Delaware Motorcycle Manual 2016

Most people shy away from motorcycle riding because of the safety issues, especially the risk of crashes. However, with the right training and awareness, riding can be a safe and enjoyable activity. Motorcycle operation in Delaware is overseen by the state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV aims to ensure that motorcycle operation is safe for riders and other motorists alike.

Rider’s Course

The Delaware DMV offers a Motorcycle Rider Course, which is approved by the national Motorcycle Safety Foundation. This course is mandatory for all new motorcyclists under 18 years old, but it is highly recommended for all operators, including experienced riders.


According to Delaware law, all motorcycle operators in the state must own both a helmet and eye protection approved by the Secretary of Public Safety. Motorcycle operators aged 18 years or younger are required to wear a helmet as well as eye protection.

There are two main types of helmets, which provide different levels of coverage. There is the three-quarter helmet and the full-face helmet. Whichever helmet you select, be certain that it is designed to meet the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and Delaware DMV standards.

The Manual

Although riding ability is refined though practice and experience, it is necessary to develop the knowledge and common sense in order to stay safe on the road at all times. The state DMV, in conjunction with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, has issued a Motorcycle Operator Manual, which comprehensively teaches the safe operation of a motorcycle. This Manual forms the basis of the written test and road sign test, which applicants will need to pass in order to obtain the M endorsement for motorcycle operation.

The Manual discusses the following:

Preparing to Ride – This section talks about the necessary pre-ride preparations, which include:

  • Wearing the right gear
  • Familiarity with the motorcycle
  • Checking motorcycle equipment
  • Being a responsible rider

Riding Abilities – This section talks about rider abilities and rules of the road. This section includes:

  • Vehicle control
  • Keeping your distance
  • Intersections
  • Increasing conspicuity
  • Avoiding crashes
  • Dealing with dangerous surfaces
  • Responding to mechanical problems
  • Animals and flying objects
  • Getting off the road
  • Passengers and cargo
  • Riding with a group

- Being in Shape to Ride – As motorcycle operation is a demanding task, riders must be sure to be in the right frame of mind to operate their machines. This section talks about the influence of alcohol, drugs and other factors on motorcycle operation.

Earning the License – This section prepares learners for the knowledge and on-cycle skills test with some practice questions for review.

As you can see, careful study of the Motorcycle Operator Manual is absolutely crucial to your success as an endorsement applicant, as well as a safe rider. Start reading the Manual today (find it below) and take the first step towards being a safe and responsible motorcycle rider!

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