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More testing for aspiring Canberra motorcyclists

By 10 February 2011 21

Territory And Municipal Services have announced the release of their review of ACT motorcycle licensing, training and testing requirements.

The main recommendation of the review is that the ACT pre-provisional course become compulsory, as is the case in NSW. It is currently only compulsory if an ACT learner rider fails the provisional licence test. The Chief Minister has asked TAMS for further advice on what is required to make this change, and when it can be implemented.

Other recommendations include reviewing the content of the pre-learner and pre-provisional courses, reducing the learner licence period from 24 months to 12 months and aligning the ACT provisional motorcycle licence test with recent changes in NSW.

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21 Responses to More testing for aspiring Canberra motorcyclists
#1
Chaz9:43 am, 11 Feb 11

what a load of bollocks! this is nothing more than revenue raising. there is zero need for a pre-provisional course, just the test is enough

#2
shirty_bear10:15 am, 11 Feb 11

Seems to me that motorcycle licensing is already plenty rigorous; they should be looking at bringing car licensing up to a similar standard. The Stay Upright courses are good, and (in my experience) only significantly experience riders avoid the pre-provisional course; the current flood of non-riders on mopeds will all be doing it anyway.

Scrutiny should instead be directed at skills-deficient drivers. Surely Stay Upright could make another motza by moving into that department?

#3
bugmenot10:17 am, 11 Feb 11

I think the current system works fine. If you can show that you have sufficient ability to pass the test, then why should you not be allowed onto the roads?

For those that don’t ride or know what the test involves, it is a series of low speed manouvers to show bike control (bikes are more difficult to control at slowers speeds), an understanding of your surroundings & dimensions, your ability to look around and be aware, emergency braking & avoidance. It’s all crucial stuff and the test for getting off your car L’s could learn quite a lot from it.

The guys at Stay Upright (who run the ACT pre-Learner and P’s testing program – along with many other courses) are good. They won’t let you pass unless they feel you are capable. Yes, they want to see people succeed and pass the test, but they would prefer to see you survive.

On the day that I did my test, only 2 out of 8 passed. The others failed miserably as they were not prepared and/or had a cocky attitude (and about a million excuses as to why they failed)… Fortunately for them, they all received the P’s course free of charge to help them get over the line on their next attempt.

#4
indigoid10:09 am, 14 Feb 11

Having completed the pre-provisional course I heartily endorse its being compulsory for all learner riders. When I first tried the test I nailed everything except for the avoidance test, where I performed a perfect swerve… in the opposite direction to that indicated. Oops! Didn’t make the same silly mistake the second time around :-)

The above assertions of it being all about the specific test maneuvers sound like they are talking about something else entirely. When I did it (late 2007, I think), most of the course content was related to roadcraft, and of all the StayUpright training I’d completed to that date, I considered that day to be the most valuable.

In the group of aspiring motorcyclists I was in, every single rider got a perfect score in their P test. I can’t say enough good things about StayUpright. Very happy. Most of the training applies directly to driving cars as well.

Next stop for me: California Superbike School

#5
triffid11:12 am, 14 Feb 11

indigoid said :

Next stop for me: California Superbike School

Keith Code! He da man!

#6
Mysteryman11:24 am, 14 Feb 11

I think it’s a good idea, to be honest. The biggest problem with riding a motorbike (in my opinion – I ride one) is that you have to spend a lot more time looking out for negligent drivers on the road. The pre-provisional course is one more step towards assisting new riders in dealing with such dangers. Ideally, better driver training and testing would also be implemented. I’ve lost count the number of times drivers have pulled out in front of me, or tried to change lanes into me without head-checking. Better driver training, while desirable and probably very necessary, would be very costly and take a much longer time to implement. More rigorous rider testing/training will certainly help in the meantime.

#7
p111:36 am, 14 Feb 11

Personally, I think the roads would be made safer if government concentrated a little less on training for learners and a little more on training for idiots who have had their licence for ages and have forgotten/ could never drive in the first place.

I think the day course they make you do if you fail the Ps test is pretty good (I failed first time, but have lots of excuses to why…). And unlike most ACT government schemes it didn’t cost anything, so it wasn’t a blatant money grab.

