Beginning Riding Course
Learn to ride and get licensed!
All beginning classes are designed for students that have no experience at all on a motorcycle or any other motor vehicle. Some insurance companies and motorcycle shops offer discounts to our graduates. Most of our beginning classes finish within one week.
You will learn fundamental skills required to operate a motorcycle and progress to street riding skills and strategies. Topics covered include managing fear, understanding how motorcycles turn, proper cornering strategies, and emergency crash avoidance skills. The course is based on the most current research in rider safety and utilizes modern training methods.
You may choose from classes that have in person classroom sessions or online classroom sessions, but ALL beginning classes consist of two IN PERSON riding sessions ON A MOTORCYCLE.
Courses with an online classroom require completion of approximately 6 hours of classroom online via eRider before attending two IN PERSON riding sessions of about 5 hours each. You will be taking the written test as you progress though the course. The riding test is given at the end of the second riding session. See below for details.
Courses with in person classroom sessions are usually scheduled over a two or three day period and include two IN PERSON classroom sessions of about 3 hours each and two IN PERSON riding sessions of about 5 hours each. A written test is given at the end of the second classroom session and a riding test is given at the end of the second riding session. See below for details.
If you want to get into the earliest possible class, you may make arrangements with our office to come for free as a standby student. You MUST go through the office in order to use this option.
If you are in a hurry it is usually possible to pick your certificate up at our office on Treasure Island a few days after your class ends, but since the pick up schedule varies quite a lot, you MUST verify with the office to check how soon after your particular class ends that you will be able to pick it up if you are counting on that. If you do not verify you will be able to pick it up when you need to and/or you do not pass, you will not be able to pick the certificate up no matter what arrangements you have made, and a refund or reschedule will not be an option, but we will do our best to accommodate you once you do pass as a standby.
To get the most out of your classroom and riding sessions and so be more likely to pass them, study the MTC Handbook and the DMV Handbook, since some of the test questions on our test are from the DMV Driver’s handbook. Links for both handbooks are provided when you register for the class.
Many students find that the security measures at their workplace prevent their ability to see/read/download the handbooks from this Dropbox link. If you are having trouble, try opening your confirmation letter away from your workplace.
If you pass our class, you will still need to take the DMV's written test, since there is no way out of taking that. For that reason we recommend going to the DMV after you receive our certificate, since you will generally only need to make one visit if you wait until you have the DL389. Please consult the DMV for details and requirements that are individual to your situation, since we are not able to speak for the DMV and/or predict all of the licensing requirements for every student.
If you feel you need a translator for Spanish or any other language, please call the office ahead of time to make arrangements to have a friend who can translate for you to attend sessions with you. If you do not make arrangements ahead of time we will not be able to let your friend attend.
The purpose of this class is to create safer riders out of the average beginning motorcyclist, not to make it easy to get a license. While most beginning students are riding within the first few exercises and are able to pass this class the first time they take it, since everyone learns at a different pace it is not uncommon for students that need more repetition to be counseled out.
If you are counseled out or are not able to pass the first time through, our school allows students to come back for no additional fee as a standby student as many times as they would like in a 6 month period, but there is still no guarantee you will pass this class!
Students get what they put into the class! Students that are counseled out that make a commitment to studying, listening and coming back often to improve their skills usually pass within a week after their original class ends. Refer to your follow up email for information about the fastest way to come back. If you have any questions, call the office any time from 8am-5pm Mon-Fri for clarification.
End times are approximate and your class may go longer than expected, depending upon weather, number of questions, and many other variables. It is unusual to go over the time allotted, but if it does happen we still cannot pass you if you miss any portion of the class, no matter how good the reason for which you must leave or how well you are doing. Do not make appointments that you must leave for that take place immediately after your session is expected to end.
You will have to pay a standby fee to come back if you are unprepared, unsafe(on purpose or otherwise), unable to follow directions, argumentative and/or the instructor believes you are impaired/intoxicated in any manner with any drug, including alcohol or any other legal, illegal, prescription or over- the- counter substance(s) or you choose to leave before class is excused.
Experienced riders that are over 21 are eligible to take the 1 Day Intermediate Riding Clinic(1DPC) to get their license instead, but if you are uncertain which class to take, we highly recommend the beginning class, since even riders with 30-40 years of experience report improving their riding skills considerably. If you are still unsure, please call the office to discuss which one is best for you. We love to help and will do our best to advise you.
WAIVER - You will be required to sign our general waiver or minor waiver(if applicable) in order to participate in our class. Your legal guardian MUST come to the first in person session even if they have signed the waiver. We cannot reschedule or refund a minor that arrives unprepared without a legal guardian to sign for them at the first meeting, but they may still return as standby for a reduced fee.
BIKE - We provide motorcycles or scooters to all beginning students, but scooters are only available in our SF and Alameda locations. Since supply is limited, unless you are in the scooter only class, you must confirm availability of a scooter with the office two weeks before your class starts or you will not be guaranteed that one will be available. If you are in the scooter only class, scooters will be provided automatically.
You may not ride your own motorcycle in our beginning classes. If you would like to ride your own scooter you must get it approved by the office at least two weeks before the class begins.
