Believe it or not- I’ve been together with my wife Marion since my second year of racing, and we’ve ridden tons of bikes in all those years- she was always a passenger… even on Germany’s famous 13 miles Nuerburgring Nordschleife to smoke guys on big bikes- but she NEVER rode a motorcycle her selves!!!
But since we have that sweet Superbike-Coach rental bike, a Ninja 250- Marion sat on it… declared it as ‘cute’- looked at me and said “…teach me to ride. I wanna make a drivers license!”. From here, I want to pass this three part article on to her to tell the story of how it’s like- and what to do in order to get a motorcycle drivers license:
Here is how to make your M1 drivers license, Part 1 of 3, by Marion Akkaya
First, I went to the DMV to get the booklet (http://driving-tests.org/california/california-motorcycle-manual/) to prepare for the written test. After studying it for a couple of days, I took some free available test online just to make sure not to see where I’m at. I also scheduled an appointment not to waste my time by waiting for hours in line, which is easy to do online: (https://www.dmv.ca.gov/wasapp/foa/clear.do?goTo=officeVisit)
When I arrived, I still had to wait in line, but it was much shorter than what I saw on the other lines. I had to fill out some paperwork about name, address, SSN, information about already existing driver license – the usual stuff, than I got a number and I went back to wait until they called my name.
It took about 15-20 minutes until a DMV worker told me that I have to renew my car driver license when adding a motorcycle license. This information took me by surprise because I wasn’t prepared for the test. I paid $ 29 before I got to window A, where they took my picture. Then they send me to the testing room, loaded with about 20 computers. The nice part by taking it online is that it shows right away if your answer is correct and it is much faster. On the other hand it makes you more nervous after a mistake. Some of the questions were common sense, while other just confused me. I passed my written test for the car right away, but had to retake the written motorcycle test. I had to go back in line, pull a new number and wait for probably 15 more minutes before I could take it again, but this time I’ve passed the test!
The good part is that you can retake the test three times before they send you home and you have to pay again. I am just glad that I past and now I can focus on the “little circle” through which I have to go to pass the driving test. I have no clue how to get through it, but I have the best riding Coach I possibly can think of- who will get me through this successfully. I was convinced he’ll be more sensitive with his wife- was I wrong! J
Now, the fun staff started –riding a motorcycle. ‘Coach husband’ started giving me riding lessons. We started first with some easy lessons, how to shift, to break, to steer, and the right body position. He showed me how to turn my head into the right direction instead of looking right in front of me. I learned shifting up without using the clutch, which is not easy in the beginning, but like he says:” what you don’t have to do- you can’t mess up” –and he is right. Believe me it was not easy for him, because I am a bad listener and I am just glad that I haven’t had make any push-ups yet :)
After a couple of days of training with him, he installed a vox radio in my Arai helmet and says “Let’s hit the freeway hon”, and off we went…
To be continued!
Author Marion Akkaya, Sacramento CA