LearnToRide.ORG Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to take a class?

Basic RiderCourses cost $210. This price includes insurance and covers rental on the motorcycle itself.

Experienced RiderCourses cost $110. This price assumes the rider will ride his or her own insured motorcycle.

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What time does class start?

Basic RiderCourses (beginner classes) start at 7:30 AM on Saturday. The weekend schedule looks like this: Starting times are fixed. Ending times vary greatly depending on weather and other factors.

Experienced RiderCourses, which are generally only held once each month, usually start at 8:00 AM. The class starts at the range (the parking lot out behind the Tennessee Technology Center). Click here for directions.

Experienced RiderCourses are usually conducted on the 3rd Saturday of each month, but sometimes we schedule them more often, especially during the busier parts of the training season. Unless you receive specific information about a different location or time, plan to be in the classroom at 8:00 AM on the day of the class.

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What's it like taking the weekend course?

The weekend course begins at 7:30 PM on Saturday morning. It will begin with some classroom activities which will help everyone become familiar with motorcycles and answer many questions people who are not familiar with motorcycles may have. From there students will exit the classroom and move to the range.

The "range" portion of the course is divided into exercises. The first exercise is little more than a chance to become familiar with the motorcycle you will be riding all weekend. As the morning progresses you will learn how to start and stop the engine, ride the motorcycle, shift gears, make turns and stop the motorcycle by using the brakes.

Many things can happen which make it impossible to follow an exact schedule, but if everything goes according to schedule you'll be through with your first morning's riding by around lunch time. We'll take a lunch break (you can either bring a lunch to eat or go to any of several nearby restaurants). You may come back to the range after lunch to continue exercises or go back to the classroom depending on circumstances.

Saturday afternoon you will return to the classroom to explore some important information about riding a motorcycle safely in the real world, where automobiles, animals, debris and other things present substantially different hazards to a motorcyclist than to a person in a car. This portion of the classroom will present techniques which help motorcyclists manage risk and enjoy safe riding. Generally the classroom will be dismissed somewhere between 4:00 and 6:00 PM depending on many factors.

Sunday morning at 8:00 AM the second riding session will begin. The exercises on Sunday will concentrate on real-world scenarios and give you an opportunity to practice some of the hazard avoidance techniques discussed during the Saturday evening classroom. They will also help you learn more about cornering and effective braking.

Once again the schedule can vary considerably, but if everything is going according to schedule you'll break for lunch, after which you will re-convene for the class wrap up. This will include two tests (or evaluations). One of them is a written test consisting of multiple-choice questions. These questions will all be on the material covered during the two classroom sessions. The other evaluation will be a "skill test", during which your ability to ride a motorcycle will be assessed objectively.

Around 4:00 PM (if everything goes according to schedule) on Sunday afternoon the motorcycles will be put back up and your coaches will probably have everyone re-convene in the classroom to finish everything up. At this time you will find out how you did on your tests and receive your completion packet. The class will then be dismissed.

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When do I get my motorcycle license?

Although we are not able to actually hand you a motorcycle license when you complete the class, we are able to do the next best thing.

If you pass both the written and skill tests you will receive two certificates from us. (Actually, one of them is just a card that's about the size of a normal business card). The larger certificate is a frameable document. It proves you successfully completed the skill test to the satisfaction of the State of Tennessee's licensing requirements. It should be taken to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles driver license testing center. When you show them this certificate they will waive their skill test and in most cases they will also not require you to take their written test.

You will be required to take the eye test (so study for that) as well as the money test.

There are three notable exceptions to the test waivers:

The smaller certificate mentioned earlier can be presented to your insurance company for the 10% discount on your motorcycle liability insurance.

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Am I too old to take the class?

There is no age limit for individuals wanting to take the class. Obviously there is a certain amount of effort involved in riding a motorcycle. It is more demanding physically as well as mentally than operating an automobile, but many older people well into their 70's and 80's decide that they would like to give motorcycling a try and end up enjoying it very much.

Each of us have to decide for ourselves if we have the ability to do certain activities. If you think you would like to try learning to ride a motorcycle, taking our class is an excellent way to find out if this sport is for you or not.

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I don't have a motorcycle. Can I take the class?

