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 Should licensing be tied to training?
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here2learn
Male Junior Member
35 Posts


Hampton Roads, Va
USA

Honda

Rebel

Posted - 06/21/2011 :  5:18 PM                       Like
If trained motorcyclists should be given a license for attending training, without an objective skills test at the DMV.

Why not automobile drivers?

Why not Commercial vehicle drivers?

If that model is so successful at reducing motorcyclist fatalities, why not apply it across the board.

Why do we taxpayers employ examiners at all?

If it is not successful, why do states keep adopting this model, licensing new riders who have never rode an inch on the street or in traffic.

Axiom2000
Male Moderator
1761 Posts
[Mentor]


Georgetown, Delaware
USA

BMW

F 800 GT

Posted - 06/21/2011 :  6:49 PM
quote:
If trained motorcyclists should be given a license for attending training, without an objective skills test at the DMV.

Why not automobile drivers?

Why not Commercial vehicle drivers?

If that model is so successful at reducing motorcyclist fatalities, why not apply it across the board.

Why do we taxpayers employ examiners at all?

If it is not successful, why do states keep adopting this model, licensing new riders who have never rode an inch on the street or in traffic.


This more than likely belongs in the Rider Training area and I am not sure what your trying to get at. You have made some assumptions here to prove I point I guess, but not sure all of your statements are necessarly 100% true.

I teach the MSF courses and do the best job I can in insuring the students receive an objective evaluation. I am employed and empowered by my state to grant an M endorsement waiver for those who pass the evaluation. When the lessons are over and the evaluation begin, I am a DMV examiner.

No one that I know of is making any claims that the model has been successful in reducing motorcycle fatalities. I am fairly sure there is no such evidence to support that claim, save maybe for the brand new rider in the very near term. I would have a difficult time in even describing the MSF, BRC a motorcycle safety course, at least in my opinion it is a basic learn to ride a motorcycle class.

In some states I believe the passing of the BRC is mandatory before an M endorsement is granted. I guess in those states the DMV examiners don't do motorcycle testing. And of course, at least in my state the DMV examiners do both auto, commercial truck and motorcycle testing. So I guess our tax dollars are not wasted.

In most states I believe you can either take the BRC or go directly to the DMV and take the Alt-Most DMV test, neither requires you have ever ridden on the street. All that is required is that you pass the test.

I happen to think the BRC in the hands of a competent instructor is a good tool for teaching a novice the basics of riding a motorcycle. Are new riders who graduate the BRC street ready, no, wait HELL NO. So to the extent that the BRC awards an M endorsement for its completion, there is room for legitimate criticism. But I don't believe in any way the, no training, Alt-Most DMV test is any tougher to pass or any better indicator of street readiness.

There is no doubt, at least in my mind the model currently in use needs improvement, If we are going to award an M endorsement for the BRC then I am a firm believer the BRC needs to be longer, more time dedicated to safe street riding strategies and much more time spent on life saving skills building. I would like the evaluation to be more related to some of the skills needed to survive on the streets, perhaps even a two part evaluation, first on the range and then an actual test on the streets similar to what one would expect when taking a test for a drivers license.

Oh and for the record, I would be fine if at the conclusion of my classes a Rider Coach not teaching that particular class or even an actual DMV examiner administered the evaluation.

I don't think anyone who frequents this site, MSF Instructors included believe the BRC is the, Be all, End all. In my conversations with learned folks who have a concern about motorcycle safety from all over the country not a one of them feels that way, we all want a better mouse trap. So I am not sure your going to get any argument, or a contrary opinion if that's what your looking for.
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gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 06/21/2011 :  8:04 PM
"Why not commercial vehicle drivers"? In some states commercial vehicle drivers are tested by the entities providing commercial vehicle and school bus operator training rather than examiners whom are state DMV employees. The systems are similar in concept to that of the MSF skills test waivers and predate, by many years, the MSF, STARS, and Team Oregon skills tests and waiver programs.
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here2learn
Male Junior Member
35 Posts


Hampton Roads, Va
USA

Honda

Rebel

Posted - 06/21/2011 :  11:32 PM
I was not aware that CDLs have used this model.

