Never Too Cool for School: A Guide to Motorcycle Rider Education

Date posted: 07/03/2012

by Kat Saks on
in Education & Training

4110 Never Too Cool for School: A Guide to Motorcycle Rider EducationBikers have a rap for being pretty rad, but nobody is too cool for school – motorcycle school, that is.

Learn more about motorcycle rider education and decide if you should hit the books before you hit the road.

Motorcycle Rider Education Curriculum

Most motorcycle rider education programs divide into two broad categories:

  • A basic course for new bikers.
  • An advanced course for seasoned riders.

Biker Basics

In a basic motorcycle education course, you will learn all about your new ride. Some common topics covered include:

  • Overview of types of motorcycles and their distinguishing features.
  • Risk awareness and safety concerns.
  • Protective motorbike gear.
  • Pre-ride bike inspection.
  • Routine maintenance.
  • Basic riding skills such as motorcycle controls, operation, and signaling.
  • Safe riding strategies such as positioning, visibility, braking, and swerving.

Advanced Riding Courses

An advanced motorcycle rider education course reviews a seasoned biker’s knowledge and provides the most up-to-date strategies and tips for safe, effective driving.

These courses might cover any of the following topics:

  • Mental processing for motorcyclists.
  • Physical aspects of biking.
  • Risk management.
  • Increasing visibility.
  • Optimal lane positioning.
  • Rider responsibility.
  • Motorcycle inspection and care.
  • Effects of alcohol on motorcycle driving.

Motorcycle School Supplies

If you decide to enroll in a motorcycle education course, what should you bring? Many programs for basic riders provide motorcycles for use during the training. Often, more advanced courses require bikers to bring their own set of wheels.

Beyond the bike, you’ll want to bring:

  • A helmet.
  • Eye protection (i.e. goggles, glasses or a helmet face shield).
  • A long sleeved shirt or jacket.
  • Full fingered gloves.
  • Long pants.
  • Sturdy, non-canvas footwear that covers your ankles.

Benefits of Biker School

Many states require bikers to complete a motorcycle education course prior to obtaining their motorcycle permit, endorsement, or license.

Often, states requiring motorcycle rider education insist that bikers take a state-approved or state-operated motorcycle safety course. In other states, completion of a motorcycle rider education course allows a biker to waive the driving skills portion of a motorcycle permit or license test. Other states don’t require motorcycle education at all, but encourage bikers to complete a course to enhance their skills and knowledge.

Because state rules and regulations for motorcycle licensing vary widely, consult your local motor vehicle agency for the requirements in your area.

Regardless of whether or not your state requires you to complete a course, motorcycle rider education is a wise investment. When you complete a motorcycle rider education course, you might enjoy any number of benefits, depending upon your state’s rules and regulations:

  • Completion of a required step in your licensing process.
  • Option to forego the skills test of a licensing exam.
  • Discounts on your motorcycle insurance.
  • Increased knowledge of your ride.
  • More nuanced biking skills.
  • Enhanced understanding of safe riding practices.
  • Greater confidence behind the handlebars.

A motorcycle rider education often represents a significant investment of time, energy and money. With so much to gain, though, the benefits might be well worth the costs. Research your state’s requirements and suggestions and decide if you’re ready to get schooled.

Bikers: Tell us about your motorcycle rider education experience. What did you learn? Would you recommend the course to a new road warrior?

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About Kat Saks

Kat Saks is a Denver-based writer and yoga teacher. She is also Firefly Partners' Client Solutions Manager. She blogs for and shouts safe-driving tips to teens while driving the city streets. More articles by Kat Saks

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