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  • Motorcycle Manual in California

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    The Department of Motor Vehicles' California Motorcycle Handbook features all the information you'll need to become a licensed rider in our state.

    The California Motorcycle Handbook, tells you how to apply for a motorcycle license or motorcycle permit. The manual also teaches you everything you need to know to pass the written portion of the motorcycle license exam, and helps you with the on-road skills test.

    The Contents

    The topics below are covered in detail in the manual.

    The Importance of Gear

    Wearing the right gear is a big part of motorcycle safety―there's not much between you and hot asphalt―and it's something that inexperienced motorcycle drivers often overlook. You'll learn all about:

    • Wearing the right gear
    • Choosing a helmet
    • Eye and face protection
    • Proper footwear and clothing
    • Becoming more visible
    • Riding in a group

    Basic Riding Safety

    Even though you think you're tougher than a tank, you need to ride within your abilities to prevent accidents. Here are a few of the skills discussed:

    • Vehicle control
    • Keeping your distance
    • Sharing the road with automobiles
    • Carrying passengers
    • Riding on dangerous surfaces
    • Crash avoidance

    Mechanical Problems

    Not every motorcycle driver knows exactly what to do in the case of mechanical failure while riding. The manual gives tips on how to react to various surprises:

    • Stuck throttle
    • Tire failure
    • Engine seizure
    • Chain problems
    • Animals in road
    • Flying objects

    Learning how to handle an unstable motorcycle is extremely important.

    The Right Reference

    Even if you've had your motorcycle license for years, use the manual to brush up on the basics. It's updated annually to include new laws and rules that affect motorcycle drivers, and new safety concerns regarding motorcycles are always included.

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    To get a hard copy, pick one up at your local DMV office or have one mailed to you by calling (800) 777-0133 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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