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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Passed the written test today and am scheduled to take the road test in a week, but I have a question...

One of the exercises I have to be able to perform is to weave in between cones that are set up 12 feet apart. So I found a parking lot and set up some water bottles 12 feet apart. I had a hard time with my 1100c. Should I be able to do it easily with this bike, or should I try to use a smaller bike to take the test? Right now I'm thinking a smaller bike would sure make things easier.

Thanks!
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Yes a light bike will help and many of the tests are on Honda Rebels and other smaller bikes.
Even a bicycle can help to get the feel of the right-hand lean and balance can be a good trainer for an introduction.
I even went on a quiet road and did the weave as each of the lines in the middle of the road was separated at about 10-15 mph on my motorcycle.
A good feeling when you get the practice and confidence!

Watch videos=


 
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2009 Aero 750
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I took the test just a few months ago. For about a month, I practiced the drills on my bike (2009 Honda Shadow Aero 750) then I took the test on one of the test center's bikes (Yamaha VStar 500). Even though I didn't feel perfect with some of the drills on my bike, which is a 550+ pound bike, taking the test on their 300 pound bike was a breeze.
 

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2002, Shadow Spirit 1100
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I have a TW200 and they use them in a lot of the training courses. They turn on a dime and are light. Practicing on a big bike and then going to a smaller bike makes things easier.
 

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2003 VT1100C Spirit
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683 Posts
For safety reasons, I'd suggest practicing on your own bike to make sure you can actually complete the road test using that bike. Testing in a controlled environment is much, much easier than riding out in the crazy, chaotic world you'll be subjected to down the road.

Think about it...not owning the ability to do the simplest maneuver on your own bike spells out disaster.

The only reasonable solution to your situation is to practice, practice, practice on your own bike!
 

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99' Valkyrie/North Central Indiana
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Well you are experiencing the VT1100C/Spirit Buckhorn handlebar syndrome/issue. Your wrist are being put in a weird arse angle. The cure for this is a set of these: J&P Cycles 1 Chrome 8-1-2 Custom Street Medium Handlebar 5000066 J&P Cycles Also a set of Kury Premium floorboards are great addition but not as necessary as the bars are for low speed handling. My Valk had the same issue but not as bad due to 14" of pullback of the stock bars. The width in relationship to the pullback is what determines the angle of your wrist. Both the Valk and the Spirit shared almost the same wrist placement though the Valk is a bit less. Keep in mind the Valk in stock form is about 125 lb. more in weight but handles better than the Spirit does with its Buckhorn's @ low speed. You won't regret the change and the newer set I installed on the Valk was improved in construction and the chrome appears to be purtier also. No cable issue either.

VT1100C: 32" Wide, 11" Pullback, 8" Center Width 8 1/2" Height
Valkyrie: 33" Wide, 14" Pullback, 9" Center Width 6" Height

J&P Medium Street: 34 1/2" Wide, 7 1/2" Pullback, 9" Center Width, 8 1/2" Height
 

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2007 VT1100C2
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In my state the licenses are tiered and if you test on a small bike you'll only be licensed for small bikes. I strongly recommend practicing until you can handle the maneuvers on your own bike. For safety reasons. Got to get the clutch/throttle friction zone down, light rear brake for stability, body position, and head and eyes looking where you're going. Do you watch Motorman videos?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sure appreciate all the feedback. I'm kind of in a desperate situation, but maybe I'm just making it desperate. So I took a new job, and it's a 15 minute commute, most of which is on the highway. I start the job at the beginning of January. The motorcycle is going to be my transportation. Meanwhile I'm working another full time job right up to when the next one starts, so I have very little free time, and I'm kind of panicking. After spending several evenings in a local church parking lot practicing slow maneuvers, I came to the realization that a smaller bike would be so much easier, though the Shadow is going to be the perfect bike for my work commute. I've started asking complete strangers if they have a motorcycle I could borrow for the test. Someone suggested FB, so I posted there on a local group. A couple guys responded and said basically "suck it up." I would rent a bike, but they require a license and the one place I looked at says you need to have three years of licensed riding experience. Another option I'm considering is buying another bike just for the test, and then turning around and selling it afterward, but that's a hassle and I don't really have the time, yet I may do that. I've barely owned the bike for a week, from never having owned one. I'm probably expecting way too much to take the road test two weeks after getting my first bike, and it being the big bike it is. Anyway, I'm still going to try. I'll practice as much as I can, and just see how things go.
 

