Friday, February 24, 2012

What To Expect From A Motorcycle Safety Training Course

One of the best steps you can take to make sure you are as safe as possible on your motorcycle, is to enroll in a motorcycle safety course. Each year, hundreds of thousands of motorcycles enroll in these courses in the United States and elsewhere, regardless of their skill level. This is because they know that such courses will make you a better and more skilled rider. If you take your motorcycle riding serious, you should consider taking such a course seriously as well.
What should you expect from a motorcycle safety training course in your area? A lot of this will be determined by the skill level you are at and your interests. For example, there are basic rider courses that everyone should take at least once when they are first learning to ride their motorcycle. These are the courses that every beginner rider should take before attempting to ride a motorcycle on a street, and many states require such a course as well.
Basic training courses will usually spend five to fifteen hours (or more, often depending on state requirements) teaching you the basics of how to operate and ride a motorcycle safely. After a general introduction, the course should teach you in a "hands on manner" the basics of motorcycle safety and riding, although all of this will be done in a controlled, off-road location. Topics will generally include learning all of the motorcycle controls and how to operate them, and learning the basics of maneuvering a motorcycle at a slow speed.
Once you know the basics, you may be interested in taking a more advanced course that practices riding on the street and often with a group. Here you will encounter real world driving hazards and distractions that often can't be truly replicated in an off-road classroom. They will include training in such events as handling busy city intersections and how to drive defensively and to protect yourself again unaware or untrained motorists.
Many motorcycle training schools (such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation) also offer training on off-road dirt bike riding. Some of these are particularly geared towards younger riders. And a few may also offer advanced training in stunt motorcycle riding as well.
Depending on the program you enroll in, you may or may not need to own a motorcycle. Many programs prefer to use their own motorcycles for at least the basic training level, so if you would like to learn the skills before purchasing a motorcycle this often is not a problem. However, you will need proper riding gear, including a jacket, gloves, eye protection of some sort, and appropriate clothing (long-sleeved shirts and long pants are usually required). Depending on the course provider, you may also need to bring your own DOT helmet as well. In some cases, you may purchase one on site as part of your course, to ensure that it fits properly, so do check in advance. If rain is a possibility, you should bring appropriate rain gear as well.
Many schools offer private as well as group lessons as well. Private lessons may be considerably more expensive, but some may feel better prepared with one on one instruction.

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