Motorcycle Handbook

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DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

MOTORCYCLE A N U A L

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES MOTORCYCLE OPERATOR MANUAL In the District of Columbia, you must have a valid driver’s license with motorcycle (M) endorsement to operate a motorcycle. DC law refers to a motorcycle as a 2 or 3 wheeled motor vehicle that has one or more of the following characteristics: • • • • •

Piston displacement of more than fifty (50) cubic centimeters Capable of traveling over 35 miles per hour on level ground More than one and one-half (1.5) brake horsepower (S.A.E. rating) Wheels under 16 inches in diameter Manual transmission

Note: If your 2 or 3 wheeled motor vehicle has none of the above 5 characteristics, it falls under the definition of motorized bicycle and may be operated by a person holding a provisional operator's permit or a driver's license (provided the vehicle passes inspection, is registered, and is insured).

You may obtain a motorcycle (M) endorsement on your DC driver’s license if you: • • • •

Are at least 18 years of age Have a valid DC driver's license Pass the DC motorcycle knowledge test Pass the DC DMV motorcycle demonstration skills test or provide a motorcycle demonstration course certificate of completion approved by Maryland or Virginia.

Service Locations To take the DC DMV motorcycle knowledge test, you may visit any DMV service center. You must obtain a DC motorcycle learner’s permit after passing the motorcycle knowledge test, if you are taking the DC DMV motorcycle demonstration skills test. To submit MD or VA Motorcycle Certificate of Completion, you must visit the Brentwood Road Test Facility to obtain your DC driver license with motorcycle (M) endorsement. To schedule a motorcycle demonstration skills test, you may schedule online or call (202) 727-5000.

Rev. 07/2007

PREFACE
Operating a motorcycle safely in traffic requires special skills and knowledge. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) has made this manual available to help novice motorcyclists reduce their risk of having a crash. The manual conveys essential safe riding information and has been designed for use in licensing programs. While designed for the novice, all motorcyclists can benefit from the information this manual contains. The original Motorcycle Operator Manual was developed by the National Public Services Research Institute (NPSRI) under contract to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and within the terms of a cooperative agreement between NHTSA and the MSF. The manual and related tests were used in a multi-year study of improved motorcycle operator licensing procedures, conducted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles under contract to NHTSA. These revisions reflect:

• The latest finding of motorcyclesafety research.

In promoting improved licensing programs, the MSF works closely with state licensing agencies. The Foundation has helped more than half the states in the nation adopt the Motorcycle Operator Manual for use in their licensing systems. Improved licensing, along with high-quality motorcycle rider education and increased public awareness, has the potential to reduce crashes. Staff at the Foundation are available to assist state, private and governmental agencies in efforts to improve motorcycle safety.

• Expanded alcohol and drug information.

• Comments and guidance provided by the motorcycling, licensing and traffic safety communities.

The purpose of this manual is to educate the reader to help avoid crashes while safely operating a motorcycle. For this edition, the MSF has updated and expanded the content of the original manual.

Tim Buche President, Motorcycle Safety Foundation

2 Jenner Street, Suite 150 Irvine, CA 92618-3806 www.msf-usa.org

CONTENTS

WEAR THE RIGHT GEAR ....................4 Helmet Use .........................................4 Helmet Selection .................................4 Eye and...
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