Many people assume that an officer is qualified for police motorcycle duty simply on the strength of prior experience operating civilian motorcycles. Not so! The high load factor of police motorcycles, along with the unusual distribution of the load, results in unique handling characteristics. This, plus the high speeds and/or maneuverability required of police motorcyclists, creates the need for higher-level skills than civilian riders are equipped to master without specialized training.


This intensive 80-hour program will develop the coordination, skill and confidence necessary for the student to operate a police motorcycle safely and efficiently. It will cover:

Machine nomenclature
Slow speed maneuvering
Curve Negotiation
Motorcycle maintenance
Defensive driving techniques
Law enforcement techniques

Throughout the program, the student rider will be continually evaluated. Upon successful completion of the course, students will have demonstrated their ability to use all the defensive riding techniques and manual skills they have learned, and will be fully prepared for on-the-job training within their agency.


This 120-hour course will not only cover methods of instruction, but also provide real-life experience in teaching proper police motorcycle operation. We have overlapped our Police Motorcycle Instructor Program with our basic Operator Training to offer future training officers actual police motorcycle student operators to work with. Upon successfully completing Police Motorcycle Instructor, the new training instructors will be able to teach proper police motorcycle patrol procedures to other members of their organization. The course will cover:

Principles of learning
Methods of instruction
Preparing a lesson plan
Site selection
Course layout
Practice teaching (field exercise)
On-street riding techniques
Law enforcement techniques

Please note: As a prerequisite, Instructor candidates must have previously been trained as a Police Motorcycle Operator, either in our basic school or an equivalent school and be a highly proficient rider. The focus of this course is to train in instruction methods/techniques, not teach riding skills.


The motorcycle courses can be presented at your location. Motorcycles will be provided by Harley-Davidson at no extra cost. Instruction will be provided by Northwestern University training staff. Our instructors and fleet of police motorcycles are ready to serve you. If your agency would like to act as host, or you would like more information, please contact the Training Liaison of Police Motorcycle Training at 414-343-8234.

Prior to enrollment each student will be required to sign a release of liability for Northwestern University and Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

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