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Maine Motorcycle Manual Online 2013
Motorcycling in Maine can be an enjoyable activity, especially with its beautiful roads and scenic views.
However, without the appropriate skills, motorcycling can also be extremely hazardous. The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles has prepared various learning materials for beginner riders, to ensure that they are well-equipped and knowledgeable before setting out on the road.
Unlike most states, Maine does not offer a separate handbook for motorcyclists. The official Motorist Handbook and Study Guide, offered by the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles, is an indispensable study resource. While the majority of Maine traffic laws also apply to motorcycle operators, the Maine Motorist Handbook and Study Guide includes a comprehensive section on Motorcycles and Mopeds.
Getting the Motorcycle License
In the state of Maine, a special license is required in order to operate a motorcycle or moped. According to the law, any resident of the state holding a valid motorcycle permit or valid Maine motorcycle license is permitted to operate a motorcycle/moped.
In order to obtain a motorcycle license, individuals must:
- Be at least 16 years old. Applicants who are not yet 18 are required to complete a basic driver education course.
- Complete an 8-hour motorcycle rider education program.
- Pass the written and road tests specific to motorcycles.
Basic Rider Course
The Basic Rider Course (BRC) consists of a 15 hour hands-on rider course designed to educate beginning motorcyclists. Successful completion of this course means that the individual does not have to take the practical road examination. However, if the road exam is waived, the motorcycle endorsement prohibits the individual to carry a passenger for the first 60 days.
Four Steps to Turn
Although no book is adequate replacement for first-hand experience, the ME Motorcycle Handbook teaches vehicle control based on the four main steps:
1. Slow – Reduce speed before a turn.
2. Look – Look beyond the turn to where you intend to go. Turn only your head, keeping your eyes level with the horizon.
3. Lean – Push on the hand grip in the direction of the turn. Note that higher speeds and tighter turns require the rider to lean more.
4. Roll – Roll on the throttle through the turn. Maintain steady speed, or accelerate gradually if necessary. Do not decelerate in a turn.
The reason for many motorcycle collisions is that the rider was not seen by the driver of the other vehicle. The Maine Motorcycle Handbook makes the following recommendations for being seen:
- Use turn signals
- Position your motorcycle on the road strategically, where it is most likely that you will be seen
- Stay out of blind spots
- Use your mirrors
- Examine the road conditions ahead
The Maine Motorist Handbook and Study Guide explores these and other topics specific to motorcycle operation in greater detail. You can get a copy of this Handbook online at no cost below, or through your local Department of Motor Vehicles office. Good luck on the test!