.

Smack a deer in your car, and you've got an insurance claim for a dented bumper and hood. Smack one on your bike and you might be dead.

You have to be constantly scanning your territory and making sure that you know every detail of the elements around you in order to "hope" you can stay safe.

Riding a bike is no more like driving a car than flying an airplane is. You have to develop the concentration, the perspective and the attitude for riding a bike. That is not something that comes with classes, although classes help. That is something that comes with miles under your butt on a bike.

BikerLady
10-09-2005, 01:24 PM
Well, practice may not make perfect, but it definitely makes for a more concientious rider. There are many variables when you're on a bike that you don't even think about when you're in a car.

I'm sure you've probably learned most of what I'm about to say in your safety courses, so forgive my rant. Cages do NOT look out for bikes. 75% of the time they don't even notice you are there. They are so busy fumbling with their cell phones and coffee cups and cigarette lighters that you might as well be invisible. You have to slow down at intersections, make appropriate lane adjustments, and prepare to take evasive action up to and until the point where you make eye contact with the driver of the cage.

When you hit the brakes in a car, the system applies the brakes appropriately to all four wheels. Not so on a bike. You hit the brake for the front wheel with your hand, the brake for the back wheel with your foot. Too much brake on one or the other can send you skidding off into a ditch, and there is never a guaranteed way to know how much to apply. Road conditions, weather conditions, debris, it all applies to the formula as to how to apply the brakes.

You can run over a dead cat in the middle of the road with a car and never even notice it. Run over the same dead cat on a bike and you could end up in the hospital.

Smack a deer in your car, and you've got an insurance claim for a dented bumper and hood. Smack one on your bike and you might be dead.

You have to be constantly scanning your territory and making sure that you know every detail of the elements around you in order to "hope" you can stay safe.

Riding a bike is no more like driving a car than flying an airplane is. You have to develop the concentration, the perspective and the attitude for riding a bike. That is not something that comes with classes, although classes help. That is something that comes with miles under your butt on a bike.


Thank you so much for your contribution! Biking is a very dangerous hobby but I also have to make the statement it is one of the best feelings you can get too. I guess the good comes with the bad.

aja
10-09-2005, 01:27 PM
Pennsylvania actually offers a FREE motorcycle safety course. The waiting list is rather long, but I know in other states the cost seems to be around $300 for the course. Ten hours of theory, ten hours of riding. If you complete the course and pass the riding test at the end, you receive your motorcycle endorsement.

While you paid a helluva lot more you definitely got more riding in through your courses Bikerlady.

c.crawford
10-09-2005, 09:50 PM
The "advanced" course in Kentucky was $75. The beginner course provides a small 250 cc motorcycle and teaches the same manuvores on the same black top parking lot. It was $125 US (102.5 euro?). Driving in the US is completly different from Germany from what I have been told. I'm going to say in jest that the only driver I fear is the blonde teenage girl going shopping. Also in cruel jest, that is all the smarts the general public has. I would not think in europe people would drive too many neglected clunkers that drip oil all over the road surface. Downtown it is all too common for people to steal $20, 6 gallons of gasoline to propel an oil sloping bohemouth (460CI) derelect without insurance or drivers license to the welfare office and the drive thru liquor window.
Taking the course will allow the driver to skip the test which is weaving through traffic cones set 20feet apart comming back strait while shifting twice and comming to a complete stop. Blood, tears but not skinned paint could require retesting.

heritage1962
10-10-2005, 02:27 AM
Don't know if you folks know this but in Germany you have to go to a driving school to get your license. You have to take a certain amount of theory classes before they even let you touch a bike and before you can take the exam which takes approx 1 hour. You also have to have a certain number of riding lessons as well including city, cross-country, autobahn (highways) and night rides. The instructor either drives behind you in a car or on a bike and gives you instructions over a headset. All together I took 14 lessons and each lesson lasts 1,5 hr and it cost me Euro 1400 (approx. USD 1800).

So you can imagine that I am very surprised to hear from some friends that in the US and in other countries like the UK it is much cheaper and that you don't really have driving schools you need to participate.

Then again I think it is good to get that type of intensive training because sometimes it really gets scary on the roads, because there are a lot of fools out there who should not be in possession of a driving license.

So how did you learn riding? And what did you pay? Just curious.
I took riders course in Erie,Pa. the only cost was the price of the learners permit.....

