I managed to obtain my Class 2B motorcycle license today morning at Comfort Driving Centre. Barely, with 18 demerit points and no more mistakes to spare. Here’s a short write-up of my journey to obtain a Class 2B motorcycle license.
23 May 2011: Signed up for Class 2B lessons at Comfort Driving Centre. Obtained my Training Record Book. Bought my knee and elbow pads over the counter, and gloves somewhere else. These items were compulsory for every lesson.
23 July 2011: Practical Orientation.
23 July, 30 July, 6 August 2011: Practical 1.
13 August, 14 August 2011: Practical 2.
20 August, 21 August, 28 August 2011: Practical 3.
3 September, 4 September 2011: Practical 4.
Practical Lesson 5: Circuit Evaluation
10,17 September 2011: Revision.
19 September 2011: 28 Demerit Points, 1 Immediate Failure (Failed)
24 September 2011: 20 Demerit Points (Failed)
25 September 2011: 16 Demerit Points, 1 Immediate Failure (Failed)
1 October 2011: 18 Demerit Points, 2 Immediate Failures (Failed)
2 October 2011: 6 Demerit Points (Passed)
7 October, 8 October 2011: Practical 6.
15 October, 22 October 2011: Practical 7.
Practical Lesson 8: Final Evaluation (Both circuit and road)
5 November 2011: Circuit Revision.
12 November 2011: Road revision
12 November 2011: 16 Demerit Points (Passed)
Booked Traffic Police test date immediately, which was on 8 February 2011. An astonishing three months away!
Somewhere in between: Defensive Riding Theory. 6 hours of sitting there watching motorcycle safety videos, instructors reading presentation slides and sharing horror stories about accidents.
8,14,20 January, 4 February 2012: Road revision.
5 February 2012: Circuit Revision.
8 February 2012: Traffic Police Test Day.
Arrived at 7.15am for warmup. Assembled at the motorcycle training area. There were 49 participants in total. Each person was assigned a grey numbered vest. The numbering sequence was foreigners first, followed by age in descending order. Mine was “20 – ON TEST”. We were allowed to for one round of the circuit as a warm up. After which we were briefed at the training shed on the circuit and route (e.g. where to check your blind spot and where to turn). Once we were in the training shed, we were not allowed to bring our vest along to us when we needed to use the toilet. We had to hang the vests on railings. When the test started at 9.30 a.m., which was after bus-lane timings, permission from the tester was required for toilet breaks.
One by one, our numbers were called out and we walked to our motorcycles and rode it to the starting point. Only one person will be released at a time (probably at 2 minute intervals), hence there was no need to worry about having to queue for each station. I cleared the circuit and proceeded to route no. 1 before heading back to the training shed. After parking our motorcycles, we were told to report in a room on the third floor at 11.15 a.m. By 11.40 a.m., everyone was in the room. The testers started announcing numbers in batches of five. The people tagged to the numbers had to leave the room, which meant they had failed.
It was pretty nerve wrecking. Everyone kept quiet and there was serious tension in the air. The tester walked into the room, yelled “16,17,18,19″ and left the room immediately. While four got up to leave, I smiled to myself because my number, 20, was not amongst the batch of five.
At the end of the session, 32 had failed and there were 17 of us in the room. Everyone in the room burst out into loud cheers and high fives. We watched a short video on motorcycle safety, took our pledge and collected our test assessment forms. The remaining balance in our account was refunded to us and we had the option to sign up for the Expressway Familiarization Course held the immediate weekend. We were told that if we attended this free course, we would be eligible for an earlier Traffic Police test date for our upcoming Class 2A motorcycle license. An Ace Insurance salesperson was there to give a short talk about their products.
After which we were released and we headed to the 2nd floor to collect our licenses.
I passed with 18 demerit points. Another minor mistake and I would have failed. Here’s my checklist:
In total, I spent about $1,200.
I don’t really have much tips for the practical test. But I still believe that if you get a badly maintained motorcycle with a horrible clutch, it will affect your performance. Even the height of the motorcycle will affect your stability. So choose a motorcycle which you feel comfortable on and don’t be afraid to switch to another motorcycle before the test starts. Traffic on the road was heavy and there were some kind souls who slowed down because they saw my vest and allowed me to pass. Pedestrians can ruin your practical test. Some nice ones may be hesitant to cross your path, and they just stand there. Some are in a hurry and dash across the road. Either way, watch out for them. When you meet the nice ones, stop and wave for them to cross, just to be safe.
To be honest, being a driver myself, I find a motorcycle license more challenging to obtain due to the long process involved. The balance, as well, which I absolutely suck at. Even if you fail the practicals, persevere on, keep on retaking them, eventually you’ll pass. The oldest person today who passed was 65 years old. If he can do it, I don’t see why you can’t.
All the best!