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Old 22.05.2013, 15:56
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Exam for motorcycle driving license

Hello everyone,

As I live in Zurich for the past two years, I decided to get a motorcycle driving license here instead of my country. However, because the procedure is completely different, it turned out to be WAY more expensive and complicated than I expected. I am already done with the three 4-hour courses and now I am supposed to give the exam until end of November. I would really appreciate your help in ANY of the following maters:

1. My command of German is very poor and unfortunately so was the command of English of my instructor. Therefore I am feeling he omitted explaining me very basic stuff concerning the proper driving behaviour in bicycle lanes, tram lines, 30-zones etc. Is there any source online, or a book or anything that I could study on my own for the exam?

2. Can someone perhaps recommend me an instructor that could give me a couple of additional courses in English and also offer me some assistance the day of the exam? (Communicate in German, lend me a motorcycle, clothes etc)

3. Since I do not own a motorcycle, do you know a store or even a private person that could lend me a motorcycle, clothes, helmet etc for a fair price? The thing is that in my country all these stuff are offered by the instructors and I didn't occur to me that I need to own everything the day of the exam

4. In case I fail the exam, is there a way to prolong the temporary license for another season or do I have to pay for all the courses again??

Thank you in advance for any advice and sorry for the long thread. It is just that I am so desperate, ending up paying 3 to 4 times more for the driving license and still not being sure that I can get it..
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Old 22.05.2013, 15:59
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Re: Exam for motorcycle driving license

If you don't have a motorcycle, how are you practicing for the exam?

Tom
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Old 22.05.2013, 16:07
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Re: Exam for motorcycle driving license

Hey Tom

I already knew how to drive a motorcycle in Greece. My father is an easy rider ;P

I just had to follow the 3 courses in order to be able to subscribe for the exam. And during these courses I had to rent a bike from my instructor for 90chf per time :/
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Old 22.05.2013, 16:17
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Re: Exam for motorcycle driving license

It's probably easier and cheaper to buy a used bike and gear.

My wife got a used 125 for 800 last year, and I got my daughter a 125 scooter for 600 (but that needed new tires and an MFK, so about the same in the end).

Bigger bikes will of course cost more.

Which license are you trying for?

Tom
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Old 22.05.2013, 16:34
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Re: Exam for motorcycle driving license

I would need a bigger motorcycle in that case since I am going for the A category. Unfortunately I do not have to possibility to spend such an amount of money right now. I only needed the driving license for Greece, and tried to issue it here because I don't live there anymore.. But thanks for the advice anyway!
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Old 23.05.2013, 03:48
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Re: Exam for motorcycle driving license

I'm on an L permit myself so I'm sure someone more experienced will be along to help you but for the moment..


1: Cornering is difficult to explain without showing you how to do it an there are different methods to get your bike to go where you want (from using your weight to counter steering and everythhing in between). I really would advise you to try and find an instructor with whom you can communicate for some extra lessons. Bicycle lanes/bus lanes are for bicycles/busses with a few exceptions such as pre selection for turning but this is the same as a car driving licence. I'm not sure what special things to take note of in 30 zones apart from sticking to below 30 and keeping a watchful eye for pedestrians. Tram lines we don't have in Fribourg so no idea

The exam itself requires not just the road test but you also have to show some "skills". The motards site is currently down for maintenance so can't tell you what is required in Zurich but in Fribourg you need to be able to do an emergency stop from 50kph, figure of eight, a slalom and a hill start with a tight turn before you even do the traffic part. I'm sure Zurich has something similar.


2. I can't help much here but motorbikes can be rented on learner licences though would quickly be expensive. Why not buy a second hand bike (even a 125 or 250 to learn on and rent a larger one for the exam itself). Nothing beats experience.

3. No idea really but a friend of mine bought all the gear second hand on anibis for a lot less than it would have cost new.

4. From what I understand the temporary licence is for 16months in total (4 months for the 3 courses and then 12 months). If after this time you haven't succeeded then you start again from scratch (to the best of my knowledge).

