Try to use 2/4/12, SEE, and your "Quarterback Eyes" to spot them early and avoid them. If you have to ride over them, use the technique we teach in the BRC1 & the BRC2; approach them as close to a 90 degree angle as possible (and no less than 45 degrees). If you can, rise off the seat slightly so you can use your legs as shock absorbers. Roll on the throttle to lighten the front wheel to make it easier for the front wheel to go over the obstacle. When you roll on the throttle, the weight goes to the rear. If you can, lean slightly backward to also help lighten the front wheel to make it easier to go over the obstacle. The technique is the same you use to ride over an obstacle on a bicycle. You can practice this technique by taking the BRC1 and/or the BRC2 with us.
Be careful entering gas stations or other entrances that have a curb. You will have to angle your motorcycle before riding over the curb. Same with lanes of a highway that have been newly paved. One lane may be higher than the others. Angle your motorcycle before riding into that lane.
Avoid riding over cracks and creases in the road and certain sewer gratings. Your front tire may get caught in them.
When going through turns and curves, use the SLLR technique we teach in the BRC1 & the BRC2; SLOW down well before the entrance to the turn/curve by using the brakes, engine braking or rolling off the throttle. (Your slowing down should be completed by the time you reach the entrance of the turn/curve - don't use just the clutch to slow down unless you're engine braking). The brakes are the preferred method of slowing down because the brake light goes on alerting motorists behind you that you are slowing down. LOOK where you want to end up but keep scanning the road back and forth, up and down for any hazards. LEAN and press in the direction you want to go, just like making a turn on a bicycle. ROLL on the throttle slightly before leaning the motorcycle into the turn to equalize the suspension. Once you see the exit of the turn, you can speed up. You can practice this technique by taking the BRC1, the BRC2, and/or the APBRC with us. To further develop your turning technique, take the TBC to learn the best way to turn.
The number one place where multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes occur is at intersections - a vehicle pulling out in front of you because they didn't see you or misjudged your approach speed. When you approach a "hot" intersection (one where there is a vehicle present that can pull out in front of you), look at the vehicles front tires and "cover up". If the front tires are moving or start to move, be prepared to stop. "Cover up" means cover the brakes and clutch. This will shorten your reaction time which will help to shorten your stopping distance. We cover more tips to avoid an intersection crash in the BRC1 and the BRC2.
Whether you bought a new motorcycle or just put new tires on your motorcycle, be aware that new tires can be slippery. Sometimes a silicone substance is used to help with tire mounting and this slippery substance can cause you to slide and crash. It takes about 50-100 miles of use for the slippery substance to wear off. So ride nice and easy for the first 50-100 miles with new tires.
If you get a flat tire, you can plug a tubeless tire. But get a new one as soon as possible. Tires with spokes have tubes. You can't plug those.
DRY ROTTED tires - if you're buying a used motorcycle that has been sitting for awhile, the tires may be cracked or have dry rot. It's a good idea to get new tires when buying a used motorcycle.
Back in the 1940's, a process called SIPDE was developed by a driving instructor to help drivers recognize hazards in advance so they could do something to avoid a crash. Years later, the trucking industry developed a similar system called the Smith System. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recently developed another similar system called SEE. The military uses a term called "Situational Awareness" - to be aware of everything going on around you. If you're good at spotting things in advance, you have time to do something about it. You have time to respond instead of react. We developed the term "Quarterback Eyes" and use it in our BRC1 and BRC2 courses. What does a good quarterback do when he drops back to pass? He's looking for hazards (defensive players that can tackle him, defensive players that can intercept his pass) and offensive receivers that can catch his pass. If you develop good "Quarterback Eyes" when you ride (and drive), you'll spot hazards in advance and have time to avoid them. Car driving research indicates that drivers who move their eyes often to scan the road ahead, the road behind and to the sides are involved in fewer crashes.
This can be a white-knuckler for many. Instead of avoiding hills, watch this video and see how easy it is. Whichever method you use, the key is to find the friction zone, then SLOWLY ease out the clutch while you SIMULTANEOUSLY roll on the throttle. Stay in the friction zone longer than usual when taking off on an incline. Practice both methods on an incline with no traffic around. Use the one that works best for you.
Ever have to make a tight right turn coming out of a driveway into one of two lanes of traffic without going wide into the far lane? Watch this video to see how to make perfect tight turns from a stop.
Click here to see the proper way.
Click here for a recent study to determine if loud pipes save lives.
Also keep in mind that the majority of multi-vehicle crashes involving motorcycles occur at intersections - a vehicle pulling out in front of you. The noise from the pipes goes to the rear. Those vehicle drivers in front of you won't hear you coming. They replied that they didn't SEE the motorcycle or saw it but MISJUDGED it's approach speed. We've also been to many accidents scenes that involved motorcycles with loud pipes.
