Motorcycle Skills Test: Part 1 / “Cone Weave & Normal Stop”

Motorcycle Skills Test: Part 1 / “Cone Weave & Normal Stop”


[music] This is the first video in a 5-part series featuring Washington State’s motorcycle skills test. This test is given to all riders applying to add a motorcycle endorsement to their driver license. Endorsements are required to legally ride
in Washington State. Permits are valid for 90 days and can be renewed one time. Washington State began using the updated test
in 2012. The test accurately and fairly evaluates a rider’s ability, control, maneuvering and hazard avoidance skills. All necessary when riding on street. In this first video of our series we’ll take a look at run number one. The cone weave and normal stop. The cone weave confirms the rider has balance, position awareness and coordination of controls while traveling at slow speeds. The basic skill needed here is the ability to blend the use of multiple controls. Smoothly coordinate the clutch and throttle using the friction zone can help control both the speed and balance of a motorcycle. This is the area where the clutch transmits partial power to the rear wheel also known as slipping the clutch. This important technique is used when riders start-off and often when maneuvering their motorcycle at slower speeds. Riders are instructed Ride to the left of the first cone To the right of the second cone and so on. Weave past all five cones without hitting or skipping a cone or putting a foot down. Common mistakes include: Skipping cones. Putting a foot down. Hitting cones. Some riders on larger bikes or sport bikes find the 12-foot weave to be a challenge. Yet as seen here even big bikes can navigate the weave with proper technique. Riders who’ve taken a training course are often surprised at how much they didn’t really know about the dynamics of controlling a cycle. Safety courses teach maneuvering and hazard avoidance skills as well as safer street strategies. Keys to success include: Riding with proper posture. Keeping your knees in. Keeping your eyes up focused where you want to go. Don’t look down at the cones or lines. Use your peripheral vision. Smoothly blending controls. Use clutch and throttle and–if necessary–some rear brake. Controlling and adjusting speed. If you go too slowly you’re likely to put a foot down. Too fast and you’re likely to skip or hit cones. Control your speed and you’ll be able to lean the motorcycle smoothly through the weave. The weave is an on street skill typically used to change position within your lane to increase your safety margin. It can increase visibility to see and be seen. The second component of run number one is the normal stop. The normal stop confirms a rider’s ability and awareness to be able to stop the motorcycle in a specific area. Riders are instructed: Ride to the stop box and make a smooth stop. That means no skidding. Complete the stop with your front tire in the box. Common mistakes include: Skidding. The front tire stopped outside of the 3-foot by 5-foot box or on a line. Oftentimes a rider will think the tire is in the box when it’s actually not. Keys to success include using a smooth and controlled operation of the brakes. Knowing the position of your front tire when stopping. The ability to put your front tire where you want is an important on street skill. It’s a skill that’s often used at intersections especially intersections using a traffic-activated signal sensor. When riding it’s safer to understand and consider the consequences of choices and actions. Knowing your limits. Riding within them. Controlling your cycle. Ride with the motto, “See and be seen.” When riders can successfully navigate the cone weave and normal stop they’re one step closer to accepting rider responsibility. Motorcycling demands a high level of attention. There is a lot of multi-tasking. Riders must coordinate the clutch throttle lane position brakes traffic and hazard avoidance balance shifting seeing and being seen. If you haven’t already done so consider taking a rider safety course. These courses teach valuable techniques and safer street strategies. Ride safe. Ride smart. Ride sober.

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  1. @LestatThrirteen – the cone in the weave are 12' apart. Practice with your head-&-eyes up using your peripheral vision to see markings/cones. Good luck!

  2. @NathanH172 – WA doesn't have an M1. DOL can add a "motorcycle" endorsement to a valid driver license after completing the knowledge and riding skill tests. Riders seeking endorsements can be 16+ years old. Riders under 18 are required to take a safety course.
    Instructional permits are valid for 90days and can also be added to a valid driver license. (Permits restrict riding (a) at night, and (b) no passengers.)
    Hope this helps.
    Please feel free to email [email protected] for more info.

