group of motorcycle learner students honda grom

My 2-day Motorcycle Learners Permit Experience in Victoria and Tips to Feel Ready!

I booked in for my 2-day learner course at Stay Upright in Werribee earlier in January this year. I was extremely nervous, because apart from being short (153cm / 5ft with a 66cm / 25.9″ inseam – pretty sure I measured that wrong too, I’ll need to recheck that):

  • I’d never ridden a motorcycle properly before.
  • This is what the weather forecast looked like over the 2 days of the course 😬:

weather forecast rain and thunderstorms

SO – my first piece of advice for you other shorties: 

1. Call up your local training facility to see if they have lowered bikes:

If you’re genuinely quite short (like 5ft and under), try finding a place that has a Honda Grom (or an equivalent bike). These lil’ bikes are the best for us shorties who are just starting out with a seat height of only 765mm (30.1″). Look at how it sits on me! I make it look like a normal sized bike lol.

group of motorcycle learner students honda grom

(the best group of people I could have done this class with – I’m so glad everyone was so nice)

In Victoria, we have two different courses available to us in the beginning:

  1. Optional pre-learners course (~$99 AUD)
  2. Two day learner permit course (~$500 AUD)

The first option is designed for complete newbies who know nothing about riding and want to try it out. Recommended for those who haven’t ridden a push bike before either. I personally did this course and whilst the facility I went to didn’t have a lowered bike, I still learned a thing or two.

The second option is for ‘those ready to be tested for their learners license’. I put this in quotations because it’s what’s said on the website of Stay Upright, but they do teach you the very basics. And there were others in my class who hadn’t ridden before too. But you’ll probably want to play this by ear (according to what you think you’d be most comfortable doing).

Both courses will provide you with jacket, gloves, helmet and bike. If it rains (like it did for me), you will be provided with super cool wet weather gear (pictured above).

Cool, so you’re booked in for your learner permit course. How can you prepare yourself and ease the nerves? 

The last time I read this, there were like 80 pages. Don’t leave it to the night before to read it. Give yourself at least a few days to digest the information and get a good understanding of it. 

They may test you on your knowledge of this material in the written test (end of Day 1)! Don’t worry though, they will teach you everything in the class too. If you’re nervous and want a head start, this is the way to do it! 

Here are resources for you if you’re from a different state:

Please keep in mind that the requirements vary greatly from state-to-state. So the information in this blog is going to be more specific to Victorians!

Here was the outline of the 2-day course (when I took it in January 2024):


Again, you’ll be walked through everything so there’s no need to worry at all. On day one, you’ll learn all the basics of how a motorcycle works, how to get on, off, how to turn it on, safety checks, slow riding, turns, etc. You can make as many mistakes as you want to on this day, as you’re all just learning.

I did actually drop the bike on day one 😅 I was turning too fast (or wasn’t confident in my abilities to take the turn at the speed I was going) and just went straight into the curb. All the bikes are equipped to the T with crash protection, so don’t feel too bad about dropping them. It was a good opportunity for me to get a feel for what I was capable of and what to be careful of. I also stalled a ton of times. 

After day one, though, you want to finesse everything you’ve learned and avoid making these mistakes on day two. Particularly for the on-road assessment. You can only stall a maximum number of 3 times at the on-road assessment and dropping your bike is an immediate fail.

And always remember to head check.

From memory, here’s a breakdown of what I learned each day (subject to change):

  • Safety getting on/off the bike
  • Turning on the bike
  • Ready positions
  • Kill switch / ignition / indicators / headlights / horn
  • Laps around the on-range course (in both direction)
  • Avoiding obstacles
  • Shifting up and down (1-2)
  • Friction zone
  • Slow riding
  • Emergency stopping
  • Wide -> tight turns
  • Merging into traffic
  • Safety distances
  • Written knowledge test
  • All of the above + any other consolidation in prep for assessment
  • Emergency braking
  • On range assessment (they’ll test your riding skills from the things you learned day one)
    • Specifically for me, we started first with walking the bike to the starting line
    • Safely getting on (head check) and ready position 
    • Laps around the range
    • Shifting up and down from 1st to 2nd gear
    • Wide -> tight turns and going perpendicular to ‘tram tracks’
    • Stopping in a yellow square
    • Slow riding a 15m distance for at least 10s or more (friction zone technique)
    • Emergency braking
  • If you pass this, then you get to do the road assessment!
    • You basically take turns leading the group but doing the same lap around the neighbourhood
    • The instructor will watch how you ride, turn, stop/start in traffic, get up to speed, use your indicators, etc.
  • After this, you’ll come back to the training facility and depending on your results, you will get your learner permit!

There will be plenty of breaks throughout the 2-day course, and you will want to stay hydrated and fulfilled as much as you can! I packed myself 2 sandwiches and had some other lil snacks on hand to get me through. 

There is an understanding that not everyone will have their own gear at this stage yet. So all you need to do is come fully covered (long sleeve shirt, pants and shoes that cover your ankles). Yes, even if it’s scorching hot.

Other gear will be provided on the day (jacket, gloves, helmet, vest). If it rains, you will get wet weather gear. To my knowledge, unless it’s very very heavy rain, the show will go on.

Also, remember that you’ll be putting on / taking off helmets a lot, so I avoided wearing foundation, only limited makeup on my eyes!

Long hair wielders – have in braids or a pony tail to keep out of the way. 

Being stressed and tensed up is genuinely bad posture for riding, so relax and have fun!

You have to remember that the training facility wants you to pass too – they’re not going to go out of their way to make it impossibly hard for you (unless you’re terrible at riding – in which case, most places will allow you to retake the test for free within a certain time period).

It’s normal to feel nervous, but don’t stress out too much because it’s much easier than you think it will be! Keep in mind, there are many people who come to the 2-day learner permit course as complete newbies to riding, and walk out after with a learners license. 

You will given given all the knowledge required to pass. Just do your best!

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