Bay Area Motorcycle Training
|Frequently Asked Questions
Once is "frequently" enough if your question is not answered on this website ... so feel free to Contact Us if you can't find what you need.
You must register and pay for a course before attending the first session. "Walk in" students are not accepted. Everything you want to know is covered on the page: What is required to take the course
Yes, but it is not automatic. When you register and pay for a course, you must ask to be put on the standby list. When an opening occurs in an earlier course, the office will call students on the standby list in the order which they registered. Each will be offered a transfer to the earlier seat. The first person to respond will get the transfer. Seats can not be held open until everyone checks messages ... it is first come first serve, just like registration. "Walk in" students are not accepted in any session unless they have a Class Pass issued by the office. Class Pass students (who are trying to complete a previously started course) have priority over Standby students (who already have a confirmed seat in a later course).
No, we provide the training motorcycle. No prior riding experience is expected or required. Unless you are absolutely certain which bike you want to own, we encourage you to wait until after the course to choose one. In the classroom, we discuss the things you might want to consider in choosing a motorcycle to fit your needs.
We try to have a mixture of styles and models from major manufacturers, but all training motorcycles are required to be less than 500cc. Our fleet includes standards, cruisers, and dual sports. Click here for photos of the bikes we use.
We have a limited number of scooters which may be reserved when you make your reservation, but you must call the office to reserve a scooter. We strongly suggest you learn on one of our motorcycles unless you already have your own scooter. Learning a motorcycle teaches you clutch operation, which is difficult to learn on your own. A motorcycle rider can ride any scooter ... but if you only learn a scooter and you ever need - or want to try - to ride a motorcycle, you may need that skill. (Also note, State rules require you to use the same type of vehicle for the entire course. You can not switch from motorcycle or scooter to the other mid-course.)
If you are over 21, you may use your own motorcycle or scooter in the course with the following restrictions:
(Also note, State rules require you to use the same type of vehicle for the entire course. You can not switch from motorcycle or scooter to the other mid-course.)What if I don't have a helmet?
We provide loaner full face or 3/4 helmets for students who do not have one. We have sizes to accommodate most people. Please see the What to bring, What is provided page for more complete information.
Any motorcycle dealer and most motorcycle accessory
stores carry a full range of these items at varying prices. We do not sell
any riding gear. We do not loan any riding gear other than helmets.
Yes. You get your license from the California
Department of Motor Vehicles. We only give you the DMV form DL389, which
allows you to waive the riding portion of your license test. You still
have to take the DMV written test. If it has been more than a year since you
received your car license, they may also ask you to take the car written test.
If you never had a car license and are applying for only a motorcycle
license, they may also ask you to take an on road riding test at an
intersection near the DMV office. (The DMV DL389 is mailed to you within 10
business days after you complete the course. Be sure to allow time for
the mail delivery when you make plans to visit the DMV.)
Licensing questions should be directed to the DMV. We can not answer licensing questions because we are not authorized to speak for the DMV and different DMV offices may enforce the policy differently. However we can say THE DL389 CERTIFICATE EXPIRES ONE YEAR AFTER THE DATE IT IS ISSUED and cannot then be reissued. You must take (and pay) the entire course again to get another.
CMSP Policy states: "Any potential student who
possesses a license that has been restricted due to one or more convictions for
driving while impaired may not participate in any CMSP RiderCourse until all
restrictions to the license have been lifted."
Tuition fees are not refundable for any reason. You may cancel a reservation
and reschedule for another course within six months of the original reservation.
Cancellation must be at least 5 business days before your reserved class starts.
Cancellation within 5 business days is considered a voluntary withdrawal and you
must pay the entire course fee again to reschedule.
Stuff happens. If you know you will not be able to attend a reserved classroom or range session, please tell us. Call the office and leave a message. All rescheduling is done on a space available basis only. If you have a problem, we will do our best to work with you. An unexplained absence is noted as a no-show and you forfeit the course fee. The entire fee must be repaid to take the course again from the beginning. No-shows are given no priority for seating when rescheduling.
