Traveling the roadways on a motorcycle can be a treacherous experience. Experienced riders know how important motorcycle training is and often mentor new riders about the hazards of the road. While training makes sense from a safety point of view, the State of Victoria requires riders to have at least a Learner Permit. To get your motorcycle learner permit, you must be a Victorian resident, 18 years or older and pass a series of tests, which includes eyesight and motorcycle learner permit knowledge test. To ensure success in your tests, it’s best to receive motorcycle training from an accredited training provider. Here are the basics on motorcycle training.
What Motorcycle Training Covers
Training classes for motorcyclists fall into various categories that include Pre-Learner Course, Learner Permit Course, Licence Course and even Test-Only Options (for experienced riders only). If you’ve never ridden before, you ought to start with the Pre-Learner Course before taking the Learner Permit Course. As techniques are mastered, riders may wish to seek advance training such as Post Learner Skill Development Course.
Pre-Learner Course: Nothing compares to the joy and exhilarating sense of freedom motorcycle riding brings. If you are an inexperienced rider, Pre-Learner Motorcycle Training is an excellent starting point that will prepare you for the Learner Permit Course. Experience just how much of a thrill motorcycle riding can be. Although Pre-Learner is just a two hour course, it will introduce you to the thrilling world of motorcycling. You’ll learn the importance of and how to conduct basic safety checks before riding away. If you’ve struggled with changing gears or braking before, you’re guaranteed to be able to confidently shift gears, stop and park your motorcycle before the end of the course.
Learner Permit Course: Motorcycle Training is vital for new riders since most accidents occur among riders who have been on the road for five months or less. Because of this statistic, some insurance companies provide a discount for motorcyclists who complete an initial course prior to getting their learner permit or licence.
The Learner Permit Course provides a safe environment for riders to learn life-saving manoeuvres while on the road. Most classes involve both classroom, hands-on learning opportunities and roadcraft theory. In-class activities cover protective equipment and road conditions. On the motorcycle course, riders get the opportunity to get to know their bikes as well as how to safely react in close conditions or under adverse circumstances. If you’ve completed the Pre-Learner Course or had previous riding experience, then this is the next step. Aside from equipping you to be a skilful and safe rider, your Vicroads accredited trainer is authorised to and will issue your Learner Permit upon successful completion of the Learner Permit Course.
The test is divided up into four exercises:
- Operation of controls without looking at them – lights, horn, indicators, on/off fuel tap.
- Left turn and normal stop – tests a rider’s ability to control the motorcycle while turning left.
- Slow ride – tests your ability to remain balanced at almost walking pace.
- Right turn and quick stop – tests your ability to control your bike while turning right.
Licence Course: Students are eligible for the Licence Course if they either have experienced riding a bike or have successfully completed the Learner Permit Course. People who rode extensively in the past but who have taken a long break from motorcycling may, if they wish, take the Pre-Learner or Learner Permit Course to brush up on their skills before heading out on the road again.
To be eligible for a motorcycle licence, you must:
- Hold a current Learner Permit for at least three months
- Pass the Vicroads Motorcycle Licence Skill Test
The emphasis of this course isn’t just passing the tests but on safe riding techniques. Riders are instructed on safe cornering and breaking techniques as well as classroom exercises that are designed to create a safety mindset in the candidate. Since all participants have experience riding on the road, licence candidates can expect that the Licence Course will proceed at a more rapid pace than the more basic courses.
If you are already a skilled rider, then you might want to go for Test-Options-Only. However, record shows a very low success rate for riders who skipped the Licence Course and went right into the testing. So why take chances when you can ensure success by taking the Licence Course?
Advanced Riding Courses: Advanced courses are for skilled riders only. They include Post Learner Skill Development Course and Post Learner Road Safety Course. Coursework concentrates on honing the skills learned previously. For example, riders may focus on learning how to successfully take corners at slower rates of speed or how to successfully manoeuvre their motorbikes through a series of curves. Participants are expected to come to class with all safety gear mandated by local regulations just as they are expected to in all levels of motorcycle classes.
Who Must Take Motorcycle Training Courses
While rules and regulations vary across Australia about who must take motorcycle training to receive a Learner Permit or Motorcycle Licence, all states have some rule on the books when it comes to young riders. One of the most common restrictions when it comes to getting a rider’s learner permit is that anyone under a certain age must complete training before a permit can be issued. In general, no one under the age of 16 will receive a permit for a motorcycle and the training requirement ranges from those under the age of 18 to applicants under the age of 21.
In the State of Victoria, people under the age of 18 are not eligible for a Learner Permit. As stated earlier, you may take the tests without undergoing any training. However, the statistics on motorcycle accidents is alarming. Research reveals that 90% of all accidents occur when riders are self-trained. This is one of the most powerful reasons why you need to be trained by a Vicroads accredited motorcycle training academy before heading out on the road.