Motorcycles are different from cars – isn’t that why we love them? For better or worse, the lack of a metal cage adds to a unique sense of freedom. Feeling as if you are one with nature and the road — plus all the really cool riding gear — makes motorcycles very appealing. Moreover, motorcycle riding develops coordination and balance in ways that sitting behind the wheel just doesn’t require. In order to maximize the experience, it’s important to learn how to operate them as safely as possible.
There are many groups that offer motorcycle safety courses. The most well known is the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), which is a nonprofit organization supported by motorcycle manufacturers. Here in the Bluegrass State, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Eastern Kentucky University’s Traffic Safety Institute administer the Motorcycle Safety Education (MSE) course. The MSE offers a 16-hour course that teaches basic motorcycle skills, as well as an advanced course geared toward enhancing the skills of experienced drivers.
So, why take one?
Self-confidence. The techniques that are taught are applicable to real world situations. Learning them in a controlled environment on a smaller bike are fundamental building blocks that allow riders to share the road with confidence.
Exposure. Find yourself drawn to the idea of riding, but don’t know anyone with a motorcycle? Safety classes provide bikes for hands-on instruction, making it a great opportunity to determine how deep your “interest” really goes, what kind of motorcycle might be right for you, and whether you can handle all that comes with wearing a helmet. Taking a course is an inexpensive way to try riding, without investing in a bike and gear, not to mention maintenance and insurance.
Easier to get your license. In Kentucky, successful completion of a recognized program can allow an applicant to bypass the skills portion of the license exam. Courses require either a current motorcycle permit or a valid driver’s license.
Financial benefits. Classes offered by the MSF may come with perks in the form of a refund or discount on a new bike. Many insurance companies will give a discount ranging from five to twenty percent for completion of a certified motorcycle safety course.
Practice. Don’t take a risk by riding with stale skills. There are courses designed to refresh, redevelop, or correct skills without spending time on the written exam necessary for first-timers. As athletes know, it’s as important to retrain on fundamentals as it is to fine-tune details. Complacence can be just as dangerous as novelty. At the very least, you might learn something new or be able to take pride in the awareness that you are doing something right.
For the greater good. The MSF’s mission statement is “To make motorcycling safer and more enjoyable by ensuring access to lifelong quality education and training for current and prospective riders, and by advocating a safer riding environment.” Even responsible riders have to accept that motorcyclists are often perceived as reckless. Safety training can only help in negating such damaging misconceptions.
If you have any questions about this topic, have been injured in a motorcycle accident, or have lost a loved one in a KY motorcycle crash, trust your case to the attorneys at the Johnson Law Firm. Founded and overseen by a lawyer who rides (his favorite bike is his Harley Davidson CVO Ultra Classic), the Pikeville, KY-based Johnson Law Firm has represented motorcyclists who have been injured in a wide variety of situations. We have over 15 years of experience helping people, and we can help you. Contact us by calling 606-437-4488 or filling out our online form.
Attorney Billy Johnson
William “Billy” Johnson grew up in the Dorton area of Pike County, Kentucky, and early on decided to stay in the beautiful Appalachian mountains. Like many others in Eastern Kentucky, Billy’s dad worked as a coal miner, a hard job but one that taught his son how to meet challenges head on and persevere. Attorney Billy Johnson has years of experience helping injured clients with claims such as car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, wrongful deaths, work injuries, and more. [ Attorney Bio ]