Loud pipes are illegal under EPA law. Here's the law; A noise limit of 88 decibels applies to motorcycles manufactured after 1969 and before 1973; 86 decibels applies to motorcycles manufactured after 1972 and before 1975; 83 decibels applies to motorcycles manufactured after 1974 and before 1986; 80 decibels applies to motorcycles manufactured after 1985. The fine can be as much as $250. Police officers will give you a ticket without testing the decibels and tell you to "tell it to the judge".
What saves lives is constant training.
What tools should you carry when you ride if you should break-down? Besides a good pair of vice grips, click here to find out what else to carry.
"Like" our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram by clicking the Instagram icon at the bottom of this page so you will receive more riding tips as we post them. We are your Motorcycle Safety Adviser.
The price for motorcycle insurance depends on many factors; your age, marital status, residence, type of motorcycle you buy, driving record, credit rating, etc. Insurance experts highly recommend that you purchase at least $250,000 bodily injury coverage for one person. Some insurance companies will give you a discount for taking a motorcycle safety course. One of our instructors, Don Daves, is an insurance broker. Give him a call for the best advice on motorcycle insurance and any other kind of insurance - (201) 254-1856.
If you're going to ride a motorcycle, make sure you have a good health insurance policy that will pay for your medical bills if you get injured and a good disability insurance policy that will pay you if you're out of work for a period of time.
We get this question constantly. The answer is "It depends". How much riding experience do you have? What kind of riding do you want to do? When you sit on the motorcycle, can your feet touch the ground? How heavy is the motorcycle? How comfortable is the motorcycle? Some of our students buy a big motorcycle before taking the BRC1, have no riding experience whatsoever and expect us to teach them how to ride it. We teach people how to ride on small training motorcycles. Motorcycles most can easily handle. Sometimes these people discover they bought a motorcycle that is too big for them.
The biggest complaint we hear is, "I keep dropping my motorcycle". If that's the case, it's too heavy for you. Get a smaller/lighter one and develop your riding skills. Then upgrade to a bigger one.
Go to several motorcycle dealerships and sit on some motorcycles keeping in mind the questions listed above. Almost all the major motorcycle manufacturers have their motorcycles on display at the NY Motorcycle Show held annually in the winter time.
Most of the time, go with your gut. Your intuition is a good guide. If you feel a motorcycle is too big or heavy for you, and the salesperson tries to convince you to buy it saying you'll outgrow a smaller one in six months, leave. You may crash and drop the bigger one for the first six months. What fun is that? (But it's a bigger commission for the salesperson).
You may want to buy a decent used motorcycle for six months to a year, develop your skills on it, then sell it and upgrade to a new and bigger one.
Don't go by the engine size (cc's). Go by the weight and the feel. A motorcycle will go as fast as your right wrist turns the throttle.
1. If you can't ride the bicycle when you arrive on the first riding day, we will send you home.
8. 1-Clutch Lever, 2-Throttle, 3-Front Brake Lever, 4-Rear Brake Pedal, 5-Gear Shift Lever
You can jump a motorcycle battery with a car battery. Just make sure the car is off. You may also be able to bump jump it. Roll down an incline with the motorcycle in 2nd gear - keep the clutch in. Make sure the key and Engine Cut-Off switch are on. Once you have enough momentum, let go of the clutch.
Some graduates feel they are ready for the road as soon as they passed the course. Others feel they need more practice with us. And others feel they need more practice on their own on their own motorcycle. If you had trouble riding our small training motorcycles, you should consider more practice before you venture out in the open road. As you know, it's a jungle out there and you must be prepared. If you feel you need some practice on your own, here's a guide;
1) Go in a parking lot with no one around and practice the Friction Zone rock - the first part of the second exercise of the BRC1. Get to know your friction zone and get to know it well before you take to the street.
2) Practice taking off on an incline. See if you prefer the front brake method or the rear brake method. Videos of both methods are posted on this page.
3) Practice taking off smoothly. If you keep stalling, you're letting the clutch out too fast. Both hands must work simultaneously.
4) Practice shifting. Roll off the throttle first then squeeze in the clutch.
5) Practice smooth engine braking. After the downshift, coordinate the clutch and the throttle so the motorcycle doesn't jerk.
6) Practice stopping and downshifting to 1st gear when you come to a stop.
7) Practice turning using SLLR.
8) Make sure you come to a stop with the handlebars straight. Otherwise, you'll be watching the video on this page on how to pick up your motorcycle.
Get the basic riding skills down pat before you take to the street.
