I am a huge fan of learning new things. When I graduated from college, I learned how to ride a motorcycle. Like last month’s post, not only have I learned how to ride, but now I am also teaching those skills to others.
Although there are many curriculums and places that will teach you to ride a motorcycle, The curriculum I use was developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). Although the MSF is headquartered in California, they have training sites all over the United States. Specifically, I teach for the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP).
The MSF offers many different classes for may different kinds of people. Some classes are done in a classroom setting only. The class called Intersection was designed for people who have no intentions on riding a motorcycle, but want to be more aware of motorcyclists on the road.
The class they are probably best known for is the Basic RiderCourse (BRC). Currently, the BRC runs 15 hours, of which 5 are in a classroom setting and the other 10 are practicing on a motorcycle in a low-speed, controlled environment. (Note that the motorcycle and helmet can be provided, so you can take the class without fully committing to riding.)
The BRC is designed for beginners (people who have never been on a motorcycle before or have limited riding time), but I have taught people who have been riding for decades who told me after the class that they still learned a lot and were glad they took the course. Other people, after taking the class, decided that motorcycle riding was not for them, but they can use many of the skills they learned when driving a car.
In some states (including Pennsylvania), successful completion of the BRC will automatically earn you your motorcycle license if you don’t already have it. The cost varies from state to state and location to location. In Pennsylvania, there is no additional cost to residents (the cost is paid through obtaining your permit and renewing your license, so “free” when you sign up). Out-of-state residents currently pay $250 to take it in PA (and we cannot license out-of-state residents).
Pennsylvania and the MSF also offer more advanced courses. For example, the Basic RiderCourse 2 is a 6 hour training done on your own bike. Cost is free to PA residents, $150 for out-of-state residents, and successful completion can earn you your motorcycle license.
For people who ride motorcycles, I recommend taking the BRC at least once in your lifetime, and to take the BRC2 at least once a year and whenever you get a new motorcycle. Research has shown that we tend to use the knowledge from safety courses for about 6 months after the course. Taking the BRC2 once a year keeps that information fresh in our mind. Also, since the BRC2 is taken on your own motorcycle, taking it when you get a new motorcycle will help you learn its control and operation is a low-speed, controlled environment. If you ride with a passenger, or if you are a passenger, the two of you can take the BRC2 together so the rider can feel and learn the differences of riding with a passenger and the passenger can better learn what they can do to maintain safety on the motorcycle.
Do you ride? If so, what do you ride? Have you taken any safety course for riding?Do you want to learn how to ride? Tell me in the comments.