The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) is ubiquitous with classes nearly everywhere – for instance, in California they over classes in over 50 different cities. The MSF is a not-for-profit foundation supported by motorcycle manufacturers. Their stated goal is to make motorcycling safer and more enjoyable by providing quality education and training for current and prospective riders, and by advocating a safer riding environment.
|Curriculum / Course Desription
The Basic RiderCourse is designed for beginning riders. Approximately five hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours of riding exercises in a controlled environment provide an introduction to motorcycling. The course is conducted over two or three sessions. Motorcycles and helmets are provided. You must be able to ride a bicycle to participate. Over 20 states waive some portion of their motorcycle-endorsement test if a student has successfully completed the BRC. Many insurance companies offer discounts on motorcycle premiums to those who’ve passed the class as well.
Experienced RiderCourse (ERC) is for current motorcyclists and consists of three separate one-day courses: 1) Skills Practice RiderCourse for riders who’ve passed the BRC; 2) Skills Plus RiderCourse for already licensed and frequent riders; and 3) the License Waiver RiderCourse for riders with permits who do not possess a state motorcycle license or endorsement. They have begun to offer in some states a Scooter School, a half-day, entry-level training course, to familiarize riders with basic scooter operation. Some areas also offer the DirtBike School (DBS), a pair of one-day training courses conducted off-road on enduro motorcycles.
I’ve taken both the BRC and the ERC quite a few years ago and found them a good experience. Many long-term riders and former MSF instructors are disappointed with what has happened with the MSF classes in the past decade. The feeling is the classes have become too stripped down and students don’t get everything they need. In some states its good, but in others, not so good. The best advice is that while this is a good deal for the price, it should serve as just the start of your motorcycle training.
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