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aus.motorcycles FAQ, part 1 of 3 [monthly post]

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 )
[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Property taxes ]
Archive-name: motorcycles/aus-faq/part1
URL: http://www.zip.com.au/~cs/moto/aus.moto/FAQ/
Maintainer: Cameron Simpson <cs@zip.com.au>
Posting-frequency: monthly

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       Overview
       ~~~~~~~~
       The Aus.Motorcycles FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) comes in three parts.
       Part One contains introductory material for learners or new bike buyers.
       Part Two contains specific information about Australian touring, maintenaince,
       bike hire, gear, etc...
       Part Three covers the safety and everything else of clothing & gear.

       1.  1.1 Welcome to Aus.Motorcycles

       2.

       Welcome	to Aus.Motorcycles Aus.Motorcycles (a.m) is a forum
       for  discussion	(haha)	of   Australian	  motorcycles	and
       motorcycling.  This  FAQ was put together by lots of regular
       posters to a.m not only to answer the  FAQs  but	 also  give
       people  an  idea	 of  how  to begin _and_ enjoy motorcycling
       around the entire country. It is hopefully a starting  point
       for beginners and a useful reference to ol' timers :-)

       Need  some  info	 you can't find in here?... Let the posting
       begin!
       3.  1.2 What kind of bike should I buy?

       4.

       What kind of bike should I buy?	Compiled by Zebee Johnstone
       <zebee@zip.com.au>.

       Bikes come in 4 main types:
       cruiser (harley clone)
	   good for small people - low seat height
	   good commuter - upright riding position
	   OK for luggage, although heavy loads can be awkward, too
	   far back and high up.
	   OK for light pillions, but again, too far back and  high
	   up.
       sports

	   Ok  for  most  folks,  may  be  too	high seat for small
	   people, too cramped for tall ones.
	   Ok to poor commuter.	 often	too  peaky,  hard  in  slow
	   traffic and riding postion too radical for town work.
	   Usually  poor  for  pillions,  seat	too small, pegs too
	   high, weight too high up.
	   Usually poor for luggage, no attachment points
	   Good for freeway riding.
	   Good for recreational riding (ie fanging)
       standard
	   Good commuter/tourer but can be slow to accelerate
	   often overweight/underpowered.
	   Good for luggage
	   Good for pillions
	   OK for freeway
	   Poor for sporty riding, too slow.
	   Few made now - usually mid-80s bikes.
       dirt or road/trail
	   Amended by Ian Mason <ianmason@one.net.au>.
	   Good for tall  people,  short  people  can't	 touch	the
	   ground;  good  commuter  -  upright	position  plus good
	   accelleration; poor on freeways, and	 can  be  not  fast
	   enough
	   OK for luggage
	   Ok  for  pillions,  although can compress the suspension
	   too much; brakes and lights may not be up to	 road  bike
	   standard; knobby tyres ok but suboptimal on bitumen, and
	   they wear fast.
	   High centre of gravity, thus less stable at	speed  than
	   road bikes.
       Which  you choose depends on your type of riding.  Plus, not
       all bikes are the same - a ZZR250 is a sports bike,  but	 is
       more  friendly  to pillions and luggage than an RGV250 would
       be.

       Go to all the dealers you can, and sit on  the  bikes.	See
       what fits you and which ones you like.

       You need to ask yourself these questions:

	   Kind of riding.
	    Lots  of  city  riding?   traffic  jams  etc?   Lots of
	    freeway riding?  Want to spend time playing in  curving
	    roads?   Are  there	 bush  trails  near  you?   Are you
	    unusually tall or short?  How heavy are you?

	   Pillions and luggage
	    Will you need to carry a lot of gear?  shopping?   lots
	    of	books?	 More  than  you  can  comfortably get in a
	    backpack?  How about another  person?   Is	this  other
	    person tall?  Heavy?

	   maintenance
	    Do	you  want to work on it yourself?  How much can you

	    afford to spend on	servicing?   Some  bikes  are  much
	    easier  to	work on than others - a single cyl 4 stroke
	    cruiser like an SR250 is a doddle.	A 4cyl sports  bike
	    like a GS250FW is much harder.

	   money and future plans
	    How	 long will you be keeping it?  Do you plan to buy a
	    250 to learn on, and upgrade as soon as  you  get  your
	    unrestricted license?

