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Subject: aus.motorcycles FAQ, part 1 of 3 [monthly post]

This article was archived around: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 14:09:24 +0000

All FAQs in Directory: motorcycles/aus-faq
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Archive-name: motorcycles/aus-faq/part1 URL: http://www.zip.com.au/~cs/moto/aus.moto/FAQ/ Maintainer: Cameron Simpson <cs@zip.com.au> Posting-frequency: monthly
___ __ __ _ _ / _ \ _ _ ___ | \/ | ___ | |_ ___ _ __ ___ _ _ ___| | ___ ___ | |_| | | | / __| | |\/| |/ _ \| __/ _ \| '__/ __| | | |/ __| |/ _ \/ __| | _ | |_| \__ \_| | | | (_) | || (_) | | | (__| |_| | (__| | __/\__ \ |_| |_|\__,_|___(_)_| |_|\___/ \__\___/|_| \___|\__, |\___|_|\___||___/ |___/ __ /-----\ __ _____ ___ ___ (__\/ _____ \/__) | ___/ _ \ / _ \ =( \___/ )= | |_ | |_| | | | | \ ___ / | _|| _ | |_| | | / _ \ | |_| |_| |_|\__\_\ \ || || / \|| ||/ (Living on the WWW at) \| |/ "http://www.zip.com.au/~cs/moto/aus.moto/FAQ/" |_| Overview ~~~~~~~~ The Aus.Motorcycles FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) comes in three parts. Part One contains introductory material for learners or new bike buyers. Part Two contains specific information about Australian touring, maintenaince, bike hire, gear, etc... Part Three covers the safety and everything else of clothing & gear. 1. 1.1 Welcome to Aus.Motorcycles 2. Welcome to Aus.Motorcycles Aus.Motorcycles (a.m) is a forum for discussion (haha) of Australian motorcycles and motorcycling. This FAQ was put together by lots of regular posters to a.m not only to answer the FAQs but also give people an idea of how to begin _and_ enjoy motorcycling around the entire country. It is hopefully a starting point for beginners and a useful reference to ol' timers :-) Need some info you can't find in here?... Let the posting begin! 3. 1.2 What kind of bike should I buy? 4. What kind of bike should I buy? Compiled by Zebee Johnstone <zebee@zip.com.au>. Bikes come in 4 main types: cruiser (harley clone) good for small people - low seat height good commuter - upright riding position OK for luggage, although heavy loads can be awkward, too far back and high up. OK for light pillions, but again, too far back and high up. sports Ok for most folks, may be too high seat for small people, too cramped for tall ones. Ok to poor commuter. often too peaky, hard in slow traffic and riding postion too radical for town work. Usually poor for pillions, seat too small, pegs too high, weight too high up. Usually poor for luggage, no attachment points Good for freeway riding. Good for recreational riding (ie fanging) standard Good commuter/tourer but can be slow to accelerate often overweight/underpowered. Good for luggage Good for pillions OK for freeway Poor for sporty riding, too slow. Few made now - usually mid-80s bikes. dirt or road/trail Amended by Ian Mason <ianmason@one.net.au>. Good for tall people, short people can't touch the ground; good commuter - upright position plus good accelleration; poor on freeways, and can be not fast enough OK for luggage Ok for pillions, although can compress the suspension too much; brakes and lights may not be up to road bike standard; knobby tyres ok but suboptimal on bitumen, and they wear fast. High centre of gravity, thus less stable at speed than road bikes. Which you choose depends on your type of riding. Plus, not all bikes are the same - a ZZR250 is a sports bike, but is more friendly to pillions and luggage than an RGV250 would be. Go to all the dealers you can, and sit on the bikes. See what fits you and which ones you like. You need to ask yourself these questions: Kind of riding. Lots of city riding? traffic jams etc? Lots of freeway riding? Want to spend time playing in curving roads? Are there bush trails near you? Are you unusually tall or short? How heavy are you? Pillions and luggage Will you need to carry a lot of gear? shopping? lots of books? More than you can comfortably get in a backpack? How about another person? Is this other person tall? Heavy? maintenance Do you want to work on it yourself? How