Word on the Street Perspective…Motorcycle Safety Courses…



In the Motorcycle Rights Community we hear a lot about lawmakers wanting to make Motorcycle Safety Courses required for M-Class licensure. Listening to the arguments against these classes being mandatory, you’ll hear things like:

“They can’t be made mandatory because the State doesn’t back them up with rider-friendly insurance laws or; why should somebody who takes the class get an insurance premium discount when they can barely ride over someone who’s been riding for years but didn’t take the class?”

It’s hard to argue with that, huh? Cause all that’s true. When I finished the Motorcycle Safety Course, I could hardly ride, and for damn sure shouldn’t have been in heavy traffic. What about those insurance companies? Nope, they don’t have to tell you that you don’t have any medical coverage on your motorcycle policy, at least not in the great State of Pennsylvania.

So that’s it, right? WRONG!!!

Nobody expects someone to come out of a two-class Motorcycle Safety Course and ride like an advanced motorcyclist. And, yeah, even in Pennsylvania, you can buy medical coverage on your motorcycle policy. You just have to ask. I have it.

Okay, so you’ve heard both sides, and your wondering, ‘What’s the point?’ The point is, just like everything else I’ve encountered in my lifetime, you either pay now or you pay later. But if you pay later, you pay BIG! How’s that? Well, it’s like this; if you pay a little with a few hours of your time, and take the safety course, you MAY learn something, but you WILL receive a discount on your insurance. If, you don’t take the class, you WILL learn nothing and you WILL pay more for motorcycle insurance, forever.

Regardless of whether you believe Motorcycle Safety Courses should be made mandatory or not, their existence and their relationship to insurance premiums will likely never change, however; there’s always a way to land on the cheaper end of the bill. Pay early!

5 thoughts on “Word on the Street Perspective…Motorcycle Safety Courses…

  1. Just to add to some of the comments. I agree with the comments about MSF; look at the work Wendy Moon did going after these guys. It is all about the money. You can follow the history of the MSF and look how they dumbed down the courses so most would pass.
    Maybe insurance companies give discounts because they really know that accident avoidance is far more realistic than accident survival (helmets).

    In regards to motorcycle insurance (and every state is different) you really do need to know what is covered. The vast majority of motorcycle insurance is not like your auto insurance. And that is where bikers make too many assumptions.

    Medical insurance basically covers what is not covered by your own health insurance…deductibles, ambulance rides…and yes it can also be applied to heath/medical costs. It is not designed to replace health insurance.

    Uninsured and Underinsured gives you the ability to sue your own insurance company for pain and suffering caused by another driver who has no insurance or limits less then your own.

    The above paragraph is really buyer beware for motorcyclists. Many companies deliberately reduce the amount they will pay as this is their greatest exposure to loss. Also you need to ask how your company will respond to a hit and run. Many companies will want you to prove that the guy that hit you and ran, had no insurance (before they will pay under Uninsured Motorists) Neat trick.

    Many motorcycle insurance policies have outstanding roadside coverage available…but you have to ask for it. Generally $10 to $20 a year. No need to join an automobile roadside assistance company. And some of those auto roadside assistance companies will not tow motorcycles…you need to ask.

    Most motorcycle insurance companies will not cover motorcycle rentals…so before you plan that trip and want to rent a couple of bikes, find out if your policy will cover rentals.

    Point being, learn the coverages, find a good agent who can explain coverages without sounding like an attorney. Shop coverage, then shop price.

  2. No man, I DO get it on that level. I know from talking to the instructors they are only allowed to take things so far with the students, in fear of a lawsuit. And that is a big problem because without a completely thorough set of instructions people leave that course with the confidence that they have experience. In the end I believe it adds to the statistics in a way that isn’t good for any of us.

  3. You guys are right But I believe you are missing the Big Picture and that is that Motorcycle Riders Courses allow people who take them to bypass taking a test from the state issuing their motorcycle endorsement.
    Many of these people after taking the course Can Not Pass the test at the Motor Vehicle Department on the motorcycle they are riding.
    The fact that insurance companies give a discount to people who take these courses is their business. There are many stipulations and if the companies believe those taking the courses are less risk then it is their right to do so.
    What happened after the insurance discounts is More Important.
    The Motorcycle Rider Courses start off as a place for people who have little or No Experience Riding Motorcycles. Then as time goes on the courses convince the state to allow them to give their students a certificate which they present to the state in place of being tested by the agency issuing the license. This saves the state money while still charging the same for a license.
    Florida now has Mandatory Rider Training before Anyone can get a motorcycle license. Yea no matter your experience if you do not have a current motorcycle license you Have To Take A Motorcycle Course. The Average fee is $300.00. The state then closed all motorcycle testing facilities which again saves them a lot of money.
    Now that Florida has this program other states are considering it
    The way I look at it is that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) and those who teach these courses have figured out a way for those who wish to ride a motorcycle to Pay Them for The Right To Do So.
    Now that this is happening these same people are suggesting that All Motorcyclist should be made to go back for school every five (5) years OH YEA and Pay to Keep Your License.
    There are people who are riding without a motorcycle license because they can not afford the money to take one of these courses.
    What about those who know how to ride and in some cases better than those teaching the courses? How can that be you ask! Well if you have been at the Big Mountain Run or others like it around the country where the games include riding skills you would understand.
    There were two young boys there riding small motorcycles and by the time they are old enough to ride on the street they may not be able to afford to.
    What can we do to preserve our right to ride and continue the lifestyle we love? Contact your Legislator and let them know you want testing to be conducted by the agency that is issuing motorcycle endorsements, that you do not want these agencies to accept pieces of paper from schools instead of taking the test.
    If people want to attend school to learn how to ride more power to them BUT Under No Circumstances Should Schools Be MANDATORY!
    There is much more to this But not enough room to say it all here.


  4. Chris, about this, we are in complete agreement. I fully believe that motorcyclists should receive the same insurance coverage as any other motorist on the road. As well, you’re right to say that, short of getting that same coverage, DISCLOSURE is the issue. Although I did have medical coverage added to my motorcycle policy, I had to specifically request it, and prior to that request, my insurance agent never mentioned that the medical coverage was missing…

  5. Oh I have soooo much to say on this, but for starters….. You can’t buy additional insurance in PA if you don’t know you need it Curt. That’s the real issue, DISCLOSURE. They make a law and then hide its functionality until you are in a position of taking it up the ass care of your weak ass representatives who let it go on. No one will tell you that PA riders don’t get medical coverage JUST LIKE A DRIVER OF A CAR GETS, not even your insurance rep will tell you that.

    Just remember that anytime you ask your government for protection, you give up rights to get it….

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