Tiered motorcycle licensing - Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Tiered motorcycle licensing

I know that some European countries, and I believe Japan, requires different licenses for larger engine motorcycle. I guess if you start with a little dirt bike and end up with a touring bike you could have had to get multiple licenses during that process. I wonder if any states in the U.S. require this?

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 02:12 PM
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Tiered motorcycle licensing

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Originally Posted by vito View Post
I know that some European countries, and I believe Japan, requires different licenses for larger engine motorcycle. I guess if you start with a little dirt bike and end up with a touring bike you could have had to get multiple licenses during that process. I wonder if any states in the U.S. require this?


Can't Swear to this as I was Grandfathered in Riding Several Years before Motorcycle Addendum Required.. But seems to me for a while if took your Riding Test on below 500CC you were restricted to 500 CC or Below anything over 500CC No Size Restrictions.. Now a Motorcycle Course is Required for all ages in Florida and No Restrictions on Size to get your Endorsement


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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 04:50 PM
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In N.J., if you take your test on a bike with 231 cc or less, you are limited to riding bikes with no more than a 500 cc
engine.
Here are the rules:
State of New Jersey - Motor Vehicle Commission
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 05:13 PM
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Ohio doesn't have tiers, but does require MSF riders course for anyone under 18 (personally, I think it should be required for everyone, but that is my opinion). California was looking at tiers several years ago, but not sure if it went thru.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 05:24 PM
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Florida requires the safety class, and there is no other test; the class is it. But, you take the class on a 250 no matter what you want to ride on the road.

I think the tiers are a decent idea. I started on a 175, then 380, 550, 700. I think it helped me me a better rider all the way through to work up in steps.

Not saying it has to be a law, because 'Merica! I'm just saying it is not a bad idea to step your way up.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 05:42 PM
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I agree about it is a good idea stepping up gradually, and laws overstepping boundaries..... slippery slope and can't protect people from themselves.
Ohio - class is the test, like FL. Or if you are over 18, you can do an on-bike test to get endorsement. We require anyone under 18 and first year novice to wear Helmet, and if Rider has to wear helmet, so does passenger.
However in 30 yrs riding, I have seen too many people buy a bike to keep up with friends, look cool, or just truely have no idea how powerful they are and s$!t goes wrong fast. If they are lucky its an ER trip, but too often i have buried friends and acquaintances due to being on bikes they had nowhere near experience to have nor ability to handle properly.

My sons and wife balked a little when I set limits on first and second bikes, but after getting on bigger ones (big vtwins and sportbikes) after couple of years under their belt, they understood. This is a skillset that must be learned and honed every time you are on it. Best way to learn is practice and continued education. Personally, I have taken 2 MSF advanced rider courses (doing another advanced refresher course hopefully this spring), and 3 road race courses
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 01:07 AM
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I successfully completed the MSF course and got the waiver, but I'm honestly not a fan of it now. I hesitate to say much because worshiping the MSF seems like a religion or something but... if I had known how licensing in Georgia works before I took the class I probably wouldn't have. I don't have a problem with requiring *a* class but I think there should be more than one option tailored to different people that fills the requirement.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 03:34 AM
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If peer pressure was just the reverse of what I see then chances are good that at least a few riders would be perfectly happy with the bike they have and wouldn't feel the need to get the biggest baddest bike they can get just so they could keep up with their buddies. I agree you can't protect people from themselves. But goading perfectly content folks is equally wrong. And I see a lot of that. Some don't even realize they are doing it. Or they don't appear to know they are. You see it here all the time. Well, not the goading but suggesting that getting that big bike yes.

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 04:33 AM
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I like the requirement that all motorcycle riders should take a basic riders course.

The discussion of this thread reminds me of a drivers license for a car. Just because I'm licensed to drive a typical family cage, doesn't entitle me to get into an 18 wheeler and drive down the highway.

I could see some sort of introductory familiarization course, when you move up from a 500cc to anything over 1000cc. Since the actual shifting and overall driving technique doesn't change, I don't think I'd make it mandatory, but preparing a rider for the additional weight and power and how that affects their ride, it would be worth it.

I wonder if the license I have in Connecticut is valid in all 50 States for the size bike I ride? Could I be ticketed in New Jersey, for example, because I did not have some sort of special license for a bike that is 1600cc? I would doubt it, but it makes me wonder, if in fact there are States that have tiered licensing.

As I sit here thinking about this, I can drive anywhere in my cage all over the United States. The rules and regulations are for the most part the same; but the driving test that I take in one State, if I were to move there, might be slightly different than in another State.

