Share the love: Become a RiderCoach​

Oct. 14, 2021

A RiderCoach instructing a motorcycle training class

T​here are probably many reasons you ride your motorcycle: Maybe it's the feeling of freedom when you're out on the open road. Maybe it's the sense of camaraderie with your fellow riders. But at least one of the reasons is probably that you just plain love to ride. Have you ever thought about sharing that love with others as a certified RiderCoach?

The Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center offers rider training courses at colleges and universities around the state. Your valuable instruction would train participants in skill courses that range from basic through expert.​

Your expertise and passion are more important than ever, because we're seeing a disturbing, tragic increase in motorcycle fatalities. As of Oct. 14​, 61 motorcyclists were killed in crashes this year. The heartbreak exceeds the 44 motorcyclist deaths for all of 2019 and an already high 60 deaths reported at this time last year.

Some RiderCoaches have been training motorcyclists on safe riding since the 1980s, and they all have different reasons for doing so. Some have been in crashes and want to help new riders avoid the same fate, for example. And with the rise in all-vehicle fatalities since the pandemic, it's important that new riders have good skills to handle common issues, such as navigating corners and intersections, working a clutch, and steering and braking at higher speeds.

At $33 an hour, it's the best part-time job a motorcyclist can dream of. To qualify, you need a motorcycle endorsement on your license, a street-legal bike, and absolute commitment to safe riding practices. It also helps to be passionate about riding and comfortable speaking in front of small groups – most classes are 12 students.

To get your RiderCoach certification, you'll complete prep work before the course starts and then take the course over three weekends. The course follows the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's classroom curriculum from a teacher's point of view. You'll complete the training by student teaching in a real rider training course.

Once you're certified as a RiderCoach, you'll be able to choose at least four weekends per year to train motorcyclists. You'll join a group of over 100 dedicated RiderCoaches with lots of different backgrounds and occupations – engineers, teachers, construction workers – they all just love riding and want to pass it on.

Whatever your reasons for riding, even if it's just making a little extra money on the side doing something you love, it's worth looking into becoming a rider coach. If you want to know more, contact Steve Haataja, the motorcycle safety project manager at Ridgewater College in Hutchinson. Steve coordinates the program and can answer your questions.

Hopefully you'll be sharing the love soon.