  3. I am total new to motorcycling so I apologize ahead of time if this is a "stupid" question. When doing the cone weave are you in first gear and feathering the clutch and using the back brake a bit for control if needed? Any advice would be appreciated.

  4. @Lois – Fantastic question! (Thanks for asking.)
    Maybe. Yes. Yes. Try both 1st and 2nd gear. Try feathering/slipping the clutch. Try a little "rear" brake. Each rider/bike has a different preference.

    On my ST (shown in video) it likes 2nd. (Ok, it likes 3rd too.) 1st is "too choppy" for it. Yet, on (some) sport bikes/dual sports, 1st gear -and lots of clutch work- is better.
    Practice. Get to "know your bike", look-up, and feel the ride.
    I'd love to hear what "Works for best you?"

  5. @Susan – what browser are you using? Just tried these videos from IE8, IE9, Firefox, Chrome, my Blackberry, and my Droid II -mobile. All appear to be working.
    Please send me an email ( [email protected] ) so I can try and help.
    THANKS! KM

  6. All of the tests are done in first gear expect for the last test with the curves which is done in second gear. When you are wearing through the cones you are utilizing the friction zone with the clutch.

  7. @skyknight1281 – Some cycles "need" to use 1st gear. Others "do much better" using 2nd -and some friction zone.
    I'd encourage every rider to (a) practice on their cycle, and (b) try both 1st and 2nd -to see which is best -for their ride. It may work to add a little rear brake into the mix too. (Different rides… different techniques.)
    DOL doesn't "require" any specific gear for a run or component. (I've done 'm all in 1st, and 2nd, and even 3rd.) Riders should use what's "best for them".

  8. DOL specifically opted to NOT post scoring criteria -in case components were ever adapted to meet (amended) National standards and/or WA needs.
    When asked, riders are told "Ride your own ride. Ride techniques you know. Follow the instructions." Most folks don't have issues.
    Penalty points are to a "licensing standard" to validate minimum performance levels. The bigger picture is that riders should 'control their bike' and 'ride the component'.
    Ride well! Ride SAFE!

  9. Older tests used "offset" cones. The new national test model is moving to a "straight-line" cone weave. (The "offset" didn't prove to be any more effective in validating a rider's basic control and positioning skills.)
    Hope the videos help. (They were a blast to make!)

  10. I like first just in case I get 2 slow and get 2 choppy in second. Just got to b careful not to gas it much and look like a noob ha

  11. I have a question for you. Can you help me please? My brother in law who's a Police Officer told me that I have to obtain a WA Drivers License for a car in order to receive a motorcycle endorsement. Is that true? My brother in law also said that an endorsement for a motorcycle is a modification to a Washington Drivers license for a car or 4 wheel vehicle and not a license in it self.

  12. I have another question for you. Can you answer this question for me? I have watched all 5 of the WA.DOL.M.S.T videos. Where is the written knowledge test on the WA. State Licensing (DOL) website? all I see it five questions with answers supplied and the link to these 5 motorcycle skills test videos. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question. 🙂

  13. @TalkToMeQA78 –
    Yes, in WA motorcycle endorsements (2-wheel, 3-wheel, or combo) added to a current and valid driver license. 2-wheel and 3-wheel endorsements have separate and different tests. (Without a driver license, a rider can't get an endorsement.)
    Testing (knowledge and/or on-cycle skills tests) are conducted at the companies who contract with DOL to provide training. Only these companies offer testing:
    dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/motoschools.html
    Good luck!

  14. @Pasha Otroda – 250cc Honda Rebels have been utilized in training classes for years. They are a great sized, well balanced, and easy-to-control cycle for a lot of riders!
    Due to the battery case, it may not be 'the best' smaller cycle for someone who needs a very low seat height.  So, for folks REALLY tall or short -there may be a better option. Try it. If comfy… go for it!  🙂

  15. @ asdjfnljn3- the cone weave is set (Start "T" and all 5 cones) to be 12 feet apart in a straight line. 

