Just failed the CA DMV motorcycle popsicle test (and I thought Ihad passed)

Discussion in 'Bay Area Bikers' started by Joe Mastroianni, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Took my R1200R on the California popsicle this week, and, I failed.

    I was shocked, since I had rated myself pretty good in my practice runs
    over the past few weeks.

    I guess having someone else rate you is more accurate than rating

    Lesson learned for others.

    I have two more shots at it though.
    Joe Mastroianni, Feb 19, 2013
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  2. Joe Mastroianni

    Ben Kaufman Guest

    Sorry to hear that, but did you find out what did you in?

    Ben Kaufman, Feb 19, 2013
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  3. Joe Mastroianni

    gpsman Guest

    Now that's funny!

    You must not know you are among the few not convinced they know
    everything about operating every vehicle on the planet, based on
    nothing. You're certainly the first with that perspective to hit
    rec.autos.driving in forever that I can recall.

    You have great chances of becoming an excellent cyclist... if you live
    long enough.
    gpsman, Feb 19, 2013
  4. My front tire strayed out of the circle on the fourth loop.

    As an aside, who designed this circus act test anyway?
    Joe Mastroianni, Feb 23, 2013
  5. I don't think the DMV examiner was lying so I have to believe
    that my front wheel strayed out of the circle on the fourth loop.

    I did the first wave through the cones and two loops fine by
    doing the unnatural act of holding the clutch in almost all the
    way, and keeping an even RPM with my hand, and using my foot to
    brake the rear along with the clutch for speed, and then simply
    attempting to look ahead - although the circle is so small it
    would fit in your driveway so "looking ahead" is an oxymoron.

    The point is that I can't even see what the tire is doing on
    the pavement so I have to take someone else's word for it.

    The lesson I learned is that I need to enlist a friend to
    grade me - because I was sure I could pass this test, albeit
    every once in a while I dropped the bike while practicing.

    Ya gotta wonder what this basketball court test has to to with
    actually riding a bike though.
    Joe Mastroianni, Feb 23, 2013
  6. Joe Mastroianni

    Mark Olson Guest

    A good rider should be able to pass it.

    As someone else pointed out, it seems to be a fairly obvious
    strategy to encourage people to take the BRC instead. The BRC
    doesn't guarantee you'll survive but it does give you a bit
    more help than you'd get just from reading the rider's manual
    the DMV puts out.
    Mark Olson, Feb 23, 2013
  7. Joe Mastroianni

    Ripple Whine Guest

    It's really just another way of making money by mandate.

    California has more bikers than all other states combined.

    If they make a test that literally funnels all those bikers AWAY
    from the DMV and into the waiting arms of the BRC (who has a
    totally different test!), everyone (from their perspective)
    makes money.

    The DMV has far far far fewer (free) tests to perform.
    And the BRC class makes millions of dollars a year!

    It's simply a money-making racket. Nothing more. Nothing less.
    Otherwise, the tests and the grading would be similar in at least
    one or two ways - yet they're not even close.
    Ripple Whine, Feb 23, 2013
  8. Joe Mastroianni

    Zen Guest

    Depends on the definition of a "good rider."

    The funny thing is that you'll never in your life perform "any"
    of the feats of magic on the road, that you are expected to
    perform flawlessly (stray out of the lines just once and you fail)
    in the space of half a tennis court.
    Zen, Feb 23, 2013
  9. Joe Mastroianni

    Thomas Guest

    Yebbut it is far too easy to screw up, especially under pressure in a
    pass/fail situation.

    I've never done it for a license, but I've tried several times after hours
    just for fun. AIR, I messed up every time, probably because I was trying
    to watch and see if I was successful or not.

    When I took my CA MC test in the early 70's, the tester said, "Ride to the
    end of the parking lot, turn around and come back. Change gears at least
    twice." It was that easy. ~10 years later, I took the MSF course. I think
    the DMV should scrap the lollipop test and make every rider take the MSF
    course. Or change to a more realistic test that _really_ tests your skills.
    Thomas, Feb 23, 2013
  10. Joe Mastroianni

    gpsman Guest

    The slower you can ride with control, the better rider you are.

