Learning to ride

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Learning to ride


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Old 10th December 2017, 05:48 AM
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Default Learning to ride

I have never had a motorcycle license. Where I am from motorcycles are more a novelty than a serious form of transportation as we can only ride 4 or 5 months of the year. Also when I was 14 a 16-year-old friend was killed on his brand new Honda 350 so that sort of turned me off wanting to learn back then.

Since I am here and the economics of riding are a lot different, I want to get my license but more importantly learn to ride safely. (If that is really possible here lol). I intend to live in a province instead of a major city with the traffic.

I converted my license but was not given restriction #1 for motorcycles. I have looked on the LTO site and it is not clear what I need to do to honestly get my motorcycle endorsement.

Do I need to do a written test?
I am assuming I need a road test. What does that entail if done right?

I have heard the stories that sometimes an LTO will simply add it for you, especially if you don’t ask for a receipt for the “testing” fees but am asking what is the by the book answer.


Any tips on learning? I have seen lots of driving schools but most of them are for cars not bikes. Ideally, I’d like somewhere with a track to practice safe handling for a few hours before going on the road. I have a little riding experience, mostly on scooters and dirt bikes but not anywhere near enough to be considered competent and safe on the road.

I will most likely end up buying something in the 150 cc range that seems to be the most popular size around and should be enough for some freedom of mobility, especially in a province.
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Old 10th December 2017, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Manitoba View Post
I have never had a motorcycle license. Where I am from motorcycles are more a novelty than a serious form of transportation as we can only ride 4 or 5 months of the year. Also when I was 14 a 16-year-old friend was killed on his brand new Honda 350 so that sort of turned me off wanting to learn back then.

Since I am here and the economics of riding are a lot different, I want to get my license but more importantly learn to ride safely. (If that is really possible here lol). I intend to live in a province instead of a major city with the traffic.

I converted my license but was not given restriction #1 for motorcycles. I have looked on the LTO site and it is not clear what I need to do to honestly get my motorcycle endorsement.

Do I need to do a written test?
I am assuming I need a road test. What does that entail if done right?

I have heard the stories that sometimes an LTO will simply add it for you, especially if you don’t ask for a receipt for the “testing” fees but am asking what is the by the book answer.


Any tips on learning? I have seen lots of driving schools but most of them are for cars not bikes. Ideally, I’d like somewhere with a track to practice safe handling for a few hours before going on the road. I have a little riding experience, mostly on scooters and dirt bikes but not anywhere near enough to be considered competent and safe on the road.

I will most likely end up buying something in the 150 cc range that seems to be the most popular size around and should be enough for some freedom of mobility, especially in a province.
First, make sure your life insurance is paid up in full. Riding/driving a motor is the most dangerous form of transportation anywhere in the world. Anything happens. Your fault, the other guys fault, nobody's fault--you're gonna lose. You have zero protection driving one. Add on top of that the Philippines is EXTREMELY dangerous for driving any type vehicle unless it's a Sherman Tank.

If you are determined to drive a motor then add a sidecar on it. It helps to even the score of safety inasmuch as there is no need to balance, hitting a cat or small dog will not send you to the hospital, you have greater visibility to other drivers than on a single motor, and the cops with their "checkpoints" pretty much leave trikes alone. It's also a great benefit in that you have plenty of room to put groceries etc---especially when it rains.

When you do you license exchange at the LTO just let them know you will be driving a motor and or a motor trike and your new license will cover it. It's that easy.

I'd suggest a 155cc bike. Good on gas and most anyone can fix and give a tune-up. I'd stay away from the Honda 155's. They are junk made so people here have something other than their legs to get around on. I'd suggest any of the other name brands and you'll do okay. We have a Motoposh 155cc with a sidecar and it works great for our needs. It's the second Motoposh we've had so would recommend them.
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Last edited by Asian Spirit; 10th December 2017 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 10th December 2017, 09:56 PM
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Good morning all.
I have been riding motorcycles in Thailand for 8 years and I love the feel of the breeze against the face. Before Thauland, I had only ridden a bike once or twice in my life.
I came to Phils intending to buy a bike and was actively looking for the first 4 weeks. During that time I studied the activities of other bike riders here, their kamikaze attitude and total disregard to traffic rules. I saw numerous accidents, although not as many as I expected. Without a doubt they are far worse than in Thailand, there is some element of traffic obedience there, but not a lot. Here there is none. I also listened to long term residents here and they all recommended against riding a motorcycle here. In th end, I listened and bought a car, that is bad enough I can assure you. Riding/driving in Philippines is a stressful experience and I DO live in the province of La Union.
In 8 years in Thailand, I was only involved in one collision, not my fault young hoons screaming down the wrong side of the road to beat the lights, as I was turning right, duly signalling. That was 15 months ago and still recovering from leg injury.

