To get a Class M license or a Class L license to operate a motorcycle in Chicago, riders must first pass the Illinois Motorcycle License Test. This riding test and written exam assess whether you know and understand the state’s motorcycle laws and can demonstrate basic skills for safe operation of a motorcycle. To help prepare for this test, it’s important to read the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual. It provides essential safety information, the rules and regulations that apply when riding on public roads in the state, and a practice test to help you prepare for your written exam.
Before taking the Illinois motorcycle written test and riding test, make sure you visit your local Secretary of State office to obtain a motorcycle permit that allows you to ride during daylight hours with an instructor present or after dark if you are 18 years or older. You must also provide proof of identity and two documents showing proof of current Illinois residency.
When you take the test, make sure you follow all instructions by the person administering it and be prepared to answer questions related to basic motorcycle operation. You may also have to demonstrate your knowledge of safe driving practices, including how to stay in control of a vehicle when faced with challenging road conditions. It’s important to stay calm throughout the process and not become overwhelmed.
In this Article
What Happens If I Fail My Illinois Motorcycle Test?
If you are unsuccessful on your first attempt at taking the test, don’t worry as you can try again after waiting two business days from your initial attempt. However, if you fail three times within one year of passing an approved driver education course or two attempts without a driver education course, then you must wait 365 days before applying for the test again.
RTFM, No Really, Read the Manual
Motorcyclists in the state of Illinois must take and pass the Illinois Motorcycle License Test in order to receive their motorcycle license. The test assesses whether riders have a basic understanding of the state’s motorcycle laws and can demonstrate safe operation of a motorcycle.
While there are many resources available to help prepare for the test, one of the most important resources is the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual, which provides essential safety information as well as guidelines for operating your vehicle safely on public roads within the state.
It’s important that riders thoroughly read this manual before taking the test, so they will be fully prepared when it comes time to answer questions related to basic motorcycle operation, safe driving practices, and how to stay in control of a vehicle when faced with challenging road conditions.
What to Do When Preparing to Ride Safely
Preparing to ride safely is an important part of the Illinois Motorcycle License Test. Motorcyclists must understand and adhere to all rules and regulations outlined in the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual, including:
how to properly select and wear protective gear,
obey speed limits, and
remain aware of their surroundings.
Defensive Driving Techniques
Riders should also practice defensive driving techniques such as:
signaling their intentions early and often,
scanning intersections before proceeding through them,
leaving enough room between themselves and other vehicles while in traffic, and
staying alert to changing road conditions that can affect their ability to drive safely
Get Insurance Coverage
Last, it’s essential for motorcyclists to obtain proper motorcycle insurance coverage so they are protected if involved in an accident or incident on the road.
According to the Illinois Secretary of State, “all motorists are required by law to be covered by liability insurance to defray the cost of injuries or damages caused to other persons or their property in a crash. Without coverage, a single vehicle collision could lead to significant financial loss and cause you to lose your driving privileges.”
What Happens If I Am Involved in a Motorcycle Crash?
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, the team at The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers is here to help. Our experienced attorneys have an in-depth knowledge of Illinois motorcycle insurance laws and can assist you with navigating the legal system following an incident. Contact us today for more information.
Know Your Bike and Your Responsibilities
The Illinois Motorcycle License Test also assesses how much motorcyclists know about their bike and the responsibilities that come with operating it.
Riders should be well acquainted with all the components of their motorcycle, including:
They should also make sure they are aware of any safety features specific to their bike and practice safe motorcycle riding techniques such as not riding impaired or distracted.
Additionally, motorcycle riders should be aware of basic vehicle maintenance such as changing tires and fluids, as well as checking tire pressure before each ride. Being knowledgeable in these areas can help riders pass the written test and ensure they are prepared for a safe ride on public roads.
How to Use Your Motorcycle’s Controls and General Bike Operation
The Illinois Motorcycle License Test also examines how well motorcyclists understand the operation of their bikes. Riders should be aware of which controls to use during acceleration, braking, and maneuvering as well as how to properly shift gears.
Motorcycle riders should also practice basic turning techniques such as tight turns, figure eight maneuvers, and slow speed control. Additionally, riders should know how to take off from a standstill and come to a stop without losing balance or control of their motorcycle.
It’s important for motorcyclists to demonstrate that they can safely operate their vehicle in different scenarios so they are prepared for the road ahead.