    It's counter intuitive, but slow riding will improve the novice's fast
    riding faster than fast riding.

    You see some guys sticking out their feet still going 20 mph. The
    better riders come to a stop, then put down their feet. The best
    riders can stop and not put down their feet in what bicyclists used to
    call a "track stand".

    Any nitwit who can keep a bicycle upright can twist a throttle.
    gpsman, Feb 23, 2013
  11. Joe Mastroianni

    Twibil Guest

    Er, isn't that exactly what a rider *should* be tested for?
    What could possibly be more "pass/fail" than getting squashed
    by a semi because you screwed up under pressure?
    Why? There are plenty of riders who pass the test on
    the first try and who already know everything the MSF
    Any test that did that would require specialized testing grounds
    and testers with advanced degrees in motorcycle: neither one of
    which California can even *begin* to afford. (Nor would the
    aspiring riders want to pay for them.)
    Twibil, Feb 23, 2013
  12. Joe Mastroianni

    Zen Guest

    Well, for one, a close-quarter u-turn and the California popsicle
    test have absolutely NOTHING in common. There are no u-turns in the
    California test. Anyone who says so has never taken it.

    The U-turns are ONLy in the BRC - and they give you a box that is
    immense compared to what you work with on the popsicle
    (plus the grading is such that you can totally flunk the u-turn
    test and still pass the class with flying colors whereas on the
    popsicle, you can't stray even once outside the line).

    Second, I can't imagine doing a 3-point turn on a motorcycle.
    I'm sure it can be done - but most of the time you can EASILY
    perform a u-turn, so, it's really not a skill that is often needed
    IMHO. However, YMMV.
    The size & type of the bike makes an immense difference on passing the
    California popsicle. I'm sure people pass it every day, but one must
    realize that the entire purpose of the popsicle is to funnel people
    to the BRC because MONEY rules everything and lots and lots of money
    is being made since California has more motorcyclists than all the
    other states combined.
    Zen, Feb 23, 2013
  13. You do realize that the two tests have absolutely nothing in
    common, right?

    Passing one proves absolutely nothing with respect to the other.

    So, for example, if you can pass the popsicle test on a decent-sized
    bike, all it proves is that you can do double loops in both directions
    with great accuracy at extremely slow clutch-slipping high-revving
    constant-braking a-baby-could-crawl-faster speeds.

    Yet, any moron can pass the MSF test because all you're really doing
    is paying a few hundred dollars for your license. You buy your license
    in one, and you earn the license in the other.

    At least the MSF riding test has a reasonable grading system (as opposed
    to the one-strike-you're-out grading system of the DMV test), yet, you
    perform the MSF class on toy bikes.

    In summary, neither test is realistic. One is designed to be so onerous
    that you won't take it - while the other is designed to pass everyone
    by giving them a toy bike and allowing dozens of mistakes in the process.
    Joe Mastroianni, Feb 23, 2013
  14. Joe Mastroianni

    Danny D. Guest

    I think every rider should take the MSF course WITH THEIR OWN BIKE!
    Danny D., Feb 23, 2013
  15. Joe Mastroianni

    Ripple Whine Guest

    I think they should allow an experienced rider (say from another state)
    to take the advanced MSF class.

    But they don't.

    I'm not sure why. It's probably that they need the money so they
    want the experienced riders to take the basic class plus the advanced

    However, if you know WHY they won't allow an experienced rider to
    simply take the advanced class in lieu of the basic class, let me know.
    Ripple Whine, Feb 23, 2013
  16. Joe Mastroianni

    User Bp Guest

    The key point of riding is that two wheels are not in any way
    equivalent to four wheels. We're taught never to ride the brakes
    or clutch in a (manual transmission) car. Those are precisely
    the skills needed to control a motorcycle in tight going.