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2007 VT1100C2
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Good luck. I'll tell a secret, I actually just rode my bike for months on the streets before getting my license. In my defense this was right when covid hit and I DID have an appointment scheduled for the license, then the DMVs closed down. I was even almost hit by a red light runner and dropped the bike in the intersection. The responding officer didn't care at all that I didn't have my endorsement. I'm not recommending doing that, and there's no covid excuse because the DMV is open again. But it worked out for me. When I did take the test on my Sabre, I passed with a perfect score and got verbal praise from the administrator.

Happy Thanksgiving
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Another video of a class by motorman. All these are big bikes too.

 

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2003 VT1100C Spirit
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Here in Texas, beginner riders are required to take a state sanctioned safety course. The course combines classroom and riding. The last half of the last day is when you get tested for the ride portion, then you go down to the DMV for the written test. When I bought my Valkyrie, I didn't have a motorcycle endorsement even though I had been riding since my teens. The Valkyrie scared the hell out of me when I first got on her, nevertheless, I got familiar with her real quick and decided to finally get the motorcycle endorsement. An experienced rider can opt out of the safety course and schedule a road test through the DMV, but I decided to take the beginner safety course. (Plus, my wife said she wouldn't ride with me unless I took the motorcycle safety course.) So, I took the course.

Anyway, the safety course was a good thing to do and I recommend it. The down side was the small bikes provided by the safety course folks. (A rider can use their own bike, but I didn't have a way to get the Valkyrie to the test site.) The provided bikes where too small for me and I ended up putting a foot down on the 'S' turn test. I still passed, but not a perfect score. Afterwards, I went to a nearby road course test site and performed all the turning tests perfectly on the Valkyrie...mainly for my own confidence. I have since taken an advanced safety course -- on the Valkyrie -- which I also highly recommend.

At some point, my wife decided she wanted her own bike and that's when we got the VT1100 Spirit (hence, D's Spirit). She practiced like crazy at a nearby high school football stadium parking lot (I'd ride the Spirit in and she would drive there). I helped her get started using some of the same techniques I learned from the safety course instructors. And despite the fact that I helped her get started, she got a perfect score on the road test portion of the safety course.

Practice pays off!

My son now rides the Spirit. We made him take the beginner motorcycle safety course even though he'd been riding a motorcycle since age nine. He practiced on the Spirit for the slow turn stuff, but didn't really need much practice. In the end, he conceded that the safety course was a good thing to do. (He also got a perfect score on the road test.)

So yeah, I'm the only one in the family who did not get a perfect score on the beginner motorcycle safety course...go figure!

🤓
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks, @swifty2014, @D's Spirit, and @kesanders....all great stuff!

You guys have completely changed my attitude and given me confidence....

I'm going to do this! I've been practicing slow tight turns in the driveway. Today I tried the cone weave again, and everything was completely different. I went from not being able to do it, to nailing it on most tries.



Those motorman vids are great...I'm going to keep watching...
 

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In my state the licenses are tiered and if you test on a small bike you'll only be licensed for small bikes. I strongly recommend practicing until you can handle the maneuvers on your own bike. For safety reasons. Got to get the clutch/throttle friction zone down, light rear brake for stability, body position, and head and eyes looking where you're going. Do you watch Motorman videos?
. What horrible state is that!!??
 
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