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There are a lot of things which you can do with your motorcycle – you can go touring, you can commute or you can race on a track! Here’s a small guide which talks about the various kinds of licences available in India – for the street and track (know about the different types of motorcycles here). Before you learn to ride a bike, do give this a read:
For Street Riding
In India, as you all know, the Driving Licence is issued by the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) or Regional Transport Office (RTO) of that particular state. This authority conducts the RTO exam and the test for Learning Licence as well as Permanent Driving Licence.
Learners License and Permanent Driving Licence (DL)
Before getting the Permanent Driving Licence, one needs to apply for the Learners Licence (as per the Motor Vehicles Act 1988).
The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 makes it mandatory for a person to hold a valid driving licence (DL) to drive on Indian roads. The first step towards getting a driving licence in India is to procure a learning licence (LL). The LL is a provisional and restricted driving licence which is valid for a period of maximum 6 months.
To get a learner’s licence, one must be aware of all the traffic rules and regulations and must pass the written test. Once a person obtains the LL, he/she is allowed to practice driving on Indian roads only under the supervision/company of a permanent licence holder.
Classes of Driving licence in India
- MC 50cc: Motorcycles with an engine capacity of 50cc or less than 50cc come under this class
- LMV–NT: Vehicles like cars, jeeps, etc. come under the Light Motor Vehicle-Non Transport category
- MCWOG/FVG: Motorcycles without gears, of any engine capacity come under this category. For example – scooters and mopeds
- MC EX50CC: Motorcycles with gear, motorcycles with a capacity of 50CC or more, Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) including cars come under this category
- MCWG or M/CYCL.WG: All types of motorcycles with gear come under this category.
The application fee depends on the number of categories one is applying for, more the categories, more is the fee. Before getting a permanent Drivers Licence, one needs to give the driving test (RTO test). You can apply online for your licence from the RTO website.
Checkout Basic motorcycle riding skills to get started.
So, you want to become a professional racer in India?
With performance motorcycles rapidly gaining momentum and enthusiasts wanting to explore the racetrack, motorsports is getting popular in India. Yes, you too can realize your dream of standing at the top of the podium after winning a race!
In India, the FMSCI (Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India) governs all motorsport activities, including 2 wheeler motorsports such as Circuit Racing, Supercross, Rally Racing, Drag Racing, Hill Climb, etc.
You can start racing from the age of 13, after applying for the ‘Competition Licence’. The one make race series offered by Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki are good starting points. These training camps are usually held at the Madras Motor Racing Track or at the Kari Motor Speedway. The FMSCI Licence is your first step.
- Bike racing requires a high level of physical and mental strength. Therefore, fitness is top priority
- Like any other profession, racing requires hard work and dedication, be prepared to face challenges
- One can start racing at 13 years of age (as of this time of writing)
- One does not need a civil/regular driving licence to start circuit racing, since it is an enclosed environment
Explore more about high speed cornering on a motorcycle.
The FMSCI Competition licence
If you intend to take part in a race, you need an FMSCI Competition License. People who hold civil licenses for two-wheelers are eligible to directly apply for this.
Note: Minors will require signed permission from their parents, as well as the parent’s photo ID proof in order to apply for an FMSCI licence.
The documents needed are as follows:
- ‘Competition Licence’ issued by the FMSCI (forms available on www.fmsci.in)
- Medical certificate as prescribed along with the form from an authorised medical practitioner along with his/her stamp, registration number and signature
- A copy of the driving licence (for those who don’t have a licence, an undertaking from guardians is necessary)
- An indemnity, duly signed by the applicant, understanding all the rules and regulations along with the hazards of racing. In case of a minor, it should be signed by the guardian.
- Entry/registration form for the class/es that you wish to race in
Essential Riding Gear
Racing is risky. You need high quality safety gear to keep yourself out of harm’s way as much as you possibly can. The FMSCI rules and regulations mandate the following riding gear:
- One-piece motorcycle racing/riding leather suit. Such suits typically have armour (high density foam panels) on the inside at major impact regions such as shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and back. Moreover, separate protectors are also available, for the chest and back, which can be worn additionally.
- Full-face, ISI-approved helmet. Helmets contain 2 layers – a hard layer/shell, which spreads the impact over a large area and an energy-absorbing layer, which absorbs energy so that the skull receives as less of an impact as possible.
- Full-length motorcycle riding gloves. These gloves have gauntlets and reinforced palms to protect the rider’s wrists from injury, as well as pre-curved finger sections and the best available protection.
- Full-length motorcycle riding boots with ankle protection. They are designed using materials and seam construction that are impact, abrasion and tear resistant.
Checkout the various types of riding gear available.
For more information about racing licences, checkout the FMSCI website.