Try to use 2/4/12, SEE and your "Quarterback Eye"s to avoid them. If you have to ride over them, use the technique we teach in the BRC1 & 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. Lean slightly backward to lighten the front wheel to make it easier for the front wheel to go over the obstacle. Roll on the throttle to lighten the front wheel even more. 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.
When going through turns and curves, use the SLLR technique we teach in the BRC1 & 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). LOOK where you want to end up. LEAN and press in the direction you want to go. ROLL on the throttle slightly before leaning to equalize the suspension. Once you see the exit of the turn you can speed up. You can practice this technqiue by taking the BRC1 and/or the BRC2 with us.
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 they 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.
Watch this video produced by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation for some great tips about Group Riding.
Whether you bought a new motorcycle or just put new tires on your motorcycle, be aware that new tires are slippery. A silicone substance is used to help with tire mounting and this slippery substance can cause you to crash. It takes about 100 miles of use for the slippery substance to wear off. So ride nice and easy for the first 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.
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.
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. Practice both methods on an incline with no traffic around. Use the one that works best for you.
Click here to see the proper way.
There will always be a debate whether loud pipes save lives. There isn't any research that proves it. 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 tools should you carry when you ride if you should break-down? Click here to find out.
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The price for motorcycle insurance depends on many factors; your age, marital status, residence, type of motorcycle you buy, driving record, credit rating, etc. 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 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.
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 at the Jacob Javitts Center.
Most of the time, go with your gut. Your intuition is a good guide. If you feel a motorcycle is too big 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, then sell it and upgrade to a new and bigger one.
1-speedometer, 2-tachometer, 3-engine cut-off switch, 4-engine start button, 5-side-view mirrors, 6-front brake lever, 7-throttle, 8-rear brake pedal, 9-foot pegs, 10-gear shift lever, 11-horn button, 12-turn signal switch, 13-clutch lever, 14-high/low beam switch
You can jump a motorcycle battery with a car battery. Just make sure the car is off. If you have a motorcycle with a carburetor, you can 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.
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, 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.
As far as motorcycle requirements, the handlebar height must not exceed the rider's shoulder height, there must be at least one rear 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.