IDENTIFICATION - You do not need a permit, license or any experience whatsoever riding a motorcycle or any sort of motor vehicle to take our beginning class- you only need to provide a valid, government issued photo ID and be at least 15.5 years of age. If you do not have a government- issued photo ID for any reason, please call the office to make sure we are able to let you into class before you sign up.
If your photo ID is from a different country and/or if your ID is anything other than a U.S driver's license, enter ‘FF’ in place of the state in the registration form, then enter both the state/country and the type of ID it is in the text box that will open.
GEAR - We are not allowed to let anyone ride without the proper protective clothing. Protective street motorcycle gear is always acceptable for taking our class, but gear that is motorcycle style is almost never protective, and so is almost never acceptable. For a complete guide to gear that is actually protective instead of merely ‘motorcycle style’ consult the section on gear in the MTC Handbook, which will be provided in a link in your confirmation email when you sign up. Click here for some examples
HELMETS -Full-coverage and DOT-compliant helmets will be provided. We do not allow helmets that are not full face or DOT compliant. If you would like to bring your own full face helmet you may, but if the instructor cannot confirm that it meets our requirements, you will be required to use one of ours.
GLOVES -Full- fingered, 100% leather work gloves are acceptable and can usually be found at any hardware store. Off-road motorcycle gloves, leather dress gloves, ski gloves, and work gloves of material other than leather will NOT be accepted.
FOOTWEAR -Only sturdy, over-the-ankle, snug fitting, reinforced footwear that supports the ankle will be accepted. Most laced and tied hiking boots or high tops will do as long as they fit snugly around the ankle with thick, padded/reinforced material so that your ankle bone cannot be felt. They must also be laced up so the sides are snug against the foot/ankle in order to provide ankle support. High tops or boots that merely cover the ankle and/or are worn in such a way that does not provide ankle support will NOT be accepted(ie: Chuck Taylor high tops, Uggs, cowboy boots, boots with elastic on the ankle, high tops that are loosely tied, etc.).
JACKETS- Full-sleeves that allow no skin/wrists showing when seated on the motorcycle when your arms are outstretched to ride are required at all times. Since temperatures fluctuate quite a bit through out the day all layers should be full sleeved. Jackets made of rugged material such as leather and denim are accepted.
DURABLE PANTS -Pants must cover all of the leg when seated on the motorcycle with feet up on the foot pegs - no skin/socks, etc. showing. Denim jeans or anything made of durable, rugged material, such as protective work pants. We will not allow you to ride in stretch pants or stretch fabric (including jeggings), or ANY pants with rips, tears, or any sort of holes, no matter the material.
RAIN GEAR -We do NOT cancel for rain. During the winter it can get very cold, especially if you are wet, so it is extremely important to come prepared for any weather.
BE ON TIME or EARLY! - This class is for beginners that have never ridden a motorcycle, and is very challenging. For this reason, our curriculum requires that we start on time so everyone in class is alert and so are able to absorb as much of the information as possible. You must arrive PREPARED a MINIMUM of 15 minutes early in order to check in so we may start class at the scheduled time. (Ex: if your start time is 6:30am then you must arrive prepared with your ID, grades and required gear IN HAND (not in your car)by 6:15am AT THE LATEST or you will be 15 minutes late and will not be able to join the class). You will not be allowed into class if you do not arrive prepared and on time according to the above example. You will NOT be rescheduled or refunded if you are late or unprepared, but you will be allowed to come back for a reduced fee as a standby student.
If the public transit schedule makes you too late for getting to a session to participate, please contact the office and we will see if we can figure out something that will work for you. You may have to be standby for some sessions, but if you confirm arrangements with the office ahead of time there will be no standby fee.
IN PERSON CLASSROOM SESSIONS
You must attend all classroom and riding sessions in full and in this order: 1st classroom session, 1st riding session, 2nd classroom session, 2nd riding session. You will be dropped from the class and have to pay $150 to come back as a standby student if you are late for a session, leave early or come back late from a break.
In the classroom, we will provide pens and a workbook(not to be confused with the handbook in your Dropbox link) for you to keep and for you to take notes in class, so there is no need to print out or bring the handbook.
Spanish workbooks are available. Please ask your instructor for one if you do not see it with the English workbooks. We only provide handbooks and workbooks in English and Spanish.
The written test is given at the end of the second classroom session and the riding test is given at the end of the second riding session.
While most beginning students will pass the first time through, occasionally students need more practice and must be counseled out for theirs and their classmate’s safety. If you are counseled out you will be emailed directions about how to return to finish your class.
If you do not pass or do not finish your class for any reason you will receive an email explaining how to come back. If you do not pass the written test we are allowed to let you retake it once. We do not charge for a written retest.
Once you pass the class we will send both a DL389 and a completion card to the address you provided when you registered online; if this address is not current, please call or email the office.
The DL389 is the form that may waive the riding portion of the motorcycle licensing test; it is good for one year after it is issued.
The schedule for most in person classes has a lunch break that is not long enough for getting food, so we recommend bringing a lunch. If you are late to the riding session you will not be allowed into class. You will receive an email explaining how to come back as a standby then the roster for your class is processed.