Then take it on the side roads with little or no traffic. Gradually work your way into traffic. Ease into it and you'll enjoy motorcycling for years to come.
A variety of tips and information can be found on the MSF website under the Library section. Information about helmets, riding gear, ABS brakes, motorcycle equipment requirements for each State, a scooter handbook, practice tips, etc. Click here to go to the Library section of the MSF website.
Click here to read the highlights from the most comprehensive motorcycle study ever done to date. Even though it was conducted in the 1980's, many of the findings still hold true today.
Title 39 of the NJ State Statutes explains the motor vehicle laws in NJ. NJ requires all motorcycle riders and passengers wear a DOT (Department of Transportation) helmet with 2 square inches of either red, amber or white reflective tape on each side of the helmet, and the rider must have some form of shatter-proof eye protection (face shield, goggles, glasses) OR a shatter-proof windshield to protect the rider's eyes.
Since NJ now has self-inspection instead of going to an inspection station or certified repair shop to get your motorcycle inspected, you can get away without the tape requirement. Most police officers will not ticket you for not having the tape. They will ticket you for not having a valid DOT sticker on your helmet.
As far as motorcycle requirements, the handlebar height must not exceed the rider's shoulder height, and there must be at least one side view mirror. Check Title 39 for other requirements. Keep in mind, a motorcycle is considered a motor vehicle and all the motor vehicle laws apply to motorcycles. Also see "State Motorcycle Requirements" below.
The Federal, State & the local governments have tried to ban motorcycles several times in one way or another. The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is an organization that fights for the rights of motorcyclists. Stand with other motorcyclists who have joined the AMA to protect their right to ride. Let the AMA's lobbyists, delegates and other members take on the government to fight legislation that is not favorable to motorcyclists. Not only does your membership fund the fight, the AMA offers their members some great benefits and discounts. Click here and check them out. Then join the fight for your right to ride by becoming a member. Enter code RIACNJ for an additional discount.
Looking for someone to ride with? Looking to ride with a group of good riders who can help you further develop your riding skills? Looking to go for a ride with some new friends to a place to eat on weekends and weeknights? Give Shell Huber, one of our graduates, a call. He organizes some fun rides during the week and on weekends. Call Shell at (201) 887-8700. Shell is safety conscious, a good rider and handy at fixing motorcycles. You can also find Shell on Facebook.
If you ever need a lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accidents, contact Jerry Friedman. Click here to go to his website.
You need a motorcycle endorsement on your Driver License, or a motorcycle license, or a valid & current NJ motorcycle permit in order to ride a motorcycle legally on the street in NJ. You can get a motorcycle permit by taking and passing the NJ MVC written motorcycle permit test and passing the NJ MVC eye test. (YOU DO NOT NEED A MOTORCYCLE PERMIT TO TAKE THE BRC1 WITH US)
If you have a valid & current NJ motorcycle permit, you are not allowed to ride in the dark (after dusk), ride on a toll road, ride on a limited access highway (a public road with speed limits in excess of 35 MPH) and you are not allowed to ride with a passenger. These restrictions will be removed once you get a motorcycle endorsement/license (take the NJ MVC road test, or successfully complete the BRC1 or the BRC2).
Effective August 1, 2010, motorcycles are no longer required to submit for an inspection in New Jersey. Riders should keep in mind that it is their responsibility to make sure their motorcycles are free from mechanical defects and are operating properly. Law enforcement may still cite a motorcyclist for not wearing a DOT helmet, equipment out of compliance, or failure to make repairs.
These are traffic lights usually located at left-turn only lanes or low traffic intersections. These lights stay red until a vehicle goes over the sensors and triggers the sensor to activate the green light. The sensors are usually in the ground under the pavement or attached to the signal light. The sensors under the ground are triggered by weight or metal. The sensors attached to the signal light are triggered by motion.
The sensors in the ground usually don't detect motorcycles because they aren't that heavy, don't have enough metal or are not wide enough. So you can be sitting at the light for quite some time until another vehicle pulls up behind you and triggers the sensor.
Making a left turn on red is illegal in many States. Some States have passed legislation allowing you to make a left turn on red at a traffic-actuated signal light after waiting a certain amount of time. NJ hasn't passed that law yet. However, if a traffic-actuated signal light doesn't detect your motorcycle, it is technically considered a malfunctioning traffic light. As the law states (N.J.S.A. 39:4-81), treat a malfunctioning traffic light like a stop sign.
We highly recommend the AAA Premier Membership Plan for motorcyclists. AAA can tow motorcycles and other vehicles on restricted roadways like the GSP and NJ Turnpike. The AMA's MoTow and the towing benefit of insurance companies are not allowed on restricted roadways. Go to AAA.com and sign-up or upgrade to the Premier Plan. You don't want to be sitting on the shoulder of a highway waiting too long for help.
