Whether you’ve ridden one month, one year, or never thrown your leg over the seat of a motorcycle, there is a motorcycle safety course for you!
If you have not yet (or do not intend to right now) taken a MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) course, my advice- reconsider. You improve your odds of not getting into an accident by more than double based on the Hurt Report. Also taking an MSF course adds much more to motorcycle enjoyment and riding than just safety issues.
For those of you who have never ridden, the National Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers a learn to ride program program just for beginners. The weekend class consists of 4 hours classroom instruction and 16 hours of on motorcycle range instruction. Motorcycles of 125cc to 250cc are provided as they are relatively small and do not overwhelm first time riders. Most times, helmets and equipment are provided for the students as well.
You start off class by “duck paddling” the motorcycle with your feet, slowly get introduced to the motorcycle clutch and begin straight line riding, and by the end of class you are doing tight turns, street lane change simulations, and quick stops. It’s truly amazing to see students who come to class having never ridden before and see them graduate class with really good basic motorcycle skills. This is a good class for folks who want to see if motorcycling is for them or for those who are currently passengers and want to graduate up to the front seat of the motorcycle.
For those of you who haven’t ridden in a while or who just want to brush up on your current riding skills, the MSF offers an Experienced Rider Course (ERC). This one day, six hour course allows you to practice you basic motorcycle riding skills in an enclosed range environment on your own motorcycle. Learn advanced turning and braking and prepare for real life on road situations that may occur while riding. There is no better opportunity to prepare for on road motorcycle riding than an ERC Course.
There are also specialty motorcycle courses like women only classes and scooter schools. Women Only classes are smaller classes usually taught by women and tend to be classes that are less intimidating as all the women are in it together with the same level of experience to start. Also, there is more individualized attention as the class sizes are smaller.
Scooter school is beginning to be very popular in light of the rising gas prices. Scooters can get as much as 100 mpg which makes them very attractive. Most scooters are automatic so class is spent practicing turning and street riding techniques and strategies.
For more information on learn to ride or experienced rider courses, contact your local department of safety, or your local motorcycle dealer. Also, many states mandate insurance discounts for students who successfully complete class.
It’s never to late to learn to ride and it’s never too late to learn something no matter how much experience you have. If you’ve been thinking of riding, what are you waiting for? If you already ride, take a class and improve your skills. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has something for everyone!