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 RiderCourse® teach and improve such skills as:

  • Effective turning
  • Braking maneuver
  • 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 and administered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). 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) and Basic Rider Course 2 License/Waiver Course (BRC2-LW) for beginning riders and 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 15 hours classroom and on-motorcycle instruction including the following:

  1. Preparing to ride.
  2. Turning, shifting, braking and using controls.
  3. Adjusting speed and selecting the appropriate gear.
  4. Street strategies.
  5. Lane changes, cornering, stopping quickly and stopping in a turn.
  6. Special situations, limited space maneuvers and avoiding hazards.
  7. Skills practice.



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. ANSI Z87.1 approved 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, normally required for a Class M license, may be waived if a student successfully completes an approved basic rider course (BRC) Basic Rider Course 2 License/Waiver Course (BRC2-LW) 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's permit. You must have a valid motorcycle permit before you apply for the road test waiver and motorcycle license.


Experienced Rider Course

The ERC is designed for experienced motorcyclists who already have motorcycle endorsements 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 ERC includes:

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


 End of Motorcycle Manual