I am not saying that training should not be conducted, more accurately my point is that training and licensing should be separate. I am saying that the role of the trainer and evaluator are and should be distinctly different, or at least the model should be consistent regardless of the type of vehicle license pursued.

I understand that some instructors try diligently to maintain objectivity, I respect that. However it is human nature to want a student you trained to pass. The DMV is objective because for the most part they simply do not care if you pass.

I think you would agree that the evaluation is easier (of course, depending on state) in the courses. Perhaps it is anecdotal, but fail twice in Virginia and they require you to take the easy way out.

I think that farming out the responsibility of license examiner to the MIC/MSF is negligent and contributes as much as any causal factor to increases in fatalities.

But honestly, I am just one person with a contrary opinion or two.
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SkootchNC
Male Advanced Member
1061 Posts
[Mentor]


raleigh, north carolina
USA

Harley-Davidson

road glide

Posted - 06/22/2011 :  5:07 AM
quote:
Originally posted by here2learn


I think you would agree that the evaluation is easier (of course, depending on state) in the courses. Perhaps it is anecdotal, but fail twice in Virginia and they require you to take the easy way out.

I think that farming out the responsibility of license examiner to the MIC/MSF is negligent and contributes as much as any causal factor to increases in fatalities.




I'm guessing here, they you are saying, the MSF is the "easier way" to getting a license??? is that a correct understanding of your statement?

Following your logic..... Rider "A", after learning how to ride on their own, goes to the DMV, takes... and FAILS the test twice..... is required to attend a "training class" (either MSF, or Rider's Edge) and get basic instruction, of the operation of a motorcycle.
I'm not sure that is "easier"

Does taking the MSF class, prepare a novice rider for riding on the streets? in traffic? NO. My (limited) knowledge of MSF/RE rider coaches, tells me they all explain in detail... the class teaches students the most basic skill sets the rider needs. It's up to each novice rider to spend time practicing those skills before heading out into traffic.

I'm not so gullible as to believe many students in fact DO any parking lot practice.... and there is SOME evidence, MSF training does pay off in a very short term reduction of accidents.

I'm NOT saying the MSF is a great program....but it's far better than how I learned to ride. In my day it was expected that most new riders would be dead, or injured within 6 months.We were expected to learn from out peers, and figure things out for our self. My "instructor" explained the controls of my bike, and told me to never EVER use the front brake, as it would send me flying over the handlebars.

Of course.... this is simply MY opinion.
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Axiom2000
Male Moderator
1761 Posts
[Mentor]


Georgetown, Delaware
USA

BMW

F 800 GT

Posted - 06/22/2011 :  5:07 AM
quote:
I think you would agree that the evaluation is easier (of course, depending on state) in the courses


I do not think the MSF evaluation is easier than the Alt-Most as far as the actual test is concerned. The biggest difference is the MSF test is given on a smaller machine where the Alt-most is given on whatever machine you want. If you don't have access to a small motorcycle than taking that test is more difficult, but that is motorcycle not test related. Taking the BRC evaluation on a bigger machine would also add a degree of difficulty.

The difference between the two as I see it are. The Alt-Most adds a cone weave and a 90 degree turn, where the BRC has the 135 degree curve and requires a figure 8 turn in the box where the Alt-Most only requires one "U turn" in the same size box. I think the 90 degree turn is a valid test item and would like to see it added to the BRC, in fact I think both tests should include a 90 degree left and right turn from a stop in a limited space. It is difficult for me to put a lot of weight in the cone weave as adding any real degree of difficulty to the Alt-Most over the BRC. In fact in some states and there is movement to institute it in all states, the 2' off set on the weave is being eliminated making the part of the test much easier. The 135 degree turn, at a measured speed within a confined space is, IMO a valid test item and missing altogether from the Alt-Most. As far as I know the braking and swerving evaluation are done using the same speeds and testing criteria. So other than the motorcycles used I just don't see a marked difference in the tests.


quote:
I understand that some instructors try diligently to maintain objectivity, I respect that. However it is human nature to want a student you trained to pass. The DMV is objective because for the most part they simply do not care if you pass.