I really would advise you to look into buying a second bike to learn on, as I said even a smaller bike such as a 125/250 would give you valuable experience on how to handle the bike without being too expensive (in theory).

Driving a motorbike, like most things, is just a case of practice makes perfect and while it is possible to get you B category licence while only driving your instructors car the motorbike licence really requires practice since you will need to put in a few hours (at least) by yourself doing figure of eights etc. It's a bit more complicated than the car licence.

Whatever you do, best of luck
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Old 23.05.2013, 11:37
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Re: Exam for motorcycle driving license

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If you don't have a motorcycle, how are you practicing for the exam?

Tom
In some countries the instructor provides the bike and you are only allowed to ride the bike in the instruction area. You are also not allowed to go out in traffic until you get the licence.
Things here seem to be much easier. I never expected to be allowed to drive a bike with no licence in traffic for a whole year...still seems a bit dangerous to me. But i guess traffic here isn't that bad.
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Old 23.05.2013, 13:53
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Re: Exam for motorcycle driving license

I found it a bit strange as well at first but it kind of makes sense, at least if you have a cat B licence. You more or less already know how to "behave" on the roads and you're just mastering a new vehicle.
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Old 23.05.2013, 14:29
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Re: Exam for motorcycle driving license

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I never expected to be allowed to drive a bike with no licence in traffic for a whole year...still seems a bit dangerous to me. But i guess traffic here isn't that bad.
Works that way in all of the neighboring countries as well, plus in the US.

Tom
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Old 23.05.2013, 14:55
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Re: Exam for motorcycle driving license

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In some countries the instructor provides the bike and you are only allowed to ride the bike in the instruction area. You are also not allowed to go out in traffic until you get the licence.
Things here seem to be much easier. I never expected to be allowed to drive a bike with no licence in traffic for a whole year...still seems a bit dangerous to me. But i guess traffic here isn't that bad.
Exactly. It is indeed much easier but still sounds strange to me that you actually HAVE to own a motorcycle before going to the practical courses. I mean someone is allowed to buy a 1000cc bike and use it for 4 whole months (even more basically cause you can renew this 4-month license multiple times) without having rode a motorcycle ever before.. But then again, since it works fine for everyone, who am I to judge?
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Old 23.05.2013, 15:03
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Re: Exam for motorcycle driving license

Hey Millso, thank you for all your tips.

I already know how to ride a motorcycle quite well, I am not worried so much about my driving skills as for some theoretical stuff that you have to know on the street. For example what I meant when referring to the 30 zones is that you are supposed to move your fingers to the front break every time you approach a crossing just to show to the examiner that you are ready to break. The thing with the tram lines when you have to turn gets even more complicated. Now small things like that could make you fail even if you are an experienced driver. That's why I was looking for a source to read some theory.

The rest of the stuff the examine you apart from the traffic I have already done in the courses and practiced a lot on my own. I am more worried about the fact that the examiner might not take it to well that I do not speak German or they might not even speak English at all..

Well, if I can not find a friend to rent me a motorcycle for a couple of days at a reasonable price I guess i should give up and just ask them to send me the A1 license (up to 125cc)

I can get the A license back in Greece for around 300 euros including the instructor. I was just thinking about giving it a try here first since I already spent so much time and money on that..

Thanks once again for your answer
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Old 23.05.2013, 15:12
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Re: Exam for motorcycle driving license

If you live here you cannot get a license in another country, it won't be accepted.

Tom
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Old 24.05.2013, 12:01
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Re: Exam for motorcycle driving license

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If you live here you cannot get a license in another country, it won't be accepted.

Tom
I did the same thing with the car license. Just payed 100 chf to change the european one to the swiss one.. The only thing I should ask is whether they will accept my swiss car driving license
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Old 01.11.2014, 13:26
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Re: Exam for motorcycle driving license

I know this is an old thread but I'd like to post few comments and observations of my own, it may be useful to someone that seeks a motorcycle license here is Switzerland. My experiences are purely based on Zurich, which has the highest practical exam fail ratio in whole of Switzerland. Bern on the other hand has a highest pass rate in CH.

