Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team
It takes a lot of hard work and many road miles to make handling the twists and turns of America's byways look easy.
The best way to boost confidence and jump-start your skill level as a motorcyclist is to get educated. While a well-intentioned friend may volunteer to show you the ropes, the best way to learn the safest, most effective, riding skills is by taking a formal riding course.
Riders of all levels benefit from additional training, and there are many great organizations that offer classes through your local dealerships and community colleges. Generally, those recommended by most states are given by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). (Opens in a new tab)There are two types of safety courses; basic and advanced.
MSF Basic RiderCourses are held over a few days combining about 15 hours of classroom time and riding instruction on an enclosed range like a parking lot. In many states, passing a basic safety course satisfies the requirements to get your motorcycle license.
What you can expect from the course:
Most importantly, know that some parts of these courses can be challenging, and not everyone passes their first time. It may take a few tries to get it down, but don’t worry. All of it is worth the effort, as this valuable education will help you get the skills and know-how to be the best rider you can be. Stay confident and take the course again.
An advanced class draws a range of folks from those who’ve tackled the basics, to experienced riders wanting to refresh their skills and master the latest tech. The one-day MSF Advanced RiderCourse lets you continue your safe riding education and improve your riding with a lot of on-bike skill work that mimics road situations. There are also in-depth safety discussions framed around risk taking vs. skill set, as well as physics and technique lessons.
Check your state's motorcycle licensing requirements, and find an MSF safety course in your area. You can also stop in at a local motorcycle dealership and ask about training locations. Also make sure you get the right insurance coverage for your bike, accessories and more, and check out possible motorcycle discounts, too. Talk to an agent to learn more.