Sure I would like to see my students do well and pass, I invest a lot of time with and get to know the students on a personal level. They put a lot of work and effort into the class they are motivated and have a high degree of desire to pass. It is a difficult thing to disappoint them with a failing score. But as stated before at the end of the lessons my instructor hat comes off and my DMV examiner hat goes on and I record the scores as ridden with no subjectivity added on my part, you either pass or fail based on your performance. Frankly if there are any instructors out there doing any different than shame on em and they should not be a part of any program.
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here2learn
Male Junior Member
35 Posts


Hampton Roads, Va
USA

Honda

Rebel

Posted - 06/22/2011 :  6:30 AM
I agree that training makes the biggest (possibly the only) difference in the first 6 months or 500 miles and out to a year.

I maintain that getting a license from your instructor, is generally easier for new riders than getting it at the DMV. And that no one should get a license without at least driving on the street (on their permit) some.

I think instructors regardless of intent are partial to seeing students succeed and that is where the conflict has the opportunity to make bad decisions, and yes it is shameful.

This is not so much about training, it is about licensing, why is the process different?

Because it works? Because it makes money? because more riders who die will have a license?

And why again, do we not provide licenses for car drivers after completing training even on the street? why do we employ examiners if this is the model we should be using?

Edited by - here2learn on 06/22/2011 6:44 AM
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here2learn
Male Junior Member
35 Posts


Hampton Roads, Va
USA

Honda

Rebel

Posted - 06/22/2011 :  6:33 AM
Perhaps a graph,

http://www.nmcti.org/docs/data/mcva...rpercent.pdf
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here2learn
Male Junior Member
35 Posts


Hampton Roads, Va
USA

Honda

Rebel

Posted - 06/22/2011 :  6:43 AM
And another point, if the course graduates were truly ready for a license they should have no problem after completing the course going to the DMV and passing the skills test.

So, why not require them to do so.

I wonder out of a class of 12 what percentage could (after the course) pass at the DMV? I bet less than 50% in most states.
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Bman123
Ex-Member

Posted - 06/22/2011 :  8:33 AM
quote:
Originally posted by here2learn

And another point, if the course graduates were truly ready for a license they should have no problem after completing the course going to the DMV and passing the skills test.

So, why not require them to do so.

I wonder out of a class of 12 what percentage could (after the course) pass at the DMV? I bet less than 50% in most states.



I took BRC and I also went to DMV and watched people taking the tests. The Rider Coaches were much more professional in their graing of the test and the worst riders I saw at the completion of BRC were much more proficient than any of the riders I saw who took the test at DMV.

If a rider isn't self-motivated enough to set up exercises similar to BRC and practice them on their own bike prior to spending much time on the road, an extra level of government interference isn't likely to do anything but generate revenue for the government. They are likely at higher risk for having something happen anyway.

Added: There are no style points awarded for testing in BRC. You either stay within the lines,stop in time,etc, or you don't. This makes it very easy to stay objective. We had two coaches grading different exercises. The second had no idea how the student did on the earlier exercises, so there is no reason to shade the results to help someone pass.

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CaptCrash
Male Advanced Member
744 Posts
[Mentor]


Nampa, ID
USA

Honda

Phantom

Posted - 06/22/2011 :  8:35 AM
quote:
Originally posted by here2learn

And another point, if the course graduates were truly ready for a license they should have no problem after completing the course going to the DMV and passing the skills test.

So, why not require them to do so.

I wonder out of a class of 12 what percentage could (after the course) pass at the DMV? I bet less than 50% in most states.



Interesting question. As an elected official (fire commish) I've got a little insight into public service--and frankly? I would imagine that one of things State Governments like is that fact that the MSF test is STANDARDIZED across the country. By granting the waiver for successful completion states are unifying code/law. A little over 1/2 of all states use the ALT-MOST as their default test, and then it's a mishmash from there. It saves money and time when you comply to standards already researched and written by someone else.

Yes, it's either lazy or wise, but the move to let MSF train and TEST is "standardized", quick and easy.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6884 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 06/22/2011 :  8:51 AM
quote:
Originally posted by here2learn

And another point, if the course graduates were truly ready for a license they should have no problem after completing the course going to the DMV and passing the skills test.

