What Is the Best Motorcycle Safety Course for a Beginner Motorcycle Rider?
Have you finally decided to spread out your wings on the road and learn how to ride a motorcycle? Congratulations- we can assure you that it’s a feeling unlike any other. However, like so many other skills you have acquired, it is sometimes best to learn it professionally under the guidance of experts who will hone your potential and ensure your safety.
If you have just recently decided to look into this, you may have discovered how confusing it can be to figure out where to start and which courses to look into. That is why in this blog we will be covering all about motorcycle safety courses so that you can begin your motorcycle experience the right way.
About Motorcycle Safety Courses
A motorcycle safety course is a training course meant for people who wish to learn how to ride a motorcycle in a safe setting and being taught the best practices of motorcycle riding from day one (vs. learning or NOT learning them on your own). Motorcycle safety courses can also be refresher courses for those riders who have been off the road for some time and want to get back into riding with the help of some expertise.
And, a beginner motorcycle rider safety course can also be a great way to determine whether or not you actually wish to learn to ride without having to buy a bike right away. Countless times would be beginner motorcycle riders have rushed out and bought an expensive motorcycle only to find out a short while later that motorcycle riding is not for them.
In those situations it is almost inevitable that the rider will loose money when he/she turns around and sells the motorcycle as a new motorcycle depreciates considerably after its initial purchase, and even used motorcycles typically depreciate a bit after they are purchase, and don’t forget, you’ll pay sales tax and a number of fees that you will not get to recoup when you sell that beginner motorcycle so again, DON’T rush out and by a beginner motorcycle unless you are absolutely sure you are ready to enter the world of motorcycle riding.
Within that time, a beginner rider will be exposed to both classroom instruction as well as practical riding time. They will provide both practical oral/written guidance and actual “on bike” exercises to help the student gain an understanding of how to operate a bike, how to operate it safely, as well as the regulations of the road. The length of these courses differ but usually, they are about two days long.
A motorcycle safety course also helps you get ready for your motorcycle license test. Based on how old you are or the state you reside in, a DMV-certified safety course is required if you wish to obtain a motorcycle license.
Types of Motorcycle Safety Courses To Look Into
With so many people getting into riding, the motorcycle industry has good about growing the number and availability of motorcycle safety courses for beginner and novice riders. Plenty of organizations have been introducing courses that are a great starting point for most motorcyclists. However, one that is popular and been around since the beginning are the courses offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF).
MSF offers a globally acknowledged curriculum that is often regarded as the benchmark for motorcycle training. Hence, if you are new to riding and want to start with a course that has been around a long time, has been proven to follow best practice training methods, then look no further than the MSF course.
Regardless of whether you are a seasoned rider, a novice, or a beginner motorcycle rider, the MSF course has something for everyone. They offer a range of classes for those who are looking to learn from square one or for riders who know the basics but are looking to sharpen their riding skills. The name of the course for beginners is Basic Rider Course and is usually spread over a couple of days. Check out the MSF website for more information (https://www.msf-usa.org/) and to learn about course near you.
There is a charge to attend the course in most regions, which differs by region but most riders find the cost to be affordable and consider it to be well worth the money. As an example, a course in Denver Colorado was shown to be about $315 at the time of this article. Completing the MSF program meets official licensing criteria for a bike certification in various states. Some bike insurance policies even provide a discount if you have completed a bike safety training course.
Apart from the MSF course, you could also consider taking the Harley-Davidson course, which they offer if you purchase one of their motorcycles. The course is called Harley-Davidson Riding Academy New Riding Course. If you wish to learn more about it, you can go to their website and check out the details of the course.
Aside from these two, there are several other courses that you can try out such as the ones offered by the Road America Motorcycle School or Ride Safe USA.
Things To Look For Choosing A Course
Do your research when you are considering a motorcycle training course and want to find out the ones that will be best for you. With most of these courses, you have to shell out hundreds of dollars, so it is best if you do your homework prior to signing up and finding out that the course had more or less (as an example) actual riding time than you wanted.