Here's another thing too, I believe some States, and maybe even here in Connecticut, there are laws that say that you can't ride after dark if you are in the first year of your licensing or if you are under a certain age? is that right?
I believe that's correct with cages, but I'm not sure if it also applies to motorcycles????

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 09:44 PM
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I am a proponent of some sort of tiered licensing system like other countries have. Here in Maryland for many years a safety course has been required for obtaining a motorcycle endorsement. A long time ago the provisional license or learners permit period for a car license for teens has been lengthened to eighteen months because of accidents by teenagers. I'm not sure if the learners permit for motorcycles has also been lengthened as well, as far as I know there is no restriction on engine size. In other words as soon as you get your learners you can hop on a Hayabusa and go nuts, maybe some sort of restriction would be a good idea, unless you think thinning the heard of idiots is a good idea.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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What is a better way for a society to operate? Individual responsibility, for good or ill or a nanny government deciding for our own good how we should behave? Yes, a tiered system would probably save a few lives, but at the cost of further government control of our lives. I wear a helmet because I believe it is worth the slight discomfort in return for a greater likelihood that I would survive a crash. But I oppose mandatory helmet laws because I want the choice of the degree of risk that I am willing to assume rather than some government clerk deciding that for me by forcing me to wear a helmet. Philosophically, this is the same basic issue when thinking about tiered licensing. Some could say the same argument could be made for doing away with licensing altogether, but that bridge has been crossed and there is no going back.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 11:50 AM
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There are too many stupid people in the world. I'm not saying we should kill them or any thing. Just take the warning labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 08:25 PM
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Removing warning labels won't solve a thing. The only reason they are there in the first place is to protect companies from the legal ramifications of the growing number of stupid and entitled people, and the lawyers who profit from them. CYA.
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 10:58 PM
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Here in New Zealand we have a graduated learner system. You can only do your learners licence on a motorbike under 660 cc that also has a power to weight ratio of less than 150 kW/tonne (approx 200 HP/ton). So the best selling learner's bike is the Kawasaki Ninja 300.

Once you pass your full license you can ride anything. However, there's an annual registration fee which changes at 600 cc, $NZ471/$US300 per year below 600 cc and $NZ585/$US360 per year above 600 cc.

But, apart from the learner license there's no restriction on what you can ride.

(Oh, a moped under 60 cc and a motorcycle trike can be ridden on a car license)
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 12:31 AM
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To me tiered licensing makes sense. A person that tests on a 100, 150, 200 cc bike is no way qualified to ride my Vision. I do not agree with the European system that requires you to actually ride a small bike for a while before licensing on a larger one but let's get real. If a person cannot handle a 250 lb 250cc bike, who in their right mind would let them ride a 900lb 1731 cc touring bike like I do? That would be totally irresponsible. Where I live the 250cc is the cutoff for tiered licensing and even that seems a bit irresponsible. If it was up to me there would be yet another level at say 500 to 600cc. That way at least people would not go quite as far from their experience level when they decide to move up.


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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 04:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vito View Post
I know that some European countries, and I believe Japan, requires different licenses for larger engine motorcycle. I guess if you start with a little dirt bike and end up with a touring bike you could have had to get multiple licenses during that process. I wonder if any states in the U.S. require this?
I do not know of any, but it sounds like a good idea.

My question is if the transition of tier happens by taking different courses / tests, or just experience based?

For what it's worth, I've supported similar licensing for cages. Because nothing is more irritating, than watching a 16 year old who's had a license for a week, trying to park an H3 Hummer in a parking lot. There are just some things you have to work up to. Give people access to vehicles they're actually qualified to operate. Might cut down on a lot of the traffic accidents and road rage.

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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi Steve View Post

Once you pass your full license you can ride anything. However, there's an annual registration fee which changes at 600 cc, $NZ471/$US300 per year below 600 cc and $NZ585/$US360 per year above 600 cc.
That is just for the driver's license? What does a car license cost?


Here in Maryland a driver's license is $30 for 5 years (+$5 for the motorcycle endorsement).

Vehicle registration is $135 <3700 lbs and $187 over for 2 years.
Motorcycle $104 for 2 years.

Boy it is easy to forget how easy we have it in this country.
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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 02:42 PM
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Yes, and the really scary part to me is that it seems like many of the people who live under these kind of systems not only DEFEND them, but actually seem to like and agree with them?????

It seems very discriminatory - at best - to me. "Only the rich need apply for anything that makes life worth living." Oppressive and evil, at worst.

