Colorado Motorcycle Manual 2016


Colorado summers are known for their great motorcycling conditions, where the mild weather and beautiful scenic roads come together for an unforgettable riding experience. Join the other riders on the road this year by getting a motorcycle license of your own.

While you’re learning the basic knowledge and skills for safe riding, you’ll definitely want to pick up a copy of the Colorado Motorcycle Operator’s Handbook. The handbook will give you a great overview of operating a two- or three-wheeled vehicle and prepare you for riding in the safest manner possible.

Licensing in Colorado

Operating a motorcycle on a public roadway or highway in Colorado requires a valid driver’s license and the motorcycle endorsement. In the past, the state offered Motorcycle Only licenses. Currently, the CO motorcycle endorsement is only offered as part of a regular driver’s license. In order to obtain the endorsement, candidates must be at least 16 years old and pass the following exams:

  1. Driving record review
  2. Physical aptitude review
  3. Vision test
  4. Written motorcycle test – This is based on the Colorado Motorcycle Operator’s Handbook (find it below).
  5. Motorcycle operator skill test (for two-wheeled motorcycles or three-wheeled motorcycles) – This is the most important examination as it gives you a chance to demonstrate your abilities on the road.

MOST Program

The MOST (Motorcycle Operator Safety Training) programs cater to both novice and experienced riders. The Basic Rider Course is designed for beginners and teaches all necessary riding skills in theory and practice. The Advanced Rider Course trains participants on advanced motorcycle techniques and defensive driving strategies.

Key Concepts

The Colorado Motorcycle Operator’s Handbook is based on research by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation as well as Colorado driving laws. It provides the basic curriculum for the written motorcycle test. The CO Motorcycle Handbook is made up of the following main sections:

  • Motorcycle licensing procedures
  • Preparing to ride – proper gear, vehicle familiarity
  • Vehicle control – posture, turning, braking, shifting gears
  • Visibility – mirrors, head checks, horns
  • Lane positioning techniques
  • Distance from other vehicles
  • SIPDE – scan, identify, predict, decide, execute
  • Dangers – hazardous surfaces, night riding
  • Avoiding collisions – stopping, curves, swerving, quick turns, corners
  • Mechanical failure – tires, wobble, chain issues, engine problems
  • Special situations – flying objects, animals, hills, getting off the road
  • Passengers and cargo
  • Riding in groups
  • Motorcycle equipment and maintenance

As it’s such a complete resource, it’s recommended that you hang on to the Handbook for reference even after getting your motorcycle license. Use the Handbook to review or refresh your knowledge at any time. You can get a full copy of the book free online – below! What are you waiting for? Start getting ready today!

Click here to take FREE CO DMV practice tests →