N.Y. State Motorcycle Road Test

I am taking my road test on Thursday. Is there anything special the DMV is looking for? Do they want one foot ( which one ) or both down on stops. Do I have to use hand signals, which hand do I use? I could use some tips from anyone in NY who recently passed the road test.

It seemed to me that they just want to know that you are good (and safe, I guess) on the bike. the tester I had in Orchard park, NY gave me quick, not so easy instructions of were to go... I missed the turn into a parking lot... he and my friend waited at the turn for me to do a u turn and come back.. I was a little nervous that I screwed up. He stopped the test early (only about two minutes) and passed me. I do not remember doing any hand signals, but I think he asked me to show-tell him what they are. it shoudn't be to hard (unless you get a jerk) GOOD LUCK!!

Advice, read the manual.....

When stopping, always leave the bike in gear, clutch in and left foot down. Always have your right foot on the brake.


Left turn, left arm out.

Right turn, left arm out and bent at the elbows so you make an "L".

Apart from that, ride smooth and do rev it or lift the front wheel.... The best way to pass... "Imagine you are boing followed by a police officer" :)


Mitch beat me to the advice about reading the darn book. You're asking which hand to use for hand signals? Don't you have to know that for car drivers license? READ THE DAMN BOOK BEFORE YOU HURT YOURSELF OR SOMEBODY ELSE. Maybe think about an MSF course? Not trying to rip you a new one but this is a pet peeve of mine. If your asking this kind of question on a website you're not ready to be riding on the street - even if it is just a dual sported dirt bike.

The CA riding test is very easy - I wouldn't think any other states would be significantly different.


Yes, read the manual! Asphault is very unforgiveing!

I took the Ohio test about 5 years ago on a KLR250 dual sport. It was easy on that bike, but a big street bike would have rough.

-Sway test-practice swerving around cones without using your brake.

-Make full turns as far to the steering lock as you can without touching your feet.

-Practice aggressive braking. I failed this part because my (rear) knobs simply were not getting traction. The officer let me try this test 3 times, and I never stopped before the line. Sure, my YZF600 will stop 6 feet before this line, but the KLR would not. I suspect the WR may give you trouble in the braking test, too. A friend on a DR350SE also failed this test.

- Don't stall! In Ohio, they will flunk that portion of the test if you stall. Turn the idle up if you have to.

-And above all, read the manual! Tips there will save your butt.

I will say that dirt riding makes me a better street rider. Especially on gravel or in the rain in I can deal with a little sideways wheel movement. My friend who does not ride dirt just tenses up everytime is feels a little sliding. Plus your're so used to being super-alert on the trail you end up doing the same on the street.

So other states are more difficult...

I took the MC test at the DMV in Mariposa, CA - in the foothills west of Yosemite. I had to ride between the lines of a 'keyhole' pattern both directions, show the hand signals - think that was it. My '88 Katana 1100 was too long to keep both wheels between the lines in the round part of the keyhole. The testers comment was 'well, you didn't fall over so I guess you pass'.


I took my motorcycle driving test yesterday. Luckily I passed. I thought I would smoke the test but did far worse than I expected. As I was putting my paperwork away and getting ready to leave, still reeling from my own disgust, the guy after me dumped his bike during his test. Felt sorry for the bastard but I must admit it made me feel better about my results. My advice is to go to the DMV and practice riding their test course until you feel comfortable with it.


Congrats Mike. Does this mean I'll see at Downieville next weekend?



Give me a break! I read the NYS DMV book. It Didn't cover much. I have been riding since I was 5 yrs. old. I have driven cars over 400,000 miles with no accidents. Half of those mile were in a city Police car. I don't need the lecture. I was just looking for some tips on what the tester in NY will be looking for. .

get on bike... um.. put helmet on.. um... start bike.. and go!!! FAST! the dmv loves it when you do wheelies, but my tester commented on how nice my stoppies were! :) sorry I coudn't resist!

But really, hope for rain or snow!! = pass

I got a ticket for riding on the road on an unregistered, uninspected KLR 650, with no license. (I DID HAVE THE PLATE FROM ANOTHER BIKE). I insp. and reg. the week before court.. the only road test opening was the day of court. It was 30deg. out... and lightly snowing... I needed to pass to avoid the fine in court, so I went. I screwed up the directions, and I passed, after only like two minutes. COOL... went to court.. dismisted :D

that was a while ago.. I had almost forgotten how it had happened.

Does anybody besides me see the irony of a Police Officer asking these questions?

Hope you passed the test. Ride safe.


Hi Bryan,

I won't be able to make the Downieville ride, although it sounds like a blast. I'm still working on my roof. Should have it done in two or three weekends.


Yes I passed, w/no points off. I work in the most violent city in NY per capita, well until September 11th. I never had much time or desire for traffic enforcement. V & T is not my strong suit. I realize I am new to the road on a bike. I don't have anyone to street ride with. To be legal I need my license to even get out there and get some experience. However, I have no death wish and I would bet I am safer than many seasoned riders. Thanks all for the advice.

"To be legal I need my license to even get out there and get some experience"

NY doesn't have a learners permit? CA issues a restricted learners permit - no passengers/daylight only/no freeway - after passing a written test. Full license requires passing the skills test.

Congrats on passing - now ride safe.


NYS does have a learner's permit which is obtained through a written test. You have to be w/in a 1/4 mile of a licensed rider. Hence you need a licensed riding buddy to do any riding.

My bike is not road legal yet. It took a month and a half to get scheduled for the road test. In that time I put a Baja Designs dual sport kit on my bike and I am waiting for Vermont to send me a plate. I had to borrow a buddy's DRZ 400 to take the test.

I am extremely cautious on the road as I know the WR will not perform nearly as well as a "road bike". Also, a WR on the road would catch my attention, it might be missed by other drivers.


I guess you've decided to keep the dub-R, good to hear dude. Hope to see you down here, next spring :)



99 WR400f, YZ timed, MX-Tech suspension, Scotts steering damper, White Bros E-Series (12 discs), tapered header and a/f. Kouba T-handle for the fuel screw. Works Connection billet throttle tube and frame guards. Cycra Pro-Bend, triple clamp mount handguards. Thumper Racing rad guards, Renthal Jimmy Button highs, YZ Tank and IMS seat, YZ number plate, odo removed, de-octopussed (Thanks Clark) EKP #4, 50PJ, 175MJ, 100PAJ and 65 SJ at 500-1000' Thanks James Dean!

in va. all you have to do is ride around the building and do a figure 8 in the lot! why bother? you have to ride to dmv to get a moto liscence anyway, as long as you got there alive, who cares? but if you fail they still let you ride home-where's the sense?

I remember when I went to get mine in GA after Desert Storm.... Had 3 Atlanta motocops and a State Trooper fail miseribly right in front of me. Talk about pressure....I had a no nonsense testor...I had never seen or practiced their course before the day I went. It was like my Virago took over and aced the thing all by it's self. Man I'm glad I didn't have to do the test on my WR....although I wouldn't of had to worry about touching the ground with the wrong foot....I would have just fallen over without a berm or a stump...

Bonzai :)

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