If you want to gain valuable experience, then you go to school. The same applies to motorcycle riding. When you sign up for the Beginner or Basic Rider courses that are available from multiple organizations throughout the U.S., you are taking a giant step forward. Here is what to expect:
The assignment that you receive is dependent on the organization that you sign up with. Make sure you do this work, because you will be better prepared for what is to come in the class. You are welcome to take notes, write down questions to ask the instructor, and familiarize yourself with the terminology.
When you have class, you should bring your student handbook, a notepad, pen, and some food items for snacks and lunch. These classes will last for most of the day, so be prepared for a full day of learning and moving.
You should wear jeans with ankle boots, a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, full fingered gloves, and a DOT-legal helmet. Some schools will have helmets to borrow if you don’t have one. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to attend the class if you don’t have the appropriate gear.
Also, regardless of the weather, the class will go on. Be prepared for cold mornings. Lightweight layers are best, because you can peel them off as you get hot. You should also wear a waterproof jacket, boots, and gloves, just in case it rains.
What Happens In The Class
The class structure depends on statewide regulations and the course provider. However, most programs cover the same points. The courses are completed within two days, although you can sign up for more advanced courses later on.
On the first day of the Basic Rider Course, you don’t want to be late. Anyone who arrives late has a direct impact on how much information you receive—and you don’t want to miss anything. Before you turn on the engine, you need to sign some liability papers and other paperwork. You might be asked to introduce yourself and talk about what experience you have on a motorcycle. It’s fine if you have zero experience, because the class is designed for beginners. Relax and enjoy the chance to make new riding buddies.
The first half of the day talks about basic riding mechanics. This should be considered review if you did the pre-course assignment. If you jotted down any questions in your notes, this is the time you ask.
The first riding exercise doesn’t send you off down the road with no assistance. You review the handlebar controls once again. You mount, dismount, and turn the vehicle on and off. You then get a feel of the manually-operated clutch. Gradually, you get familiarized with the motion of the bike
The exercises thereafter include riding in a straight line, shifting gears, turning and cornering. The class is paced to allow for you to absorb this information is quickly or slowly as you need.
The second day builds off the operations you picked up on the first day. Now, you can get more technical and polish those skills. The session begins with practice of slow speed maneuvering, emergency braking, swerving, and more cornering.
Once these drills are complete, you are assessed on your competency. The riding test will be the most stressful part of the day, because you need to successfully complete the exercises. If you don’t pass, you can retest for free; but if you fail twice, consider that riding a motorcycle might not be for you.
Other Things To Expect
There’s a reason you sign a liability form. You could tip over or crash during the hands-on section of the course. Don’t worry, though. This, too, is practice. Once you have fallen a few times, you get the hang of controlling the bike. You will receive advice for staying upright from a professional instead of having to figure it out yourself.
All in all, a Basic Rider Course is an excellent choice for all new riders who want to gain valuable experience before hitting the road. Though the course only lasts for two whole days, you learn much more than you probably expect. Go in with an open mind and leave riding your motorcycle. After that, the road is yours to master.
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