I know that bike riders are much more likely to die, but frankly I would rather they extend this program to car learners. There are lots of people who would benefit from exactly the same course but in their car. Then they could retroactively make every single licenced drive do it too.

#8
KaptnKaos11:42 am, 14 Feb 11

At least we motorcyclists are taught how to ride properly, not just to pass a driving licence test.

Thanks & keep up the great work Stay Upright – recommend highly the cornering and braking clinic.

#9
chewy1412:09 pm, 14 Feb 11

Yep they should make the course compulsory.
The P’s test is a bit of a joke because it’s easier to complete on certain bikes.
When I did my test, a couple of guys had dirt bikes and passed easily whereas those on sports bikes struggled. The guys on dirt bikes weren’t better riders it was simply the fact that dirt bikes are far easier to maneouvre and made the test a bit too easy to pass.

#10
rosscoact12:28 pm, 14 Feb 11

As a long time rider the testing is plenty rigorous it’s the follow-up that needs to be upgraded.

Both car and bike riders should be required to undergo further training on an annual basis. The training doesn’t have to be indepth and should concentrate on individual skills such as effective use of the mirrors, spacial awareness, emergency braking, how to drive a car without talking on the phone, texting, doing your makeup, drinking coffee, eating maccas etc etc.

Just charge an extra $50 per year for all drivers license holders to subsidise the costs.

#11
Davo11112:30 pm, 14 Feb 11

chewy14 said :

The P’s test is a bit of a joke because it’s easier to complete on certain bikes.

you could claim the same thing for the Ps Driving test….. Obviously a huge car where you cant see out the back is more difficult to manoeuvre/park. I just hired a small car for the event, passed it easy.

#12
indigoid12:39 pm, 14 Feb 11

chewy14 said :

Yep they should make the course compulsory.
The P’s test is a bit of a joke because it’s easier to complete on certain bikes.
When I did my test, a couple of guys had dirt bikes and passed easily whereas those on sports bikes struggled. The guys on dirt bikes weren’t better riders it was simply the fact that dirt bikes are far easier to maneouvre and made the test a bit too easy to pass.

100% cop-out, IMHO. Clutch + rear brake: stop making lame excuses and start learning to use them properly.

The first time I ever rode a sportsbike of any kind (S1000RR test ride) I was able to do tight U-turns (for example) easily

#13
p12:47 pm, 14 Feb 11

indigoid said :

100% cop-out, IMHO. Clutch + rear brake: stop making lame excuses and start learning to use them properly.

The first time I ever rode a sportsbike of any kind (S1000RR test ride) I was able to do tight U-turns (for example) easily

Yup, agree. While bikes are different, it has more to do with what you are used to then anything else. I did the test on a small dirtbike, having not ridden one in years and failed. I wonder why? Now I am pretty sure I could pass that test on my big sports bike no worries.

#14
chewy143:59 pm, 14 Feb 11

indigoid said :

chewy14 said :

Yep they should make the course compulsory.
The P’s test is a bit of a joke because it’s easier to complete on certain bikes.
When I did my test, a couple of guys had dirt bikes and passed easily whereas those on sports bikes struggled. The guys on dirt bikes weren’t better riders it was simply the fact that dirt bikes are far easier to maneouvre and made the test a bit too easy to pass.

100% cop-out, IMHO. Clutch + rear brake: stop making lame excuses and start learning to use them properly.

The first time I ever rode a sportsbike of any kind (S1000RR test ride) I was able to do tight U-turns (for example) easily

Um, I’m not making excuses, i’m saying the test is easier to pass on certain bikes. Are you disagreeing? In a similar fashion, it’s easier to do a parallel park in a compact car, rather than a large sedan.
Some of my friends had done the bike test previously, so I borrowed one of their dirt bikes and passed. One of my other friends, who at the time would have been a better rider than me, failed on a sports bike.
Don’t you think that the test should be testing a rider’s skill rather than what bike they’re using? IMO it’s a bit silly to give people a bike licence that allows them to ride a more powerful bike when they may not have the skills to use it.

#15
Davo1115:13 pm, 14 Feb 11

chewy14 said :

Don’t you think that the test should be testing a rider’s skill rather than what bike they’re using? IMO it’s a bit silly to give people a bike licence that allows them to ride a more powerful bike when they may not have the skills to use it.

The fact of the matter is that people on sports bikes have passed the test, so perhaps the people on sports bikes (who struggle) need more practice. The testers can’t really win on this one, if they force everyone to use their bikes, the test would cost more, and people would be annoyed because they’re not “used to” the bike.

Also AFAIK after the test, you’re still limited on the engine capacity of the bike. So “more powerful” is an overstatement. It’s not like people are passing the test on scooters, then riding home on a turbo hayabusa.

#16
p15:15 pm, 14 Feb 11

chewy14 said :

IMO it’s a bit silly to give people a bike licence that allows them to ride a more powerful bike when they may not have the skills to use it.

Well, there is that whole 150kw/tonne restriction with exactly that in mind…

#17
chewy148:00 pm, 14 Feb 11

p1 said :

chewy14 said :

IMO it’s a bit silly to give people a bike licence that allows them to ride a more powerful bike when they may not have the skills to use it.

Well, there is that whole 150kw/tonne restriction with exactly that in mind…

Yeah, but once you pass your p’s you automatically get your full licence 12 months later.
My original point was simply that I think all riders should do an extra day or half day training before they get their full licence because I don’t think the test is sufficient. I think the same goes for car licences as well.

#18
Davo11110:05 pm, 14 Feb 11

chewy14 said :

Yeah, but once you pass your p’s you automatically get your full licence 12 months later.
My original point was simply that I think all riders should do an extra day or half day training before they get their full licence because I don’t think the test is sufficient. I think the same goes for car licences as well.

OR riders could just use the Ps as a chance to further practice and refine their skills. Why does everything need testing? there should be some personal responsibility for actions taken.

Yeah, there will be some people who just throw their license into the desk drawer for 12 months, then buy a hayabusa. I can only hope they’re organ donors.

Plus anyone can work to pass the test (either by practice or brute force), then throw all skills out the window afterwards/pick up old bad habits.

Oh and finally, when did you do your Provisional test? I’ve seen alot of “oldies” around the place commenting on a license system they didn’t actually complete themselves.

#19
chewy149:21 am, 15 Feb 11

Davo111 said :

OR riders could just use the Ps as a chance to further practice and refine their skills. Why does everything need testing? there should be some personal responsibility for actions taken.

Yeah, there will be some people who just throw their license into the desk drawer for 12 months, then buy a hayabusa. I can only hope they’re organ donors.

Plus anyone can work to pass the test (either by practice or brute force), then throw all skills out the window afterwards/pick up old bad habits.

Oh and finally, when did you do your Provisional test? I’ve seen alot of “oldies” around the place commenting on a license system they didn’t actually complete themselves.

Fair enough Davo,

I did my P’s test around 5 years ago so I did complete the test under the current system and i’ve been back to do a couple of the courses offered out at Sutton since.
I just think that because riding is so inherently dangerous that the more skills and experience gained the better.
I understand what you’re saying that people need to take responsibility for themselves but when you see some of the things a few idiot riders do out on the road it’s a worry.

#20
dazzab10:09 am, 15 Feb 11

chewy14 said :

Some of my friends had done the bike test previously, so I borrowed one of their dirt bikes and passed. One of my other friends, who at the time would have been a better rider than me, failed on a sports bike.

If you borrowed a bike that was easier to pass the test with than what you normally ride, you did yourself and other road users quite a disservice. The point isn’t to pass the test. The point is to learn to ride your bike safely and demonstrate that you have developed control.

I did the test on a 240Kg GSX650F (sports-tourer) without a problem because I took the time to learn how to handle a larger heavy bike. It would have been silly to go out there and do the test on one of their 250cc bikes. Yes, people do that but that doesn’t mean the training or test is any less valid. People will always try and get around requirements even if it works against them in the long run.

I agree with you that some bikes are easier to pass the test on but I don’t see how that has any relevance to the topic here.

#21
Davo11111:39 am, 15 Feb 11

chewy14 said :

I understand what you’re saying that people need to take responsibility for themselves but when you see some of the things a few idiot riders do out on the road it’s a worry.

yeah i get what you’re saying too, however their attitudes aren’t going to change with more testing. It might slow them down a little, but they’ll just work to pass the test. :/

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