much can you afford to spend on servicing? Some bikes are much easier to work on than others - a single cyl 4 stroke cruiser like an SR250 is a doddle. A 4cyl sports bike like a GS250FW is much harder. money and future plans How long will you be keeping it? Do you plan to buy a 250 to learn on, and upgrade as soon as you get your unrestricted license? Many riders will drop the bike in the first year. Do you want to buy an expensive faired bike now, or wait till your skill improves? Do you want insurance? Comprehensive? Have you factored in your riding gear? Helmet? Boots? Gloves? Jacket? Wet weather gear? Once you have sorted out your needs, you can then peruse the 250cc list for likely candidates, and cross check with your local paper for likely price and availability. The monthly bike trading magazine Just Bikes is also a good resource for pricing and model identification. You should also try and locate the beginner's magazines that Two Wheels puts out from time to time. They usually have good advice on how to buy a second hand bike, models, riding gear etc. 5. 1.3 Which bike? - Bikes for Learners. 6. Which bike? - Bikes for Learners. compiled by Miles Gillham <m.gillham@ieee.org>. Maintained on the web by John Lamp <John.Lamp@deakin.edu.au>. The version recited here is 3.0j. I update it when someone prods me. The live version is on the web at: Bikes For Learners http://www.250ccbikes.com/ 7. 1.4 Buying a Bike 8. Buying a Bike [ Overview | Finding Bikes To Buy | Evaluating a Bike | More Resources and Links ] 8.1 Overview 8.2 Having thought about what kind of bike you might want and checked out the leaner bike list it's time to go hunting. Suggestion: bring an experienced friend if you have one. They may point out things you miss, and can also test ride bikes for you. 8.3 Finding Bikes To Buy 8.4 For just looking at bikes the easiest thing is to visit a dealer. You can eyeball many bikes in a short time, and thus know what you're looking at when you see it described later. So do this first, with no intention to buy. Take a bit of notice of prices with respect to age and kilometers travelled. Then do a look in your paper. Your local and main city papers will have for sale sections. Also, in most newsagents you can find copies of " The Trading Post http://www.tradingpost.com.au/ " and "Just Bikes". The Trading Post also has a well implemented web site. Note that with a dealer purchase: dealer prices tend to be a bit higher in NSW at least, a bike less than two years old comes with 3 months warrantee if you buy from a dealer new bikes come with their factory warrantee (eg 1 or 2 years) and are of course much more expensive; on the other hand several dealers offer "learner packages" which do you a (new) bike and some gear and perhaps insurance and finance 8.5 Evaluating a Bike 8.6 Consider the kilometers the bike has travelled. Look for oil leaks, especially in the lower gaskets (the joins between the pieces of the engine and gear cases). Look for signs of crash damage or racing use (eg oil caps and the like with small holes drilled in them to accomodate "race wire" used to ensure the bikes stay done up and with the bike). In a learner bike race use is uncommon. If you're getting serious about a bike, make sure a friend test rides it. Try to check you're buyng from the bike's real owner: do the rego papers match the address you're at, does the seller's licence match the owner on the rego papers, do the rego papers match the bike (plate, chassis and frame numbers)? Before you buy a bike, do a REVS check. This is the Register of Encumbered Vehicles. It lists bikes with money owning on them; such vehicles can be repossessed. You can do a REVS check online here: Register of Encumbered Vehicles http://www.revs.nsw.gov.au/ 8.7 More Resources and Links 8.8 See also: Used Motorcycle Evaluation Guide http://www.clarity.net/~adam/buying-bike.html Buying Vehicles Privately http://www.fairtrading.wa.gov.au/consumers/motor_vehicles/buying_privately.shtml 9. 1.5 Licencing: What rules and regulations do I have to follow in my state? 