Both versions of the Skilled Rider Course begin with a pre-ride inspection of your motorcycle. Plan ahead and conduct this before your class, so you aren’t sorting things out at the range. Check these items and your bike will pass the inspection like a boss.

  • Tires- check your tires for dry rot, that is cracks in the side walls, tread depth and air pressure. Be sure to use the tire pressures recommended in your owner’s manual.
  • Controls- Check your levers, pedals, cables and hoses for function and condition.
  •  Lights and Mirrors- Make sure your headlights, turn signals and taillights are functioning and your mirrors are tight. 
  • Oil and fluids- Check your oil levels and verify that there are no obvious oil leaks. 
  • Chassis- Check out your suspension front and rear for function and tightness and have a look at your final drive too. 
  • Stands- make sure your side stand or center stand function correctly and stow fully. These checks take about ten minutes and will ensure that your bike is as ready for the class as you are.

You will need-

  • Your DOT approved Helmet
  • Eye protection, 
  • Full fingered gloves
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Sturdy jeans or riding pants and 
  • Sturdy over the ankle footwear 

The course is rain or shine so be ready for the weather as you would for any day long ride, pack your rain gear. Also plan for shifts in temperature, dressing in layers will accommodate the cold in the early morning. Peeling off some layers in the afternoon will relive you from that hot sun. Also, pack some snacks. Be prepared to keep yourself mentally and physically in the game with a snack bar, fruit or whatever keeps you focused.  Most programs provide bottled water and time for a lunch break, ask ahead to be sure.

At the range you will start the day with that pre-ride inspection on your bike, if you prepped it before the class you’ll be feeling confident about passing the pre-ride inspection. Then it’s time to ride, your coaches will explain the course layout, read exercise objectives and instructions, ride a demo ride to show the path of travel and desired technique, and occasionally have you practice a skill on your bike with the engine off. Then it is your turn to ride. Exercises are generally about 30/40 minutes long and most programs will run two or three and then take a break. There will also be some range side “chalk talk” and activities, these are intended to sharpen your mental riding skills. In some states a riding test is provided to help each rider better understand what skills they are proficient at and what they still might need to practice up on.

The License waiver course is more detailed and includes an online course component and a classroom session in addition to the range day described above.

Your first range day will focus on getting to know the motorcycle, how to properly start it up, move it from point A to point B, and shut it off.

You learn the fundamentals of clutching and shifting, turning and stopping. Each exercise is designed to build on the previous exercises and allow you to learn quickly and effectively. Expect each exercise to take about 40 minutes. After every other exercise, a break will be held. This is usually a ROADBOOK opportunity and a chance to just rest, get a drink of water and hang out with your classmates. Programs typically hold a classroom session at the dealership after the first range day. The afternoon classroom session is focused on behaviors and self-assessment. This is important stuff! The more you participate the more you will get out of it.

Coach Tip – Learning to ride can be mentally and physically exhausting. Make plans to rest Saturday night – you want to be fresh for the second range day.