Motorcycle Rider Skills Test

Safe riding requires knowledge and skill. To earn your endorsement, you must pass both a knowledge test and on-cycle skills test. These tests cover information, practices, and ideas from the Michigan Motorcycle Operator Manual. For example, you will be tested for your ability to:

  • Keep yourself and your motorcycle in safe condition
  • Accelerate, brake, and turn safely
  • Help others see you and to help you see and communicate with them
  • Adjust speed and position to changes in traffic and riding conditions
  • Stop and turn quickly to cope with problems while riding.

To take the rider skills test, you must have a legally equipped and registered motorcycle. If you ride the motorcycle to the test, you must have a valid motorcycle temporary instruction permit and be under the constant visual supervision of a licensed motorcycle operator at least age 18. A U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approved helmet is required to be worn during the test.

Passing the Rider Skills Test

The motorcycle operator skills test authorized by the Secretary of State has exercises to test your ability to handle a motorcycle. You do not drive on the road. The 3-wheel rider skills test is different than the 2-wheel rider skills test. The exercises may include:

  • Engine stall: This is scored during the entire test. Points are assessed each time you stall the engine during any exercise.
  • Cone weave: You must weave through a series of cones.
  • Right turn from a stop: You take off from a stop making an immediate right turn.
  • U-turn: You must make a left U-turn in a marked area. 
  • Quick stop: You accelerate along a straight path. At the end of the path, which is marked by cones, you must stop your motorcycle as quickly and safely as possible.
  • Obstacle swerve: You accelerate along a straight path. At the end of the path which is marked by cones, you must swerve to avoid an obstacle line and then swerve again to avoid the sideline.

In Michigan, all driving skills tests are offered through a statewide network of public and private third party testing organizations approved by the Secretary of State. The Michigan Department of State is committed to assuring that tests are given only by qualified persons trained to administer the tests in a fair, honest, and reliable manner.