How to Stay Visible
The Illinois Motorcycle License Test also assesses a rider’s ability to remain visible and safe on public roads. Riders should make sure their motorcycle has adequate lighting and reflectors, as well as wear bright colors that can be easily seen by other drivers.
How to Avoid Wrecks
One of the most effective ways to avoid accidents is to practice defensive driving techniques such as:
Keeping the eyes on the road at all times,
Staying alert for potential hazards,
Maintaining a safe following distance, and
Avoiding motorcycle riding in bad weather or after dark.
By taking these precautions, motorcyclists can stay safe and and increase their chances for successful completion of the riding portion of the exam.
What to Do When You Encounter Dangerous Surfaces
The Illinois Motorcycle License Test also covers what to do when riders encounter various dangerous surfaces while on the road. Riders should know how to navigate slippery surfaces such as wet pavement, gravel roads, and mud patches without losing balance or control of their vehicle.
Additionally, they should be aware of obstacles in their path such as potholes, bumps, and debris that could cause them to crash.
How to Avoid Common Mechanical Problems
Beyond understanding how to safely navigate the roads, motorcyclists need to be aware of common mechanical problems that can arise while operating their vehicle. Riders should know how to spot warning signs such as unusual sounds, vibrations, and smells from their motorcycle so they can address any issues before they become a bigger problem. Additionally, riders should practice basic maintenance such as changing the oil and checking tire pressure regularly which can help prevent mechanical failures and ensure their safety on the road.
Obstacles You May Encounter While Motorcycle Riding
The Illinois Motorcycle License Test also examines a rider’s ability to handle various obstacles while on the road. Riders should be aware of objects in their path such as parked cars, animals, and other vehicles that can cause them to crash.
It’s important that they know how to properly maneuver around tight turns and corners without losing control of their motorcycle.
Carrying Cargo or Passengers
Riders should know the proper way to carry cargo or passengers on their motorcycles. Riders should make sure any load they are carrying is properly balanced and secure so it does not affect their ability to control the vehicle. Riders should ensure that passengers are wearing a helmet and other protective gear and are securely mounted in the passenger seat of the bike at all times.
How to Protect Yourself and Others on the Road
Motorcycle operators need to be aware of their rights as a motorist, and be aware of safety protocols such as wearing a helmet and other protective gear at all times. Additionally, they should practice defensive driving techniques such as staying alert for potential hazards and scanning intersections before entering them.
The Riding Skill Test
The Illinois Rider Skill Test is an exam administered by the office of the Secretary of State in order to earn a motorcycle license. Class L or Class M license applicants are required to pass this examination. The exceptions are riders 18 years of age or older who hold Illinois driver’s licenses and prove they have successfully completed an approved motorcycle safety course to hold an IDOT Motorcycle Rider Education Course completion card, valid one year after issue.
The test includes the following sections:
Know your motorcycle and your riding limits: the equipment and abilities of rider and motorcycle should be correctly matched.
Inspect your motorcycle: verify your motorcycle is in safe condition prior to beginning the test.
Accelerate, brake and turn safely: demonstrate your ability to maneuver the motorcycle safely and efficiently.
Handle hazardous situations: recognize, anticipate and respond in a safe manner when you are presented with various situations.
See, be seen, and communicate with other riders and motorists on the road: wear brightly-colored clothing and/or reflective gear to increase your chances of being seen.
Adjust speed and position to the traffic situation: present proof of your ability to start, accelerate, and decelerate.
Demonstrate your ability to take curves at an appropriate speed and safely maneuver through the curves.
Stop and park your motorcycles safely.
By practicing the maneuvers required in the riding skill test and passing the Illinois Motorcycle License Test, a rider can be sure they have the knowledge, training and basic skills necessary to become a safe, experienced rider.
What Will Cause the Examiner to Terminate the Test?
The examiner will end the test if the rider:
Falls off or drops the motorcycle at any time,
Commits an unsafe act (e.g., loses control, raises the front wheel off the ground, uses excessively high speed, etc.),
Obtains enough points (11 or more) to constitute a failure, or
Exceeds a reasonable time limit.
Stay Safe, Have Fun, Wear a Helmet
Good luck on your motorcycle riding test! At The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers, we far too often see the devastating consequences of unsafe riding practices. That’s why we encourage new riders to take their riding test seriously, take a practice test, spend plenty of time practicing in a safe environment, and always wear a helmet. And if the worst happens, and you’re injured by someone else’s negligence while riding, give us a call. Our motorcycle accident lawyers represent seriously injured riders in the Chicagoland area.