When it comes to riding a motorcycle, there are many myths and misconceptions about what is needed in order to be 'road' legal. Let's debunk those myths and take you step by step on what is actually needed from start to your first ride.
The first thing that you will need to do is go into your local DriveTest Centre, where you will be able to do a written exam and get your M1 motorcycle license. This can be done in conjunction with your G1 license, which is awfully convenient. The Class M1 license is the first of two graduated licensing learning levels prior to getting a full Class M license. By law, when you have a M1 license, you must:
-Maintain a zero-blood-alcohol level.
-Ride only during daylight hours (1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset).
-Wear an approved helmet.
-Not drive on roads with speed limits over 80 km/hour — except highways 11, 17, 61, 69, 71, 101, 102, 144, and 655.
-Always drive alone — you may not carry passengers.
Within sixty days after receiving your M1 license, you must now go and get your M2. It is highly recommended that you book a riding course with one of the riding schools found in the link below.
You do not need your own motorcycle in order to sign up, as the schools will lend you one for you to ride while partaking in the course.
With a Class M2 license, you must maintain a zero blood-alcohol level and wear a helmet, but you can now drive at night and on any road. If you complete a government-approved motorcycle safety course, you can take your Class M road test after approximately 18 months (550 days). If you do not finish one of these courses, you must practice with your M2 for at least 22 months. Once you have completed and passed the M2, you are now ready to purchase your first motorcycle.
What motorcycle to purchase is a conversation for another day… however this is what you must do in order to get the right stuff done when you do end up buying it.
Find your dream motorcycle, and negotiate the cost down as much as you can - remember, most people want to get rid of their beginner bikes in order to upgrade. Once you have negotiated a perfect price, make sure the seller gives you a 'Used Vehicle Package', and the first page will have room for bill of sale. This bill of sale will be required when you go and switch the ownership over to your name. This bill of sale will also determine how much tax you pay on your motorcycle. Ensure that you only take the vehicle portion of the ownership, in order to transfer names. Leave the plate portion with the seller.
After all of that has been done, now comes the fun part - finding insurance for your motorcycle before doing a transfer. If you do not have insurance for it, you will not be allowed to get a temporary sticker for your plate, and your bike will be labelled as 'unfit'. The temporary sticker will be needed in order to get the safety done. Once the safety has been completed (bikes do not need an e-test), you will bring it to Service Ontario to get your full sticker. Proof of insurance is required any time you go and do any paperwork at Service Ontario.
When looking for insurance, call as many companies as you possibly can; quotes vary immensely from company to company as there is no legislation on how they label their bikes. Some do it merely by CCs, others by motorcycle names and class, while with certain companies it is all a big mystery.
When everything is completed and you have insurance, you will now be ready to ride your bike! Remember to always follow the rules of the road and ride safely!
Did I miss anything? Would you do it differently? Let us know!