So, why not require them to do so.
I can tell you why I would take the MSF course rather than the DMV test if I had to be tested for my license now - at least based on the bikes I had a year ago. The California course requires you to go one and a half times around a circle that is 20 feet in diameter at the inside and 24 feet diameter at the outside. You have to do it in each direction. The two bikes that I had were measured with turning diameters of 20 and 27 feet. On the one bike, most of the turn had to be at full lock, against the steering stops. It was absolutely impossible on the other bike.

I consider myself to be a safe rider under pretty much all conditions, but the test checks for other skills that I feel have little to do with my ability to ride safely on the street. I practiced the test course many times on the bike with the 20-foot turning diameter and was actually able to get through it once or twice, but it was not a sure thing, and I couldn't do it twice in a row. When you're already against the steering stops and the bike starts to fall to the inside even a tiny bit, your only choices are either put a foot down or power out of it and hope you don't go outside the outer part of the circle.

Now that I have an XR650L, the test is totally easy because the turning diameter of that bike is something like 10-12 feet. When I first got the bike I went over to the DMV to check and had no problem at all with the test.

So I would take the MSF for a license if I had it to do over again because I had a motorcycle that couldn't successfully negotiate the course.
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here2learn
Male Junior Member
35 Posts


Hampton Roads, Va
USA

Honda

Rebel

Posted - 06/22/2011 :  9:56 AM
The CA test requires riders to pass the circles which tests low speed stability, maneuverability. If you fail that portion you cannot pass the test and get a license.

In the BRC, a rider who fails that portion of the test and performs well on all the easier evaluations, will get a license.

In the BRC low speed stability and maneuverability are observed but not required. Which in addition to bias makes the BRC much easier than challenging the DMV.

In either case there has not (that I am aware of) ever been a requirement to do the test on your own bike, much like the BRC, the DMV will let you rent a small bike and take the test on it. Perhaps this serves to encourage new riders to buy more appropriately sized motorcycles.

I appreciate all the feedback and thought stimulation.
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Axiom2000
Male Moderator
1761 Posts
[Mentor]


Georgetown, Delaware
USA

BMW

F 800 GT

Posted - 06/22/2011 :  12:17 PM
quote:
In the BRC low speed stability and maneuverability are observed but not required. Which in addition to bias makes the BRC much easier than challenging the DMV.


I am really confused by this one, The BRC evaluation includes the aforementioned figure 8 within a 20 foot boundary. There are points added for crossing the line or putting a foot down. It is a required part of the evaluation. So it is not just observed it is tested for. How do you find bias in that. Of course you seem to be stuck on and believe that all the MSF coaches are biased in favor of their students passing and will so willingly fudge the scores to do so. If that is your belief, your entitled to it. That has not been my experience in working with a large number of dedicated instructors who have a high degree credibility and desire to do the right things.

quote:
In either case there has not (that I am aware of) ever been a requirement to do the test on your own bike, much like the BRC, the DMV will let you rent a small bike and take the test on it. Perhaps this serves to encourage new riders to buy more appropriately sized motorcycles.


I never stated you HAD to take the DMV test on your own bike, you can take it on any street legal machine you bring to the test. But I suspect most folks take it on their own motorcycles and those motorcycles are more than likely bigger than 125 - 250 CC's. That in my opinion makes the DMV test more difficult.

quote:

I wonder out of a class of 12 what percentage could (after the course) pass at the DMV? I bet less than 50% in most states



I have no idea what the passing rates are in other states for either the BRC or the DMV, I can tell you in my state they are very close to being equal at around 85% for either.

I am just going to disengage from this conversation, I am thinking from your writing your believe the BRC testing is not valid as it is done by biased coaches and the DMV test is much more difficult while the BRC is the easy way. And there is nothing I or others may say that will change your mind. The facts are, neither of these tests are really a good test of one's ability to ride safely on the streets. the difference between the two are ever so slight and certainly not any different enough to state one is superior. I am all for higher standards in training and testing and hope we can someday move in that direction.
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kacinpa
Male Advanced Member
802 Posts
[Mentor]


Lansdale, PA
USA

Triumph

Sprint GT

Posted - 06/22/2011 :  1:33 PM
I am proof that the BRC DOES fail students who do not meet the requirements. There was absolutly NO bias between the two instructors who administered the test at the end of my first BRC class. I put my foot down twice and went ouside the lines in "the box" after that I let my frustration get to me and hit two cones in the swerve my mistakes caused me to fail the BRC evaluation.