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Originally Posted by Critter View Post
That is just for the driver's license? What does a car license cost?


Here in Maryland a driver's license is $30 for 5 years (+$5 for the motorcycle endorsement).

Vehicle registration is $135 <3700 lbs and $187 over for 2 years.
Motorcycle $104 for 2 years.

Boy it is easy to forget how easy we have it in this country.
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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 11:57 PM
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Tiered system makes sense.
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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 06:57 AM
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I personally support advanced training when moving from a smaller bike to a touring model. If that generated some sort of Classification change to my License, so much the better.

I am not aware however, at least in CT, of any Officer looking for more than the "M" callout on it. Perhaps if the Laws changed, requiring say an "M1" or "M2" type designation, signifying different capabilities as relates to bike sizes, I'm not against that.

The assumption I make, every time I drive alongside an 18-wheeler, is that the guy behind the wheel, is either there because he has completed some training, and is now doing his road work training; or has been thru all that, and is a seasoned "professional," with all the necessary Licensing documents.

Do I understand that that is not always the case? Of course!!

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post #21 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 09:08 AM
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You need to travel Texas. You'll learn Mexican 18 wheeler drivers just don't care.
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post #22 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 09:25 AM
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If there are those who, due to their character or mental makeup or their jobs or hobbies, pose a significant threat to others, such as violent criminals or people who operate vehicles on public highways that weigh 40 tons, then I'm all for laws to protect innocent people from being injured, maimed or killed by them.

While I definitely support education to make people aware of the dangers that exist in our world, I am adamantly opposed to laws designed to "protect us from ourselves for our own good" when there is no significant threat of serious harm to others.

Its a very slippery slope from making laws to protect us from ourselves to making laws that deprive us of our right to make our own choices, live our own lives and accept our own risk level in doing so!

Laws should be kept to the minimum necessary to maintain order and PUBLIC (not private!) safety. If not, what you have is a set of elitists, sitting off in a capital building somewhere, deciding how YOU should - or should not - live YOUR life.

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post #23 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Critter View Post
That is just for the driver's license? What does a car license cost?


Here in Maryland a driver's license is $30 for 5 years (+$5 for the motorcycle endorsement).

Vehicle registration is $135 <3700 lbs and $187 over for 2 years.
Motorcycle $104 for 2 years.

Boy it is easy to forget how easy we have it in this country.
Heck that seems expensive to me. Here in Georgia registration is $20 something (forget exactly) a year.

There used to be a wheel tax (ad valorum tax) each year based on value but they replaced that with a sales/registration tax when initially registering only. After that it's twenty some bucks a year.
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post #24 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 06:52 AM
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FWIW I did the BRC on a provided Suzuki Tu250 and bought a V-Star 650 I'm still getting used to. Beside my buddy's Vulcan 2000 my bike looks tiny but compared to that Tu250 it's a beast. But I have some damned sense and am riding it in the neighborhood only and working up my ability and confidence with it before I got out on faster and busier roads. I generally tend toward an abundance of caution, but that's served me well so far.
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post #25 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Offcenter View Post
In N.J., if you take your test on a bike with 231 cc or less, you are limited to riding bikes with no more than a 500 cc
engine.
Here are the rules:
State of New Jersey - Motor Vehicle Commission
This I did not know. Thank you.

Also of note from that link...

Starting January 1, 2013, anyone who takes a road test at MVC on a bike that is 231CC or less is restricted to riding only a 500CC or less motorcycle (M endorsement or Class E motorcycle-only license with restriction). If the road test is taken on a bike that is over 231CC, there will be no restriction with the M endorsement or motorcycle-only license. Anyone who successfully completes a Motorcycle Safety Education Program (MSEP) course is exempt from this bike size requirement and will not be restricted. Riders who are restricted to a bike that is 500CC or less will have a restriction “5” noted on their license and will be required to carry an MVC-issued restriction card while operating the motorcycle.
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post #26 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Critter View Post
That is just for the driver's license? What does a car license cost?
Here in Maryland a driver's license is $30 for 5 years (+$5 for the motorcycle endorsement).
Vehicle registration is $135 <3700 lbs and $187 over for 2 years.
Motorcycle $104 for 2 years.
Boy it is easy to forget how easy we have it in this country.
Critter, that is the annual bike registration. $NZ471/$US300 per year below 600 cc and $NZ585/$US360 per year above 600 cc. Can't remember what the driver's license costs, but once its issued it lasts for a long time, think I have to do a test and renew it at 70. Just checked it and my current license expires on my 75th birthday, I'll have to watch that.

