If you don’t already have your motorcycle license or endorsement and your state requires it to ride, you may want to know if you can ride a scooter for the skills test. After all, It sounds like not having to deal with the clutch of a motorcycle would be easier?
Motor scooters can be used to acquire a motorcycle endorsement or license.
Each state varies as to what types of scooters require any special licensing requirements, so you will definitely want to confirm your specific state’s requirements. That said, you can ride a scooter for your motorcycle skills requirements.
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What’s the Catch?
Many states allow or require you to take a riding course as part of their process to get legal on your scooter, but finding a course provider that has a scooter or two in their fleet can be difficult.
I am a HUGE fan of the Basic Rider Course from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. I learned so much, and it was a big help in feeling more comfortable learning to ride. I encourage you to check their site out to see the curriculum they will walk you through. It truly is a good foundation.
However, I was grateful to not need to ride a motorcycle for my skills testing. I had never ridden, and the clutch idea terrified me (even though I can drive a standard vehicle!) I genuinely thought riding a scooter would be easier.
That said, the biggest challenge may be to find a course that has scooters to use! I am in the Houston, Texas area which is the 4th largest city in the country. I expected this to be a no-brainer, but I could only find 1 facility in the region with scooters available. It required me to drive 45 minutes with no traffic. It’s Houston, though, so there IS traffic.
I don’t let things like drive time stop me, so I signed up. I had to get up at 4 am to make sure I was on time. If you’re late, you don’t achieve the hours requirement, so you are finished. Without the permit for the license endorsement!
Takeaway: Don’t be late!
If courses around you do not have scooters, you have 2 options.
- Bring your own scooter.
- Take the course on a motorcycle.
I personally did not have a scooter available to me nor would a dealer let me ride one (not that I wanted to) without my motorcycle endorsement. They did let my husband without even checking because he was at least experienced (he did have the endorsement anyhow).
So if you are unable to bring your own scooter to class, just take the course on the motorcycle. I was intimidated by that thought because why on Earth would I want to add complexity to this unknown experience?!
Hindsight tells me, it isn’t a big deal. I’ve since driven a motorcycle, and once you get the hang of it, it is no different than learning to use the brakes or blinker.
The most difficult parts of the course are more about the timing of when to add gas, when and how to brake for the situation, and those fun tight turns.
Most of what you learn is in the base gear anyhow, so don’t let the fear of a clutch scare you!
Then you’re just moving into braking as being the important thing. The courses are designed in layers, so you will get comfy doing 1 thing before the class moves on.
If you need to take a skills course or test in order to get your license, you may use a scooter. If a scooter is unavailable, don’t let this stop you!