Woot! Got my license to ride red plate motorcycles today!

Just took the test to get the whatever they call it here “super heavy motorcycle” license, and I passed it.
Had to go to school to get it, took a double weekend, full day course to do it. It’s kinda surreal to go to
school, and listen to your instructor and not understand a single thing he says, and to rely on a classmate
or 2 to translate just a small portion of what was said. I should thank my lucky stars that there were a few
Taiwanese classmates of mine that weren’t afraid of using their English. So the lack of understanding of
what was being said, and what I wasn’t told, didn’t bother me so much, as I had lots of fun riding a bigger
motorcycle for my training. It’s been so long since I’ve rode something bigger than 250cc, that I forgot
what it felt like.

Things I liked about the course, the cornering practice. You really learn how to turn a tight corner at low
speeds, and 2nd gear is your best friend. The other thing that really opened my eyes in that course is how
to look at where your going when you’re cornering. Don’t look in front of you, look where you’re going, like
really turn your head far to where your going. It felt really strange at first, but then it became really
comfortable, and a lot more reliable. To me, I’d compare it to catching a ball. You don’t watch your hand
when catching a ball, you watch the ball, and you trust your hand will move to where it should go. It’s
the same with cornering, you’ll steer as needed as you’ll just follow where you need to go. I don’t know
if that’s the right explanation or not, but it seems appropriate.

Of course I had a lot of opportunity to practice the test before I took it. To me, I found it funny that I
found the practice was much easier to do on a 600cc motorcycle, than on a 400cc motorcycle. I think
that’s mostly because the 600cc motorcycles were in much better shape than the 400cc motorcycles.
They use the 400cc motorcycles for training, so they’re beat up. Saw a few of my classmates drop
their rides. Which is understandable, as the 400’s were touchy. Hard to feel if you shifted, some
would throttle hard way too easily, and the front brakes would engage far faster and harder than
you’d like. The 600’s were the exact opposite of that. Good feel when shifting, smooth throttle, and
the brakes were as soft as you needed them to be.

Though I must say, I had a lot more fun practicing the test on the 400’s. Especially on the emergency
brake test. I really wanted to see how fast I could go and still past the test. You only need to get
up to 3rd gear and be going at least 25 KM/H. My high score for the brake test was 50.4 KM/H. I
didn’t care so much about the crawl test, until I saw my classmates oh and aw over someone in
my class taking 15 seconds to pass the test. On my next practice session I did it in 19.2 seconds.
I certainly was a lot more timid on the circle test. I just let 2nd gear pull me through the circle, and
I didn’t care how fast I was going, I just didn’t want to hit the metal bars. One of my classmates
really liked going through that circle fast, especially on the exit of the circle. I didn’t have so much
fun on the 600’s, as I was more focused on doing what I needed to do to pass the test.

I think the most memorable moment of the course was the driving instructor showing the class that
he has big brass balls. The kind that you need a wheel-barrow to carry around. He was riding a
figure 8 pattern, and giving examples of what not to do. In on of those examples was using the
rear brake heavy in a corner. The instructor did that, and high-sided the motorcycle and got flung
off it. He really went into that corner fast, and hit that brake hard and made the rear tire skid.
Lucky for the instructor, he had a bush to fall into. I’m not so sure that the rest of my class was
taught what really happened, and just had to take the example as a lesson, but not understand
why it happened. I had to learn about it from a riding manual from back home to fully understand
what happened. The instructor didn’t lean enough when he was skidding his back tire, and when
it gained traction, he was thrown off. That’s what the manual said, and then my early days in my
youth, when I loved skidding my back tire, the memories and lessons I learned on how to do that
came back to me. At my age now, I’m certainly not going to be trying that any time soon on a
motorcycle, but it’s something I’ll keep in mind if I find myself in that situation.

Well done on passing, great little write up. I am taking my test on Monday, I have to go there today to practice. Any tips that you could give me?

Some tips on passing the course. The first part of the test, the circle, go through the circle in 2nd gear and don’t use any
acceleration, or brakes. Hold the bike firmly with your knees to keep your body weight off your arms so turning the bike
is much easier. Once you get into the circle, you should be able to “lock” your arms to keep your line. If you find your
self needing to brake, accelerate, or play with the clutch, you’ll find the circle difficult to do. Don’t worry if you’re lugging
the engine while doing this test, meaning you can feel the engine really working hard at low RPM and the bike pulses
forward a little as the engine turns over. So long as the engine won’t stall, just let the bike pull you through the circle.
Of course I wouldn’t do this on my own bike, as it’ll break the engine if you do it often enough, but it’s a test bike and I
don’t have to maintain/fix it.

