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Motorcycling is a popular mode of transportation for work and leisure. It doesn’t use much gas and its fun to ride. Cheap entertainment. But before you rush out and buy a new Harley, you should check into motorcycle training courses. Even if you’ve ridden in the past, it’s good to refresh those basic riding skills. Most basic courses are geared toward new riders who have never been on a motorcycle before (other than a passenger). The most basic of skills are covered, such as becoming familiar with the controls of the motorcycle, mounting and dismounting, starting and stopping, changing gears, acceleration and deceleration, turning corners, braking and swerving techniques, carrying cargo or a passenger, riding in poor weather conditions, and dangerous situations on the road.

Do you currently ride a motorcycle in Washington state? If so, you need to be aware of some important motorcycle-related legislation that went into effect as of January 1, 2020. 


There are various motorcycle training programs in every state and most offer programs for the novice and experienced rider. Learning how to ride in a course gives new riders the advantage of learning the proper methods of riding in a controlled non-threatening environment. Classroom instruction is combined with supervised practice riding on an enclosed course designed specifically for teaching safe riding techniques. It is as important to learn what not to do, as it is to learn the basics of riding a motorcycle. The requirements for successful completion of this course are a passing percentage on a written test, in addition to safe performance of all required riding skills. The graduate rider is then given a certificate upon successful completion of a certified motorcycle training course, which allows them to avoid the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) driving requirement before they are issued a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license.

A motorcycle training course is just the beginning. To continue to be a safe rider, you need to increase skills with frequent practice and additional training as it is warranted by your skill level. No one wants to have an accident, but studies have shown that a great percentage of riders involved in accidents were self-taught. Check out local rider’s groups or organizations that promote safe motorcycling, such as ABATE at, a group that has chapters in most every state nationwide. Courses are also offered through local DMVs. Visit for course descriptions, schedules, locations, and required insurance information. Remember, safe riding is an attitude, and motorcycle training cannot provide that, only you can. Ride safe and watch out for other drivers who are not aware of you, it could save your life.