Rider training is popular and potentially life-saving. Without proper training, new riders are more likely to be involved in a crash. Experienced riders also can benefit from additional training to hone their crash-avoidance skills.
Earn your Motorcycle License in the Basic Course and Experienced-License Waiver Course with a 90-day license test waivers to successful graduates! Low cost and professional training to assist riders in improving their skills in:
Motorcycling is primarily a solo activity, but for many, riding as a group — whether with friends on a Sunday morning ride or with an organized motorcycle rally — is the epitome of the motorcycling experience. Here are some tips to help ensure a fun and safe group ride:
Arrive prepared. Arrive on time with a full gas tank.
Hold a riders’ meeting. Discuss things like the route, rest and fuel stops, and hand signals (see diagrams on next page). Assign a lead and sweep (tail) rider. Both should be experienced riders who are well-versed in group riding procedures. The leader should assess everyone’s riding skills and the group’s riding style.
Keep the group to a manageable size, ideally five to seven riders. If necessary, break the group into smaller sub-groups, each with a lead and sweep rider.
Ride prepared. At least one rider in each group should pack a cell phone, first-aid kit, and full tool kit, so the group is prepared for any problem that they might encounter.
Ride in formation. The staggered riding formation (see diagram below) allows a proper space cushion between motorcycles so that each rider has enough time and space to maneuver and to react to hazards. The leader rides in the left third of the lane, while the next rider stays at least one second behind in the right third of the lane; the rest of the group follows the same pattern. A single-file formation is preferred on a curvy road, under conditions of poor visibility or poor road surfaces, entering/leaving highways, or other situations where an increased space cushion or maneuvering room is needed.
Avoid side-by-side formations, as they reduce the space cushion. If you suddenly needed to swerve to avoid a hazard, you would not have room to do so. You don’t want handlebars to get entangled.
Periodically check the riders following in your rear view mirror. If you see a rider falling behind, slow down so they may catch up. If all the riders in the group use this technique, the group should be able to maintain a fairly steady speed without pressure to ride too fast to catch up.
If you’re separated from the group, don’t panic. Your group should have a pre-planned procedure in place to regroup. Don’t break the law or ride beyond your skills to catch up.
For mechanical or medical problems, use a cell phone to call for assistance as the situation warrants.
There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, and some drivers don’t “recognize” a motorcycle; they ignore it (usually unintentionally). Look for motorcycles, especially when checking traffic at an intersection.
Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
Because of its small size, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots (door/roof pillars) or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car (bushes, fences, bridges, etc). Take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic, whether you’re changing lanes or turning at intersections.
Because of its small size a motorcycle may seem to be moving faster than it really is. Don’t assume all motorcyclists are speed demons.
Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.
Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling, thus some riders, (especially beginners) sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change. Make sure a motorcycle’s signal is for real.
Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles, and wind. Understand that motorcyclists adjust lane position for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off or to allow you to share the lane with them.
Maneuverability is one of a motorcycle’s better characteristics, especially at slower speeds and with good road conditions, but don’t expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.
Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes stopping quickly difficult. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because it can’t always stop “on a dime.”
When a motorcycle is in motion, don’t think of it as motorcycle; think of it as a person.
The MLT is back for a limited engagement! In celebration of Motorcycle Awareness Month, we will offer motorcycle license testing on May 18th in Cumming!
Come to the Gold Wing Road Riders Safety Awareness Eventat Cumming Marketplace on Saturday, May 18 2013 from 10am – 2pm and take the Riders Skills Test.
GMSP encourages all riders to get licensed and trained. The MLT offers a convenient way for valid Class MP (permit) holders to test for the Class M (motorcycle) via on-site Rider Skills Testing at community and motorcycle enthusiasts’ events. Upon successful passing, Georgia Motorcycle Learners Permit Holders will obtain their Georgia Class M (Motorcycle License) through 90-day License Test Waivers.