Firstly, passing a practical exam in Switzerland is much harder than anywhere abroad. Much harder. Especially if you are a foreigner and you have bad luck to get an examiner (they are called experts here) that is a SVP supporter. It does not matter how well you ride, you may not pass, especially at the first attempt and even on the second. Expert will always find a reason to fail you. Unless you are Swiss of course, than things are much easier for you. My Swiss friend from work had passed his exam on the first attempt, with literally 20% of my experience (2000 km vs. 10000 km), while I had failed twice. And no, I am not an idiot and he is not a genius

In general, passing a test here requires literally thousands of kilometers in practice riding plus countless hours of slow maneuvering practice. You need to practice for few months slaloms, slow riding and figures of 8. Then you need to practice riding with a passenger, during the exam the expert will sit with you on the bike. That's why I failed on my second attempt. The only complaint was "unsicher anhalten mit Sozius" meaning uncertain stopping with a pillion. It was enough to fail me even though everything else went OK. Complaints afterwards are not an option btw, you complain too much and you will not pass next time. Just swallow your pride and anger and try again.

You need to own the bike, renting/hiring is no good as you require much more practice than just few days of rental. In general you'd need 3-4k km on that particular bike before you can even attempt to take the test. In addition, you are only allowed to ride a bike that fits that category of the license that you have an learner's permit for. If you have a full A class permit, you are not allowed to ride a 125/250 cc bike.

The examiners only speak German, even if they do speak English in private, they will not speak English with you during the exam. Only Swiss or High German. If you cannot receive instructions in German from the examiner, you chances of passing fall dramatically.

It is wise to take few private lessons. They are expensive but it's really worth it, no matter how well you ride, how much experience you have! Your chances of passing without private lessons are close to nil. Instructor will show you exactly what the examiner is expecting from you. It will also allow cash flow towards the instructor, keeping the industry alive and well. It's all interconnected and examiners know if you had private lessons or not. No private lessons, no pass.

One more thing, avoid at all cost Strassenverkhersamt in Zurich, you stand a much better chance to pass in Regensdorf or Winterthur! Stva ZH has by far the highest exam fail rate in Switzerland.

Those that speak German, may want to read this article: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/...story/20582790

Espacially interesting is this quote:
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«Menschen mit Migrationshintergrund haben mehr Probleme, die Prüfung zu bestehen. Weil sie ein anderes Lernverhalten haben, ist es auch schwieriger, sie auszubilden.» Konkret meint Fahrlehrer Wismer Selbstüberschätzung, mangelnde Akzeptanz und Sprachbarrieren.
And finally, good luck, you will need it
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Old 01.11.2014, 13:49
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Re: Exam for motorcycle driving license

Hmm I've passed A1 and A in Zurich. First time each.

I have the opposite viewpoint. On both my tests, the other person was crap and passed.

Having done high KMs doesn't make you great. It just means you've gone a long way - probably with bad habits.
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Old 01.11.2014, 14:32
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Re: Exam for motorcycle driving license

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Hmm I've passed A1 and A in Zurich. First time each.
Good for you! Unfortunately not all of us are equally gifted... Actually, most are not...

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I have the opposite viewpoint. On both my tests, the other person was crap and passed.
I have large number of friends (both from work and in private life) that have gone through this and NONE that I know of (with the exception I mentioned before) passed at first attempt, for most it took minimum 2 to 3 attempts. Have you read the article? It proves my point exactly. In the last few years the statistics deteriorated dramatically and consistently for Kanton Zurich. Each year more and more people fail. I guess proportionally to the number of foreigners settling here When exactly did you do your tests? Recently?

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Having done high KMs doesn't make you great. It just means you've gone a long way - probably with bad habits.
Of course kms are not everything, but on a motorcycle practice accounts for most of the success. I have done private lessons and my instructor assured me that I am perfectly ready for a test. No bad habits according to him.
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