10. Licencing: What rules and regulations do I have to follow in my state? [ Queensland | South Australia | Western Australia | Australian Capital Territory | New South Wales | Tasmania | Northern Territory | Victoria ] 10.1 Queensland 10.2 Compiled by Red & Chris Martin. [ Learners | Provisional | Open Learners | Open ] LEARNERS PERMIT Requirements To obtain, must answer a selection of questions from the Queensland drivers guide. (Currently holding a car licence is not taken into account) Pass an eyesight test. Be over 17 years of age. Use Conditions During this period, you must be accompanied at all times by either (1) A rider on another bike with at least 1 years riding xp. or (2) A pillion with at least 2 years riding xp. CC Limit 250cc limit (no problems with 2 strokes .... yet.) Duration Must keep permit for six months (minimum), valid for 12 months. BAC 0.0 BAC Pillions No pillion passengers other than a rider with at least 2 years riding xp. Speed Restrict No additional. Plates No 'L' or 'P' plates required. Points you get 4 points PROVISIONAL LICENCE Requirements Road test with transport department official (approx half an hour) to qualify for licence. Use Conditions Nil. CC Limit 250cc Duration 1 year minimum duration. BAC 0.0 Pillions None. (Not even those with 2 years riding experience). Speed Restrict No additional. Plates None required. Points 4 A full, non-provisional licence will be granted at the end of a year of holding a Provisional licence. No extra tests required. OPEN LEARNERS Requirements Must have held a Provisional licence for at least 1 year. Use Conditions Must be followed around by a person with at least 1 years experience on a bike with capacity >250cc OR 2 years experience if pillion. (Note that this is only if you are on your >250cc bike) CC Limit Nil. Duration Must hold learners permit for 6 months, Maximum Duration 12 months. BAC ?? Pillions Only those with greater or equal to 2 years riding experience on a large bike. Speed Restrict No additional. Plates Nil. Points ???? OPEN LICENCE Requirements Bike Test required (Slalom, Figure 8 etc.) Use Conditions Nil. CC Limit Nil. Duration Nil. BAC 0.05 Pillions Yes. Speed Restrict No additional. Plates Nil. Points Nil. 10.3 South Australia 10.4 Compiled by Cameron Miller <cameron@spri.levels.unisa.edu.au>. [ Learners | Restricted | Open ] LEARNERS PERMIT Requirements Pass written test on road rules (only if you don't already have a car licence.) Pass 2x4 hour training sessions on Motorcycle riding (rider safety course.) Use Conditions Nil. May ride completely unaccompanied, at any time of day. CC Limit 250 cc. Duration 4 - 6 months. BAC 0.0 Pillions No, unless they hold an unrestricted licence. Speed Restrict ??? Plates L plate attached to rear of bike. Points 4? RESTRICTED LICENCE Requirements Have to pass a 4 hour rider safe course/test. Use Conditions No conditions imposed. CC Limit 250 cc. Duration 1 Year. BAC 0.0 if on P plates, 0.05 otherwise. Pillions Ok. Speed Restrict No Additional. Plates P Plates required if you do not already have a full car licence. Points 4 for P plated, 12 otherwise. OPEN LICENCE Requirements Must hold a restricted licence for the period of one year. Use Conditions Nil. CC Limit Nil. Duration N/A. BAC 0.05 Pillions Ok. Speed Restrict No additional. Plates Nil. Points 12 10.5 Western Australia 10.6 Compiled by Matthew Carter <mjcarter@tartarus.uwa.edu.au> & Chris Martin. [ Learners | Restricted Provisional | Provisional | Open ] LEARNERS PERMIT Requirements Pass 30 Question multiple choice test unless the holder of a car licence, in which case it is a 10-question test. Use Conditions You may only ride when accompanied by a licenced rider with at least two years experience - either following, or as a pillion. CC Limit 250cc. Duration No Minimum duration. Valid for one year. BAC ??? Pillions ??? Speed Restrict 72 Km/h maximum. Plates ??? Points ??? RESTRICTED PROVISIONAL Requirements For those who have not held a car/other vehicle licence for more than 2 years, A simple riding test needs to be completed. Use Conditions No need for experienced rider accompanyment??? CC Limit 