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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been riding my spyder for 2 yrs on a permit, except for a few short months trying out a 2 wheel Suzuki SV650, but decided I was much happier on my Spyder. I went to a local DMV to take my motorcyle test and mine was only the 2nd Spyder they've tested in 3 yrs, so they were quite mistified. Apparently the state has handed down the required adjustments for the driving test for the Spyder to account for it's width, size, etc., but they are still IMPOSSIBLE !!!

I managed the serpentine through the cones, which have to be 16' apart (here in PA), but the figure 8 was humanly and mechanically IMPOSSIBLE in the square they provided!!! I had to reverse so many times just to turn the thing around and the guy failed me immediately. I was so upset and told him - "YOU GET ON HERE AND TRY A FIGURE 8 YOURSELF TO SEE IF YOU CAN DO IT!!"

I was so mad and frustrated. I did everything else just fine. Made me really mad because I've been riding that thing all over creation for 2 yrs and logged nearly 8,000 miles my Spyder and can't pass the stupid test. I DON'T WANT to ride 2 wheels, but I'm afraid if I fail my last 2 chances left on my permit, I will have to take the MSF course to get my license. I'll do it if I have to, but I DON'T WANT to ride 2 wheels and by law, they are supposed to be able to test us on the Spyders.

Can anyone help with suggestions? Can I take the test in any other state?
Thanks so much.
Frustrated in PA :(
 

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how are they doing this test?

I am curious, how big is the box that they are giving you to do this figure 8? I have not tried to do an "emergency" figure 8 on my spyder, I've had my motorcycle license for a while so I did not have to try it on my spyder. But I am curious it know it they are asking you to do something that is not physically possible to do on a spyder? The other question I might ask is if they have only tested you and one other, did this other person pass?
 

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If I where you I would take the MSF course You will learn quite alot that you can transfer to your Spyder riding. I'm surprised that you where able to ride on a permit for so long, where you able to leave your state, and drive at night, also where you able to carry a passenger. Most MSF courses use 250 motorcycles and don't go above 20 mph, does your state give you a lic. by passing Msf course. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't remember the exact measurements for the box, but they only extended it a few extra feet ON ONE SIDE to accomodate the spyder. No freakin' way !! Maybe if I was a genius and could spin the back tire around! *LOL*

The other person they tested on a spyder was last summer and their first spyder and they didn't really know what to do with her, so they just made her drive around and do some 3-point turns and made sure she could handle the vehicle. The state has gotten wise to us now and handed down some very IMPOSSIBLE requirements for the testing. Grrrr.......:mad:

I am curious, how big is the box that they are giving you to do this figure 8? I have not tried to do an "emergency" figure 8 on my spyder, I've had my motorcycle license for a while so I did not have to try it on my spyder. But I am curious it know it they are asking you to do something that is not physically possible to do on a spyder? The other question I might ask is if they have only tested you and one other, did this other person pass?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I've extended my permit once already and have ridden on it for over 2 years. I've driven out of state and also at night many many times, but being very very careful. There is nowhere on my license that says I can't drive at night or out of state, so I planned to just feign ignorance if I am ever stopped - "Officer, no one ever told me I couldn't do that when I took my permit test!!" *LOL* Someone recently told me they have a friend that has ridden sport bikes and Harleys and has extended his permit for 10+ years! Said he knew he'd never pass the test on his bike (maybe just terrible fear of testing?). I DO want to get my license and be done with it, but just have to find a place reasonable enough to accept what the bike can DO on the test course! :(

I'm also registered to take the msf course in May if I can't succeed with my Spyder, although I dread it, because I DO NOT WANT TO RIDE 2 WHEELS and I'm terrified that I won't pass the course, but everyone says it is impossible to fail the msf course and that they work with UNTIL you pass. Hope that's true, in case I can't successfully take my test on the spyder.

If I where you I would take the MSF course You will learn quite alot that you can transfer to your Spyder riding. I'm surprised that you where able to ride on a permit for so long, where you able to leave your state, and drive at night, also where you able to carry a passenger. Most MSF courses use 250 motorcycles and don't go above 20 mph, does your state give you a lic. by passing Msf course. Good luck!
 

