Even the most passionate riders can agree that as far as safety goes, motorcyclists have a lot working against them. Motorcycles don’t have as many advanced safety features as enclosed passenger vehicles and they’re less visible on the road as well. And when you look at some of the statistics regarding motorcycle accidents, it’s only natural to want to know how to stay as safe as possible when you ride. Wearing appropriate safety gear is one of your best lines of defense, but taking a motorcycle safety class can also be a big help. That’s why it’s important to know all about motorcycle safety classes.
Depending on where you live, a motorcycle safety class might be required for you to become a licensed rider, at least under some circumstances. Some states will even let you skip additional testing when applying for a license if you successfully complete a motorcycle safety class. But even if the state you live in doesn’t require you to take a safety class, taking one can be beneficial for riders of all levels of experience.
In a beginner-level class, you can expect to have a combination of classroom learning and hands-on training. During the classroom segment of the class, you’ll have a chance to learn about things like how to choose the proper safety gear and the theory behind basic riding techniques and maneuvers, and the hands-on segment lets you put those ideas into practice. You don’t necessarily need to have riding experience before enrolling in a class for beginners, but it’s generally recommended that you at least have the ability to balance a two-wheel vehicle, like a regular bicycle.
Even if you’ve been riding motorcycles for years, a motorcycle safety class can still be very worthwhile. While beginner safety classes are the most popular type of motorcycle safety class, there are safety classes geared toward riders of all levels. Classes intended for more experienced riders focus more on building skills that will help riders avoid accidents and learn advanced riding techniques. If you’re thinking of taking an advanced-level class, it will be a smaller time commitment than taking a beginner-level class. Since beginner classes need to cover basic information and skills, those often take around 15-20 hours to complete. On the other hand, classes for more advanced riders are often only one-day classes.
If you want to start riding motorcycles again after taking a long break from it, signing up for a safety class would be a great way to get back into it. In a recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, their research showed that riders over the age of 40 have the highest rate of motorcycle-related fatalities and a big reason for that is because many riders in that age range are just getting back into riding their cycles after an extended break. If this is the situation you’re in, you wouldn’t necessarily have to take a beginner’s class. Classes aimed at returning riders are designed for those who have basic riding skills, but may be out of practice.
Taking a motorcycle safety class can also come with some very nice financial benefits. Many insurance providers offer discounts on motorcycle insurance to those who complete a safety course. Some motorcycle manufacturers also offer discounts on bikes, motorcycle accessories, or safety gear if you take a safety class. In fact, some manufacturers are so eager to encourage safety classes that they will reimburse customers for at least part of the cost of classes. So if you’re shopping around for your first bike, it’s good to ask dealerships if they have any of these kinds of offers.
Interested in taking a motorcycle safety class? The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has a directory which makes it easy to find rider courses near you. Your state’s DMV or Secretary of State office may also have a list of approved courses in your area.
About The Author: Angela Petteys is a writer from Detroit who spends her time writing about a wide range of topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys gardening and exploring locations around Michigan.
Image courtesy of Goodwin & Scieszka