	    Many  riders  will drop the bike in the first year.	 Do
	    you want to buy an expensive faired bike now,  or  wait
	    till your skill improves?

	    Do	 you   want  insurance?	  Comprehensive?  Have	you
	    factored in your riding gear?  Helmet?  Boots?  Gloves?
	    Jacket? Wet weather gear?
       Once you have sorted out your needs, you can then peruse the
       250cc list for likely candidates, and cross check with  your
       local  paper for likely price and availability.	The monthly
       bike trading magazine Just Bikes is also a good resource for
       pricing and model identification.

       You should also try and locate the beginner's magazines that
       Two Wheels puts out from time to time.	They  usually  have
       good advice on how to buy a second hand bike, models, riding
       gear etc.
       5.  1.3 Which bike? - Bikes for Learners.

       6.

       Which bike? - Bikes for Learners.  compiled by Miles Gillham
       <m.gillham@ieee.org>.
       Maintained      on      the     web     by     John     Lamp
       <John.Lamp@deakin.edu.au>.

       The version recited here is 3.0j.  I update it when  someone
       prods me.
       The live version is on the web at:
	 Bikes For Learners
	 http://www.250ccbikes.com/

       7.  1.4 Buying a Bike

       8.

       Buying a Bike [ Overview | Finding Bikes To Buy | Evaluating
       a Bike | More Resources and Links ]

       8.1  Overview

       8.2

       Having thought about what kind of bike you  might  want	and
       checked out the leaner bike list it's time to go hunting.

       Suggestion:  bring  an  experienced  friend if you have one.
       They may point out things you miss, and can also	 test  ride
       bikes for you.

       8.3  Finding Bikes To Buy

       8.4

       For  just  looking  at bikes the easiest thing is to visit a
       dealer.	You can eyeball many bikes in  a  short	 time,	and
       thus  know  what you're looking at when you see it described
       later.  So do this first, with no intention to buy.  Take  a
       bit  of	notice of prices with respect to age and kilometers
       travelled.

       Then do a look in your paper.   Your  local  and	 main  city
       papers	will   have  for  sale	sections.   Also,  in  most
       newsagents you can find copies of "
	 The Trading Post
	 http://www.tradingpost.com.au/
	 " and "Just Bikes".  The Trading  Post	 also  has  a  well
	 implemented web site.

	 Note that with a dealer purchase:

	     dealer prices tend to be a bit higher

	     in NSW at least, a bike less than two years old comes
	      with 3 months warrantee if you buy from a dealer

	     new bikes come with their factory warrantee (eg 1	 or
	      2	 years)	 and  are of course much more expensive; on
	      the  other  hand	several	 dealers   offer   "learner
	      packages" which do you a (new) bike and some gear and
	      perhaps insurance and finance

       8.5  Evaluating a Bike

       8.6

       Consider the kilometers the bike has  travelled.	  Look	for

       oil  leaks,  especially	in  the	 lower	gaskets	 (the joins
       between the pieces of the engine and gear cases).  Look	for
       signs  of  crash	 damage	 or racing use (eg oil caps and the
       like with small holes drilled in them  to  accomodate  "race
       wire"  used  to	ensure	the bikes stay done up and with the
       bike).  In a learner bike race use is uncommon.

       If you're getting serious about a bike, make sure  a  friend
       test  rides  it.	  Try to check you're buyng from the bike's
       real owner: do the rego papers match the address you're	at,
       does  the  seller's  licence  match  the	 owner	on the rego
       papers, do the rego papers match the  bike  (plate,  chassis
       and frame numbers)?

       Before  you  buy	 a  bike,  do  a  REVS	check.	This is the
       Register of Encumbered Vehicles.	 It lists bikes with  money
       owning  on  them; such vehicles can be repossessed.  You can
       do a REVS check online here:
	 Register of Encumbered Vehicles
	 http://www.revs.nsw.gov.au/

       8.7  More Resources and Links

       8.8

       See also:
	 Used Motorcycle Evaluation Guide
	 http://www.clarity.net/~adam/buying-bike.html
	   Buying Vehicles Privately
	   http://www.fairtrading.wa.gov.au/consumers/motor_vehicles/buying_privately.shtml
       9.  1.5 Licencing: What rules and regulations do I have to
       follow in my state?