250cc. Duration No Minimum duration. Valid for one year. BAC ??? Pillions ??? Speed Restrict 72 Km/h maximum. Plates ??? Points ??? PROVISIONAL LICENCE (L class) Requirements If you have held a licence of some form for over 2 years, a simple driving test will gain you a class 'L' licence. Use Conditions Nil??? CC Limit 250cc. Duration 1 year minimum duration. BAC 0.05 Pillions Ok. Speed Restrict No Additional. Plates ??? Points 12 OPEN LICENCE (K class) Requirements Riding test for large capacity bikes. Must have held a Provisional licence for at least 1 year. Use Conditions Nil. CC Limit 250cc. Duration 1 year minimum duration. BAC 0.05 Pillions Ok. Speed Restrict No Additional. Plates ??? Points 12 10.7 Australian Capital Territory 10.8 Compiled by Neal Gowen <gowen@rsbs.anu.edu.au> & Dean Kaufman. [ Learners Licence | Provisional Licence ] LEARNERS LICENCE Requirements Minimum Age - 16yrs 9 months Current ACT car L, P or full licence to book Must pass 10 hours competency-based course with Stay Upright Motorcycle Techniques pre-learner course. Cost $150 Book course through Stay Upright on (02) 61423963. Use Conditions Nil CC Limit Nil (but changes to law expected in late 1998) Duration maximum 15 months, minimum 3 months before P assessment, BAC 0.02 Pillions None. Speed Restrict Normal posted limits apply Plates L Plates required. Points 4 or more means 3 month suspension PROVISIONAL LICENCE Requirements Must have current ACT Learners motorcycle licence Must pass Alternate MOST practical skills assessment with a no more than 8 points lost. Involves 7 exercises including not stalling engine, sharp left turn, normal stop in a box, offset cone weave, U- turn, quick stop in a straight line, swerve (obstacle avoidance). No on-road test. Book through Stay Upright on (02) 61423963. Cost $25 Use Conditions Nil CC Limit Nil (but changes to law expected in late 1998) Duration minimum 12 months depending on existing licence class BAC 0.02 Pillions None for first year. Speed Restrict No additional Plates 'P' Plates required. Points 4 or more means 3 month suspension 10.9 New South Wales 10.10 Compiled by Chris Martin, Colin Panisset <cmp@zip.com.au> and Thomas Cohen <thos@cia.com.au>. See also the RTA http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/ including the RTA's licence info http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/frames/licensing/a_f.htm?/frames/licensing/a&/licensing/a_c.htmLICENSING&0 , although they seem to have recently undergone a revamp and are now a miracle of bad organisation painful navigation, and ill-designed frames and html. [ Learners Permit | Provisional Licence | Open Licence ] The RTA Rider Training Unit can be contacted on (02) 9218-6641 or free on 1 800 45-1389, or via any motor registry. PDF (ugh!) of various pamphlets and booklets may be fetched from RTA Licence Educational Material http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/licensing/a31_c.htm LEARNERS PERMIT Minimum age 16 years and 9 months Requirements Must pass a two day riding course (3.5 hrs per day) plus a Computer-based knowledge test (Standard Learners + a bike- specific section). * Note: Course is optional if you live in an area that does not contain a testing station; you will be requires to pass a riding skill test (bizarre, eh?) [ I don't belive there are any such exempt areas any more. ] Use Conditions not drive in Centennial Park, Sydney not teach other learners CC Limit Less than 260cc Bike must have a power to wieght ratio of no more than 150kw/tonne (figure based on an 'average' rider of 75kg) Thus most 2 strokes are out. :( eg: RGV250, TZR250, KR1-S, NSR250. Duration Must hold licence for a minimum of 3 months, licence is valid for 15 months. Learners under 25 must hold the licence for a minimum of 6 months. BAC 0.02 Pillions Only riders with at least 2 years full licence experience. Towing not tow trailer or another vehicle Speed Restrict 80 Km/H Plates Must display an 'L' plate at the rear Points 0 (you may not accumulate any demerit points) PROVISIONAL LICENCE Requirements Must pass a one day driving course (Duration is the