Step by Step guide from getting your licence to buying your bike |

Step by Step guide from getting your licence to buying your bike


Last updated: March 22, 2018
I sadly don't ride any more so this section won't see as many updates anymore. I'll try to keep it up to date as much as possible. If you notice any info is wrong, please leave a comment or send me private msg and I'll update it

So you are deciding to get a bike? Well this guide should hopefully answer all your questions.

Step 1: Get an insurance quote.

Before doing anything, the first thing you need to do is get a quote and see if you can actually afford the payments. Many hopeful riders had their dreams dashed because insurance was more than they can afford. There are some amazing links on this site that will help you with that.

Which insurance company?

VifferFun went through a lot of trouble to put this together so my all means read it carefully. Almost everything you need to know is on the first page itself. If you get a good quote, try to get them to mail it to you as they usually good for 45 days. Call 3-4 different companies. Don't be afraid to shop around and get the best rate.


Step 2: Do the M1

This is simple and it costs $17.50. I used this handbook to pass the M1 portion of the test.

Note that the above handbook is not enough to pass as you need knowledge of G1 questions and road signs. You maybe asking “What does G1 have to do with this?”. My answer “Nothing. Just the MTO is lazy to eliminate those questions”. Even if you have your G1, you still need to do this. The questions you really need to know are the ones pertaining to suspensions and demerit points.

I haven’t found an online handbook but here is a practice site and one with both M1 and G1

Once you’re ready, go to any of the centre that offer the written test. Currently at time of writing this only one Service Ontario location does this 777 Bay St. located downtown. There are also various DriveTest centres that allow you to do the test. Word of advice – Go the moment it opens in the morning otherwise be prepared to wait 2-3 hrs at any other time of the day.


Step 3: Do the M2 training course

There are benefits to doing the training course as opposed to going straight-away for the test. You’ll get insurance discounts and you will learn proper technique and useful information. Plus it will give you an idea whether riding is for you or not. Better to spend the $350-$450 and figure its not for you than spend $2000+ and lose on the resale. There are a bunch that offer these courses:

a) Learning Curves
These folks are awesome. I did mine here and learned a lot. Waiting period shouldn’t be too long here. You could get one the week off if you’re lucky. Also members of this forum get a good deal. Check out the above link.

b) Rider Training Institute
These folks are popular so getting a date anytime soon is unlikey unless someone cancelled. You are looking at a month to two months waiting period.

c) Humber College
More expensive than the others but since this is a college and counts as a part-time course you get tax benefits at the time of filing. You can check their availability online.

There are others but I don’t remember them. The key thing here is pick the one closest to you. They are all good and recommended. The reason you should pick the closest one to you is because these are intense training days (Sat and Sun from 8-9 till 4-5 depending on the institute). You will be exhausted and tired by the end of the session so it pays to have a shorter commute home. Also don’t buy equipment now. As long as you wear jeans, any kind of leather jacket, gloves that cover the wrists (gardening gloves will do if worst comes to worst) and boots that cover ankles. If you can borrow or rent the Dot approved helmet that would be useful. Unless you already happen to have a bike and gear to go with it, then just bring that.

Remember: Passing this course doesn't automatically change your licence to M2. You have to wait minimum 60 days from the time you do your M1 (not from time you do M2) before you can go to the MTO and hand in the sealed envelope to get your M2. So till then, M1 restrictions apply.

Step 4: What kind of bike and the hunt for said bike

Once you pass, begin the search for your bike. If you are new, I highly recommend a used bike in the following CC range - 300 to 500cc to begin with if you are going the sportbike route. I say used because it will be cheaper for one, and there is a possibility you will drop it so better to buy used and learn on it for a year or so before upgrading to something bigger and powerful. Also you don't have to worry about the hassle's of breaking-in a brand new bike. You can also put a lower amount than you paid in the Bill of Sale section of the UVIP to pay lower taxes and save some money

I prefer the 300 to hone your skills before moving up and there are a bunch of good ones. The most popular being the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the Honda's CBR 300. They also come in ABS verisons. I've never had the chance to try the ABS verisons so I can't comment but its a good safety feature knowing you can't lock out your brakes. The previous models of the same being the 250cc versions are also good bikes to start if you want to save more money but won't come with ABS. If you are considering 250s I add Hyosung GT250R to the list as well. There is the Honda CBR125cc and that is perfect city bike. If you plan to do a lot of highway, I wouldn’t recommend it. A 250cc+ would be the way to go then. If you are thinking 600cc+, please read this first

I’m not sure if the same applies to cruisers. Maybe something that’s 400cc-650cc for a cruiser would be good to start but don’t quote me on this as I’m just guessing.

