Basic Riding Courses in the Bay Area
Bay Area Motorcycle Training
Learn to ride and get licensed!
We are part of the California Motorcyclist Safety Program and we are certified to teach the CMSP Motorcyclist Training Course (MTC). The MTC is mandatory for those under the age of 21, but is also recommended to those 21 and older who are seeking to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on their California driver license.
The Motorcyclist Training Course is designed for the novice rider with no (or limited) street-riding experience. A typical class schedule consists of 5 hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours of riding practice. During this motorcycle riding course, you will learn fundamental skills required to operate the motorcycle and progress to street riding skills and strategies. Even though the Motorcyclist Training Course was designed with new riders in mind, most experienced riders that have taken the course have reported improving their riding skills considerably with it!
Topics covered include 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.
Our course waives the DMV riding skills test
Upon successful completion of the Motorcyclist Training Course, you will receive a DMV riding test waiver. There are written and riding evaluations after the course to ensure you have competence in the material covered in the basic course—you must pass both evaluations to graduate. Per California regulations, you will still need to complete the DMV written test.
$258 for 21 and older
Motorcycles and helmets are provided to all our students for the riding practice portion of the course.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is the class?
Students over 21: $258, under 21 $180.
Will I get my motorcycle license by taking the class?
If you successfully complete the class, you will be mailed a DMV DL389 certificate which waives the riding part of your license process. You will still be responsible for taking the DMV's written tests to complete your M1 license. Please consult your local DMV office for details and individual requirements.
What do I have to wear?
CMSP requires a long-sleeve shirt or jacket, sturdy long pants without rips or holes, full fingered street-specific motorcycle or leather gloves, tough, over-the-ankle shoes or boots and eye protection (glasses, sunglasses, face shield, etc). We can provide a helmet, but if you bring your own, it must be three-quarter or full face and DOT approved. For a list of examples of allowed items, please download our MTC Minimum Gear Requirements PDF.
What kind of bikes will we ride? Can I use my own bike?
We offer a wide variety of makes and models that are 125-250cc's. You may not use your own motorcycle in the class, unless it's a scooter and it meets the criteria listed below.
What if I only want to ride a scooter?
California requires an M1 license for all motorcycles and scooters. We can provide a scooter in either San Francisco or Alameda, but we do not provide scooters in Vallejo. You can use your own scooter in class as long as it meets the same criteria as training motorcycles (under 500cc, less than 400 lbs. and under a 30" seat height). You must also bring current registration and insurance documents to show us.
Do I need to get my motorcycle permit first?
No. To enroll in the class, you only need a valid driver's license, DMV issued ID card or other ID issued by a government agency.
How long is the class?
It is approximately 15 hours total. About five hours are spent in the classroom and around 10 hours are on-bike practice. You can expect to ride between 24 and 30 miles during the class.
What are the schedules?
Classes are offered during the week and on weekends, depending on the location. For specific schedules, please check each location's page on this website.
Am I guaranteed to pass?
No. You must first attend all classroom and riding sessions and successfully complete a written test and skill test to pass. We will do our best to help you develop your skills but not all students are successful.
What if I don't pass?
Your Instructors can help you make the decision to return for more practice. Sometimes students just need more time to increase their skill level by repeating a portion of the class. In other cases, people decide that riding is not for them. Either way you will have gained the knowledge of what it takes to become a motorcyclist.
What if I pass and I still want more practice?
Opportunities for Additional Practice are available for successful students. You can contact our office for scheduling and prices.
How do I sign up and how do I pay?
You can use our online registration pages or if you need assistance with your registration, please call us. We accept most credit, debit or pre-paid gift cards. Full payment is required to complete your registration. You will receive an email confirmation that includes a receipt after successful registration.
What if I can't show up for a part of my class?
You must complete the entire class to pass it. If you miss a part, it is your responsibility to make up the rest on stand-by. You may be allowed to return if space is available, but you cannot get a second reserved spot. You may also be subject to reschedule fees and restrictions depending on how much notice you give SCMT. The decision to allow students to return on a standby basis is made by the administration.
What if I failed the class or if I was dismissed or counseled out for some reason?
