BIG bike license

I just started my “training” at the motorbike school. It consists of 2 weeks. During those two weeks they said I can come in any time and ride for as long as I want. The course is fairly simple, consists of riding staight and turning while not going over the lines. I’d say the trickiest part is a straightaway where you have to reach over a certain speed cross over a line…and then stop within the next few feet. So you pretty much gun it to a line…and then jam on the brakes and stop before the next line. The road inbetween those two line was all eaten away by bikes falling down in that area.

It costs 8,000 n.t. for the two weeks training. Not sure if final test cost is included in that. And if you go with friends they drop the price considerably. I went with just one friend and they lowered it to 7,500.

I’ve heard people say they use old police bikes, but at my school they use newwer CB 400s.

Just thought I’d let you know about the bringing friends and getting a cheaper rate…if I’d known before hand, I might have tried to bring more people.

I’m sure many people here will be interested in the details of this class as it progresses.

I’d like to see more info on the riding skills requirements. It will make the class less mysterious for those who follow…


Riding requirements? What do you mean by that exactly?

One requirement…and this might be what you mean…is that you have to have had (try explaining three ‘haves’ in a row in Chinese) a valid 50-250cc bike license for over a year.

I’ll say that again. You must have a “heavy small bike” license, usually a 125-150cc license for a year before you can apply for a big bike license. But other than that no prerequisites that I know of.

Oh, BTW they have a radar gun that shows your speed for that hard acceleration/ hard braking test. Kind of fun competing with the other people practicing.

One of my co-students went down hard today. The bike actually went down on it’s right side then rolled up on top of the guy. He pushed it off of himself but had to keep his arms and legs outstretched to keep it from falling back on him again. It’s a 400 pound bike…so probably not the most pleasant experience. It seems that is an easy way to wipe out a “big bike” by locking-up the front brakes. Most people aren’t used to the double-disc brakes on bigger bikes. And if the road isn’t in perfect condition and if the handle bars aren’t perfectly straight…it seems fairly easy to lose the front end and go down.

I’ve heard of that happening quite a bit with the painted stop lines…when it rains they are slippery and peoples front tires slip on them.

I had a friend learning to ride a scooter and I told him to try braking hard from 50 to 0 to get a feel for the brakes. He said 50 seemed fast so I said K, 40 then. So he brought the scooter up to 40…slammed on the brakes…locking the front and going down hard. He wasn’t too pleased with me :blush: .

Anyway, just thought I’d keep you posted on the training.

you’re half right for sure… it is easy to lose the front on the brakes…if you are ham fisted in how you apply them… it’s true that compared to scooters and little bikes, the power of properly engineered and maintained double discs and multi pot calipers can be daunting… they are two very different beasts, used in very different ways…

with cheapo scooter and the worse 150cc level bike brakes, you’ve got to grab the lever with instant chewbacca like force to muster any braking at all from the crap pads, disc, single pot and innefficient hydraulic system… this habit dies hard and will get you in serious trouble on a real bike especially if you can’t curb the instinct in an emergency situation where you aren’t thinking, you’re reacting…

the correct way to apply serious braking force on a real bike with proper brakes is to gradually increase the power applied to the lever and therefore the front wheel, but over the shortest possible time… this time is dictated by tire temps, tire condition, lean angle, road surface condition and most importantly down force… if that makes any sense… building the force you’re putting through the lever after a light-ish innitial bite so that as the front suspension loads up, the weight distribution of the bike shifts in a linear fashion almost completely to the front wheel… as more and more down force is being put through the forks onto the front contact patch due to the weight shift under braking, it gets harder and harder for the front wheel to break traction and start sliding over the road surface, therefore you can exert more and more braking leverage without losing the front contact patch… this works best if the bike is upright and you’re breaking in a straight line… it’s all about building the power… and it does help to grip the tank with your knees as hard as you can to add to the transfer of weight through the forks and to keep you attached to the bike, not doing your best Clark Kent impression as you sail over the bars…

of course the braking power of modern brakes on real bikes offer incredible innitial bite and build and you can easily overstep the magic line between traction, down force and breaking power… developing a feel for how your bike behaves under heavy braking in different conditions on different tyres and different lean angles and maintaining optimum braking power for any given deceleration is something that Rossi does as naturally as breathing, but the rest of us have to spend decades practicing… and we’ll still never be anywhere near as good as he is… bastard… :notworthy:

Where are you doing the test?

You mentioned a speed application along with emergency braking…What other skills tests are there?

I took a CBR 900RR out for a spin in Taoyuan a few years back, and had forgotten the power of decent binders. I didn’t drop it, but the stopping power (and going power) was astounding. I can stop from any speed with one finger on my RZ, but the sensitivity and speed of weight transfer to the front couldn’t have been any different.