Good places to search are:
a) The sale section of this forum
b) Craigslist
c) Kijiji
d) Autotrader
e) Facebook Group - Toronto Area Motorcycle Buy/Sell

Step 5: Buying the bike

Lets say you found a used bike you really like. Meet the seller, inspect the bike. If you can bring a friend that is knowledgeable that would help. Otherwise look for signs it was raced or dropped. If he/she lets you test it, then by all means do so but please don't drop it. If you go with an experienced friend and you are new to it, then let your friend test drive it. Otherwise get the owner to ride around in front of you.

(Courtesy of
  • Make sure it's really clean. If the owner couldn't be bothered to get the bike looking perfect before you got there, walk away. Chances are maintenance was treated the same.
  • Do a quick walk-around, looking for obvious crash damage like bent levers, damaged paint, marks on the bottom outside edges of the engine cases, or scratched handlebar ends. Get the bars straight and look at it from front and rear for any sign of wheel misalignment.
  • Check for little holes ( 1/16th of an inch) drilled in fasteners and fluid drain bolts. It's a dead giveaway that the bike has been raced or at least used hard on track days.
  • Check the rubber with the flashlight. Inspect the manifolds between the carb (or EFI system) and the engine in particular. Any age cracks there could mean endless grief over a performance problem.
  • Check tire tread depth, profile (if the rear in particular looks a bit "squared off" rather than round, it's overdue for replacement), and sidewall cracks.
  • Check the brakes and clutch levers for smooth operation and push the bike around. Do the brakes work? Does the clutch release?
  • Check the lights and signals.
  • Before you start the motor, put a hand on it to be sure it's cold – sellers have been known to get a poor-starting engine hot before a buyer arrives to make it more likely to fire quickly when tried.
  • Check suspension for leaks (oil residue on the fork legs or near the shocks), and push down both ends to be sure the compression and rebound are smooth. Get the front wheel off the ground and turn the bars from lock to lock; clicking noises or looseness are bad signs.
For a more detailed guide, you can read this.
If the bike is a year or two old, there really shouldn’t be much problems. Once you are confident on the bike you choose, a used motorcycle from a private sale requires the following: (if you go the dealership route, they take care of the following and guide you on what to do)

*Note:* Step a and b are if you only want it registered in your name. Step c and d are if you want to plate the bike.

a) Used Vehicle Information Package, which the seller should provide.
b) Ownership papers that you and the seller will fill out
c) You'll also need a safety certificate – I'd hold out for one from a reputable bike shop. In Ontario, any licensed car mechanic can certify a motorcycle, whether he knows what he's looking at or not. A highly recommended one across this board is Ted from Rosey Toes. You can take it to his shop and get is certified for around $40 or he can come to the sellers places and get it certified for $80. Sometimes the seller will pay for it, something you may have to. I prefer to get someone I trust certify for it and pay for it myself than have the seller certify it from some car mechanic.
d) Insurance coverage. You will get the VIN from the UVIP or ownership papers that the insurance company will need to begin your coverage. You will get a policy number that you need to fill into the ownership paper section.

Before concluding the private sale, make sure you collect the motorcycle manual, spare keys etc from the seller to avoid any future hassle. Ask if the seller can deliver the bike to your place since you have no plates yet. If he cannot you can haul it using a large van or have someone else do it for you. There are a couple of guys that do this on this board, like ToyHauler. Or you can pay a deposit, fill out a contract to protect your self, get your licence plate (next step), return to seller and swap plates on the bike and return his plate, pay the remaining and drive off and enjoy!