To complete the course, you must return as a standby student. Your instructors have requested that your standby fee be waived so we hope you'll take advantage of this and finish!
If you return within 60 days of your first class, you only need to complete what you have not completed/passed. After 60 days, the State of California requires you repeat the entire class including both evaluations, but you may still return as a standby student for free, as long as you continue to meet the time and other requirements.
You may repeat each session for free as a standby as many times as you would like to feel comfortable before moving on to the next session. If you have a lot of questions, consider repeating the classroom sessions to further your knowledge and understanding, since everything will make more sense now that you have have experience on a motorcycle.
To repeat any portions, please contact us the week prior to the one that you would like to attend. You will receive a confirmation email confirming what you still need to complete the course, your eligibility as a standby for that weekend and maps and other details particular to the location you are attending. If you do not let the office know you are coming ahead of time you will not be added to the standby list and so will not be let into the class.
The email only confirms ELIGIBILITY to be added to an class if we have enough room in the classroom or empty seats on the range if you are far enough ahead in line. It is very common for SF classes to run with empty seats, so there is a good chance you will get in.
If you do not get in for that weekend, you will repeat the process for the next weekend you are available.
You are allowed to retest ONCE after failing. Be sure you are prepared. The office can go over options that will help you succeed. If you fail a second time, you will need to repeat the entire course again.
You may take any session(s) at any of our locations in San Francisco, Alameda or Vallejo. If the classroom works better for you in one location and the range in a different location, please arrange it with the office.
Your best chance for an open seat will be in San Francisco since we run over 3 ranges there. All requirements still remain for gear and attendance.
Safety is our number one priority. The Motorcyclist Training Course (MTC) is designed to provide an enjoyable learning experience for all students.
Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner. We have a ZERO tolerance policy for alcohol and other drugs. Students who fail to respond to coaching or intentionally interfere with other students learning may be asked to leave. Our goal is to create a safe, positive learning environment.
All attendees must be pre-registered and pre-paid to secure their place in class. This is your only reserved seat.
Walk-in or stand-by attendees will be allowed only if space is available, and payment must be in cash.
Refunds and Rescheduling
Tuition fees are not refundable or transferable for any reason.
You may cancel a reservation and reschedule for another course within three months of the original reservation.
There is a 15% cancellation fee if you cancel 7 business days before your reserved class starts.
Cancellation 7 business days or less before your class begins is considered a voluntary withdrawal, for which there is NO refund. You may pay a partial fee to return as a standby/drop-in student or you may pay the entire course fee again to reschedule with a confirmed seat.
Failure to appear on time to a classroom or riding session or return from a break on time forfeits the course fee. The entire fee must be repaid to take the course again with a confirmed seat, or pay a partial fee to return as a standby. No priority is given for the next open class.
Failure to appear at a classroom or riding session forfeits the course fee, even if you have a really good reason. The entire fee must be repaid to take the course again with a confirmed seat, or pay a partial fee to return as a standby.
"I had been riding for ten years and still learned something new. Well re-learned it, anyway. Walked away with a new appreciation for little motorcycles, too. The trainers here have been riding for decades and could own me if I were on a literbike and all they had was a scooter."
― Dana Hooshmand
"They did a great job teaching everyone the skills and knowledge on what it takes to be a smart, conscious, and confident rider."
"Great time, Outstanding instructors... always positive & helpful. Learned new skills and brushed up on rusty ones Thank You Phil S."
"Expert trainers each provide knowledge and their experiences."
― Jet Black
"I took the beginner course this past weekend. It was recommended to me by Harley Davison Oakland. First of all the trainers are super friendly and great people. They really point out what you need to improve and help you to it, not to mention there cheering that lifts your spirt. I do recommend taking this course to improveotorcycle safety in California."
― Emmanuel Alejandro Gutierrez
"Good experience, at there, good instructors too 👍"
― Jonathan Ramos
"The instructor wore great. Specially my skill instructor Mrs. barb and her co-worker instructor the gentlemen who's name i can't remember right now. I did learn some new skill's which i was unaware of. I really appreciate them. I personally recommend to attend the program since it's very useful for new riders."
― Rinji Sherpa
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