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Indiana requires passage of a motorcycle skills test to get a license endorsement in our state. It's a typical motorcycle skills test with a cone weave, some sharp right and left turns, an obstacl swerve, and a controlled stop. As far as I can tell, there's no scooter specific test here.

Question: Is the typical motorcycle skills test easier/harder/same to pass on a scooter (i.e. a Burgman)?

One aspect that will be easier is not having to shift the scoot (i.e. no penalties for stalling).

Any other experience with this?

(The ABATE classes, which would waive the skills test requirement, are all done for the year in my area.)

Thanks.
 

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Both my wife and myself took and passed the Ohio test on our Burgman's. She has a 400 and I have a 650. In Ohio, it is illegal to "Practice" on the BMV courses, but they let me go and measure and build my own in an empty parking lot. Took some extra practice with the Burgman's, but we did pass and only hit one cone during the whole test. Cones are the hardest part.

Kelly
 

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I am from Ohio myself. The people at the DMV actually TOLD my wife where the course was so she could practice. It's in an abandon supermarket parking lot so I believe they would have a hard time keeping people off of it.

Would be kind of cool though, seeing my wife in a "mugshot."

;)
 

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cosermann wrote
Question: Is the typical motorcycle skills test easier/harder/same to pass on a scooter (i.e. a Burgman)?
Any riding test will be a lot easier on a scooter,
smaller wheels , lower center of gravity, no clutch, light weight .
All plus factors in passing the test. :)
 

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Randy said:
cosermann wrote
Question: Is the typical motorcycle skills test easier/harder/same to pass on a scooter (i.e. a Burgman)?
Any riding test will be a lot easier on a scooter,
smaller wheels , lower center of gravity, no clutch, light weight .
All plus factors in passing the test. :)
I find tight u-turns more difficult on the 400 as compared to the "regular bike" I did the MSF on. Anyone else experience this?
 

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I've been riding for almost 20 years.(mostly sportbikes)
On the burgman 400 I still find that it is harder to control
at slower speed, just before you put the foot down. :oops:
 

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I find the Burgman 400 to be - different to a conventional motorcycle.

In comparison to a similar power machine I find I can throw the Burgman round a much tighter U turn - but only after a lot of practice.

It is just a diffent technique. Not having a manually controllable clutch just makes control more difficult to master.
 

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philtag6000 said:
I've been riding for almost 20 years.(mostly sportbikes)
On the burgman 400 I still find that it is harder to control
at slower speed, just before you put the foot down. :oops:
I felt like that at first with the 650 - very awkward approaching a stop, and even more so with a passenger an board. Now, I can come to a full stop without taking my feet off of the floorboards. I've actually stopped for a second, and accelerated away once or twice, without putting my feet down. It is a totally different feel from the motorcycles, I'll grant you that, but it just takes some getting used to. I think after you ride the 400 some more, you'll hit a point where you are very comfortable with it at low speed.
 

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NormanB said:
I find the Burgman 400 to be - different to a conventional motorcycle.

In comparison to a similar power machine I find I can throw the Burgman round a much tighter U turn - but only after a lot of practice.

It is just a diffent technique. Not having a manually controllable clutch just makes control more difficult to master.
C'mon now Norman, don't tease us. Share the techique. :)
 

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Slow speed turns on any bike can be tough, with a motorcycle you have control with the clutch ,I missed this a lot with the scooter until I found that you had to keep the RPM up and control the speed with the brake.
As far as stopping I could never control my big bikes as well .
 

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BobG said:
... Share the techique. :)
Dragging the rear brake a little bit while still applying throttle will help stabilize at slow speed.
 

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BobG said:
30MuleTeam said:
BobG said:
... Share the techique. :)
Dragging the rear brake a little bit while still applying throttle will help stabilize at slow speed.
Does that apply to linked brakes?
It works OK on the 400. I don't think much of the front brake is applied when using the "left" brake especially when dragging it very lightly. The best way to find out is try it for yourself to see if it works for you. I know some riders who do not like to use this technique, even on a motorcycle with independent brakes. They prefer to play with the friction zone of the clutch.
 

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The biggest loss of low speed control on a scooter is due to the lack of effect from the knees up against the tank. THis is the low speed technique they teach in MSF, but there is nothing in between your knees on a scooter.

I compensate with throttle, brake, and in the case of my wife's Scarabeo, my feet, putting pressure onr one floorboard or the other. This method wouldn't work on the Burgie as my feet are forward rather than straight down.