The crawl test can be a little intimidating, as the part you have to ride on is raised up, and about 40cm wide. Do this in
first gear, holding in the clutch as you go across. Brake softly if you have to, and play with the clutch to keep you
moving if you braked too hard, add acceleration to keep the bike from stalling as needed. You can also turn quickly left
and right if your are going too slow to help keep you upright, but I wouldn’t do that if you haven’t done it before.

The train crossing test is easy, just stop before the line and wait for the lights to stop flashing. This may not be part of
the test yet, but it’s what they’re teaching now, which is look behind you to your left before you get moving again. Do
the head turn every time you come to a full stop.

The hill climb test is also very easy, just don’t stall out the bike. If you know how to shift and accelerate, you’ll just fly
past this part.

The traffic light with the pedestrian crossing can be tricky, as the light can change very quickly. If it’s flashing green,
it will change to red fast. Be prepared to stop and go again, turning your head back if you had to stop before you go

The big left turn, you need to use your left turn signal, turn it on before you cross the traffic light. When you’re finished
the turn, you’ll come to a flashing yellow light for a pedestrian crossing. Stop at the light, and wait for it to stop flashing.
Turn your head back and proceed to the emergency brake test. Don’t forget to turn off your turn signal before you start
moving again.

The emergency brake test, turn your head back, then accelerate a little hard in first, so your RPMs are high enough to be
able to short shift through 2nd and into 3rd. Don’t try and downshift when braking, just use your brakes hard and
remember to pull in your clutch before you come to a full stop. It’s expected that you’ll have to shift down to first while at
a full stop. If you can, take a look at the space where you have to come to a full stop. You might see that the center of the
patch is worn down more than the sides. I’d recommend coming to a full stop either left or right of center, as it’s less likely
that your tires will slip. When you’re ready to get going again, turn your head back again and go.

The finish, use your left turn signal again, you can do that when you leave the emergency brake test, and turn left to where
you started your test. Turn off your light when you’re finished the turn, come to a full stop, leave your bike in first, then
turn off the bike. Having your bike in first gear before you turn off the bike is part of the test. Depending on how your bike
was parked before you started your test, you may be able to use the side stand if your bike was parked like that when you
started your test. If it was parked on it’s center stand, you have to park it on it’s center stand.

The start of the test can be super easy, or a little difficult, depending on how the bike is parked. If it’s on it’s side stand, and
in neutral, just get on the bike, lift the side stand, and turn on the bike. Move to the starting box, and go when the guy before
you clears the circle and is going to the crawl test, turning your head back before you get moving for the test. If it’s on it’s
center stand, you have to be able to show that you can take the bike down off the center stand standing on the left hand
side of the bike. If you jump on the bike and push the bike off the center stand while sitting, that’s an instant fail of the test.

One last thing, you’ll need to have protective riding gear in order to take the test. The bare minimum is gloves, knee pads,
and elbow pads. I almost forgot, you need to be wearing pants too. It’s better to have some kind of riding jacket with elbow pads.
If you’re doing this test at a school, they should provide this for you, although you may have to rent them. If you take the test at
the DMV, I don’t think they’ll have any protective gear for you to use, so you’ll have to provide them yourself. I have my own
riding gear, so it wasn’t a problem for me.

Wow thanks for the info, I’m here now doing it, one question do you have to indicate for every turn? And if you come to a stop you must look over you left shoulder?

In the circle, you don’t have to use your turn signal, only the 2 places I mentioned. After/At the traffic light, use your turn signal before you make your left turn.
When you get moving again after the emergency brake test, use your turn signal as you’ll be turning left again to the finish line. Yes, after coming to a complete
stop, look over your left shoulder before you get going again.

Hi, just want to check that there is no written test involved? Just road test? Funny thing is that I have a scooter (<1yr so can’t take red plate test) and car licence, but I have never taken the theory test. The joys of being able to exchange a foreign licence for a TW one hehe

I also got my big bike licence today, it was pretty easy. As far as i know you need to have a scooter licence over a year before you take your test, therefore you don’t need to sit any written test as you have already done it for your scooter licence.

Congrats on getting your license. Hope my write up on the test procedure helped. If it did, which part helped you out?

Pretty much all of it helped, I watched alot of videos before I went so I kind of knew what to do, but you put so much detail into every section it helped understand all of the course and what i needed to do.

The part that really helped me the most was when you explained not to look in front but to look where you at going. It made the circle and the 7 second line much easier.

I’m really glad you felt my write up really helpful, and I hope more people read this post to help them past the test.
If anyone else reads this and takes the test and it helps them pass, I hope you post here and say so.