    And, in fact, riding the brakes and throttle can be useful in
    an automatic transmission automobile if the situation is sufficiently

    bob prohaska
    User Bp, Feb 23, 2013
  17. Joe Mastroianni

    Twibil Guest


    I also realise that that makes no difference.
    Twibil, Feb 23, 2013
  18. Joe Mastroianni

    Twibil Guest

    Easy: the advanced class is based on your having mastered the
    skills taught in the first class, and the folks in charge have no of
    knowing whether or not you have those skills.

    Letting people in because they *claim* to have 'em isn't going to
    work because -as we all know- there is no such thing as a biker
    who doesn't already know it all.
    Twibil, Feb 23, 2013
  19. Joe Mastroianni

    Thomas Guest

    Except that the lollipop is a lousy test for that. It only judges your
    ability to stay between 2 lines at a very low speed. It doesn't test your
    judgment, your reaction time, or many of the other skills required in an
    Plenty? Really? How did they learn the curriculum if not through the MSF?
    I'd been riding for more than 10 years before I took the MSF and I learned
    a lot in it. I'll bet a high percentage of those who pass only the
    lollipop would be much better riders if they did the MSF too.
    Yet the state makes every cage driver do far more, driving a convoluted
    trip on city streets in real traffic.

    Driving/riding is a skill that improves with study and practice, yet most
    people only learn enough to pass the DMV exam. Imagine how much safer our
    roads would be if people were actually encouraged to improve their skills.
    Thomas, Feb 23, 2013
  20. Joe Mastroianni

    gpsman Guest

    That testing includes demonstrating knowledge of traffic code, which
    cyclists are presumed to know... but the last time in their life a
    cager performs a "special stop" before crossing a sidewalk is leaving
    the exam station.
    And virtually everyone assumes experience = practice, and that they
    can neglect traffic code for years or decades and suddenly revert to
    legal operation whenever they perceive nothing else will do.

    Then the city puts up speed and /or red light cameras and they
    discover, no, they can't, and rationalize it's the cameras' fault, and/
    or traffic code is irrelevant, and/or speed or running red lights is
    not a safety concern because their visual perception and snap
    judgments are infallible... and often that that car/truck/bus/ped/
    cyclist "came out of nowhere".
    It's a multiple-edged sword.

    You can't convince those who know everything their 15 minutes of
    education and training combined with their "experience" have not
    rendered them the best operator to ever take the controls. Add some
    "skill improvement" to that and overconfidence tends to go off the
    fucking charts.

    People quickly reach the point where operation becomes autonomous,
    they don't really have to think about it much, so they stop thinking
    about it much, which leaves the mind free to distract itself, which is
    why virtually all motorists are distracted, no electronic device
    necessary. An unfocused mind is free to wander, and will; "the brain
    never rests".

    Concentration is hard. Prolonged concentration is harder, which is
    why so few motorists do it, and one reason why I think if you're
    riding any bike in traffic you haven't realistically evaluated the
    environment in which you must operate.

    People perceive that their visual perception is perfect, despite the
    universal experiences of having searched for something for 5 minutes
    before finding it in front of their nose where it could not have been
    missed, and having a motorist apparently look right at them, then pull
    right out in front of them anyway.

    It's almost impossible to get a person to consider they possess the
    identical human limitations, or that it has happened to them, they
    just didn't notice. Motorists don't know what-all they've missed
    because they can't; they missed it!

    Physical skills are imperative, but mental skills more so, which is
    why professional sports coaches tend to be bald, from ripping their
    hair out at funda-mental mistake after mistake after mistake one would
    think professionals would rarely commit.

    Virtually everyone grossly overestimates their motoring skills because
    they never consider themselves capable of making a mistake, or
    rationalize that their mistake is a rare occurrence, or that since a
    crash was avoided it wasn't that serious of a mistake... ad infinitum.

    The most highly "skilled" motorists remain filled with caution and
    doubt, and few things are more rarely exhibited on our roadways.
    gpsman, Feb 23, 2013
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