entire day). Note: Course is optional if you live in an area that does not contain a testing station. [ I don't belive there are any such exempt areas any more. ] Minimum age 17 years Use Conditions Not teach learners. CC Limit As for Learners. Duration Normally, 12 months. For riders over 30 who hold a full car license, the duration is 3 months. BAC 0.02 Pillions None. Speed Restrict Speed is restricted to 80/km/h Plates 'P' plate at the rear Points 4 licence points. OPEN LICENCE Requirements If you are over 30 years of age, and are eligable for a you have passed the provisional test. Use Conditions CC Limit Duration Indefinite. BAC 0.05 Pillions Ok (once you've had an open licence for 2 years?) Speed Restrict Plates Points 12. Demerit points have a three year lifespan. 10.11 Tasmania 10.12 Compiled by John Lamp <John.Lamp@utas.edu.au>. [ Learners | Provisional ] LEARNERS Requirements Be 16 years of age or older Satisfactorily complete a Level 1 motorcycle rider training course (if required) A candidate may undertake Level 1 training three months prior to attaining 16 years of age Pass a written test on Traffic Law. Use Conditions (Defunct! Repealed November 1998) Not between sunset and sunrise (exemption may be issued). CC Limit 250cc Duration 1 year BAC 0.0% Pillions No, unless the pillion has held a motorcycle license for three years and is being carried for the purposes of instruction. Speed Restrict 80 kph Plates L plate required. Points ??? PROVISIONAL Requirements Satisfactorily complete a Level 2 motorcycle rider training course (if required). Pass an oral law/regulation test. Pass a driving test. Pass an eyesight test. Be at least 17 years of age - although a candidate may undertake Level 2 training three months prior to and undergo a driving test one month prior to attaining that age. Use Conditions CC Limit 250cc Duration 3 years BAC 0.0% Pillions No Speed Restrict 80kph Plates P plates required for the first 12 months Points 3 If you are already the holder of a full license, cc limit of 250cc, and no pillion for first 12 months. 10.13 Northern Territory 10.14 Contributed by Radley Jones <rdj@senet.com.au>. [ Learners | Provisional | Open ] See also: Nothern Territory Driver Licencing http://www.nt.gov.au/dtw/aboutus/branches/transport/roadtransport/licensing.shtml and the section on Motorcyclist Education, Training and Licensing (METAL) http://www.nt.gov.au/dtw/aboutus/branches/transport/roadtransport/licensing.shtml#METAL LEARNERS PERMIT [Class R(e)] Requirements Two methods: either pass a multiple choice test or pass the Basic M.E.T.A.L. Course. M.E.T.A.L. stands for Motorcyclist Education, Training And Licensing and is part of the Department of Transport and Works. I thoroughly recommend doing the courses, all 3 are heaps of fun. Use Conditions Nil CC Limit 260cc Duration Valid for 12 months. Minimum? BAC 0.00% Pillions None. Speed Restrict 80kph. Plates L Plate at rear. Points There is no points system in the Northern Territory. PROVISIONAL PERMIT [Class R(e)] Requirements Two methods: either pass a physical road test, or pass the Intermediate M.E.T.A.L. Course. Must have held a Learners Permit prior. Use Conditions Nil CC Limit 260cc Duration 12 months. Open class automatically given after this. If you do the M.E.T.A.L. course and you show excellent skills, you may be eligible to upgrade earlier. BAC 0.00% Pillions None. Speed Restrict 80kph. Plates P Plate at rear if you haven't got a full car licence. Points There is no points system in the Northern Territory. OPEN PERMIT [Class R] Requirements Two methods: either pass the Advanced M.E.T.A.L. Course (if elegible this way), or wait 12 months on your R(e) Class license and it is automatically given. Note:- you can do the Advanced M.E.T.A.L. (Motorcyclist Education, Training and Licensing) Course to improve your skills, even if you don't want to upgrade your license. Use Conditions Nil CC Limit Nil Duration Indefinite. BAC 0.05% Pillions Yes. Speed Restrict None. Obviously the posted limit applies. (But much outside towns is not posted!) Alright! Plates Nil. Points There is no points