Just in time for spring, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) is offering a new line of motorcycle clinics focused on developing riding skills among prospective, experienced, and new Pennsylvania riders.
The Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP) clinics are offered free of charge to Pennsylvania residents who have a motorcycle learner’s permit or motorcycle license.
“It is important to practice and refine riding techniques from time to time,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards in a press release. “Riders of all skill levels can benefit from the valuable skills and safety lessons learned through Pennsylvania’s free motorcycle safety clinics.”
PAMSP will offer five revamped training syllabuses tailored not only to hone a rider’s knowledge, but also to test their ability to physically manipulate a motorcycle properly, according to PennDOT. All training clinics are conducted under the supervision of certified instructors at one of numerous riding ranges located throughout the state. In the New Hope area, training is offered at the Middle Bucks Institute of Technology, 2740 York Road, in Jamison.
Three of the clinics – the Beginning Rider Clinic (BRC), the Intermediate Riding Clinic (IRC), and the 3-Wheel Riding Clinic (3WRC) – offer a pathway to earning a motorcycle license. The 17-hour BRC, consisting of seven hours of in-class instruction and 10 hours of practical riding, provides valuable training for new riders and gives experienced riders the opportunity to polish their skills and correct any unsafe riding habits they may have developed. Basic riding skills, shifting, stopping, swerving, turning and mental skills for hazard avoidance highlight the training. Students taking the BRC are provided with a motorcycle and helmet; however, students are responsible for providing all other protective gear, says PennDOT. Act 84 of 2012 put into place the requirement that all permit holders under the age of 18 successfully complete the BRC to receive their motorcycle license.
The eight-hour IRC allows skilled riders to refresh their safety knowledge and hone their on-road skills. The IRC is based on motorcycle crash research and focuses on cornering, braking and swerving skills. Students taking this clinic must provide their own motorcycle and protective gear and provide proof of insurance, current registration and inspection for their motorcycle.
During the 3WRC, riders learn skills and safety strategies like those taught in BRC, except on a three-wheeled motorcycle. As with the IRC, students must provide their own motorcycle and protective gear and provide proof of insurance, current registration and inspection for their motorcycle. The clinic is comprised of four hours of classroom instruction and eight hours of riding.
Motorcycle learner’s permit holders who successfully complete the BRC, IRC or the 3WC will be issued a motorcycle license. Those who successfully pass their skills test on a three-wheeled motorcycle will be issued a motorcycle license with a “9” restriction, meaning they are prohibited from operating a two-wheeled motorcycle.
For those would-be riders who are still not sure if they want to ride, PAMSP offers the new, four-hour Introduction to Riding Clinic (ITR). This non-licensing clinic teaches fundamental skills for operating a two-or-three wheeled motorcycle and progresses from classroom to street skills and strategies. Students are provided with a motorcycle and helmet.
Rounding out the PAMSP offerings is the Advanced Rider Clinic (ARC), a one-day clinic for experienced riders who want to enhance their safety skills through attitude and awareness. The clinic is designed to enhance a rider’s ability to avoid a crash through honing their decision-making abilities, riding strategies, risk management and rider behavior and choices.
In addition to the benefit of improving riding skills, many insurers offer discounts for motorcyclists who have completed safety courses, have memberships in certain associations, or have a safe driving record, according to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.
For more information or to enroll in a clinic, visit www.pamsp.com or call 1-800-845-9533. Potential riders who want a convenient way to study for their knowledge test can download the PA Motorcycle Practice Test app by visiting www.pa.gov and searching the mobile apps for the Pennsylvania Motorcycle License Practice Test by clicking on the “Apps” link at the bottom of the page.