Now my car costs a lot less to register, about $NZ150/<$US100 per year. The difference is the cost our compulsory accident compensation scheme (ACC), the contribution for that insurance for my car is about $NZ50 and the contribution for my motorbike is about $NZ480 per year. I don't mind that because at the moment I'm waiting for shoulder reconstruction surgery because a taxi took me out while I was on my bike, and that will be paid for completely, plus I'll receive 80% of my wages while I am off work, from that insurance fund.

So while you seem to have cheaper vehicle registration Critter, you probably have your own separate personal accident, loss of wages or health insurance policies.
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post #27 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
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So while you seem to have cheaper vehicle registration Critter, you probably have your own separate personal accident, loss of wages or health insurance policies.
With insurance included that is a good price in my opinion. I pay $1100 a year for insurance. That includes 2 cars, a truck, 2 motorcycles, a boat and the house. I really don't track them individually.


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post #28 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 12:23 AM
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Here in Belgium they have the tiered licensing, which I think is similar other EU Countries.

Class A1 125 CC or less minimum age 18
Class A2 47/48 HP max (35Kw), minimum age 20 (I believe there is a cc restriction also)
Class A over 35 KW Minimum age 24.

I was already licensed when I arrived here so no issues for me. The required hours of on the bike training is 9 hours for the A1 license (quick look shows about 635 Euro for that training) the 9 hours of training, includes road training with the instructor following the student in the drivers training car. I believe that this is 9 1 hour lessons and you are to practice between the lessons, I do not believe this is 2 day course like the BRC.

Also you only license for what you test on IE you are over 24, but test on an A2 class bike you get an A2 license. I also believe they sell detuned higher HP bikes that are detuned to the A2 level, then when you upgrade your license you can get you bike retuned to full spec.

Hope this helps a bit on the Euro side of the pond.

FWIW vehicles here are taxed by engine size so my klr is about 85 euro a year, my 1.8 cage was over 350 Euro last year.

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post #29 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 12:32 AM
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Yeah, that's pretty good to include insurance. My motorcycle insurance on my 2007 V-Star 650 is about USD $360/year if I recall correctly. Something like that anyway.

Health insurance of course is an entirely different fiasco here. In my case and in the case of most middle class people I have good insurance through my employer, including short term disability for things like your situation that kicks in after my work sick leave and pays, in my case, 60% of my salary. And I pay very, very little for it through payroll deduction, less than $25/month. But my employer is extraordinarily good in that respect. Almost everyone else pays a lot more than that, and many don't have insurance as good.
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post #30 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 08:13 AM
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We don't tier cars why would we tier bikes. Believe it or not the government doesn't have to do everything for you.


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post #31 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 11:32 AM
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If all the new riders in their teens bought an R6 or similar:
The folks down stream of the problem, would soon ask for a better system than a free for all.
The Govt. would logically make some rules. Hopefully consulting with the right people.

If you went to the track, do you think they would let you run with the fast guys? Squirrels are dangerous. Their brain, is not in the correct gear.
Their claims of brilliance at the controls, their self proclaimed self control, is generally all bunk and bull ****.

If that were not so. Why are the deaths on sport bikes with male riders under 30, 4 times higher than the average.
Talk with the kids who crash often. It is always someone else's fault. It has been that way since before and after the CB750.

We had Clyde the Slide, and Basket Case Bazinett back in 73. Friend Carl had a new CB750 customer dead within 2 miles.
Work in a bike shop for a while. You will be amazed.
Go to the track and watch a squirrel wreck a Ducati, and his body.

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post #32 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 11:57 AM
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NC does not have a tiered system, and if they did, I probably would not have ever rode.

The tier system requires you to buy multiple bikes. Do I agree with start small? Yes, I do, but to require me to start on a 250 for a year then I can get a 500 for a year before stepping up to 1000+ cc bike is ridiculous.

My initial plan was to get a 450 as a first bike, but it fell through. No hard feeling there, the guy that was going to sell it to me went with me to check out the one I did buy. But even that would have been the second bike. The 700 I have, that has done well to teach me things, in my opinion, would be my third. That is something I could not afford.
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post #33 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 07:45 PM
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I was looking smaller than the 650 I got and my friend talked me out of it. Don't start on a huge bike but he said someone my size (245 - 250, 6') would get very frustrated very quickly smaller and I think he was right.

In a cruiser my VStar 650 is pretty much the same weight and size as most 750 - 800 bikes and I think I would have been fine with one of those too.

Sport bikes of course are a different think. Didn't plan to ride one so I didn't look at them but if I were I would have started smaller.
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