Absolutely. We provide the motorcycles for the Beginners RiderCourse (BRC).

See the next question for a description of the motorcycles we provide!

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What kind of motorcycle will I be riding?

We have several different motorcycles which we use for training bikes. In keeping with standards set by MSF the motorcycles we use as training bikes are limited in size, weight and power. Generally the engine size is 250cc or less for all our bikes.

Seat height is also an important consideration, especially for riders who don't have very long legs. We have various bikes with different seat heights and seating positions. Our RiderCoaches use their experience and knowledge of various models of motorcycles to help each student find a bike that fits them suitably before the riding begins. If you have any questions or concerns about the bike, be sure to address them to your RiderCoach.

Specifically, our fleet of training bikes include several of each of the following models: Suzuki TU250, Suzuki DR 200, Suzuki GN125, Suzuki GZ250, Honda Grom 125, Honda Nighthawk 250, Honda Rebel 250 and possibly a few others.

You can see some of these bikes at our local dealers who help sponsor our classes. The exciting new Honda Grom 125 can be seen at America's Motorsports and Howard's Honda.

For those who choose to ride scooters, we also have a choice between the Kymco Agility 125 and the Honda Metropolitan 50.

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What if I want to ride a Scooter?

We have a limited number of scooters that you can use to take a Basic RiderCourse. The scooters do not have a clutch and it is not necessary to shift gears on them. Other than these things they are controlled very much like a motorcycle.

If you complete the Basic RiderCourse using one of our scooters you will get the same certification as if you had taken the class using one of our motorcycles.

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Can my Husband/Wife/Significant Other come and watch the class?

As a general rule we cannot allow someone to participate in the class all weekend unless they are officially signed up for that weekend. However it is okay for a non-student to come to the classroom as long as they do not disturb the classroom proceedings.

As far as the range activities are concerned, they are held in a publicly accessible parking lot, which means that we could not (even if we wanted to) regulate who can sit in an adjacent parking lot and watch what is going on.

However, it should be noted that sometimes the presence of a spouse or "significant other" often poses a distraction to a person trying to master a challenging skill, and the feeling that they are "being watched" can often add to the anxiety often felt while trying to do something difficult. This can be very counter-productive.

Everyone is different, and some folks might actually prefer to have a spouse or significant other nearby while performing the range exercises.

Regardless, it is imperative that such an individual not interfere with the activities of the coaches or participants in the class. This even includes well-intentioned advice and coaching from the sidelines. Please remember that our RiderCoaches are specifically trained to evaluate and coach new riders effectively and that our coaching methods can be subverted by a sideline coach.

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What do I need to bring to class / To the range?

What to bring to the class: Just dress comfortably and casually. Bring a smile and be prepared to have fun!

What to bring to the range: For your own comfort it's a good idea to bring some drinks and snacks to the range so that during breaks you can refresh yourself as needed.

Of course you'll need proper riding gear any time you're actually riding the motorcycle.

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I don't have a helmet. Do I have to buy one first?

We can lend you one of our helmets so that you don't have to buy one before taking the class. Please be advised that all the helmets we provide are now full-face helmets. If you prefer to use an open-face helmet you will have to bring your own.

If you bring your own helmet it absolutely must be DOT (Dept of Transportation) approved or we will not be able to allow you to use it during our class. A DOT approved helmet will come from the factory with a sticker on the back that says DOT. It will also have other key features which we will be looking for. Please do not try to "sneak in" a non-DOT approved helmet for use on our range. Our coaches are trained to recognize the differences between DOT helmets and the novelty helmets one sometimes sees on the street, and are required to enforce this rule without exception.

Please note that loaner helmets are a convenience offered by our program, not a guarantee. We do our best to keep an adequate stock of loaner helmets but cannot guarantee that we will have one to suit your needs. It remains the responsibility of the student to acquire a helmet in order to participate in our class. The fee for taking the class will not be refunded just because a student is unable to be happy with one of our loaner helmets.

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What kind of clothing do I have to wear when riding?

Any time you are seated or riding a motorcycle during our class you will be required to wear the following:

Remember: If you are going to swing a leg over one of our motorcycles during your class, you have to be wearing all the above gear. No exceptions!

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