Choose any class code starting with an ‘M’ for an all in person beginning class. Since these classes are not as popular as our eRider classes we do not schedule them as often, so please let us know if we do not have any on the schedule and we will do our best to add some.
eRIDER CLASSROOM SESSIONS
Please check that you have access to a computer that meets the system requirements for eRider before signing up for this option! It is not possible to complete eRider with a mobile device such as a phone or tablet or by using Safari. You MUST use a desktop or laptop and a browser that is supported such as Chrome or Explorer. You will not be refunded and/or rescheduled if you are turned away at the riding session(s) due to not being able to provide a printout of your online classroom grades, but you will get an email explaining how you may come back as a standby student for a fee when the roster is processed.
Since eRider can be done at your convenience in the comfort of your home, the hours to complete it are not included in the the class schedule. We strongly recommend that you complete all 6 chapters of eRider at least one week before your riding sessions begin so you can get help from the office if you have any trouble. The office is open Mon- Fri from 8am- 5pm. If you start eRider late and so cannot finish it in time, you will not be refunded and/or rescheduled if you are turned away due to not being able to provide a printout, but you will get an email explaining how you may come back as a standby student for a fee when the roster is processed.
Your personal link to create an eRider account is contained in the confirmation email that is sent immediately by email when you register. Do not go to the eRider website until you have set your account up with this link, since you will not be able to log in there until you have set your account up.
You must attend all classroom and riding sessions in full and in order. eRider must be completed before you come to the riding sessions. eRider takes approximately one hour per chapter, consists of 6 chapters and can be done at your own pace, since you can save & exit at any time. This course is testing your knowledge as you progress, so each student MUST complete their own eRider class in their own account, and all students are expected to present one report card each.
If the office cannot verify online that you really did finish eRider in your own account before the riding sessions began when the rosters are processed, all attendance and scores from your riding sessions will be invalid towards your earning a certificate. You will be required to redo eRider and then both riding sessions as a standby student for a fee in order to return, and we will not be able to account your attendance or scores from the sessions that you took out of order.
You need an overall grade of 80% in eRider to pass our class. If you do not pass eRider you will still be expected to come to the riding sessions, since you may not retake eRider before the riding sessions begin. Once scores from your roster are processed, you will receive an email when eRider has been reset so you may try again. Choose any classcode starting with an ‘E’ for a beginning class that uses eRider.
This class is challenging, so our curriculum requires that we start on time so that students are able to gain the most out of their class. You must arrive a MINIMUM of 15 minutes early in order to check in so we may start class at the scheduled time. (Ex: your start time is 6:30am. In this case, you must arrive prepared with your ID, grades and required gear IN HAND (not in your car) by 6:15am AT THE LATEST or you will be 15 minutes late and will not be able to join the class).
It is free to reschedule your class 14 days before your first in person session meets. If you cancel there is a 15% cancellation fee. We do not reschedule or refund once within 14 days of the riding session- you will have to pay a fee to come back as a standby student if you miss class due to not following our policies, such as being late or prepared, regardless of how good your reason is.
STUDENTS UNDER 18 will be turned away and must come back as a standby student for a fee without a parent or legal guardian physically present and able to present a valid, government issued photo ID at the first riding session.
If you are in the military, unless you are already certain the curriculum our school offers fulfills your requirements, contact us before signing up, since each military branch differs in what they will accept, and we may not always offer what you need.
We cannot offer you a refund or to be rescheduled unless it is more than 14 days before your class begins. 14 days before your first in person class meets, a 15% fee of your registration fee will be charged if you cancel, or you may reschedule for free. If it is less than 14 days before the first in- person session meets, refunds or rescheduling will not be an option, but you may come back as a standby for a reduced fee.
You will be asked to leave if you display threatening, obscene, or inappropriate behavior or messages or intentionally interfering with other students, and you will not be eligible for a refund or to be rescheduled.
Learning to ride a motorcycle is challenging even under ideal circumstances, so we have a ZERO tolerance policy for students taking class under the influence of alcohol and/or other illegal, legal, over the counter, and/or prescribed drugs and/or mind altering substance(s) of any kind whatsoever. If the instructor suspects you are under the influence and/or impaired due to drugs or anything else (exhaustion, stress, etc.) and you will be asked to leave immediately and you will not be eligible for a refund or to be rescheduled.
Since there is a lot less demand for classes with in person classroom sessions we do not always have any on the schedule, so please contact us if we do not have any, and we will see if we can schedule one.
WHY PICK BAY AREA MOTORCYCLE TRAINING?
You can often arrange to pick your certificate up at our office on Treasure Island within days of passing the class if you are in a hurry. HOWEVER- pick up is only by appointment, so availability does vary!! If pick up in the timeframe you need is important to you, you MUST check with the office to verify if timeframe will be an option!!
If you are not able to finish/pass, or if you pass before you feel ready to ride on the street, for a reduced fee you may return as many times as you would like for 6 months as a standby student. Standby at almost all other schools is only available to students that have not passed yet, and only for 60 days, after which you have no other option but to pay the whole fee over again for a confirmed seat