New Brunswick licensing system still facing challenges

Traffic cones are cheap, and you can easily use them to set up your own practice course.

New Brunswick has moved towards graduated motorcycle licensing, but Safety Services NB, a rider training body, says the province needs to make more changes to the system. The government, however, disagrees.

Earlier this year, new regulations for acquiring a motorcycle licence came into effect in New Brunswick. There’s now a requirement for zero blood alcohol content, a ban on riding after dark and carrying a passenger before acquiring a full licence, and riders must complete a recognized riding course before getting their full licence. Beginning riders will be required to take part in the graduated licence program for a year before acquiring a licence with no restrictions.

However, according to a report by Global News, some say that isn’t enough. Bill Walker, of Safety Services NB, wants the province to bring in horsepower restrictions to protect new riders.

Walker told Global his company feels riders should be restricted to less powerful motorcycles during their graduated licensing, saying “There is no maximum size for the 12 months period and we feel that there should be a maximum size of 650 cc or a motorcycle engine not to exceed 150 kilowatts per tonne.”

(Funny – that’s pretty much what we suggested when we originally covered the changes).

However, Chris O’Connell of the provincial motor vehicle branch says the government isn’t interested in that, and instead wants to promote rider safety through training – something that’s difficult, as not all instructors with the province’s four riding schools are properly certified for the new regulations yet.


  1. I think if governments want to make the roads safer start by retesting all drivers on a regular basis (5 years for written and every 10 an actual road recertification) and start accessing the risk factors on the road. The bigger the vehicle ie more mass = more potential damage to others on the road. Large trucks vs a small car or bike with the same licence?!? Put more restrictions on motorcyclists how is that going to help safety of the road user, maybe the motorcyclist.
    How many people out there that have had their license for more than a few years, have never re picked up a driver’s operators manual and reread it.
    Keep the roads safe for everyone on the road.

    • From what I see on the roads around here, such a scheme would deprive everyone over the age of 50 of their licence.

  2. I rode a ZZR250 for a bit when I got back into it after almost 15 years away from riding. I took that bike to around the Gaspe Bay and I had a blast thrashing that bike for almost a year. Gave me confidence and taught me the basics again. I’m all for smaller bikes starting out and my kids will ride them, starting on a smaller cc bike. Too many idiots on too large of a bike for their experience level can lead to a lot of trouble in a hurry.

    • There’s a lot of pushback by inexperienced riders when you bring in the idea of cc restrictions, but very few truly knowledgeable motorcyclists with any real range of experience will question the practice. The exception is some of the cruiser crowd. Some get it, some don’t.

      I know I learned more from riding small bikes fast than I ever did from riding big bikes slow.

  3. Having to take a recognized riding course, I ll agree with that. I also believe that you should were full gear I ve seen to many crashes . Of those people would have walked away could have avoided them with training . No target fixation etc. As to Horsepower ? Guess I point out the 22 year old in the states last year whom bought high cc bike . Would not listen to sales guys about riding away without a Lic and Died 2 min later . Grab a bunch of throttle and panic . Crash into car or something and that was that . New riders should be on lower horsepower bikes for a while till then know how to handle them. No big deal to weight 12 month for Higher CC bikes. At least by then you ll know if you ll still want to ride or not and you ll not be stuck with a meg buck bike with a meg buck loan for it .

  4. “not to exceed 150 kilowatts per tonne”

    Customer to salesman- “So, what’s the kilowatt per ton on this baby?”

    • Says youse, damn maitre de Satan de l’eccliesiates de l’apse!

      Pardonez-mois, mais tu est un rogue as-ole, qui dit les mots uv
      la Queen du Elizabeth!

      • ” You don’t frighten us, English pig dogs. Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called “Arthur King,” you and all your silly English K-nig-hts. “

        • Two cats are sat beside a lake. An English cat named One-Two-Three, and a French cat named Un-Deux-Trois.

          They are arguing about who is the better swimmer. Finally they decide to settle it by having a race across the lake.

          Who won?

  5. “There’s now a requirement for … a ban on riding after dark and carrying a passenger before acquiring a full licence …”

    Sounds like Ontario, two million years back, when I got my bike licence.
    Also, we were not allowed on the 400 Series highways.

    What’s the big deal?

  6. Fucking bull shit people have to work and they want you to take a cours of a year ? Like wath the fuck there making it harder to get on a bike for the first time riders how wants to get in on biking ….and i dare you to try catching me after dark at 25years ole all stay out all night if i feel like it

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