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Yes, I've extended my permit once already and have ridden on it for over 2 years. I've driven out of state and also at night many many times, but being very very careful. There is nowhere on my license that says I can't drive at night or out of state, so I planned to just feign ignorance if I am ever stopped - "Officer, no one ever told me I couldn't do that when I took my permit test!!" *LOL* Someone recently told me they have a friend that has ridden sport bikes and Harleys and has extended his permit for 10+ years! Said he knew he'd never pass the test on his bike (maybe just terrible fear of testing?). I DO want to get my license and be done with it, but just have to find a place reasonable enough to accept what the bike can DO on the test course! :(

I'm also registered to take the msf course in May if I can't succeed with my Spyder, although I dread it, because I DO NOT WANT TO RIDE 2 WHEELS and I'm terrified that I won't pass the course, but everyone says it is impossible to fail the msf course and that they work with UNTIL you pass. Hope that's true, in case I can't successfully take my test on the spyder.
If you can get me the exact dimensions of the course (box size and cone locations), I'll see what I can do in AutoCAD and send you a copy to have discussions with the state. I'll try to give you the documentation needed to prove the test needs addressing.
 

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I guess what i am wondering is did the state make the box large enough for it to even be possible? have they taken into account that the turning radius of the spyder is just a little bigger than that of even a larger touring bike. That would be like taking a little smart car and making box for it to do a u turn and then expecting the next person to use the same box driving a full size pick up, it just won't work.
 

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I wouldn't say that taking the MSF course is a guaranteed pass, 2 people in my class failed. Both crashed. BUT! My wife and I both agreed that neither one of them should have been on a bike, let alone a Kawa 125! My wife started riding Harleys 40 years ago and still had her M. But took the course anyway with me. She learned a lot from it. But there is negative habit transfer from the course. You cannot press the inside hand grip to lean a Spyder! I've tried. No matter how much I try to press the left grip to turn left, it goes right! Must have something to do with the metric system used in Canada! :D And don't forget to use BOTH brakes when stopping. The instructors like to see that.
Having said all that, take the course. It is worth it, especially if it will count for the driving part of your test. In Texas, it is now required and replaces the driving portion of the MC test. Plus, you might be able to get 10% off your insurance!
 

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I just wondered the same thing

I took my test on a motor scooter about two years ago and my wife took it on a scooter with a trike kit installed.

I was riding with my group and we had to make a U turn on a very narrow street. They were surprised at how wide the turning circle is. I also live in PA and i can see any possible way to do a figure 8 in the box, nor for that matter the swerve maneuver unless they widen both the box for the figure 8 as wel as the "lanes" for the swerve.

The manual shows a lot of practice items but I am not sure what distance they are using. The figure 8 area for the Basic rider exam is 20 feet wide I think. I do not think there is any possible way to do a figure 8 on the spyder with an 20 foot width. If memory serves me, there was a rule for the Piaggio MP3 requiring at least two of the three wheels to remain in the box.

Frankly I think they should use the MV road test since the bike does not lean, and the turning radius is much wider than on a large trike. You might want to check with the MSF people. I had to get an OK for my wife to take her test on her motor-scooter with a "tow-Pak" trike kit attached. Since it uses the rear drive wheel technically there are 4 wheels in contact with the pavement and they had to do some checking before they gave the OK.

They may have some rules of their own, and it would be worth checking. They were very nice when I called regarding my wife's class.
 

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Pa Rider here

Spydergirl go to your state representative and explain your situation . They are great at getting vehicle problems solved ( easy vote getters) YOU ARE CORRECT !! YOU CANNOT DO A FIGURE 8 IN 24 FT AS NEEDED IN PA
 

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As long as you don't fall or put your foot down.

I think the only stipulation in pa is that you can not put your foot down, nor drop it. Why cant you simply do a few broken U turns

When I took the course they said not to worry about it-If you can't do the box it is only a 3 point deduction (I think).
 

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Actually I think it says you may not put your foot down at any time

I need to look specifically at what it says but I think in PA it states you may not put your foot down at any time.

iIt is ridiculous to approve of a vehicle-the can -am and than have no way of getting a license if you own one.