       10.

       Licencing: What rules and regulations do I have to follow in
       my  state?   [  Queensland  |  South  Australia	|   Western
       Australia | Australian Capital Territory | New South Wales |
       Tasmania | Northern Territory | Victoria ]

       10.1  Queensland

       10.2

       Compiled by Red & Chris Martin.
       [ Learners | Provisional | Open Learners | Open ]

       LEARNERS PERMIT

       Requirements	 To obtain, must  answer  a  selection	of  questions  from  the
			 Queensland  drivers guide.  (Currently holding a car licence is
			 not taken into account)
			 Pass an eyesight test.
			 Be over 17 years of age.
       Use Conditions	 During this period, you must be accompanied  at  all  times  by
			 either (1) A rider on another bike with at least 1 years riding
			 xp. or (2) A pillion with at least 2 years riding xp.
       CC Limit		 250cc limit (no problems with 2 strokes .... yet.)
       Duration		 Must keep permit for six months (minimum), valid for 12 months.
       BAC		 0.0 BAC
       Pillions		 No pillion passengers other than a rider with at least 2  years
			 riding xp.
       Speed Restrict	 No additional.
       Plates		 No 'L' or 'P' plates required.
       Points		 you get 4 points

       PROVISIONAL LICENCE

       Requirements	     Road  test	 with transport department official (approx
			     half an hour) to qualify for licence.
       Use Conditions	     Nil.
       CC Limit		     250cc
       Duration		     1 year minimum duration.
       BAC		     0.0
       Pillions		     None. (Not even those with 2 years riding experience).
       Speed Restrict	     No additional.
       Plates		     None required.
       Points		     4
       A full, non-provisional licence will be granted at  the	end
       of  a  year of holding a Provisional licence. No extra tests
       required.

       OPEN LEARNERS

       Requirements	Must have held a Provisional licence for at least 1 year.
       Use Conditions	Must be followed around by a person with at least 1 years
			experience  on	a  bike	 with  capacity >250cc OR 2 years
			experience if pillion.	(Note that this is  only  if  you
			are on your >250cc bike)
       CC Limit		Nil.
       Duration		Must  hold learners permit for 6 months, Maximum Duration
			12 months.
       BAC		??
       Pillions		Only those with	 greater  or  equal  to	 2  years  riding
			experience on a large bike.
       Speed Restrict	No additional.
       Plates		Nil.
       Points		????

       OPEN LICENCE

       Requirements	Bike Test required (Slalom, Figure 8 etc.)

       Use Conditions	Nil.
       CC Limit		Nil.
       Duration		Nil.
       BAC		0.05
       Pillions		Yes.
       Speed Restrict	No additional.
       Plates		Nil.
       Points		Nil.

       10.3  South Australia

       10.4

       Compiled		    by		  Cameron	     Miller
       <cameron@spri.levels.unisa.edu.au>.
       [ Learners | Restricted | Open ]

       LEARNERS PERMIT

       Requirements	 Pass written test on road rules (only if you don't  already
			 have a car licence.)
			 Pass 2x4 hour training sessions on Motorcycle riding (rider
			 safety course.)
       Use Conditions	 Nil. May ride completely unaccompanied, at any time of day.
       CC Limit		 250 cc.
       Duration		 4 - 6 months.
       BAC		 0.0
       Pillions		 No, unless they hold an unrestricted licence.
       Speed Restrict	 ???
       Plates		 L plate attached to rear of bike.
       Points		 4?

       RESTRICTED LICENCE

       Requirements	    Have to pass a 4 hour rider safe course/test.
       Use Conditions	    No conditions imposed.
       CC Limit		    250 cc.
       Duration		    1 Year.
       BAC		    0.0 if on P plates, 0.05 otherwise.
       Pillions		    Ok.
       Speed Restrict	    No Additional.
       Plates		    P Plates required if you do not already have a full car licence.
       Points		    4 for P plated, 12 otherwise.

       OPEN LICENCE

       Requirements	Must hold a restricted licence for the period of one year.
       Use Conditions	Nil.
       CC Limit		Nil.
       Duration		N/A.
       BAC		0.05
       Pillions		Ok.
       Speed Restrict	No additional.

