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Washington State Licensing Changes

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So, now I can't legally even try a sidecar rig w/o getting
the enorcement first. Parking lots are private property,
but are a public place, so the laws can be enforced (see
my helmet post).

It is just unnecessary legislation.

If there were no requirement for endorcement, many people
would not take the classes; thus the class becomes a de facto
requirement, or at least has heavy incentives.

I'm not disrespecting the classes. They are probably excellent.
I have taken boater safety classes, and recommend them
I also recommend the MSF classes to new riders.

But it seems a bit silly to me that I have been riding for
30 years, could teach an MSF class with the knowledge I
have accumulated by reading, mentoring and experience...
Yet I have to take the course to get an insurance break.

If the course were not government sanctioned and an alternative
to the riding test, I doubt that would be the case.

I'll probably take the course when my son is old enough
to take it. I don't need it right now; fortunately the
one bit of freedom that remains in Washington is that
insurance is not a requirement.

I have plenty of medical and life insurance, and accept the
level of financial risk of not having motorcycle liability.
In the unlikely event that I do lots of damage and survive,
I can always claim bankruptcy.

I agree that idiot proofing the world is not a very productive path to take as a society, and it sounds like the bicycle cop was a dick.

I think heavy incentives to promote a proven safety program are just fine. You should get an insurance break if you take a driving class. The DOL should make it easier to get a license if you get training. The training should be readily available, and it is generally not a money maker, so that means some sort of public support is needed.

Training reduces accidents. Lower accident rates mean lower health care costs, a good deal of which are subsidized by the public. On the road you not only put yourself at risk but your actions affect the safety of your passengers and of other drivers as well as bystanders. Your competence IS a matter of public concern and not just a personal free choice issue. Driver's safety programs are not the same as helmet laws.

While I see your point, I believe the benefits don't
outweigh the costs (to personal freedom).

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

Maybe we can talk about it face to face someday. You're
only about 3 hours south of me, and taking one of your
adventure sidecar classes appeals to me.

Obviously not soon, since I don't have a sidecar or a dual
purpose bike, but after I get some of my current hobbies out
of my system I might be able to justify a new pursuit.

BTW, if you hear of a sidcar oriented event in the Puget Sound
area (especially Kitsap County) email or PM me.

The classes like Vernon do are great. Any training is a good thing. We offer training by appointment at our shop as do some others. No, it isn't 'official' so to speak.
In a nutshell training is a good thing but the mandatory law which is in Washington State stinks!! Oh no doubt some will try and get similar legislation into other states...and...of course some will think it is just wonderful. Motive? Oh look what a great thing we did just for you.
Oh well.
Quote at top of page today said:
Those who wish to appear wise among fools, among the wise seem foolish.>Quintilian< - (Added by: RumpStun)

You haven't been able to "try out" any motorcycle legally in WA since MC endorsements were instituted, with or without a sidecar. At least a portion of this tax goes toward training subsidy unlike most taxes in WA that just go into the General (Slush) fund.
Re: "The freedom of no mandatory insurance".
Explain that one to a friend of mine who also thought insurance was a frivilous expense. One day he wasn't paying much attention and ran into the back of a car containing two(2)welfare cases, one of whom was pregnant and both of whom sustained "grevious" injurys. His bike suffered a bent front wheel and one fork tube. He wasn't even ejected from it.
After much legal hassle and lawyers fees the case was mediated and he settled out by promising to pay $600.00 a month to the "injured" parties for 42 months.
He now rides insured (and doesn't snivel about it).


Another inequity in my opinion is:
Why do you have to have a conventional winged aircraft license to obtain a helicopter "endorsement".


You can only hope people like that will die in a fiery crash
as poetic justice... with their lawyer in the car.

It's sad that courts keep letting people get away with frivolous lawsuits.

I didn't realized fixed wing was a prerequisite for rotorcraft license.
You're right, they should be seperate. Fixed wing is so much easier to
fly... it's almost like requiring a sailplane or hang glider license
before getting powered fixed wing.

Still, in most states you can try out a sidecar rig if you have a
motorcycle endorsement. I can always hop over to Idaho when I am
visiting family in Newport, WA.
I'll be doing the Pend Oreille poker paddle this year, so maybe I'll
head over to see some sidecar rigs (especially if I sell my FZR).

Speaking of slush fund... did y'all see the article about how the
state has been selling organ donors parts to private companies
and putting the money in the general fund?

You going to the First Ever NW Regional Sidecar Rally in Hayden Lake this weekend?

I have a question. I'm not being a smart alec or asking
with an agenda, I'm honestly curious...

How are the safety statistics for sidecars?

Example... Sailplanes and Commercial aviation are similar.
Next in safety comes General Aviation and Hang Gliders (similar statistically)
Then comes Ultralights (I would guess paragliders are in this range statistically)

I'm wondering how sidecar rigs compare in their safety record
statistically to motorcycles and automobiles.

