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  • Motorcycle Manual in Wisconsin

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    The Wisconsin Motorcyclists' Manual has all the facts and information you'll need in order to take your motorcycle license test and to take the motorcycle skills test. Here are some of the topics covered in the manual. You will need to download a copy of the free Adobe Reader to download and read these PDF files:

    • Know your motorcycle
    • Control a motorcycle
    • Wear the right clothing
    • Helmet safety and choosing a helmet
    • Eye and face protection
    • Handling dangerous road surfaces
    • Accident avoidance
    • Carrying passengers and cargo
    • Handling mechanical failures
    • Avoiding Flying Objects
    • Animals in the road

    Register Your Motorcycle

    Make sure your motorcycle is registered and titled with the Wisconsin DMV, and that your insurance is up to date.

    If you ride a custom bike, check our custom-vehicle registration section before you go to register and title the motorcycle with the Wisconsin DMV.

    Learn Safe Riding

    The Wisconsin Motorcyclists' Manual has lots of great tips and information to help you become a safe and sound rider. One of the best tips for maintaining your safety on the roads is to drive within your skill set and do not attempt to learn new skills or operate unfamiliar equipment on the freeways on in unsafe weather conditions.

    If you are still driving in your driver training period with an instruction permit, ask your teacher to show you the safe riding techniques s/he uses and ask about how you can learn to stay out of dangerous situations.

    Helmets Save Lives

    Unless you are under 18 years old or on an instructional permit, you are not required to wear a helmet in Wisconsin. Many people object to helmets for a variety of reasons, some personal and some having to do with a perceived lack of peripheral vision, but the fact remains: helmets save lives. Some helmet facts are discussed in the Wisconsin Motorcyclists' Manual:

    • Choosing the right helmet for you
    • Finding an approved helmet
    • Fitting your helmet
    • Wearing a helmet correctly
    • Face and eye protection

    Whether you choose to wear a helmet or not, you would have to agree that eye protection is not negotiable. Whether you use a windshield, safety glasses, goggles, or a helmet visor, eye protection is required. On a motorcycle, riders and drivers are prone to injury by flying objects including small stones, rock, gravel, loose asphalt, bugs, cigarette butts, dust, and other small but dangerous objects. Make sure that whatever eye protection you use is shatterproof and made for a motorcycle.

    The Right Wardrobe

    All that leather worn by motorcyclists is for much more than just looks. It makes it easier and even fun if you just love leather, but it's really for safety's sake, even when the weather is hot and humid.

    It doesn't make good sense to ride a motorcycle in summer clothing such as beach shoes, no jacket, and shorts. You may be cooler but could wind up a tragedy. A minor accident or "lay down" that could be nothing too serious if you were in riding gear can become a life-threatening skin unless you are properly shielded from the effects of sliding on the asphalt.

    Mechanical Problems

    No one likes to think about it, but every motorcyclist must acknowledge that a simple mechanical failure on a motorcycle can be deadly if not handled properly.

    Riding within your skill set and knowing the proper thing to do in the event of a mechanical failure is critical and should never be overlooked. Some mechanical breakdowns or failures happen so quickly that you may only have a second or two to act.

    It's most important that you remember not to panic; get you and the bike safely off the road. If that means that the bike may incur further damage, that's the way it is. Do not endanger yourself trying to keep the bile from suffering damage. The Wisconsin Motorcyclists' Manual has lots of great information for handing a variety of mechanical issues, including:

    • Engine failure
    • Broken or stuck chain
    • A stuck throttle
    • Tire blowout
    • Brake problems
    • Animals in the road

    The danger in a sudden mechanical failure or animal in the road is the sudden wobble or instability of the motorcycle; this is what usually causes an accident. Before you begin riding your motorcycle, take the time to study and learn about ways to control your motorcycle in the event of instability; that way, if it ever happens, you'll be prepared.


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