Motorcycle safety courses are invaluable lessons that teach skilled and brand-new riders how to negotiate the driving environment safely. These lessons put you in front of experienced instructors and offer the opportunity to really learn how to ride safely and to improve your riding skills overall. These courses are not required in every state, but they’re worth taking no matter where you live thanks to all the benefit they offer.
In many states, such as California or Colorado, the requirement of a motorcycle safety course is dependent on age. For example, California law requires all license applicants under the age of 21 must take a safety course. Check your state and local laws to see if you are subject to any safety course requirements before hitting the road.
To earn a motorcycle license, you’ll have to pass a series of tests to prove that you know how to operate a motorcycle safely. These tests may include a permit and road test or, in some states, a permit is sufficient. There are major differences between states, so it is up to you to make sure that you’re informed enough to make the right decisions and to get the proper licensing.
The Different Safety Course Types
There are usually two different types of motorcycle training courses available throughout the United States, basic and expert. The basic course is for new riders without much experience and the expert course for those that have already gone through the basic course and would like to learn advanced maneuvers.
The Basic Course
Basic courses will teach you about the different types of motorcycles available and how to operate your bike properly. Through the 15 hours of formal training, you’ll learn how to use your motorcycle efficiently and a bunch of safety tips that you can use out on the road.
The Expert Course
The Expert course is of great interest to many riders because, in some states, it can be used to waive the road test used to obtain a license. This course is usually just a single day in length, and it teaches advanced techniques such as maneuvering in traffic and handling other potentially hazardous conditions. It also will go over all the new laws and how drugs or alcohol can put you at risk while riding.
Getting Ready for a Course
If you are taking a course with no prior motorcycle experience, you al least need to be able to ride a bicycle well. The same balance is necessary to operate a motorcycle, and if you haven’t mastered this skill yet, you should do so. You’ll also need protective clothing and a helmet, and you must be of the legal licensing age before you go for the course. You’ll also need your permit or a driver’s license to take the course depending on the state where you live.
Not all courses require you to bring a bike along. Some will provide motorcycles for beginners to use, although it is most beneficial to learn on the bike you'll be riding in the future.
Going through a safety course is an excellent way for you to learn how to operate a motorcycle safely and, depending on your state, you'll have to take the course if you want to get licensed at all.