After desiring it for years, writing constant comments about how I was finally going to do it, I finally got my license (as you might or might not have read in my previous post). Ever since Tron: Legacy came out in 2011, and that tunnel scene where Garrett Hedlund (or, more likely, a stunt double) went blazing through a Toronto tunnel on that Ducati Sport Classic 1000, I have been obsessed with motorcycles.
In Hindered Pursuit of Two Wheeled glory is my blog about my journey to becoming the best motorcyclist I possibly can without being able to purchase a motorcycle I can commute on due to having received a DUI two years ago.
Yes… that movie also got me obsessed with Café’s right when Café Racers were getting extremely popular (again) (and also yes, I still love Café’s and will absolutely buy one one day even if the Café phase is dying out).
I digress. I finally received my license, and this is the process that I went through to obtain it:
Back in June, I signed up to go to OCMT to take the California Motorcycle Safety Program, which I took at the beginning of July. Their program consists of 3 classes: one three-hour classroom session, followed by two on course and classroom sessions.
The initial classroom session (which was on Thursday night), is where we learned the foundations about operating a motorcycle safety, which included all (or most) of the motorcycling acronyms (SIP-D, FINE-C, SEE). It was a very relaxed atmosphere from the beginning, and (at least with my class) you could tell that everyone there just wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle.
The following classes were full six to seven-hour classes on Saturday and Sunday, which the Saturday class being the longest of the two. On Saturday, we had about four hours of on-course training, where many of us threw our legs over a motorcycle for the very first time, followed by three or so hours of classroom time where we had a brief overview of what we had learned on the riding course, followed by further classroom type learnings. Sunday being the final day, we went through a few more drills which was immediately followed by our on-course test (which I passed with very little criticism about things I need to work on, which was great), and then a 50 question test (which I only missed five questions on, which was also freaking great).
There is no way I would not take this course. OCMT was absolutely phenomenal, and I would implore anyone who is thinking about getting their motorcycle license to go through a similar course in their local area (you can look through the MSF website, or google local motorcycle safety training schools). The things learned on this course over those 15-16 or so hours of training were invaluable. Everything that you learn in the course is taught by those who care about your safety, that you learn everything you can learn (in a beginners course), and who all care about motorcycling more than anyone else I have ever spoken with in person. Plus, if you pass the course, you receive a certificate which allows you to bypass doing the riding test at the DMV, which, who wouldn’t want to spend less time at the DMV, am I right?
After a few months of putting it off, I finally went to the DMV and took my permit tests. Yes… tests. The state of California required me to re-take my class C permit test to essentially “renew” it, along with my M1 permit test. I passed the class C test without missing a single question (yes, I am bragging), and then immediately failed the M1 test (missed only one too many questions). Luckily, I arrived at the DMV early enough and decided to immediately retake the test.
Let me tell you about that test and what I did to prep for it. I took so many online practice tests prior to going to the DMV that I was getting bored with answering those questions. I could not have been more prepared for the M1 test. I am a terrible test taker historically, so I wanted to be as prepared as possible. The DMV permit test is 100% designed to trip you up and make you fail. Some of the questions in there were so convoluted and illogical it was absolutely ridiculous, so if you do take the permit test, and you do fail, try it again immediately so that way the DMV questions and answers are fresh in your mind. You might not get the same exact questions again, but you also might, especially the ones that you may or may not have failed. I passed the second time, and still missed two out of who knows how many questions. But I walked away with my M1 license endorsement.
Now, it was my understanding from what I was told (and this might be entirely wrong), that if you go and get your motorcycle permit prior to taking the MSTP, that you do not have to take the class C permit test again like I did after completing the course. Again, take this information with a giant grain of salt, because I did not do it in that order. However, here is the thing about doing that way: you have to go to the DMV at least twice if you do it that way. Completing it the way I did, you (potentially) only have to visit the DMV one time (and that is already one more time than the preferred amount of visits to the DMV, as we all know).
Would I do anything differently? Probably not. My experience was great, and I achieved the goal I wanted to. I hope that someone who is looking to get the M1 endorsement finds this, and finds it helpful, because I had to discover many of these steps out on my own. Clearly, you are your own person, and you have the freedom to do it the way you want to. Yes, I spent more money than you might if you just decided to go about getting your license the “standard” way by strictly going through the DMV, but I implore you to spend the $250 or so dollars on a training class. I can tell you that I would absolutely do that class again just for fun, I loved it so much.
Stay safe, and don’t get comfortable.
Jid (also known more commonly as JD) is just a dude living in Long Beach whose passion for motorcycles is kind of ridiculous considering he does not own one and was stupid enough to have a drink and drive and get caught one night.