Are they easier to see (except the Gear Up, of course 😉
Do they tend to do better because of older, less squidly operators?

Due to the small ratio of sidecars to solo bikes I know of no states that separate the different motorcycle classified vehicles (Solo, Sidecar and Trike) in their crash statistics. Some may separate on road vs off road use but I'm not sure of that.
Sidehacks do command a bit more respect from the cagers due to a larger profile than a solo bike and at night that sidecar running light on one side can be mistaken for a larger vehicle with one headlight out. So they might give you a wider berth in that event.
It seems that most of the motoring public, regardless of age or gender, will not give the right of way to anything that is not bigger or more intimidating than their rig.


I'm also wondering about single vehicle and also
accidents where the sidecar pilot is at fault, especially
if it has factors somehow unique to sidecars
(like dropping the flying sidecar while lane splitting)

Okay, that last sentence is me being a smart aleck...
I could only resist for so long, but I am actually serious.

Also, I wonder how much the sidecar might protect the pilot
in a collision, both by being a buffer, and by keeping
the bike from falling down and sliding on the pavement.

The WSP gets notified of changes but the costumers don't, lovely. anyhow isn't there a Lic. change you can request if your a long time rider that eliminates all the testing?, if it was mentioned I guess i missed it, a C7 or something like that comes to mind, I remember reading something like that, can someone refresh my ageing memory, TIA

During the 6 months following the period of January 1st, 2004 any Class 3 endorsed motorcycle rider could get a three wheel endorsement that would extend to the expiration of their current license for no cost.
They took a new picture and issued you a new license with the 7-endorsement.
Before January 1st of 2004 there were only 3 motorctcle endorsements based on displacement size of the bikes engine. 1-for small bikes and scooters. 2- I believe was for bikes up to 800cc's and 3- was an unlimited endorsement.
Since then they have added another endorsement. Three wheel only, which allows one to drive a three wheeled trike, sidecar or auto. without having to have a valid solo motorcycle license. This was a good change for the handicapped hackers who could not pass a solo riding test.
The bottom line is: Washington has no income tax so they try to bleed every tax and fee payer any way they can to feed the uncontrolled thirst of the Ruling Class (Revenuers) in the State, County and City governments.

(Born again Ida Ho)

I hear the riding test is a real challenge...
You have to do a U-Turn, a Circle, and a Figure-8
without putting your foot down! :p

Lonnie wrote:
>>This was a good change for the handicapped hackers who could not pass a solo riding test.<<
In Pa and other states if a person takes a test on a sidecar or trike because they are handicapped they just get a liscense that says they must ride with three wheels. This is no different than some car lisenses saying 'automatic transmission only' etc.
The question abotu how many sidecar accidents there are compared to solo bikes etc? No answer because sidecars are not registered as such.
If the know it alls that think this legislation keep messing around don't be surprised if sidecars will end up having to be re registered after the sidecar is installed. The do gooders will of course say that this is a benfit when in reality it would just be another way to make a buck.
It could get to a point where not just anyone could install a sidecar and then one of our great freedoms of this sport would have been lost. Of course some may profit from this type of thing and so it goes.
So much of today's protectiong ourselves from oursleves is really motivated by a simple way to pad th epocket book of someone somewhere.
Lets return to the wild west!!

Beside's not touching down, you can't hit or knock down any pylons and you have to stop smoothly real close to the Examiner's boot without skidding or running over his foot.
( This happened to the gal that was ahead of me when I first took my WA riders test. The Trooper was hopping all around on one foot and she didn't get her endorsement.) My '73 Norton Combat Commando and I aced the test.

Hey Lonnie- Happy anniversary! Your last post on this thread was exactly four years from the date of your first post.

Sometimes, if you hit the cone dead center it'll stick to the undercarriage
and you can hope the instructor doesn't notice the missing cone 😉

Thanks for the heads up Tom,
Heck, I can't even remember what I had for breakfast this morning without a sticky note. lol


Here is the D.o.L. handbook for Trike / Sidecar
training in .PDF form.

I might go take the written on Saturday.

I went and took the sidecar test... what a waste!

Most of the questions had very little to do with actual safety.
At least three of the test questions were like this one:

According to the Hurt report, what percentage of motorcycle accidents
occur on multi lane roads?

And then there was: If you are carrying an adult and a child passenger
on a sidecar rig, where should you place the passengers.

A) Adult on back of bike, child in sidecar
B) Adult and child in sidecar
C) Child on gas tank adult in sidecar
D) Child and adult on back of motorcycle.

(The Ural is only designed to cary one person in the sidecar).

A total waste of gasoline and two hours, and now I have to retake it
again after I read the manual again and highlight & memorize the useless
trivia which I didn't expect to see on the test!

Unfortunately, some of the material in the book is re-worded for
the test and is different enough to be considered new material.

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