I’d suggest if you want to learn the subtleties of front braking, spend some time in a low-traction environment on a dirt bike.

Are you taking the class down here in Chungli?

Well, just out of Chung-Li in Long-Gan (not Long-Tan) not too far from Da-Xi.

The test in order consists of:

  1. driving on a raised surface, about a foot wide. Doing roughly 7 km/hr for about 25 feet. Without going over the edge on either side. They time you and you have to finsh in over seven seconds. People seem to have trouble with it. I saw an instructor try to show a student how to do it…and he went of the edge three times in a row… :laughing: . But in his defense he had the student as a passenger.

  2. Reach 40 km/hr and third gear and come to a complete stop…in roughly 25-30 feet. (they use a radar gun)

  3. Drive and stop at a few flashing lights…no problem

  4. Drive between two sensors about 2.5 feet wide in a large circle…turn around do again in opposite direction. I’d say this one makes me the most nervous, but I haven’t touched the sensor yet…(well, ok once…but I wasn’t trying :blush: …)

  5. And get off bike put it on center stand and you’re done.

You can do the tight rope act twice…but the rest are instant failure.

Most people have trouble with #2…it’s where people crash…regularly. You have to keep in mind that all these crashes on the same spot have eaten away the concrete. So you are breaking hard on something that is inbetween pavement and gravel. My friend who I’m taking the test with has gone off on #1 a few times. And #4 makes me a little nervous…but I’m ok.

I think it’s interesting that some people find certain parts of the test easy but other parts hard. While for some people it’s the opposite.

All in all, I’d say the test is much more useful than the car test. But there is no written and they never actually speak to you about defensive driving or anything like that.

My instructor today told me that a student who passed the test 6 months ago, died 2 days ago on his 400cc bike.

Do they make you do the test on those knackered BMWs or can you do it on any bike?

I already posted a link to the bike they use, but here it is again.

Hex, to answer your question, i believe the setup at the top end of ChengDe Rd here in Taipei, allows you to use whatever you bring, as long as it passes certain safety regs etc, otherwise you are free to use their bikes, i think they were using BMW F650GS’s, but i really do not remember.

You mentioned a speed application along with emergency braking…What other skills tests are there? [/quote] Helmet testing !!!

Before you fork over $$$ for the “big bike” test in Taiwan, check to see what the agreement is between your home country/state and Taiwan. All I had to do is take my US driver’s license down to the DMV each year in Kaohsiung and they gave me a one year endorsement. My license covers both “big bikes” and cars.

Only Ontario, and B.C. in Canada have some kind of recognized licenses with Taiwan. So no luck there.

2. Reach 40 km/hr and third gear and come to a complete stop…in roughly 25-30 feet. (they use a radar gun)[/quote]

I just found something they do better in Taiwan than Australia. They get your speed with radar. Aussies just do it by eye.

One week ago I did this:

I had to ride 20-25kmh (by the instructors eye only) then a stop light or left or right turn would go on with no warning.

I was so casual going for the test but my hands were shaking when I finished.

It was not easy. I got all keyed up and locked the back brake twice. Lost heaps of points but still just passed.

In my defence, there was a 6 hour instruction I did not do because “I knew it all already”. I just turned up for the test. I also had hiking boots on with steel sole inserts and could feel nothing of the back brake pedal. Big mistake.

Do have have to use the back brake in the test?

Nope, as long as you stop where you are supposed to…the back tire usually just skips along anyway.

In Taiwan, can you lock a wheel without losing points?

My instructor said locking a back wheel was common due to car driving habits of foot pressure to stop.

Note that I did race bikes and won my races due to stopping ability. One race I lost the front brake and was amazed to find myself fighting it out with mid packers I did not give much credit to previously.

I’d say the big bike test, small bike test, and car test are all about the same. The “Tester” is usually half asleep and just waits for one of the buzzers to go off to fail you. There are lines you are supposed to stay between, but except for the ones with sensors…no one would notice if you strayed.

So no. You wouldn’t lose points for locking up a tire.

Did my test today and passed. It was interesting. There were 6 of us. the tester guy was over an hour late (government workers…) . We all practiced while waiting for him and I judged the other riders to be fairly competent. But once the tester showed up and people started riding under observation. They all went to shit. Hehe…they were fine before the tester got there…and now they were getting stuck in neutral…popping the clutch…it was a little funny. One guy who had been practicing for weeks…decides to pick the one time that he is being judged as the time when he should crash :astonished: . He was ok though…just his ego was injured. I did alright, but it wasn’t my best run either.

My best advice is “Even if you think the test is easy…practice as much as you can before the test. That way it’s like 2nd nature to you and you won’t get as nervous.”

The first day that I went to practice I did the test course 10 times without one mistake…but that didn’t stop me from going back every single day to practice. Pardon me for complementing myself :blush: , but I think that’s a good attitude to have.