My Helix was easier to control at low speed because of my body being low to the ground.
 

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BobG said:
NormanB said:
I find the Burgman 400 to be - different to a conventional motorcycle.
In comparison to a similar power machine I find I can throw the Burgman round a much tighter U turn - but only after a lot of practice.
It is just a diffent technique. Not having a manually controllable clutch just makes control more difficult to master.
C'mon now Norman, don't tease us. Share the techique. :)
Hi Bob

I was not trying to be cryptic or even to be appearing as profound as a Zen master. :wink:

I will try and encompass the other replies, since I last posted too (but without all the nested quotes).

First - I am no expert, no MSF instructor or anything like that. I found U turns on a conventional motorcycle difficult to master 100% of the time (by that I mean a successful controlled U turn without dabbing a foot down).

To be honest of itself the U turn manoeuvre while a good indicative measure of the riders control of their machine is fairly arbitrary because in the real world (particularly if you have a heavy and expensive machine) you probably would not attempt such a tight U turn as dictated in most training/test centres. However I believe it does help in refining your control of the bike and searching out your limits on your particular machine and in the practicing to improve this low speed manoeuvre it imbues confidence that will not be misplaced on the streets.

I practice in supermarket car parks (the non 24hr ones!). They are useful for the 'quietness', space and line markings for reference.

Here are my pointers.

1. Read the road surface - is there any camber (gradient) which will change the powering requirement during the manoeurvre.
2. Apply sufficient throttle to engage the clutch (+ a bit more) while dragging the rear brake (a tadge) - on the 400 this will also apply a very small amount of front as well but will not effect the handling.
3. Keep a steady throttle against that fixed amount of dragging brake to proceed at a comfortable pace.
4. Comfortable pace is a personal thing. For me it is brisk!
5. Observe if the manoeuvre is still safe to carry out (Lifesaver check).
6. Execute.
7. Initially, you can heave round on the handlebars almost to the stops (not quite but about 2/3).
8. As you do so - do an impression of the 'Exorcist' and use target fixation to advantage by fixing your sight line on the exit point but say 50 yds up the line (DO NOT LOOK DOWN).
9. Now as you swung the bars round this has a braking effect so you may need to reduce the brake drag to maintain speed. Also if you riding a gradient you may need to compensate either way.
10. Someone mentioned the lack of a petrol tank between your knees as being a disadvantage. Its different but does not hinder a tight U turn.
11. During the turn you can significantly reduce the 'turning circle' by getting off the centre of the tyres and leaning the bike over while using your bodyweight to counterbalance - do not try this until you are confident with the basic upright stance and U turn.


Above all and the most important thing, I believe, is the sheer volume of practice to get to know your machines characteristics and your own limitations . You can reduce the tedium and get the engine temp back down with a few sprints and emergency stops. One thing though while I practice emergency stops in both wet and dry conditions - I only U turn in the dry - I am just plain chicken! :wink:

So - I have now exposed my head above the parapet and stand ready for the flak! :wink:
 

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Thanks Norman for an enlightening post. I have copied it and will use the info you provided for my u-turn practice sessions.

You are truly "da man" :!:

Oh btw, you misspelled "maneuver". :lol:
 

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BobG said:
Oh btw, you misspelled "maneuver". :lol:
Bollocks! :wink:

BTW Bob - I cud av saved meself efort by drwing yr attenshun to this thred Linky, but then pedantry was never my forte! :lol:
 

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NormanB said:
...but then pedantry was never my forte! :lol:
Speaking of pedants; did you know that most people (at least in North America) mispronounce forte?

People tend to say "fore-tay" -- but that's an Italian-based musical term that means "loud."

"Forte" -- as an area of expertise -- is pronounced "fort" -- a French term with a silent e at the end.

Because of common usage, even many dictionaries now give "fore-tay" as the preferred pronunciation, but I say "denounce capitulation, and stand firm for precision!"
 

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Brian said:
NormanB said:
...but then pedantry was never my forte! :lol:
Speaking of pedants; did you know that most people (at least in North America) mispronounce forte?

People tend to say "fore-tay" -- but that's an Italian-based musical term that means "loud."

"Forte" -- as an area of expertise -- is pronounced "fort" -- a French term with a silent e at the end.

Because of common usage, even many dictionaries now give "fore-tay" as the preferred pronunciation, but I say "denounce capitulation, and stand firm for precision!"
The problem is if you pronounce it "fort" people won't know what you're talking about.
 
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