Motorcycle Manual: Motorcycle Safety Program

Motorcycles Make Sense

So Does Professional Training

Motorcycles are inexpensive to operate, fun to ride and easy to park. Unfortunately, many riders never learn the critical skills needed to ride safely.

Professional training prepares beginning and experienced riders for traffic situations in the real world. Motorcycle RiderCourses® teach and improve such skills as:

  • Effective turning
  • Braking maneuvers
  • Protective apparel selection
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Traffic strategies
  • Maintenance


For the location of the basic or experienced Motorcycle RiderCourse® nearest you in New York State call toll-free:

1-800-446-9227 or visit the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF)
New York State Motorcycle Safety Program web site at



Motorcycle Safety Foundation

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s purpose is improving safety of motorcycles on the nation’s streets and highways.  In an attempt to reduce motorcycle accidents and injuries, the Foundation has programs in rider education, licensing improvement, public information and statistics. These programs are designed for both motorcyclists and motorists. A national not-for-profit organization, MSF is sponsored by the U.S. motorcycle distributors or manufacturers: BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio/Vespa, Suzuki, Vengeance, Victory and Yamaha.

The information contained in this publication is offered for the benefit of those who have an interest in riding motorcycles. The information has been compiled from publications, interviews and observations of individuals and organizations familiar with the use of motorcycles, accessories, and training. Because there are many differences in product design, riding styles, Federal, State and local laws, there may be organizations and individuals who hold differing opinions. Consult your local regulatory agencies for information concerning the operation of motorcycles in your area. Although the Motorcycle Safety Foundation will continue to research, field test and publish responsible viewpoints on the subject, it disclaims any liability for the views expressed herein.

Content & Illustrations courtesy of 
Motorcycle Safety Foundation
2 Jenner Street, Suite 150, Irvine, CA 92618-3806

 Revised January 2009


NYS Motorcycle Safety Program 

Motorcycle Safety Program Rider Education

Rider education is one part of a comprehensive motorcycle safety program supported by the Department of Motor Vehicles. To locate the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Rider Course nearest you, call MSF at 1-800-446-9227, or visit the NYS Motorcycle Safety Program web site at .

Motorcycle Safety Foundation: Motorcycle Rider Courses

For many people, motorcycling is a fun and energy-efficient means of transportation or recreation. However, motorcycling requires skill, concentration and reasonable precautions.

Although it is possible to ride a motorcycle on your own, trial and error is a tough teacher of motorcycling skills. That is why nearly all motorcycle groups have endorsed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Motorcycle RiderCourses®: the Basic RiderCourse® (BRC) for beginning riders and the Experienced RiderCourse® (ERC) for advanced riding skills.

The Course

The BRC is designed for beginning riders. It was developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and approved by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. It consists of a combined 16 hours classroom and on-motorcycle instruction including the following:

  1. Preparation to ride.
  2. Shifts, turns, brakes.
  3. Street strategies.
  4. Special situations.
  5. Enhanced riding skills.
  6. Maintenance and insurance.



Instructors for the course are all certified by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. All are motorcycle riders and have completed 80+ hours of instructor training.

Provided for You

The BRC is taught using lightweight (100 - 350cc) motorcycles provided for class use. These will be used off-street only.

You Provide

Students provide the following protective clothing:

  1. Boots with walking heels, high enough to cover ankles;
  2. Long pants of denim or other heavy material;
  3. Leather gloves - unlined but not too thin;
  4. Long-sleeved jacket or shirt, made from denim or other heavy material;
  5. Eye protection;
  6. USDOT-approved motorcycle helmet. Some training sites have loaner helmets available, check with the site for information.

Waiver of Skills Test

The motorcycle skills test, ordinarily required for a Class M license, may be waived if a student successfully completes an approved Basic Rider (BRC) Course at a Motorcycle Safety Foundation training site approved under the New York State Motorcycle Safety program.  To be eligible for the motorcycle road test waiver, you must also possess a current and valid New York State driver license and a motorcycle learner permit. You must have a valid motorcycle permit before you apply for the road test waiver and motorcycle license.

Basic RiderCourse 2

The BRC2 is designed for experienced motorcyclists who already have a motorcycle license and want to improve their riding skills on their own motorcycles. This half-day course will enable riders to hone the physical and mental skills necessary for surviving traffic. The BRC2 includes:

  1. Physical aspects of a safe ride.
  2. Risk management
  3. Increased visibility and optimum lane position.
  4. Personal protective gear.
  5. Rider responsibility.
  6. Motorcycle inspection and care.
  7. The effects of alcohol and other drugs on operation.


Advanced Training

DMV and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation encourage riders to maintain their skills by continuing to participate in rider training programs throughout their riding lifetime.  Remember – Learning is for Life.” MSF offers a variety of courses to meet the training needs of every motorcyclist at every level of experience. For more information, visit or


 End of Motorcycle Manual