       Plates		Nil.
       Points		12

       10.5  Western Australia

       10.6

       Compiled by Matthew Carter <mjcarter@tartarus.uwa.edu.au>  &
       Chris Martin.
       [ Learners | Restricted Provisional | Provisional | Open ]

       LEARNERS PERMIT

       Requirements	 Pass  30  Question  multiple choice test
			 unless the holder of a car  licence,  in
			 which case it is a 10-question test.
       Use Conditions	 You  may only ride when accompanied by a
			 licenced rider with at least  two  years
			 experience  -	either following, or as a
			 pillion.
       CC Limit		 250cc.
       Duration		 No Minimum duration. Valid for one year.
       BAC		 ???
       Pillions		 ???
       Speed Restrict	 72 Km/h maximum.
       Plates		 ???
       Points		 ???

       RESTRICTED
       PROVISIONAL

       Requirements	For  those  who	 have  not  held  a  car/other
			vehicle licence	 for  more  than  2  years,  A
			simple riding test needs to be completed.
       Use Conditions	No need for experienced rider accompanyment???
       CC Limit		250cc.
       Duration		No Minimum duration. Valid for one year.
       BAC		???
       Pillions		???
       Speed Restrict	72 Km/h maximum.
       Plates		???
       Points		???

       PROVISIONAL  LICENCE
       (L class)

       Requirements	      If  you  have   held   a
			      licence of some form for
			      over 2 years,  a	simple
			      driving  test  will gain
			      you a class 'L' licence.
       Use Conditions	      Nil???
       CC Limit		      250cc.

       Duration		      1 year minimum duration.
       BAC		      0.05
       Pillions		      Ok.
       Speed Restrict	      No Additional.
       Plates		      ???
       Points		      12

       OPEN    LICENCE	 (K
       class)

       Requirements	      Riding  test  for	 large
			      capacity bikes.
			      Must    have    held   a
			      Provisional licence  for
			      at least 1 year.
       Use Conditions	      Nil.
       CC Limit		      250cc.
       Duration		      1 year minimum duration.
       BAC		      0.05
       Pillions		      Ok.
       Speed Restrict	      No Additional.
       Plates		      ???
       Points		      12

       10.7  Australian Capital Territory

       10.8

       Compiled	  by  Neal  Gowen  <gowen@rsbs.anu.edu.au>  &  Dean
       Kaufman.
       [ Learners Licence | Provisional Licence ]

       LEARNERS LICENCE

       Requirements	  Minimum Age - 16yrs 9 months
			  Current ACT car L, P or full licence to book
			  Must pass 10 hours  competency-based	course	with  Stay
			  Upright  Motorcycle  Techniques pre-learner course. Cost
			  $150
			  Book course through Stay Upright on (02) 61423963.
       Use Conditions	  Nil
       CC Limit		  Nil (but changes to law expected in late 1998)
       Duration		  maximum 15 months, minimum 3 months before P assessment,
       BAC		  0.02
       Pillions		  None.
       Speed Restrict	  Normal posted limits apply
       Plates		  L Plates required.
       Points		  4 or more means 3 month suspension

       PROVISIONAL LICENCE

       Requirements	     Must have current ACT Learners motorcycle licence
			     Must pass Alternate MOST practical skills	assessment
			     with  a  no  more	than  8	 points	 lost.	Involves 7
			     exercises including not stalling engine,  sharp  left
			     turn,  normal  stop  in  a box, offset cone weave, U-
			     turn, quick stop in a straight line, swerve (obstacle
			     avoidance).  No on-road test.
			     Book through Stay Upright on (02) 61423963.  Cost $25
       Use Conditions	     Nil
       CC Limit		     Nil (but changes to law expected in late 1998)
       Duration		     minimum 12 months depending on existing licence class
       BAC		     0.02
       Pillions		     None for first year.
       Speed Restrict	     No additional
       Plates		     'P' Plates required.
       Points		     4 or more means 3 month suspension

       10.9  New South Wales

       10.10

       Compiled by Chris Martin,  Colin	 Panisset  <cmp@zip.com.au>
       and Thomas Cohen <thos@cia.com.au>.
       See also the
	 RTA
	 http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/
	 including
	   the RTA's licence info
	   http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/frames/licensing/a_f.htm?/frames/licensing/a&/licensing/a_c.htmLICENSING&0
	   , although they seem to have recently undergone a revamp
	   and	are  now  a  miracle  of  bad  organisation painful
	   navigation, and ill-designed frames and html.

