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Motorcycle Skills Test: Part 2 / “Turn from a Stop & U-Turn”

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(2012) Part 2 of a 5-part series featuring Washington State’s Motorcycle Skills Test. This video examines the Turn from a Stop (also called, the “Sharp Turn”) and the U-turn. Read set-up info & instructions below.


 A sharp right turn and traffic lane marked by painted lines/cones.
 Starting “T” (6′ centered in front of turn).
 6′ wide traffic lane (10′ outer lane lines; 4′ inner lane lines).

 Starting from the center of the “Start T”.
 When signaled, make a right turn within the boundary lines without crossing a line or putting a foot down.


 A u-turn area and a stop box marked by painted lines/cones.
 20′ wide area for cycles less than 600cc.
 24′ wide area for cycles 600cc and larger.

 After the Turn From A Stop, diagonally cross to the opposite side of the box and make a left u-turn within the boundary lines.
[for less than 600cc, stay within the 20′ area]
[for 600cc or larger, stay within the 24′ area]
 Stop with your front tire inside the stop box.
 When signaled, turn right and get back in line.

This video is produced by the Washington State Department of Licensing.

21 Replies to “Motorcycle Skills Test: Part 2 / “Turn from a Stop & U-Turn””

  1. Mike Chen

    LMAO people laugh at me when I'm spending hours spinning like a top in the parking lot, I laugh at them when we go out to ride.

  2. Kyle McCarty

    @Bud –
    This is a question posed often. Permits/Provisional licenses are typically offered for limited time frames. (i.e. Permits in Washington are only valid for 90 days.) Most companies will not rent unless the rider is endorsed.
    The solution will be that you will need to complete both the knowledge and skills test in the state of your license and have the (motorcycle only) license or endorsement granted.
    In WA, test scores are only valid for 180days.
    If you maintain an AZ license, you'll need to test there. Or, as with some states, they may accept a WA Rider Education Course Completion Card as testing waiver.

  3. bud irving

    I am 83 years old. When I was 15, I went to a motorcycle shop and bought a 1941 Indian scout. The salesman asked me if I knew how to ride one. I said I ride a bicycle, it can't be much different. He showed me how to shift, the clutch the brake and throttle. I paid him and got the paperwork and rode off in first gear. I left it in first gear and rode home about two miles. I practiced on the street in front of my residence until I could understand the reason for shifting. Then I went for my license. It was in Albany Calif. and the law allowed for a motorcycle license at age fourteen. A riding test was not necessary. I got my license and left my foster home six days later. I made a mistake 55 years later, I let my (m) license expire. Now I want to rent motorcycles wherever I am (I live in a camper). My auto license is in Arizona so I took the written test in AZ. and passed so I have a temporary (m) license. Now I want to rent a motorcycle to take the riding test. No one will rent me one with a temporary license.My license say I am legal to ride on the public streets. They want me to take lessons. I would have fun taking the lessons but I really don't want to pay the fee, and travel so far for the lessons. I have ridden a MC more than a million miles. I delivered blue prints in Los Angles area for years I raced every kind of racing including on ice. I was number 2 in the country in class C racing I have ridden more that 70 different motorcycles. I rode a triumph in the drum at the Long Beach Pike, The owner of the drum said I was the only one who have ever done it without a spill. It was 1956. I am a veteran, none of this counts for anything. I can't rent a motorcycle to take the test and I can't take the test without a motorcycle. MY ADVICE IS NEVER GIVE UP YOUR MOTORCYCLE LICENSE.

  4. Brutuszilla

    I just completed the my class 3 days ago. I bought a 84 Honda 500. In class we were amazed how simple looking at where you were turning made you actually go there. Simple. I can't understand why I don't do it on my own bike now. It frustrates me.

  5. Kyle McCarty

    Jelloz104 – Maybe!  The test is designed for any/all two-wheel street legal currently registered and license plated motorcycle/scooter.  
    WA law requires a rider of any "scooter" that is 50cc or larger, and/or can go faster than 30mph, to have an endorsement. Thus, DOL allows any of those scooters to test: street legal, currently registered, and license plated.

  6. Kyle McCarty

    @TTop- Looking at data (not opinion) the facts are that most crashes happen in parking lots, turning around, and at intersections. (Fatals are at-speed in curves.) Thus, the test was designed this way to address street-skills and handling/control.
    The test is a validation of skills needed at slow(er) and street speeds. 
    It's interesting that "green" riders have minimal issues with the test.  It's more interesting that it's the folks "I've been riding for 30 years…" that can't pass it. 
    Perhaps a training class -to re-visit basic control skills and safer street strategies could help you.  (I train… multiple classes per year -to grow as a rider and instructor.) 
    We all have choices…..

  7. Ozzy Edwards

    You need to get used to dragging the rear brake at very low speed…you can come to a feet up standstill as long as the rear brake is on…low speed manouvering and u-turns will suddenly become much easier when you realise this.

  8. Jay D. Anderson

    Good series to watch for your personal motorcycle skills development no matter what state you are in.  Lots of good tips that apply to all street riders. You can take notes and then duplicate this in a vacant parking lot as skill improvement exercise. Low speed balance is critical to safe street riding — it doesn't take skill to go fast — it DOES take skill to ride very slow.

  9. Kyle McCarty

    @KkF00 – Simple answer, "No."
    As a part of the three DOL approved rider safety courses (Basic, Intermediate, or Experienced) each course offers both the Knowledge Test and on-cycle Skills Test.
    Passing these tests within our safety courses will give you a Course Completion Card. Bring this card to your DOL -within 180 days- and they'll add an endorsement on to your license. (No further/additional tests are required.)

  10. Sally Stewart

    Wish my instructor would have given me this site before the test. He told us what he wanted to see in a quick few seconds and off we went. We either got or not. Great person. I think he was saving his voice. )

  11. Kyle McCarty

    @N0whitePE0PLE – I'm sorry, I don't know the specifics of the M1 skills test. I understand it to be similar in scope… but, don't have specifics. Will try and educate myself to be able to help you.
    Most skills test will evaluate control, slow-speed balance and turning ability, position awareness, and hazard avoidance. All minimum skills needed for safe(r) on-street operation.
    Practice your control, body posture, and positioning… good luck!

  12. N0whitePE0PLE

    i have my m1 exit test tomorrow will i see all this stuff? and if i didnt take the safety course and haven't rode a motorcycle before will i be fine im 16 6'0 150 pounds and i drive a bike

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