  16. Are the cone distances the same for a trike test? It seems like it would be easy enough to get the front wheel through but virtually impossible not to hit the cones with the back wheels. Very different vehicles. Thank you!

  17. Tom – Great question. We're working on developing a Trike Endorsement Test series.
    The cone weave for the Trike test is 40' apart, 30' offset.  This appropriately measures the riders control of a Trike or Sidecar within the timed run.

  18. Lol that is soo easy, in the netherlands those cones are much taller so you also should watchout not hitting the cones down with the iron bars for falling down

  19. @ Eloisabeth Baca Cazares – What a FANTASTIC cycle! 
    May I suggest, if you haven't been through a safety course yet -please consider taking a Baisc RiderCourse.  Then, when you get your NC700, take the 1-day "Experienced Rider Course" on your NC700! 
    You'll be amazed at how much Control/Response you'll learn -about your ride!
    (e.g. What 'control' did you use/what 'response' did it give back!) 
    GREAT COURSE to learn your ride!  🙂 K

  20. I got 38 points my first try 🙁 on the figure 8 I went to slow and my foot touched the ground, the weave was fine. I messed up the Quick stop twice, cause I either braked too early, or I accelerated instead of braking, and then I was out of line for the last one.

  21. @ Enola – we strongly encourage taking a training class.  Slow(er) speed control, position awareness, and familiarity with control use is a foundation taught. These skills form the basis for on-street control.  The "basic" class offers 17 exercises to develop these techniques and practice overall control.  Please consider taking a training course.  Motorcycling isn't intuitive. It takes practice. It really helps to have a good teacher.  RIDE SAFE! 

  22. Is there a link to show the dimensions of the course:  how many feet between cones, size of box for u turns, etc.?

  23. @ C -if you click the "SHOW MORE" button (just above comments) it will list the set-up dimensions and instructions for each component of the test.

  24. To Ed Thone, years ago we had designations for bike size, but i'm no so sure anymore been looking into maybe getting mine and don't see any class designations anymore. Maybe Kyle Mcarty can clairfy if it is stil in affect or can people take the test on a smaller bike and be licenced to ride any sized bike?

  25. make sure you go thru cone weave right to left. I was one ten guys taking test failed right after this part. went left to right thru the cone weave 8 pts test is over. Make sure you here what way they want you go thru the cones.

  26. The offset Cone Weaving Test in Illinois is 2 feet because Drivers need to learn how to avoid hitting Michael Myers.

  27. Lol the guy in your "correct" form part @ 1minute even messed it up. Look closely and you'll see him cut underneath the second cone. Just goes to show how bias this test is against larger bikes. Your instructor couldn't even get it right.

  28. 0:55 Am I the only one that notices he drives in between cones 1 and 2 twice?? And never drives in between cones 2 and 3??

  29. All i have to say is
    Hey look you can do a slalom a u turn and acceleration to 15 then a mild stop. Now go buy a road glid besause you proved you can handle a 600 and make sure its really low and always have a passenger to show everyone you passed the dmv exams.
    Lol the motorcycle test is a joke that proves nothing and makes novice riders think then can handle more then they can. In my opinion take the test on the bike you're going to ride if you can't pass it then get a smaller bike untill you can at least do a dmv test with ease. Don't take the test on a 250 and then go buy a 600ninja a 1700 Kawasaki a 1400 Harley unless you don't want your skin still attached.
    Don't be a squid.

  30. Hey that's cheating! In my State in Australia we have to have a 60cm offset between each cone, making it MUCH more challenging. Your bars have to be in full lock at each turn with a lot of throttle/clutch control to keep from falling. This is just too easy lol

  31. After the changes to the new requirements, are these still valid? Also, will the skills for the endorsement assessment be posted up here as well?
    (Very good job with these by the way!!)
    Thank you!

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