system in the Northern Territory. Notes On 06jul2001, Breet lucian@arafura.net.au remarked: If you do the Advanced M.E.T.A.L. Course and get your OPEN PERMIT [Class R] early, you are restricted to 100km and no pillion for the next year. 10.15 Victoria 10.16 Compiled by Jason Brand <brand@mame.mu.oz.au>. Clarifications from Tim Bell <bhat@cs.mu.oz.au>. Further clarification from "Just in the machine" <aiteh@cs.rmit.edu.au>. [ Learner | Restricted | Probationary | Full ] "Just in the machine" <aiteh@cs.rmit.edu.au> remarks that in Victoria the path to licencehood varies. Basically, there are 2 types of licences: probabtionary (P) and full. For a motorcycle, there are 2 classes: restricted(R) and motorcycle. Any person who gets a licence for the first time (car or bike), will be put on 3 years of probationary. Any person who gets a bike licence, will be put on 1 year of restricted. Accordingly, I will list the classes below. Note that your path will be learner, then one of: If you have not held a car licence: 3 years P, then full. BAC of 0.00% for all three years. In the first year you have a type R licence (no pillion, 260cc limit). If you've held a car P licence for a year you do 2 years P, then full, same restrictions on the first 12 months as above. If you've held a full car licence for 3 years you get an R-type full licence (<260cc, no pillion, 0.05% BAC, no P plate). Like NSW, there's a rumour that sufficiently "mature" drivers (over 30? over 5 years full car licence? hmm?) go straight to a full bike licence from learners. LEARNERS PERMIT Requirements 17yrs 9mths written and riding test (RTA or private course) cc limit 260cc Duration 3mths - 1yr BAC 0.00 Pillion No Speed restrictions No additional Plates Yellow "L" plate(s)? 17yrs 9mths Written and riding test (RTA or private course) cc limit 260cc Duration 3mths - 1yr BAC 0.00 Pillion No Speed restrictions No additional Plates Yellow "L" plate(s)? RESTRICTED QUALIFICATION Requirements Applies to either the Probationary or Full licences as as suits. cc limit 260cc during the first year. BAC 0.05% Pillion None. PROBATIONARY LICENCE Requirements Hold Learners permit for at least 3 months Written and riding test (RTA or private course). cc limit 260cc during the first year. Duration 3 yrs if full drivers license not held. 1 yr if full drivers license held. BAC 0.00% Pillion Not during the first year. Speed restrictions No additional Plates Red "P" plate(s) FULL LICENCE Requirements Hold Probationary License for duration (see above) cc limit None Duration Indefinite BAC 0.05% Pillion Yes Speed restrictions No additional 11. 1.6 What about lanesplitting? 12. What about lanesplitting? 12.1 Lanesplitting Legalities 12.2 (Note that overtaking on the right is legal in all states with indicator). Vic legal cars must be stationary. WA legal cars must be stationary, you must indicate to change lanes and you must not cross a solid white line. NSW illegal ACT illegal Qld illegal SA illegal NT illegal 12.3 Lanesplitting Sensibilities 12.4 The aus.motorcycles community is split about 50/50 on whether it is a good thing or not. Don't bother arguing about it, there are good cases for and against and you'll get nowhere. If you lanesplit, try and keep these things in mind: your lack of buffer zones (space around you) means MUCH less reaction time cars run red lights (YES REALLY!) so look both ways drivers are frightened & annoyed by hoons look in rear view mirrors for other bikes before spliting lanes and watch for bikes ahead of you stopped ready to pull into the split lane (from DS - slankers@access1.net) Speaking for myself, my criteria for splitting are usually: Not if the traffic is moving (sometimes if it's crawling). Not if I'd have to put my feet down during the split anywhere. Not if I can't be sure of reaching the front or a visible bike-sized gap before the traffic starts to move again. Some drivers will notice you coming and shift aside to let you pass. I try always to wave or nod (or say "thanks!" if their window's open) to acknowledge this courtesy. " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " "