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Motorcycling in British Columbia

Don't fixate on the on-coming traffic. Scan the road for possible hazards such as potholes, manhole covers, pedestrians, etc.


Starting Out
Think like a rider.
Choose a motorcycle.
Learn basics of Clutch, Throttle and Brakes.

Practice riding
Throttle & Clutch
Parking Lot practice
Sample motorcycle exercises

Low Traffic riding
Shifting gears
Riding conditions
Traffic situations

Progressive riding
Counter steering
Highway riding
Wind Turbulence

Carry a Passenger
Hills - local motorcycle enthusiasts from British Columbia



Local Licensing

Ride on! L. ScottBritish Columbia is tough with the program for new motorcycle riders and I think it's smart. Providing new riders with more information ensures a better chance of learning road safety.

Riding a motorcycle, especially on traffic-laden city streets, should be taken seriously. Therefore the learning process and testing should be significant to prove you're worthy of a Class 6 license.

Graduated testing and use of restrictions help encourage new riders a step at a time. First, pass the written knowledge test to receive a novice motorcycle license. You are restricted to riding during daylight hours with a licensed Class 6 rider to supervise and limited to 60 km/h. This means only city streets, no highway riding allowed yet.

After lots of practice take the fifteen minute, low speed skills test to show you can control a motorcycle without touching down a foot, losing control or stalling the engine. Upon passing, the speed restriction is lifted and you can ride without a supervisor. This enables honing your riding skills in all traffic situations including the freeway.

The final step to getting a Class 6 motorcycle license is taking the road test. A somewhat daunting one hour test with an examiner following in a car while using a headset to transmit riding instructions. You must ride without making any mistakes and if you perform a traffic violation, it's an instant fail. If you do fail, just practice some more and try again. Many good riders don't pass the first time, it just means you need a bit more practice.

Make an appointment with the motor vehicle branch for the skills test and road test. For the road test you may have to book months in advance as spaces can fill up quickly.

An option is to drop by the office in the morning and sign a stand-by sheet in case another rider doesn't show up.


small pylonReady for the first level?
Starting Out
Think like a rider.
Choose a motorcycle.
Basic Clutch, Throttle and Brakes.



Click here to get into the Ride Mind! for enthusiast motorcycling online!

Get some Road Sense

ICBC has a rider's guide that provides extensive information to help beginners develop a sense for riding a motorcycle. To prepare for the written knowledge test go to a motor vehicle branch and pick up "RoadSense for Riders", ICBC's Safe Riding Guide.

After passing the knowledge test ICBC gives you the booklet "Tuning Up for Riders" that shows exercises to practice in gradual stages. There are coaching tips and diagrams to provide excellent ideas and techniques for your supervisor. Begin with basic motorcycle handling and parking lot procedures, then progress to in-traffic riding.

For more information, contact a local Motor Vehicle Branch. In British Columbia, go to the ICBC site for more information on your Class 6 licensing.

Where to Practice

Find a local vacant parking lot for your off street practice. The PNE grounds have been a good place, so long as there isn't an event going on. Business parks are usually empty on weekends and are a good place to practice low speed maneuvers.

When you're ready for the road plan a simple route from home. Try to stay off main routes and plan your ride during low traffic daylight hours. Get familiar with the road signs and route until you're riding confidently. Then gradually increase to more dense traffic conditions.

Next, find a nice stretch of road to practice riding through curves. A favorite place to ride is up Seymour Mountain, where a variety of curves (hair-pin, sweepers) helped me recognize the physics of motorcycle riding. It is good road to re-acquaint yourself for the new riding season.


BC Safety Council
Action Motorcycle School
Sunday Motorcycle School
ProRide Motorcycle Training

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