Step 6: Getting your licence plate and Gear

Take the above three things (UVIP, Safety certificate and ownership papers) and go to any of the centers here. Under "What service are you looking for?" type in Register a vehicle and then your postal code to find the closest one. Pay the fees and you’ll have a plate. Put it on your bike and enjoy. As for gear, Royal Distribution down in Guelph has good prices otherwise keep an eye out for local gear with good padding and protection over style. There is also Dave at Altimate boots at Keele and Lawrence. He'll hook you up with all the gear you'll need at warehouse prices. He supplies Royal. and most of the dealers in town.

Jacket: There are many choices from, leather to textile to mesh to combination. I personally prefer the combinations. Half leather half textile with lining serves all purposes. Leather on the parts that matter like elbows, shoulders, back and chest while the rest is textile with more room to breathe. I've seen mostly ICON do this as well as Joe Rocket. I picked up a Joe Rocket one from Cycleworld Superstore. It has removable sleeves but keeps a lining a mesh underneath with amour so you're still protected on those extremely hot days. It also comes with a loops that your belt can go through to prevent it from sliding up when you fall. For something like that you're looking in the $350 range

Helmet: Many choices - some come modular that can have the entire front piece lift if you do a lot of talking, others with separate built-in sun visors, some with pumps to keep the padding snug, ventilation etc. I say - go with something that has ventilation and the others stuff is upto you. Make sure it is snug and doesn't allow your face to go side to side when your hold the helmet tight. Something good will cost you $300 and up.

Gloves: I recommend getting two pairs. One for winter and a summer use. As long as there is knuckle and wrist bone protection you are good. Good pairs cost around $80 up.

Pants: I didn't get any. If you plan to race get leather otherwise for street get textile. Or if you are like me and prefer wearing jeans, you can get some knee pads to slide under your jeans. Another recommendation from this thread was Kevlar reinforced jeans for those who prefer to wear jeans.

Boots: I got a pair of ICON Tarmac Ventilated shoes and OH MY that is sooooo comfy and nice. I absolutely love it and has great ankle protection. Also it isn't like a racing boot that comes up so high. Price is cheap too! Around $100 and up.

Hope this guide was helpful. If I missed any section let me know and I’ll add it.
Last edited:


New member
Awesome guide bud. You covered all the step in very clear and informative manner. I went through the same process a month ago.



Well-known member
Site Supporter
If you purchase the bike from a dealership they should do all the paperwork for you. Have them fax the bill of sale to your agent while you fax or deliver payment information to them as well. Then the dealership does the rest and tells you when it's ready to ride off the lot.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, I bought my last car that way and State Farm inferred it would be the same if I got a bike from a dealership.


If you purchase the bike from a dealership they should do all the paperwork for you. Have them fax the bill of sale to your agent while you fax or deliver payment information to them as well. Then the dealership does the rest and tells you when it's ready to ride off the lot.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, I bought my last car that way and State Farm inferred it would be the same if I got a bike from a dealership.
I believe you are correct. My guide was refering to private used sale. I've updated it to reflect your information.


Active member
Hi, I'm planning on getting my M1, M2, and bike this summer and there was just one thing I wanted to clarify. Sorry in advance if I missed this info somewhere on the forum... So, once I get my M1, I can take the M2 course, but have to wait 60 days before I can actually get my M2 license. And I must get the M2 before my M1 expires in 90 days. Once I get my M2, I can go out and purchase a bike. I'm looking to buy from a private seller. Assuming the sale has been completed, I must register the bike under my name within 6 days correct? Now, the question I have is: when I register the bike under my name, does that require me to get a plate for it as well? Basically what I want to know is: can I purchase a bike, but not insure/plate it? I realize that in order to ride the bike, it needs a plate and insurance, but assuming I WON'T be riding it... is it legally possible to simply purchase a bike privately, have it registered under my name, and simply OWN it as if it were any other asset (until I'm ready to insure/plate/ride it)?


New member
Yes you can buy a motorcycle and register it without plating it. Just go to the MTO with the transfer of ownership papers and when they ask for insurance say that you don't have any and they won't give you a plate.


Well-known member
Good article, but I have to disagree with one thing. When I was getting insurance quotes, no insurance company I checked cared about the motorcycle safety course. It made no difference to the rates. The only thing that did was years of experience.

Is that a reason not to take the course? No. In fact, it's excellent preparation for the exit test, and even seasoned riders can take something away from it.

Expect to bite the bullet for the first year.

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