	   [ Learners Permit | Provisional Licence | Open Licence ]

	   The	RTA  Rider  Training  Unit can be contacted on (02)
	   9218-6641 or free on 1 800 45-1389,	or  via	 any  motor
	   registry.   PDF (ugh!) of various pamphlets and booklets
	   may be fetched from
	     RTA Licence Educational Material
	     http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/licensing/a31_c.htm

	     LEARNERS PERMIT

	     Minimum age       16 years and 9 months
	     Requirements      Must pass a two day riding course (3.5 hrs per day) plus a
			       Computer-based knowledge test (Standard Learners + a bike-
			       specific section).
			       * Note: Course is optional if you live  in  an  area  that
			       does  not  contain a testing station; you will be requires
			       to pass a riding skill test  (bizarre,  eh?)   [	 I  don't
			       belive there are any such exempt areas any more. ]

	     Use Conditions    not drive in Centennial Park, Sydney
			       not teach other learners
	     CC Limit	       Less than 260cc
			       Bike  must  have	 a  power to wieght ratio of no more than
			       150kw/tonne (figure based on an 'average' rider	of  75kg)
			       Thus most 2 strokes are out. :( eg: RGV250, TZR250, KR1-S,
			       NSR250.
	     Duration	       Must hold licence for a minimum of 3  months,  licence  is
			       valid for 15 months.
			       Learners under 25 must hold the licence for a minimum of 6
			       months.
	     BAC	       0.02
	     Pillions	       Only riders with at least 2 years full licence experience.
	     Towing	       not tow trailer or another vehicle
	     Speed Restrict    80 Km/H
	     Plates	       Must display an 'L' plate at the rear
	     Points	       0 (you may not accumulate any demerit points)

	     PROVISIONAL LICENCE

	     Requirements	   Must pass a	one  day  driving
				   course (Duration is the entire
				   day).
				   Note: Course	 is  optional  if
				   you	live in an area that does
				   not contain a testing station.
				   [ I don't belive there are any
				   such exempt areas any more. ]
	     Minimum age	   17 years
	     Use Conditions	   Not teach learners.
	     CC Limit		   As for Learners.
	     Duration		   Normally,   12   months.   For
				   riders over 30 who hold a full
				   car license, the duration is 3
				   months.
	     BAC		   0.02
	     Pillions		   None.
	     Speed Restrict	   Speed is restricted to 80/km/h
	     Plates		   'P' plate at the rear
	     Points		   4 licence points.

	     OPEN LICENCE

	     Requirements     If you are over 30 years of age, and are eligable
			      for a you have passed the provisional test.
	     Use Conditions
	     CC Limit
	     Duration	      Indefinite.
	     BAC	      0.05
	     Pillions	      Ok (once you've had an open licence for 2 years?)
	     Speed Restrict
	     Plates
	     Points	      12. Demerit points have a three year lifespan.

       10.11  Tasmania

       10.12

       Compiled by John Lamp <John.Lamp@utas.edu.au>.
       [ Learners | Provisional ]

       LEARNERS

       Requirements	Be 16 years  of	 age
			or older
			Satisfactorily
			complete a  Level  1
			motorcycle     rider
			training course	 (if
			required)
			A    candidate	 may
			undertake  Level   1
			training       three
			months	 prior	  to
			attaining  16  years
			of age
			Pass a written	test
			on Traffic Law.
       Use Conditions	(Defunct!   Repealed
			November 1998)
			Not  between  sunset
			and	     sunrise
			(exemption  may	  be
			issued).

       CC Limit		250cc
       Duration		1 year
       BAC		0.0%
       Pillions		No,    unless	 the
			pillion has  held  a
			motorcycle   license
			for three years	 and
			is being carried for
			the   purposes	  of
			instruction.
       Speed Restrict	80 kph
       Plates		L plate required.
       Points		???

