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Put 35 years of motorcycle training experience to work for you

March 25, 2019

A motorcycle training instructor watches as a rider enters a series of traffic cones


We can all agree that this Minnesota winter has been brutal. Which means wheeling your motorcycle out of the garage and taking it for the first spin of the year will be that much sweeter.

But spring here in Minnesota is also known as pothole season, and we’re getting more than our fair share this year. Add to that the extra sand and gravel, icy patches caused by snow runoff freezing at night, and motorists who have spent the last few months not sharing the road with motorcyclists, and you have some potentially dangerous riding conditions on your hands.

Consider this: Preliminary numbers show that 58 riders died in 56 crashes last year, and over half of those crashes involved only the motorcycle. How to avoid such a fate? Training. The Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center has offered training for more than 35 years, and spring is a great time to take advantage of their experience.

When you hear the word “training,” you may think, “I don’t need that. I already know how to ride a motorcycle!” That may be true, but public safety officials recommend taking a training course every couple of years. And with several levels to choose from, you won’t be bored:

  • Basic Rider Course: Good for new riders or riders who took a long hiatus and are getting back into riding. Riders who take this course and pass the skills test earn their motorcycle endorsement on their Minnesota driver’s license.

  • Intermediate Rider Course: The perfect refresher course. And because riders use their own motorcycles for this course, it’s a good opportunity to safely adjust to a new bike. It’s shorter and is designed to enhance the skills of newly licensed motorcyclists, returning riders and experienced motorcyclists.

  • MN Advanced Rider Course:  This course uses the same techniques designed to train and keep police motorcycle officers safe in any riding or traffic situation. Being comfortable on your motorcycle and being able to complete a 28-foot U-turn are the only requirements for this course. It will help riders improve skills needed to avoid the dangers of the road (debris, deer, other drivers). It’s offered at three training sites.

  • MN Expert Rider Course: This is designed for experienced riders who completed the MN Advanced Rider Course. It, too, is offered at three training sites, and you can find videos of some of the course drills online.

With 25 training sites statewide, you should be able to find one near you. You can find a map with links to each location’s website here, and you can register right now for your chosen site. Most sites start training in early to mid-April. And even though training runs through September, why not do it now so that you have the whole rest of the riding season to enjoy safely? It’ll be a great way to celebrate the beginning of spring.