Motorcycles, along with being a form of transportation that is cost-effective, can also be exhilarating and fun. However, they can also be dangerous as well. In fact, in the year 2011, there were 103,000 motorcycle-related accidents that resulted in 4,612 fatalities in the United States alone. This is why taking a motorcycle safety course is so important and strongly recommended.
Motorcycle courses on safety teach you how to handle your bike safely and with confidence on the open road whether you are just starting out or are already an experienced rider. Although the laws can vary between states on whether these courses are required, they are still invaluable to all motorcyclists to gain knowledge and experience at any level. Here’s what you’re taught:
Basic Rider Course
This course is designed for the new rider, although returning riders can take it as well. It teaches you basic motorcycle fundamentals and how to develop your skills and abilities on a bike so you are safe and responsible.
You’re taught both the mental and physical skills to operate a bike like this. You’re taught about managing risk and developing a solid mental riding strategy. This course also teaches about effective swerving, braking and cornering.
Experienced Rider Course
This course is for more experienced riders who already possess basic operational skills in being able to maneuver a bike such as starting up the engine, starting in first gear without problems, changing gears, braking, turning and riding safely.
You will learn things like improving your hazard awareness and perception, avoiding crashes and improving on your braking and cornering. This is a course that is designed for licensed motorcyclists who are looking to improve on their skills or who hold a permit and are using this course as a license waiver (if their state allows it).
Maneuvering in risky conditions or heavy traffic, your responsibility as a rider, laws pertaining to motorcyclists and the risk of using alcohol and drugs while riding are all things you will learn in an experienced motorcycle rider course. You must bring your own motorcycle and safety gear for this course.
Prerequisites for Safety Courses
Prerequisites may differ from each course or by state, however requirements to enroll in a safety course for motorcycles generally include:
- Being able to ride a bicycle
- Being the legal licensing age
- Having protective helmet and clothing
- Having a license to drive a car or a motorcycle permit in your state
Beginner courses typically have helmets and bikes for your use.
In some instances, you may even be able to get some motorcycle insurance discounts when you take a motorcycle safety course. Be sure to speak with your independent insurance agent to see if you qualify.