       PROVISIONAL

       Requirements	Satisfactorily	 complete   a	Level	2
			motorcycle  rider  training  course   (if
			required).
			Pass an oral law/regulation test.
			Pass a driving test.
			Pass an eyesight test.
			Be  at least 17 years of age - although a
			candidate may undertake Level 2	 training
			three  months  prior  to  and  undergo	a
			driving test one month prior to attaining
			that age.
       Use Conditions
       CC Limit		250cc
       Duration		3 years
       BAC		0.0%
       Pillions		No
       Speed Restrict	80kph
       Plates		P plates required for the first 12 months
       Points		3
       If you are already the holder of a full license, cc limit of
       250cc, and no pillion for first 12 months.

       10.13  Northern Territory

       10.14

       Contributed by Radley Jones <rdj@senet.com.au>.
       [ Learners | Provisional | Open ]

       See also:
	 Nothern Territory Driver Licencing
	 http://www.nt.gov.au/dtw/aboutus/branches/transport/roadtransport/licensing.shtml
	 and the section on
	   Motorcyclist Education, Training and Licensing (METAL)
	   http://www.nt.gov.au/dtw/aboutus/branches/transport/roadtransport/licensing.shtml#METAL

	   LEARNERS	 PERMIT
	   [Class R(e)]

	   Requirements		  Two  methods:	 either pass a multiple choice test or
				  pass the Basic M.E.T.A.L. Course.
				  M.E.T.A.L.   stands  for   Motorcyclist   Education,
				  Training And Licensing and is part of the Department
				  of Transport and Works.
				  I thoroughly recommend doing the courses, all 3  are
				  heaps of fun.
	   Use Conditions	  Nil
	   CC Limit		  260cc
	   Duration		  Valid for 12 months. Minimum?
	   BAC			  0.00%
	   Pillions		  None.
	   Speed Restrict	  80kph.
	   Plates		  L Plate at rear.

	   Points		  There is no points system in the Northern Territory.

	   PROVISIONAL	 PERMIT
	   [Class R(e)]

	   Requirements		  Two methods: either pass a physical road test, or pass
				  the Intermediate M.E.T.A.L. Course.
				  Must have held a Learners Permit prior.
	   Use Conditions	  Nil
	   CC Limit		  260cc
	   Duration		  12 months.  Open class automatically given after this.
				  If  you  do  the  M.E.T.A.L.	 course	 and  you   show
				  excellent  skills,  you  may	be  eligible  to upgrade
				  earlier.
	   BAC			  0.00%
	   Pillions		  None.
	   Speed Restrict	  80kph.
	   Plates		  P Plate at rear if you haven't got a full car licence.
	   Points		  There is no points system in the Northern Territory.

	   OPEN	 PERMIT	 [Class
	   R]

	   Requirements		  Two  methods:	 either	 pass  the Advanced M.E.T.A.L.
				  Course (if elegible this way), or wait 12 months  on
				  your	R(e)  Class  license  and  it is automatically
				  given.
				  Note:-  you	can   do   the	 Advanced   M.E.T.A.L.
				  (Motorcyclist	 Education,  Training  and  Licensing)
				  Course to improve your skills,  even	if  you	 don't
				  want to upgrade your license.
	   Use Conditions	  Nil
	   CC Limit		  Nil
	   Duration		  Indefinite.
	   BAC			  0.05%
	   Pillions		  Yes.
	   Speed Restrict	  None. Obviously the posted limit applies.  (But much
				  outside towns is not posted!)	 Alright!

	   Plates		  Nil.
	   Points		  There is no points system in the Northern Territory.
	   Notes		  On 06jul2001, Breet lucian@arafura.net.au remarked:
				    If you do the Advanced M.E.T.A.L. Course  and  get
				    your   OPEN	  PERMIT  [Class  R]  early,  you  are
				    restricted to 100km and no pillion	for  the  next
				    year.

       10.15  Victoria

       10.16

       Compiled	    by	   Jason    Brand    <brand@mame.mu.oz.au>.
       Clarifications from Tim	Bell  <bhat@cs.mu.oz.au>.   Further
       clarification	 from	  "Just	    in	   the	   machine"

       <aiteh@cs.rmit.edu.au>.
       [ Learner | Restricted | Probationary | Full ]

       "Just in the machine" <aiteh@cs.rmit.edu.au> remarks that in
       Victoria the path to licencehood varies.

       Basically,  there are 2 types of licences: probabtionary (P)
       and  full.   For	 a  motorcycle,	 there	 are   2   classes:
       restricted(R) and motorcycle.  Any person who gets a licence
       for the first time (car or bike), will be put on 3 years	 of
       probationary.   Any  person who gets a bike licence, will be
       put on 1 year of restricted.

