WhyBike Motorcycle Blog

Mailbag: Motorcycle License Requirements

By James - 2/20/2007

I recieved an email from Chris . . .

I had a question about a motorcycle license.

Can you get one without a normal drivers license, like a permit or something??

Thank you.

Here in California you do not need a driver’s license to get a motorcycle license. All you need is:

  1. Fill out the DMV’s motorcycle license form (DL 44) and pay $26 (at the time of this writing)
  2. Pass the written test, you get three chances
  3. Pass the skills test or pass a CHP approved motorcycle rider training course

There are some caveats;

  • If you do not have a Class C (for automobiles) driver’s license, you will need to take the written automobile test and road test through the DMV
  • If you are under 21, the CHP approved motorcycle rider training course is mandatory
  • If you are over 21, the CHP approved motorcycle rider training course is optional, and completion will waive the skills test
  • If you are between 15 1/2 and 16 years old you can only get your motorcycle permit
  • If you are over 16 and do not take the skills or road test you can get a permit

With the permit you are not allowed to ride

  • with a passenger
  • at night
  • on the freeway

Most states are the same way and some have a few more or less hoops to jump through. I hope this helps and let us know how you are doing. See you on the road!


The GomiCycle Electric Motorcycle

By James -

Jesper at HelmetHair found a terrific video on how to convert your motorcycle from gasoline powered to electric. They convert a Rebel into an electric motorcycle and show the whole process. The details were left out but if you are thinking of doing one of these conversions yourself you will definitely need to read up on your electrical physics.

The Rebel is a common bike used for conversions. It has a low pricetag and is lightweight, although the downside is that it is hard to find a Rebel engine that is in bad shape. Those things run forever. The other common conversion is the Ninja 600. There are blueprints for converting the Kawi bike that map out everything you need to do.

Alas, the batteries are what are holding me back from starting my project. Range and speed are dependent on eachother and for my commute, it is stretching the limits. For a cool $20K I can get some Lithium Ion batteries that will last 32 miles at 55 mph, but that is out of my price range right now.

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