If I had taken the ALT - Most test at the DMV I would have PASSED the u-turn as all of my errors in "the box" happened on the 2nd half of the figure 8.

Failing me and causing me to re-take the 2nd day riding portion made me much better at low speed riding. It didn't hurt that I did a bunch on PLP on my bike in between.

As far as either test method making for safer ridiers on the streets, in PA at least you can ride to your heart's content on a permit. Sure there are restrictions but there is still ample opportunity to kill yourself or others as NO training whatsoever is needed to get a permit.

The MSF BRC is certainly NOT designed to make safe riders on the streets, but the evaluation at the end vs the PENNDOT test has no role in making riders with a BRC waiver any less safe than folks who take the ALT-MOST test at a PENNDOT center.
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here2learn
Male Junior Member
35 Posts


Hampton Roads, Va
USA

Honda

Rebel

Posted - 06/22/2011 :  9:14 PM
I have not accused instructors of "fudging the numbers", I simply suggested that there is/could be an inherent bias that results from a student/instructor relationship.

I understand that you may not agree with me.

Since a student can totally blow (max points -8)the figure and still pass, it is not required for them to demonstrate low speed stability in order to get a license in the BRC.

Why do all the other exercises have a max points of (-10), perhaps because they are all easier.

When is the last time someone smoked the figure 8 and still failed?

There still has been no answer to why we do not use this model for automobiles?

I can only offer a limited amount time, please forgive me if I do not respond further.

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gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 06/22/2011 :  10:49 PM
Here to learn. Here is a brief primer on drivers licensing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driver%27s_license

Prior to the Highway Safety Act of 1966 US drivers license standards were, optimistically, a "mishmash of various often conflicting state laws" The Highway Safety Act created the NHTSA and led to the development of the contemporary "comprehensive approach" to highway whereby Federal Standards for various categories of highway safety concerns were developed the standards underwent a major revision in 1975.

Beginning in the late 1960s I was a participant in the development of programs resulting from the initial beginnings of the Highway Safety Act in several of of the Standard Areas at both the state and national level, particularly as relates to motorcycle safety. Always highly politicized, professional efforts to improve traffic safety reached their apogee about 1975 and have been under increasing influence of various lobbying groups ever since, to the point where today, virtually no one with a formal professional preparation in the field of Traffic Safety remains in a decision making role.
See:
http://www.enotes.com/major-acts-co...y-safety-act
And:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation...e_Safety_Act
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SkootchNC
Male Advanced Member
1061 Posts
[Mentor]


raleigh, north carolina
USA

Harley-Davidson

road glide

Posted - 06/23/2011 :  7:30 AM
quote:
Originally posted by here2learn

If it is not successful, why do states keep adopting this model, licensing new riders who have never rode an inch on the street or in traffic.



I understand, that you will likely NOT reply..... but.....I am still waiting for your "reasoning" that the MSF class is "easier" than taking a "skills test" at a local DMV

Further, I question the statement that MSF will issue a waiver for
new riders who have never rode an inch on the street or in traffic.Plese list the states that DO require permit holder to do so... and the methods those states use to insure each permit holder does so.

Yes, I'm aware that all states ALLOW permit holders to operate a motorcycle on various public roads. My question is how does the state regulate/confirm the permit holder has actually "ridden an inch".

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House_of_Dexter
Male Senior Member
324 Posts


Richardson, Tx
USA

Suzuki

V-Strom DL1000

Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 06/23/2011 :  12:55 PM
'm not going to get into a debate of which is better...taking a DMV test or BRC/MSF...

Testing of M/C is a state operation. In Texas passing the drivers test was a pretty simple affair and this was how they administered the riding aspect of the test.
http://www.msgroup.org/forums/mtt/t...OPIC_ID=5232
quote:
Originally posted by Cash Anthony
Again, it varies from state to state, but as John Henry explained, in Texas the test involves "normal" street riding skills.