Asian Spirit raises some pertinent points for you to consider. I miss riding a motorcycle as I loved it, but not at the cost of my life. Give it long consideration before heading up the cycle road. imo.
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Old 11th December 2017, 03:42 AM
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I agree with all of the above. You might be okay in a sleepy little province somewhere, but that's about it and even then think twice about being taken out by a drunk driver. I've ridden bikes all my life, developed a strong set of intuitive defensive riding skills, yet riding here in the Philippines scares the crap out of me. Yes, it's not bad in touristy places like Panglao, where the traffic isn't bad but in Cebu or any other congested areas it's a nightmare.

I gave up the "big" bike I had (Kawasaki 650) because I knew sooner or later our luck was going to run out and an injury accident in the Philippines is not something I want to even contemplate.. The driving craziness is rampant - other bikers crowd you so you have no escape route, they pass on the right, oncoming drivers use your lane, cars pull out from the side, people run red lights.. I could go on and on. Better to have some steel around you, especially if you haven't already developed a strong set of defensive and automatic reaction riding skills.

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Old 27th December 2017, 06:03 AM
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Manitoba,

I agree with all the above responses to your inquiry especially driving a Sherman Tank!!

I have rode Motorcycles (not scooters) most of my life all over the USA. I have lived here for about 18 months now and I drive an old rebuilt Toyota Corolla that thru no fault of my own have shared some paint with other cars and trikes usually due to their reckless driving here. With that said, in order to go places I wanted in the PI I was required to grow a huge set of Balls when venturing from Angels City thru Manila, Rizal and other places all over Luzon.

Fortunately or Unfortunately they do not sell many bikes here over 650cc. I have rented a few to get my Motorcycle riding fix. Therefore, Scooters are King in the PI and most of the people driving do NOT seem to have Valid Licenses, Training or Knowledge when it comes to any rules of the road. Good news is, if you dont know anything you will fit right in. Bad News is you will probably end up with some incident sooner or later.

Not sure how riding is out in the Provinces but wherever you go take it slow and keep your eyes and ears on a swivel with your helmet on tight.

Good Luck

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Old 27th December 2017, 07:40 AM
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While only riding dirt bikes in the back blocks of OZ including my farm and scooters in Thai, bikes only up to 250cc in PH the ride is the thrill and little else. As suggested it certainly depends on ones locale and little else. My trip to the local wet market will be 3.6 Kms on the luna road and though safe as I see it could be my demise. It happens I will not take the car to get Calamansi that my beloved forgot on his way home. The Bike is easier.
The bike we had in Manila (Bengies' bike) was never driven to work,,,,,,,,,,,, Too risky and then some apparently, easier to ride the jeepny. So when I get home tonight my love tells me no fish in the market, what did you buy then? A Kawasaki 1000 he says so then we eat Menudo. Our bike routes should be safe localy but long distance 4 wheels especially if Manila is a destination.

Cheers, Steve.

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Old 27th December 2017, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 74Jedi View Post
Manitoba,

I agree with all the above responses to your inquiry especially driving a Sherman Tank!!

I have rode Motorcycles (not scooters) most of my life all over the USA. I have lived here for about 18 months now and I drive an old rebuilt Toyota Corolla that thru no fault of my own have shared some paint with other cars and trikes usually due to their reckless driving here. With that said, in order to go places I wanted in the PI I was required to grow a huge set of Balls when venturing from Angels City thru Manila, Rizal and other places all over Luzon.

Fortunately or Unfortunately they do not sell many bikes here over 650cc. I have rented a few to get my Motorcycle riding fix. Therefore, Scooters are King in the PI and most of the people driving do NOT seem to have Valid Licenses, Training or Knowledge when it comes to any rules of the road. Good news is, if you dont know anything you will fit right in. Bad News is you will probably end up with some incident sooner or later.

Not sure how riding is out in the Provinces but wherever you go take it slow and keep your eyes and ears on a swivel with your helmet on tight.

Good Luck
I love riding a scooter as I have said before. But it is exactly the same here in La Union, no regard for traffic laws, lots without helmets and just plain reckless behaviour.
Not even safe in a car, am appaling collision between bus/jeepney 2 days ago, more than 20 killed!!! Could you imagine the carnage at that scene. I have seen some pretty horribly fatal collisions in my time, although I did not see this scene, I can only imagine how horrific it would have been. Stay safe in the Toyota, I drive one also.

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Old 28th December 2017, 01:06 AM
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In the provinces the biggest risks are the dogs that jump out in front of you. Granted you are going slower but you are also less likely to wear a helmet if just going to the local market. I gave up the motorcycles as well. I just ride a bicycle if short distances (or send the cousins) or I take a car if longer distance.

I have hit 2 dogs with the car in the last year doing about 60kph. The sad part is these could someday be a child darting out from behind a tree or such. The way the houses and vegetation is built up to the edge of the roads in some areas it is only a matter of time. I don't want to drive here but I can't always find a driver.

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