Advanced Rider Training Buyers Guide

Tom Roderick
by Tom Roderick

Aftermarket performance for your riding skills

You’ve taken a basic rider training course. Got a few thousand miles on the your new motorcycle. Lost your fear of traveling on the Interstate. Got caught in the rain and made it home safe. Great! Don’t get cocky. Overconfidence at this stage of the game is a dangerous enemy. Congratulate yourself on your two-wheel accomplishments then humble your ego. Motorcycling, like life, is an unending learning curve.

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Even if you’ve years or decades of experience, attending an advanced riding course to polish old skills or quit some bad habits is a great idea. If you live in a part of the country that enjoys six months of cold weather, an annual Spring occurrence should be attending an advanced rider course just to shake off the rust.

Advanced rider training courses generally specify completion of a basic rider training course, and from there assume you’ve the fundamental motorcycle skills and that you’re comfortable operating a motorcycle. Advanced rider training courses will focus on improving your motorcycle operating skills, crash avoidance, tight maneuvering, braking skills and more for riders on any type of motorcycle. If this seems too advanced for your current situation please read Evans’ Basic Rider Training article.

Advanced rider training courses are offered by a variety of entities. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is one of a few nationwide venues. You can search for available MSF advanced rider training courses here. Many regional advanced rider courses base their instruction on the MSF’s curriculum, such as the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program.

“The ARC is an advanced Motorcycle Safety Foundation course and may be taken by riders using any type of safe, street-legal, two wheeled motorcycle. It is an 8 hour course consisting of approximately 3-1/2 hours of classroom activities and 4-1/2 hours of riding,” says the PMSP’s website.

Lee Parks’ Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic is another nationwide option for bettering your motorcycle skillset. The official format of the California Motorcyclist Safety Program, Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic, like the MSF’s program, is used as the foundation for other training programs. Available dates and locations for Total Control Advanced Riding Clinics can be found here.

For Harley-Davidson aficionados the Motor Company has its own basic rider training programs: Motorcycle Boot Camp and New Rider Course, as well as its own Skilled Rider Course. Based on the MSF’s curriculum the Skilled Rider Course focuses on improving low-speed control, risk management, cornering judgement, and more.

A quick internet search including your zip code or other local information should bring up other rider training options available in your area such as Basicrider Course 2 at Oklohoma State University, the Advanced Rider Course by the Motorcycle Training Institute in Florida, the Experienced Rider Course by Evergreen Safety Council in Washington, the Advanced Rider Clinic from the Motorcycle Safety Center in Virginia, etc.

Let’s remember that advanced rider training applies to off-road riding as well as on-road. The World of RawHyde: Adventure Motorcycle Training, Tours & Special Events offers Phase 2: The “Next Step” Training Program for Intermediate level Adventure Riding. But I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. John Burns will be bringing us a full blown Adventure-Touring Training Buyer’s Guide. Look for it next week.

Your motorcycle will brake harder and lean farther than you can imagine. Learning to master the controls of a motorcycle is not only a self-rewarding process, it also increases your margin of safety. If you’re ready to elevate your street cred to the next level, taking what you know and applying it to the track experience is the next step. Lucky for us, Troy Siahaan has already paved the way to race track training with his Track/Racing School Buyer’s Guide. Be warned: Riding a motorcycle at the track is more addicting than crack.
Tom Roderick
Tom Roderick

A former staffer who has gone on to greener pastures, Tom Roderick still can't get the motorcycle bug out of his system. And honestly, we still miss having him around. Tom is now a regular freelance writer and tester for when his schedule allows, and his experience, riding ability, writing talent, and quick wit are still a joy to have – even if we don't get to experience it as much as we used to.

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