A couple more of words of advice: Nothing prevents you from going to the test site and watching some other rider who is being observed for his or her test, to see exactly what you have to do. Even if you need to follow an officer and a rider on the streets, you can probably do that without being too noticeable -- and so what if someone sees you?

That will also give you a chance to find out which days and hours are the least busy at your state's testing site, unless you just happen to like standing in line.

When you take the test here, you must bring someone with you to drive your car (or their car) while you are riding. The officer sits in the passenger seat of your car and observes the rider. The person who is driving the officer around can cause you to FAIL your test if that person violates the law, if the car isn't in good road condition (i.e., brake light out) or hasn't been inspected as required, or if the driver does something stupid while the officer is in the car! Be careful who you choose.

When you take your test, be sure to have all the gear your state requires (and probably more), and wear it. Once you are on the bike, don't forget to do a HEAD CHECK in all directions before you ever move the bike. It counts against you here if you fail to look around before you move, and that means doing it obviously, not just a quick mirror check.

Here, once you are traveling on city streets and being observed, the officer will tell you when he wants you to make a turn by having the driver honk the horn. I can't remember whether one honk is left and two is right or vice versa, but just be sure you know what to expect along those lines before you start.

Of course, if your state just has you ride in a parking lot, none of that may be relevant as to the specifics.

Still, in general, I would say that you want to know exactly what you are supposed to do, and review it in your head before you begin so that you don't lose focus once you start. BTDT, by the way. I had to take my first M/C test twice because I got nervous and put a foot down in a left turn when I didn't know what another vehicle was going to do, after I started into an intersection from a stop sign.

I went back the next day and took it again and passed it easily, but in-between, I went out and rode the same route on the surface streets, until I felt familiar with the neighborhood and traffic patterns.

Nowadays, many if not most people here don't have to take a riding test to get their M/C endorsement, because they take the MSF class instead. Passing the MSF counts for that requirement. Whether you take the MSF in order to avoid the riding test, or just because it makes sense, I'll chime in with the other folks that you should take it.

Good luck!


Cash


Recently Texas has changed their requirements and now require passing of an approved riding course: Present a completion certificate of the Motorcycle Safety Course (MSB-8), approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

Well...what am I getting at...Not all licensing requirements are created equal. Texas was pretty simple compared to other states. So which is better a simple riding test like Texas or the BRC/MSF?

[edited url]

Edited by - House_of_Dexter on 06/23/2011 1:04 PM
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here2learn
Male Junior Member
35 Posts


Hampton Roads, Va
USA

Honda

Rebel

Posted - 07/02/2011 :  9:35 PM
Delware DMV states that

"Statewide approximately 85% of students successfully complete the course their first time." Since the training is standardized then these results should reflect passing rates across the nation.

https://citizen.dmv.de.gov/services...rcycle.shtml

What state has an 85% pass rate at the DMV on the first try?

This should be the point where we agree that getting a license in the Motorcycle Sales Foundation course is easier than most DMVs. Agreed?
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CaptCrash
Male Advanced Member
744 Posts
[Mentor]


Nampa, ID
USA

Honda

Phantom

Posted - 07/02/2011 :  10:52 PM
quote:
Originally posted by here2learn

Delware DMV states that

"Statewide approximately 85% of students successfully complete the course their first time." Since the training is standardized then these results should reflect passing rates across the nation.

https://citizen.dmv.de.gov/services...rcycle.shtml

What state has an 85% pass rate at the DMV on the first try?

This should be the point where we agree that getting a license in the Motorcycle Sales Foundation course is easier than most DMVs. Agreed?




What's the Delaware DMV test pass rate?

And another thought--does the DMV test have a practice session before you take it? 'Cause the BRC is, essentially, a bit of practice with the skills they're testing yes?

Here in Idaho we let some folks who have failed the BRT skills test retake the skills test. However, they used to just show up and ride. Now there is a practice session before; I assume that the number of riders passing the retake should now see a marginal uptick. Is that cheating? The riders still benefit from training and they get a 'fair shot' at the test (look, you're riding someone else's ride; a couple of laps and some practice seems fair.

Edited by - CaptCrash on 07/02/2011 10:58 PM
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