Jump to content

Motorcycle licensing rider education


Recommended Posts

I saw a MSF document from 2002 that outlined the motorcycle licensing requirements of each state. It listed six states: Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, New York and Texas that have mandatory rider training. (Other states require rider training for riders under 18.) What exactly does "mandatory rider training" consist of in these six states?

Link to comment

IMHO, it teaches you the absolute minimum basic motorycle controls..all at low speed... and so, if you master these basics, you receive a license that is pretty much worthless outside the parking lot in which they train you..in other words, in the REAL world eek.gifbncry.gif


The standard of cage driver education is pretty bad so that any bad road habits a potential rider may have, is carried into the MSF (or whatever!) course. We all know that these get magnified when riding a motorcycle. If the rider doesn't receive decent "real world" road training, they may as well put a target on them.


In essence, U.S. rider training is better than nothing....and definitely not substantial enough frown.gif


Don't get me started........ ooo.gifooo.gif

Link to comment

For NYS, it means you take the MSF Basic Rider Course (BRC). Successful completion of the class stands in for the road test for the state.

Link to comment
For NYS, it means you take the MSF Basic Rider Course (BRC). Successful completion of the class stands in for the road test for the state.

So, the BRC isn't actually mandatory? You can opt to take DMV road test instead?

Link to comment

I'm not exactly sure. Check with MANYS (Motorcycle Assoc? New York State) they're responsible for the waiver thing.


From their website:

The Waiver Option To DMV's Motorcycle Road Test


You're probably wondering what we are talking about. Well, here it is: The Commissioner of New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, Raymond P. Martinez, has provided a waiver option to DMV's motorcycle road test if you successfully complete the MSF's Motorcycle Basic RiderCourse. To be eligible for this road test waiver you must, by the beginning of your course:


1. Be 16 years of age or older.

2. Possess a valid New York State class "D" (automobile) driver license or higher.

3. Possess a current New York State motorcycle permit.


Within approximately four to six weeks of successful completion of the course (passing a knowledge and skill test), the Motorcycle Association of New York State, Inc. (MANYS) will mail you a completion card. When you hand in the MANYS card, along with your license and permit to your local DMV office, DMV will issue you a temporary driver license with a motorcycle endorsement on it. Subsequently DMV will mail you your new license with the motorcycle endorsement.

Link to comment

The AMA maintains a database of motorcycle laws at http://www.amadirectlink.com/legisltn/laws.asp


You can access the files for any state and see what the primary laws are.


What will be obvious from the AMA website is that AMA is very favorably inclined toward the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, and doesn't seem to be aware of the developing controversy--or at least doesn't want to talk about any industry problems. Bear in mind that the AMA has industry reps on their board.


Many states allow an MSF completion card (for the BRC) as a waiver for the state skills test. However, except for specified age groups, a rider can go to the DMV, take the written test, then take the skills test, and if a passing grade, obtain an endorsement without taking training first. Some states (i.e. Alabama) don't require training, and don't accept a BRC completion card as a test waiver.


Frankly, the "dumbed down" BRC is so easy to pass that anyone who passes the mirror breath test gets a completion card. And since the BRC skills evaluation is on a 250cc (or a 500cc Buell Blast in HD's Riders Edge training) it's a lot easier to pass the test than if you took your REAL bike to the DMV. It's a straight shot to a license, whether the new rider is ready or not.


Some states require mandatory training for riders under a specified age--say 18. So, for the young riders, it's necessary to take the BRC, and then take the completion card to the DMV for a written test and endorsement. That would be a great idea if the novice course covered anything relating to the real world. If you took the "old" MRC/RSS course that preceded the BRC, you may not realize how "dumbed down" the BRC is. It's touchy feely. There aren't instructors any more, but "rider coaches."


I'm not aware of any states that require mandatory training for ALL motorcyclists. Logically, the departments of licensing recognize that there are too few courses, so mandatory training would swamp the system and piff off a whole bunch of tax-paying motorcycle dealers and motorcyclist wanna-bes.


We might note that allowing the MSF (part of the motorcycle industry) to determine a rider's skill level is a lot like allowing Peterbuilt to issue commercial drivers license test waivers, or for Boeing to issue pilot training cards that are a waiver for an FAA license. IOW, the MSF has worked it's way into a position of "the fox guarding the hen house."


There are a few "anomolies" in this system. For instance, the MSF has resisted any form of three-wheeler training*, so a sidecar or trike driver who takes a three-wheeler course such as the S/TEP can't use the course completion card as a license waiver.


Fortunately, some states (think Wisconsin) have laws that describe training courses in terms of hours, certification, etc. and will allow an S/TEP completion card as a waiver for a three-wheeler endorsement. This might not be a big deal for you, but it's a big issue for those with physical limitations.


*well, up to now. With Harley Davidson offering factory trikes (Lehman kits) the MSF may get new marching orders to steal the S/TEP and dumb it down.


Fortunately, some states that are rebelling against the MSF "borg." Oregon has developed their own "Basic Rider Training" course. Fortunately, Oregon dept of transportation works with Team Oregon, so a BRT completion card is accepted as a DMV skills test waiver. Idaho has switched to the BRT, and other states are considering it.


IMHO, it's time for motorcyclists to take back their rider training programs from the motorcycle industry and offer training that prepared new riders for real world street riding. SROs, where are you?



Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...