Anyone taken a driving test on the DRZ?

Ok, here's the story...Went to the DMV (Kansas) today, thinking this would be a piece of cake on the DRZ. The first test was set up as follows:

2 lines on the pavement 12" apart, boxed at the ends (start and finish) approximately 30' apart. They give you approx 15 feet to get started before entering the long narrow rectangle. Once your front tire hits the start line you have to remain in the rectangle for a MINIMUM of 15 sec. without touching either of the lines on the sides (12" apart).

I failed, my DRZ at idle in 1st gear went through in 9 sec! I tried again feathering the clutch, I couldn't keep the bike balanced at this speed. When I got home I practiced on the street in front of my house. I cannot do this test, it is next to impossible unless you're one of the stunt riders in the circus who rides the high wire! The bike is too top heavy and the front end is too light to pull this off, I think! If anyone can do this on a DRZ let me know how!

Oh yeah, I'm running Dunlop 606's at approximately 20 psi.:cheers:

Thanks, Ted

I've been riding dirt since I was 10, so don't tell me I'm a slouch for a rider! If you're not sure try it, bet you can't do it with stock gearing and knobbies!

Took it on the drz after being out of ridding for years, try it at home first and slide the clutch alot with stock gearing......I passed

I can stop the DRZ in place for 5 seconds at a time easily....practice practice practice. Keep the suspension loaded with the clutch when the bike is stopped so you can move easily by releasing the brakes if you need to regain balance.

Sounds like the standard MSF course in a lot of states.

Practice,practice,practice.It also helps to have your clutch free play adjustment correct to help maintain control.

I remember ions ago in Illinois where there wasn't the rect,12" but a solid line for the whole distance and was not permitted to have either wheel leave the line in the prescribed distance.I want to say it was 30-50ft.I can't remember exactly.The time was longer too.I think I remember 20 sec.It's not too hard with practice.Keep your eyes straight ahead.

Mine is geared higher than stock, - 2 teeth on the back.

That is an easy test, all you have to do is ride the rear brake and slip the clutch.

It sounds as if you need to practise your low speed control.

If a Trials rider can stand still, you should be able to go much slower than walking pace.

The test over here has the same requirement for slow speed control.

I did it on a Kawasaki ER5, a 500cc twin, no problem at all.

Don't loose heart, you just need to practise.

Just be glad your test over there is not in 3 parts, as it is over here.

First is the Basic training, a full day, part classroom,then in a carpark, followed by 2 hours on the road, being followed by the examiner.

Next is a computer multiple choice thing, with a hazard awareness test after, all of which is timed.

Then the full test, which is being followed for up to 50 minutes by the examiner, about 90% of the course will be in town traffic.


I have freakishly short legs. My inseam is barely 27". I could barely touch the ground with one tow, the other foot was about 3 inches from the ground. I am a very experienced rider (37 years) and until I lowered the bike, my feet never touched the ground unless I was going to get off. Basically, I was terrified of missing my mark and falling over! When I first started to ride, I rode for hours in a driveway. Riding as slow as I could, making complex manuvers, complete stopp, feet on the pegs. Learned to ride a unicycle, mastered the art of balance.

So many riders simply get on, get the bike going, letting the gyroscopic forces take the place of human balance. As others have said, practice going slow, then you can go fast.


Try it in second gear, feather the clutch and ride the back brake. As the other have said, practice.

Did my riding test in California on my Triumph Sprint RS. Clutch out in first gear and you are doing 10 to 12 MPH. Made doing the low speed circle a real bitch. Passed the test by keeping the bike in second gear.

As a trials rider, I can balance in one place for a while. I find the DRZ a great bike to balance. It's easier if you stand up.

Ride to about 2' from the end and just stop and wait for the time to come to 15 sec. then release the clutch and finish.

Practice, practice, fall, practice.

Are you guys doing this sitting down or standing on the pegs? Would lowering my tire pressure help?

Since my DRZ S is the only bike I've owned it was my steed for the test. In Mississippi the road test was SO EASY. Show them how to operate the flashers/horn, leave the lot and take four simple rights. The written test however was retardedly aggrevating. The DMV didn't have a book so I took the test blind (and failed), went out of town for a book, retried and passed. Mind you I wrote down difficult ?'s off the exam BOTH times that were NOWHERE in their "handy dandy" book!!! :cheers:

Don't really like the idea of smoking my clutch, what about changing the gearing?

I took my test here in cali on my drz400sm....It was beyond easy...It sounds like the test is different where you are...Mine was five or so cones then a circle which you had to keep your tires in and then two lines which you had to stay in and the circle again going the other way..heres a rough scetch I drew up in paint

<a  href=calibiketestnc0.png' alt='calibiketestnc

Sounds like the same test I took. You just have to practice. I took mine on the DRZ but talked with someone who had taken it before, so I was prepared for it. One thing you might want to do is go there on Sunday and practice on the actual course.

Jim, what were the other tests? That was the first one, so I didn't get to see what the other tests were.

I can get as small as a 13 front sprocket and as large as a 52 rear sprocket. I ride alot of dirt too, so this wouldn't be a bad combo to have anyway.

Smoke your clutch? Wet clutch man, slip the shit out of it, no worries.

Imagine people take that on sportbikes and cruisers, its much easier on a DRZ. Our road test here is all in traffic, with a car following you. I also took a safety course after I had my license, and we had a lot more slow maneuvering in that course.

Like everyone has said, practice some slow riding, slipping the clutch, turning, balancing, stopping, using the rear brake to stabilize you.

Jim, what were the other tests? That was the first one, so I didn't get to see what the other tests were.

This is what I remember:

There were a bunch of tight turning tests that were timed around cones and right angled painted lines. There was one that had you accelerate to 15 mph, swerve to the right and stop in a very short distance (maybe 15-20 ft) that was the hardest. Also you were never allowed to touch the ground until you were stopped. The test was definetly challenging. I believe there were six or seven individual tests.

Are you guys doing this sitting down or standing on the pegs? Would lowering my tire pressure help?
I'm not an expert at this slow moving stuff though I'm not bad (have had my license or 17 years, man I must be OLD!!) When I took the test in SC, they made me go up a slim ramp stop start... umm some cones I think. Not very difficult.

I would think the more air you have in the tires, the better.

Also, I practice VERY slow moving commuting to work every day on the DRZ (It's a game to me), traffic sucks here in CT and there are so many times I'm in a row of 10 cars all going through a flashing stop light or stop signed intersection. I try to go as slow as possible without touching the ground. Most of the time I use the clutch to right the bike when starting to lose it, sometimes it's so perfect I feel like I am that acrobat and somehow I'm at one with gravity and Zen and can't believe that I'm not falling over... but just as many times, I'm off and feel I look like a damn fool and have to keep putting my foot down. I do have to say that practice helps (I'm getting good at the game... at least we motorcycle people have something fun to do while waiting for traffic to move :cheers: ).

Side note: I just drove my friend's new Honda 919 and it will balance sssoooo much easier. We definitely have a much harder time on our tall bikes!

I guess I've never really compared a sportbike to a motard or S for slow speed balancing in a straight line. Ever tried to turn a sportbike to full lock at low speed? Very challenging exercise.

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