Runningwolf
10-10-2005, 04:00 AM
I learned by getting the bike, riding it and that was it.
In florida, all you have to do is pass the written and the driving test. Dont know about if you have never had a liscence before but thats what it was for me.

JFN
10-10-2005, 06:13 AM
I got my motorcycle license in 1972. I took the written test, I think the cost was $5.00 us, rode for a couple of months on the permit and went and took the riding test. If you didn't tip over going through the cones you passed. :)

Runningwolf
10-10-2005, 02:22 PM
Yep, that was the sum of my testing in california for my first permit. Then in Georgia, I had to get one (seperate from the civilian test) for driving on post. But, if you showed up with a pulse, you passed.

Double Delight
10-10-2005, 08:15 PM
Here in California: $199.
My boyfriend took care of it as an early b'day present. To get in the class asap, I had to drive to TimBuk2. Over 100* in the sun, full gear, hot bikes. Every break I would do the dash to the women's bathroom-douse my head and teeshirt with cold water. Way better.

:jumpfire:

FX
10-10-2005, 08:18 PM
Pics?

Double Delight
10-10-2005, 08:33 PM
I'll show you mine...
If you show me yours'.

:rofl:
I'm sure the pics I'd like to post of you are :signouts:

Got'cha!

FX
10-10-2005, 08:41 PM
I'm the guy behind the scenes and intend to stay that way. ;)

immortalbitch
10-10-2005, 08:44 PM
hehehehehehehehehehehe

HDRules
10-11-2005, 06:05 AM
Like JFN, I got my license in 1972. At the time, I was stationed in Treasure Island (a small man-made island in the middle of San Franscisco Bay). After taking the written test to get my learner permit, I spent about two days in the parking lot on base, then really started to learn... getting onto Oak Island Bay Bridge in the middle of morning rush hour really teaches you more than any classes :P. Went into San Francisco to take the driving test, and they figured out I must have been in violation of my permit, which did not allow driving on interstates (but were the only way to get there from where I was), so my practical test was much more involved than the "run through the cones and try not to hit any" type test, but, miraculously I passed ;)

A week later, I was on my way to Montana, via Arizona and southern Colorado, to take some much needed leave. That trip taught me a lot about riding, with just about any traffic conditions thinkkable.

One of my later bases required me to take a safety course (provided on base) in order to ride on base... that was the extent of any formal training I had. But, I feel that riding is a constantly learning experience... no matter how much you have been through, there is always something over that next hill that could take you by surprise. The more up front training you can get, the better off you are, but it will not teach you near as much as "just doing it" in the long run.

JFN
10-11-2005, 06:36 AM
Like JFN, I got my license in 1972. At the time, I was stationed in Treasure Island (a small man-made island in the middle of San Franscisco Bay). After taking the written test to get my learner permit, I spent about two days in the parking lot on base, then really started to learn... getting onto Oak Island Bay Bridge in the middle of morning rush hour really teaches you more than any classes :P. Went into San Francisco to take the driving test, and they figured out I must have been in violation of my permit, which did not allow driving on interstates (but were the only way to get there from where I was), so my practical test was much more involved than the "run through the cones and try not to hit any" type test, but, miraculously I passed ;)

A week later, I was on my way to Montana, via Arizona and southern Colorado, to take some much needed leave. That trip taught me a lot about riding, with just about any traffic conditions thinkkable.

One of my later bases required me to take a safety course (provided on base) in order to ride on base... that was the extent of any formal training I had. But, I feel that riding is a constantly learning experience... no matter how much you have been through, there is always something over that next hill that could take you by surprise. The more up front training you can get, the better off you are, but it will not teach you near as much as "just doing it" in the long run.
Very well said. :)

BigBear2000
10-11-2005, 08:18 AM
I grew up on a farm and had plenty of soft sand, full of burrs and rocks to land on, if I dropped my "bike" an old Sears moped. After learning the basics, I got to ride the old gravel roads. My first license was at 14. I went in, handed them my three dollars and rode around the block alone. When I got back, they handed me my license. That was over 40 years ago and I've ridden ever since. I've had a couple of M/C Safety courses and think them definately worth the investment

BigBear2000
10-11-2005, 08:24 AM
[QUOTE=Green Eyed Lady CA]I'll show you mine...
If you show me yours'.


Yup. GEL is a most lovely lady with angelic qualities. I can atest to that.