Rider training is a motorcycle accessory that transfers to every bike you ride, for as long as you ride. Training makes you smoother, safer, faster and more confident. With knowledge and skill, riding becomes more relaxed and enjoyable. If this summer is your first season or your twentieth, there is a course available to improve your riding.
Basic Rider Course
Vermont Rider Education Program
Weekly throughout the summer
Every rider's experience should begin with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Basic Rider Course. This two day, 18-hour course provides the essentials needed to get a motorcycle license. Students can enter the course with no prior motorcycle experience and get their motorcycle endorsement by passing the competency test at the end of the second day.
The class alternates between the classroom and a parking range. Students are instructed in defensive driving and how it applies to motorcycles.
A motorcycle is provided for students taking the course. You need to have boots, long pants, long sleeved shirt or jacket, full-fingered gloves and eye protection. You can use your own helmet provided it is DOT approved or the program can provide one. You do not need to have your motorcycle permit prior to taking the course.
The Basic Rider Course is offered in locations around Vermont. Classes fills quickly, so register early. See See the Vermont Rider Education site for dates and locations. Call (800) 529-2535 or (802) 828-2913 to have registration instructions mailed to you.
Intermediate Rider Course
Vermont Rider Education Program
Throughout the summer
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Intermediate Rider Course is a one-day refresher course targeted at students who have completed the Basic Rider Course, but would like additional help with specific skills. The class is tailored to the needs of individual students.
Equipment for the IRC is the same as the Basic Rider Course. You can use the program's helmets and you must use their motorcycle.
Students who complete the Intermediate Rider Course get their motorcycle endorsement on their valid driver's license.
See the Vermont Rider Education site for dates and locations. To register, call (800) 529-2535 or (802) 828-2913 to have registration instructions mailed to you.
Experienced Rider Course
Vermont Rider Education Program
License Waiver Course
Skills Plus Course
Cost - License waiver: Using your own motorcycle $85; Using a program motorcycle $95
Cost - Skills Plus: $70
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course is a one-day course designed for riders who know the fundamentals of riding a motorcycle and have some experience. The License Waiver course is for those who do not have their motorcycle endorsement. The Skills Plus course is for riders who have their license, but want to increase their skills.
Classroom sessions focus on motorcycle safety topics. Range exercises cover emergency braking, swerving, proper cornering and slow speed maneuvers.
If you are riding your own motorcycle, it must be registered, inspected, insured and in good working condition. To participate in the License Waiver course you must have a motorcycle permit.
Students who pass the License Waiver course will receive their motorcycle endorsement.
See the Vermont Rider Education site for dates and locations. Call (800) 529-2535 or (802) 828-2913 to have registration instructions mailed to you.
Rider Coach Preparation Course
Vermont Rider Education Progam
MSF Basic Rider Course Instructor
Being an Motorcycle Safety Foundation Rider Coach is rewarding, challenging and a great way to improve your own motorcycle skills. The MSF Basic Rider Course Instructor Preparation Program teaches prospective teachers how to present the classroom materials, run the range exercises and evaluate students.
The class requires 80 hours and consists of 9 days of training over three consecutive 3-day weekends.
Candidates must be at least 21 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent. Their driver's license must be valid, contain a motorcycle endorsement and must free from suspensions andrevocations for two years. Their driving record must be free of DWI convictions for five years and they must have four years of riding experience in the previous five years.
Students who complete the Rider Coach Preparation Course become qualified to teach the MSF Basic Rider Course curriculum and are eligible to work for the Vermont Rider Education Program.
To learn more about taking the Rider Coach Preparation Course, contact Paul Graves, the Vermont Rider Education Program Coordinator, at 802-828-2068, firstname.lastname@example.org or 120 State Street; Montpelier, VT 05603
Green Mountain Motorcycle Road Riding - Rhythm of The Road Tours
Green Mountain Motorcycle Road Riding
Bi-monthly and on demand
Cost: $160 per day
Watching riders graduate directly from the parking lot training of the Basic Rider course to riding on the public roads, MSF instructors Dave Willette and Kevin Barrett saw a gap in rider training. The Basic Rider course teaches the fundamentals of operating a motorcycle, but there is no opportunity to practice those skills in real situations while getting feedback from an instructor.
Green Mountain Motorcycle Road Riding's day tours offer an opportunity to have a personal rider coach watch you on public roads and help you apply the theory of the classroom to actual riding. And, you get to take a nice ride in the Green Mountains while doing it.
To take a Green Mountain Motorcycle Road Riding course, you must have your motorcycle license, wear proper motorcycle gear and ride a registered, inspected and insured motorcycle. They offer discounts for corporate groups and for those who have completed the Basic Rider Course or Experienced Rider Course.
Tours this season begin in May and run until October. In addition to their scheduled tours GMMRR can run private tours that accommodate your schedule.
GMMRR also runs a parking lot range course that helps you gain confidence with slow speed maneuvers, a seasoned rider workshop for older experienced riders and a group riding workshop that include ride planning and leading a group. See the GMMRR web site for details.
Total Control Advance Riding Clinic
Tony's Track Days
April 18th and June 21st
Cost: $295 per day
The Total Control Advanced Riding Clinics break riding into its components to teach experienced riders to refine their skills. Part 1 focuses on cornering technique, throttle control, throttle to brake transitions, line selection, body position, suspension setup and mental approach.
Part 2 expands on topics covered in Part 1, including riding psychology, speed shifting, trail braking, decreasing radius turns, and chassis setup. Each part is taught as a one-day course that can be taken separately.
Highly skilled instructors teach the class, which runs in a parking lot. The maximum student:teacher ratio is 6:1.
All students must provide their own motorcycle, wear full riding gear and have at least one year of riding experience. ARC recommends that students with less than five years of riding experience complete the MSF Experience Rider Course prior to taking the course.
Total Control ARC is taught in conjunction with Tony's Track Days events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Dates for this season are April 18 th and June 21st, weather permitting. Cost is $295. See Tony's Track Days site for details.
Other Training Options:
Track Days are fun and filled with information. If you think you are a competent rider, but want to refine your riding skills, spend a day at the track. A track day can teach corner technique, using your throttle to position your motorcycle, body position, and how to use your brakes.
And did I mention that they are a ton of fun?
Track days are offered regularly at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon NH by Fishtail Riding School, Tony's Track Days and Boston Moto. See the Track Days page a schedule of track days at NHMS.
The Women's Riding School is not running a track day this summer, but will be holding other events. See their web site for details or follow them on Facebook.
Another good resource for finding information on motorcycle training is this article.