Each State has their own requirements for what motorcycles must have to be street legal. Click here for each State's requirements.
Here's how with T-CLOCS.
Road signs are a motorcyclist's best friend. They let you know what's up ahead so you can prepare in advance. Here's a list of road signs and their meaning. Road signs
A helmet should fit snugly. Not too tight and not too loose. If it moves when you shake your head with it on and securely fastened, it's too loose.
Any helmet that has a legitimate DOT sticker on it is a good helmet. Additional stickers like Snell and ECE just mean the helmet has met their standards also. It doesn't mean it is a better helmet.
For years, helmets were built to cope with linear forces generated by a direct impact. Linear forces will crack your skull or break your jaw. Get a helmet that is designed for rotational forces also. Rotational forces cause brain injuries. Some helmets that have been recently designed for rotational forces are the Arai Corsair-X, Hayden Laguna, Classic V Modern, Depart, the AGV K6, the Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS, the Quin MQ Nero, the Sena Momentum EVO, the Shoei GT Air II. The Shoei GT Air II and the Quin full face helmets have an Emergency Release System that allows emergency personnel to easily remove the cheek pads and helmet from an injured rider with minimal stress on the rider's neck. The Quin helmets (our top pick) have Bluetooth features AND a SMART feature can detect a crash and send a message to 911 and up to three emergency contacts you program into it.
If you're going to spend a lot of money on a helmet, make it one of these. They will protect your brain. And the Quin helmet will send out an SOS. Click here to go to the Quin website. Use the code DAVE10 to get a 10% discount on your purchase.
Click here to watch a video on how to park your motorcycle on a hill so it doesn't fall over.
Did you ever have a clutch lever snap in half while two hours away from home? Or a gear shift lever snap? Try using a pair of vice grips to extend the lever until you get home. A pair of vice grips is a must in your tool kit along with duct/Gorilla tape and WD40.
Nowadays, deer are all over the place. If you don't have enough time and space to stop before hitting a deer, swerve behind the deer. Deer usually don't go backward. They just stare at you or run forward. And if you see one, look for the rest of the family.
When forced to ride over gravel or sand, maintain a steady throttle. The knee jerk reaction is to grab the brakes or pull in the clutch. Both are mistakes and usually result in a crash. The rear tire will eventually grab pavement and the motorcycle needs traction (a steady throttle) to get out of it. Avoid shifting and braking. When riding over something very slippery (ice, oil, anti-freeze, grease, wet leaves), also pull in the clutch to prevent the rear tire from sliding out. You want to coast over a very slippery surface.
Click here to watch the Supplemental eCourse, which is Module 2 of the BRC1/BRC2 and the APBRC. The Supplemental eCourse is a PowerPoint Presentation which explains the course format, the Course Rules and Guidelines and goes into the four basic physical riding skills in further detail.
Grease, oil and other vehicle fluids drip from motor vehicles and leave a strip in the middle of a lane. The way roads are paved these days, the grease strip is not that big of a deal to ride on as it used to be. The grease strip will get somewhat slippery when it starts to rain and on hot days. The oil and grease rise to the surface. The rain will usually wash it away in 20 minutes. Ride in LP1 or LP3 during that time period. The grease strip at a toll booth is dangerous because the overhang prevents the rain from washing it away and the sun from drying it.
Lane splitting or lane filtering (riding between lanes on the highway) is illegal in NJ. It is also dangerous unless done under certain conditions. As of 4/14/22, it is legal in CA, UT, AZ and MT. The first thing to keep in mind is that the lanes in these States are wider than the lanes in NJ. Second, it can only be done in these States if the traffic is stopped or moving less than 5 MPH. This would be stop & go traffic situations during rush hour traffic or when traffic is stopped due to an accident on the road. And third, motorcycles can not exceed 20 MPH when lane splitting/filtering.
Watch this video. And use a credit card.
Click here for the history of how the MSF got started.
Our mission is to help reduce motorcycle crashes in the State of NJ by providing high quality rider education to all NJ residents with user-friendly training motorcycles provided by the most reputable motorcycle dealerships in NJ at a quality training location in NJ. Our vision is motorcycles sharing the road with other roadway users with zero crashes.
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We are a motorcycle safety training school. Our class schedule is posted on the Course Schedule page of this website. We usually post classes two months in advance. We offer classes from mid-March to the end of October.
The answers to most of your questions are on this website if you take the time to read it thoroughly.
Follow us on Eventbrite (our Event Platform), Instagram and/or "Like" us on Facebook for updates and when we add more classes or subscribe to our newsletter under the "Dashboard" section of our Home page.