I took my test 2 years ago and used a 250 cc scoter , my wife used a 250 cc scooter with a "tow-Pac" trikekit attached,

As long is there is no concern that you can not operate the vehicle safely it should not be an issue. They wil have to modify the rules as the did for the MP3

BRP should get involved
 

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The box is 20X60

The figure 8 box is 20X60 the spyder can not do a U-turn in a 20 foot wide space last I checked. It was interesting watching all of my friends do a U turn while our club was out riding one afternoon. The laughed at the fact that I had to do a broken U-In much the same manner as a car.
 

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Pa rider

I took my spyder to the advanced motorcycle saftey course. They were amazed it was the first spyder they had . But I was able to pass and get my M class. The only thing I missed was the figure 8 box. Hopefully this will help all you Pa riders get your M class.
 

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i am from Canada and i recently went for my m2 they did not make me go through pylons at all maybe it was because i was the first spyder to go through the test. I practiced going through them my mom put them a car length apart for me to go through
 

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Trike endorsement

I had the same issue here in OR, but finally found out there's a separate test for trikes/3 wheelers and they don't make you do figure 8, the swerve or the cone weave. But you are restricted to driving 3 wheelers, not a regular 2 wheeler motorcycle endorsement.

I was originally told i wouldn't have to do the U-turn, but the person who did my test said yes, i had to do it . . . altho, as you said, it is physically impossible. So they deducted 5 points from my test, and I passed with a 95..... whatever it takes......

Check to see if they have something for 3 wheelers.....
 

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turning, course

Hello. For the record, I took the MSF course a few years back. I learned alot in aweekend, important ideas that made me a better, safer rider.
Have you considered contacting BRP? They should be able to provide the state with engineering data to support your concern.
Good Luck, ed mcmilllan
 

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Spydergirl,

You haven't done anything wrong. But simply because you want to ride a different type of motorcycle you are at the leading edge of getting a fair shake from your state licensing and motorcycle safety departments.

It's not fair that you can't get a license through normal channels, but I sense that you are a fighter, and your efforts in getting your state to recognize and meet the needs of Spyder drivers will help pave the way for those three-wheeled motorcyclists who follow you.

Getting trained and licensed is difficult in many states at this time, because of some long-term policies and attitudes held dear by the authorities have been focused almost exclusively on two-wheeled motorcycles.

Basically, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation is the elephant in the room. And the MSF has--until very recently--been not simply disinterested in three-wheeler training/licensing issues, but adamantly opposed to any integration of three-wheelers into the system. Until BRP came along, there were no manufacturers making or marketing three-wheelers, who contributed to the finances of the MSF. Therefore, no training. And since training is the key to getting licensed, no training means getting a license is difficult--or even impossible.

I suggest your first step is to contact the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Administrator and request a "3BRC" course, as soon as possible. The 3BRC is the MSF's answer to trike traiing, and this course should be available to all state programs. The man in charge is:

Mr. David Surgenor
State Coordinator
Motorcycle Safety Program
56 Grumbacher Road, Suite A
York, PA 17406
Phone 717/849-5156
FAX: 717/849-5166

You should be adamant that you want a three-wheeler course, not a two-wheeler course, because: 1. You have physical limitations that prevent you from safely operating a two-wheeled motorcycle, and 2. You feel that the two-wheeler skills taught in the "BRC" would be DANGEROUS if attempted on a trike such as the Spyder. You don't wish to have to unlearn the two-wheeler skills and then teach yourself the correct three-wheeler skills.

Mention that the PA motorcycle safety program has a responsibility to train ALL motorcyclists. If the administrator responds that they don't offer the 3BRC, then demand that PA send you to VIrginia to take the Sidecar/Trike Education Program, and cover your expenses. Ask if the S/TEP completion card would be accepted as a skills test waiver by the PA Dept of Licensing. If not, ask what skills test PA offers as part of any training course that would provide a skills test waiver.

I don't know whether or not motorcyclists in PA pay a license surcharge to support training, but if so, you should demand that PA provide training for you on a three-wheeled motorcycle as you are requesting.

Don't expect the administrator to cave in immediately. But other states are also in the same situation, and don't want to have to deal with the issues. It may require lawsuits by people with leg limitations to get them to honor the federal Citizens With Disabilties act. And I consider having legs too short (too weak, too whatever) to ride a bike as qualifying a person to have a need for a three-wheeler.

I will open a new string to further explain the situation.

pmdave
 
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