Those under 21 years old must complete motorcycle rider training classes given by the California Highway Patrol. Those who are 21 and up need to get a learner’s permit, pass the traffic laws and signs test, and then take a class or pass the road test (riders have three chances). While many do not want to spend the time taking a class, there are many benefits to doing it.
Anyone looking to pick a new skill or get better at a sport or hobby will often take classes. Motorcycle rider education classes are no different, but the extra skill can be the difference between arriving safely and getting injured by a reckless driver. Riders may also get a break on their insurance rate. They also learn about the proper use of safety equipment. Last but not least, classes may also provide peace of mind to loved ones not sold on the idea of riding a motorcycle.
In the classroom
Whether it is the CHP course or a non-sanctioned class, most classes start in a classroom where students study a manual of riding basics. The goal is to offer a more in-depth perspective of road signs, some motorcycle-specific signals and a general understanding of how the bike works. There will be lectures, videos and activities to understand the basics. The CHP spends 7.5 hours in the classroom.
The rubber on the road
Bikers also get to ride on a closed course where they can learn and practice hands-on bike handling skills for:
- Navigating obstacles and hazards
- Turning, swerving and cornering
- Effective braking
- Maintaining speeds
- Understanding stopping distances
- Safely executing a U-turn.
The CHP class offers 13.5 hours of hands-on training. While all classes are helpful for road test preparation, those who take the CHP class do not have to take the DMV test.
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees
Strong bike skills and understanding the road’s rules make for safer riding, but other people’s negligence is still a real risk for riders. Those injured or suffering property damage may want to speak with an attorney who specializes in representing motorcyclists. These legal professionals understand the true causes and nature of the injuries.