       Accordingly, I will list the classes below.  Note that  your
       path will be learner, then one of:

	   If	you  have  not	held a car licence: 3 years P, then
	    full.  BAC of 0.00% for all three years.  In the  first
	    year  you  have  a	type  R	 licence (no pillion, 260cc
	    limit).

	   If you've held a car P licence for	a  year	 you  do  2
	    years  P,  then full, same restrictions on the first 12
	    months as above.

	   If you've held a full car licence for 3 years  you	get
	    an	R-type full licence (<260cc, no pillion, 0.05% BAC,
	    no P plate).

	   Like NSW, there's a rumour that  sufficiently  "mature"
	    drivers  (over 30? over 5 years full car licence? hmm?)
	    go straight to a full bike licence from learners.

       LEARNERS PERMIT

       Requirements	    17yrs 9mths
			    written  and  riding
			    test      (RTA    or
			    private course)
       cc limit		    260cc
       Duration		    3mths - 1yr
       BAC		    0.00
       Pillion		    No
       Speed restrictions   No additional
       Plates		    Yellow "L" plate(s)?
			    17yrs 9mths
			    Written  and  riding
			    test     (RTA     or
			    private course)
       cc limit		    260cc
       Duration		    3mths - 1yr
       BAC		    0.00
       Pillion		    No

       Speed restrictions   No additional
       Plates		    Yellow "L" plate(s)?

       RESTRICTED
       QUALIFICATION

       Requirements    Applies to either the Probationary or Full licences as as suits.
       cc limit	       260cc during the first year.
       BAC	       0.05%
       Pillion	       None.

       PROBATIONARY LICENCE

       Requirements	      Hold  Learners permit for at
			      least 3 months
			      Written  and   riding   test
			      (RTA or private course).
       cc limit		      260cc during the first year.
       Duration		      3	  yrs	if   full  drivers
			      license not held.
			      1 yr if full drivers license
			      held.
       BAC		      0.00%
       Pillion		      Not during the first year.
       Speed restrictions     No additional
       Plates		      Red "P" plate(s)

       FULL LICENCE

       Requirements	    Hold Probationary License for duration (see above)
       cc limit		    None
       Duration		    Indefinite
       BAC		    0.05%
       Pillion		    Yes
       Speed restrictions   No additional
       11.  1.6 What about lanesplitting?

       12.

       What about lanesplitting?
       12.1  Lanesplitting Legalities

       12.2

       (Note  that  overtaking	on the right is legal in all states
       with indicator).

       Vic   legal     cars must be stationary.
       WA    legal     cars must be stationary,
		       you   must  indicate  to
		       change  lanes  and   you
		       must  not  cross a solid
		       white line.

       NSW   illegal
       ACT   illegal
       Qld   illegal
       SA    illegal
       NT    illegal

       12.3  Lanesplitting Sensibilities

       12.4

       The  aus.motorcycles  community	is  split  about  50/50	 on
       whether	it  is	a  good	 thing or not. Don't bother arguing
       about it, there are good cases for and  against	and  you'll
       get  nowhere. If you lanesplit, try and keep these things in
       mind:

	   your lack of buffer zones (space around you) means MUCH
	    less reaction time

	   cars run red lights (YES REALLY!) so look both ways

	   drivers are frightened & annoyed by hoons

	   look  in  rear  view  mirrors  for	other  bikes before
	    spliting lanes and watch for bikes ahead of you stopped
	    ready   to	 pull  into  the  split	 lane  (from  DS  -
	    slankers@access1.net)

       Speaking for myself, my criteria for splitting are usually:

	   Not	 if  the  traffic  is  moving  (sometimes  if  it's
	    crawling).

	   Not	 if  I'd  have to put my feet down during the split
	    anywhere.

	   Not if I can't be sure  of	reaching  the  front  or  a
	    visible  bike-sized	 gap  before  the traffic starts to
	    move again.
       Some drivers will notice you coming and shift aside  to	let
       you  pass.  I try always to wave or nod (or say "thanks!" if
       their window's open) to acknowledge this courtesy.  " " " "

       " "
       " " " " " "
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       " " "

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