Make sure that the organization is legitimate and try to find out what other riders have gained from the courses through reviews or word of mouth. This is important because some courses simply are less expensive because they are less professional and more rudimentary than you may be looking for. So, let us walk you through the process of researching your course.
Google: If you are looking to learn about the background of an organization, there is no place better than Google. Read the reviews thoroughly to see whether the company is legit and is offering courses that are safe and include riding drills that you would learn from or not cover aspects that may be too basic for you (for example, if you already know how to operate the clutch and gears, avoid a truly beginner course that may spend hours going over that). It might happen that some of the reviews are negative since motorcycling is an individual experience and it can differ from one rider to another.
However, a couple of bad reviews shouldn’t pose much concern; just make sure that the organization has responded to those remarks and their response sounds reasonable. But if you see a trend where many riders are complaining about an issue and the outfit is not responding reasonably or simply doesn’t have a good response, then you may want to look elsewhere.
Safety Course Website: Once you have narrowed down your list, visit the websites of those organizations to learn more about their courses. You will be able to learn about the locations where they train you, their time slots, their pricing, and other factors. Make sure that they have listed the details of their instructors and that they are well-qualified. Also, if you haven’t purchased your own bike yet, make sure that they offer motorcycles for you to try on. It’s not uncommon for courses to either require that you use their motorcycle or the opposite, require that you have your own motorcycle upon which to take the course.
Important Gear To Carry
When you are starting out, an important thing to keep in mind is that you may be required to bring your own safety gear with you. Refer to the list below to see the accessories that are essential for riding in general. Now, if you’re afraid of purchasing these items (in case you are one of those readers who isn’t sure you’re going to want to ride and purchase a bike after the course, you could try to find a safety course that includes basic safety gear usage as part of their fee).
Helmet: The helmet is that one accessory that is important for every rider, no matter if they are just beginning or already have gained a certain amount of experience. Your head is one of the most vulnerable parts of your body that has the highest chances of getting seriously injured in the case of an accident. Bikes do not have safety features as other vehicles do, hence a helmet is the only thing that can help to protect you in a terrible crash.
Gloves: Next to your head, your hands are also quite vulnerable when you are riding. In the rare event, you were to go down while riding in a safety course, you will naturally put your hands out and so you will really appreciate the fact that you have some protection on those hands as opposed to bare hands meeting the course pavement as you go down.
Jacket: Your regular jacket will not protect you in an accident. Instead, opt for a textile or leather jacket with safety padding to better safeguard you. No offense here, but if you are on the clumsy side of the scale when it comes to coordination, I would consider a jacket including some “body armor” in it a must if you are going to start riding a motorcycle. In the event of a crash, the extra protection offered by these still little plates of plastic positioned at key locations (elbows, back, shoulders, etc.) will provide a much appreciated extra level of protection as your body meets the ground or worse (e.g., a car, a curb, etc.).
Boots: Just like your jacket, make sure that the pair of boots you are purchasing is approved by the course. A good pair of boots can help provide stability to your feet which tend to slip.
Whether or not it is necessary for the state you reside in, taking a motorcycle course is a good way to start learning how to ride a bike or moped. Just like a lot of sports, hobbies, or other activities, there are always “wrong ways to learn” that can form into difficult habits to break later so learning the proper way to ride from experienced riders can really get you off on the right path that may mean the difference between being the type of rider that is doomed to experience a motorcycle accident some day and a rider that is highly unlikely because of his or her proper skills learned at the onset of their motorcycle riding experience.
A trainer will be present to respond to questions, give comments, as well as provide trade secrets that only a seasoned rider, such as one certified to teach new/beginner riders may be aware of.
If you wish to learn how to ride a motorcycle, but don’t know where to start, contacting a motorcycle training school is a great place to start. Before you start, just take a bit of time to review the options in your area and find a beginner motorcycle riding school that meets your needs such as does/doesn’t provide a motorcycle for the course, does have the proper level of riding drills for you to partake in during the course, does offer a certification that will get you a discount on your motorcycle insurance.