First, remember that ALL course fees are Non-Refundable!
Class Pass: To reschedule,
the office for a Class Pass. We will send you a Class Pass which allows you to
attend classroom or riding sessions, as needed, as a standby student for a specified
period of time. You should arrive at least 45 minutes before the session Roll Call. When you arrive,
contact a RiderCoach to find your name on the "Carryover List". Please Do Not interrupt the RiderCoaches
if they are instructing a session already in progress. If space is available, the RiderCoach will add
you into the session on a first come, first serve basis, and you stay with that group for the rest of
its sessions. If there is no space in the session, the RiderCoach will sign and date your attempt on
the list. If you have attempted at least three sessions and were unable to get a seat, contact the
office and we will work with you to try to find space in the schedule. (During times of high demand it
may not be possible to find open space. You may have to keep trying.)
About 80% of the students pass the course the first time.
All of the riding is done on pavement on a closed range. During each range session, you will actually ride a motorcycle 12-15 miles, but there are no hills and no street traffic to worry about. How to ride on the street is covered extensively in the second half of the course by addressing Street Strategies.
The maximum riding session is 12 students working with 2 RiderCoaches. More than 12 students are never allowed, but often there are fewer due to no-show or drop out. Both RiderCoaches coach all students at various times - you do not work with just one of the two.
We have men and women RiderCoaches certified by the California Motorcyclist Safety Program to teach all sessions of the course, but we can not guarantee any particular RiderCoach will teach a specific course. It takes at least two RiderCoaches to teach a full course, and you could have as many as five different RiderCoaches in one course.
" I've been contemplating this course for a while. But I'm scared I'll be left way behind because I have NO experience while others will have some. "The curriculum is designed to be taught to students who have never even sat on a motorcycle. All students are considered to be at the same skill level regardless of any prior experience. Even if everyone in a course is experienced, not one part of the course may be shortened or skipped. The RiderCoach is required to see that every student has sufficient time and the proper personal attention to meet each objective in each lesson. Students will not be left behind ... the course is not run at the speed of the fastest learners (dragging others along), nor is it run at the speed of the slowest learners (pushing them to hurry) - it is run according to a precise schedule designed for the eager but inexperienced learner. However, students who simply can not meet the objective of a lesson in the allowable time will be asked to withdraw and may consider repeating the session or the entire course. (See Does every student pass the course?)
The one thing no one can teach is balance. Students who have never ridden a bicycle or anything that requires balance may or may not get their sense of balance in the time allowed. We can't separate those students and let them keep trying. Occasionally we do have to ask students to come back after they have practiced balancing.
The average mix of students in a course is a few who have never had any contact with motorcycles, the majority who have had some contact but are not really "experienced", and a few who know how to ride but are getting back into it. RiderCoaches often say it is the "never had" who are the best learners.
Dealers and manufacturers occasionally offer rebate programs to encourage you to take a safe riding course. The Basic Rider Course usually meets all requirements for reimbursable training, but the rules are established by the dealer or manufacturer. The Graduate Card (and the DMV DL389 form) you receive after completing the course is proof of your achievement. Some rebate programs require an additional proof of payment receipt. If you need one, contact the office.
Some insurance companies offer discounts of 10% or more for completing a safe riding course. The Basic Rider Course usually meets all requirements for discounts. Check with your insurance agent. The Graduate Card you receive after completing the course is proof of your achievement.
DL389 CERTIFICATES EXPIRE ONE YEAR AFTER DATE OF ISSUE.
The DMV DL389
certificate is a legal document strictly controlled by the State. Issuance of every single
certificate is recorded by the California Motorcyclist Safety Program
for the California Highway Patrol. Their rules for reissuing must be
If your original registration can be found, your letter signature will be compared to your waiver signature. Your request will be filed with your original form. You may not be allowed more than one replacement.
The State does not allow requests by any method other than paper letter with a hand written signature.
What did we miss? Feel free to Contact Us if you can't find what you need.