A new rider-training course is available for “experienced” riders.  At first blush, one could reasonably believe that the “experienced rider course” is follow-on training.  Follow-on training to something like the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic Rider Course.

Experienced ride course is something different

But it’s not.  It’s something completely different.  The course helps people without an endorsement get “legal”.  Debby Pearson, one of the owners of Santa Fe Harley Davidson said that it is estimated that 30% of motorcyclists do not have a motorcycle endorsement.  If that’s true, that’s a lot of people riding without an endorsement or training.

Apparently, because of that high percentage, some states are now offering one-day classes.  These classes allow riders to obtain an endorsement waiver for successfully completing the single-day course.

Basic Rider Course not appropriate?

Sante Fe Harley-Davidson’s Riding Academy Director Phoenix LeDoux thinks that an MSF-like basic rider course isn’t the appropriate type of course for this type of “experienced” rider.

“From the program’s perspective, the beginner rider course is for an individual who has never been on a motorcycle before ever.  It’s for those who have never even sat on a motorcycle so let’s teach them how to get on a motorcycle without it rolling away.”

Phoenix LeDoux Training

2018 Harley-Davidson Riding Academy. Phoenix LeDoux, riding academy director for Santa Fe Harley-Davidson, gives motorcycle riders some pointers during an endorsement course. Photo credit: AlbuquerqueJournal

The State Director for New Mexico’s Motorcycle Safety Foundation Dan Orchowsky had this to say:

But for experienced riders, sitting through such beginning instructions is not only a painful waste of time, it can be frustrating for the new riders, as well.

“When those students are in with the basic students, the basic students get intimidated and both groups get frustrated.”

A different curriculum

That’s what led him to design the curriculum for riders with at least 1,000 miles of riding experience.  LeDoux’s course has a single day, eight-hour classroom and driving range session.  When a rider successfully completes it, they can receive a motorcycle endorsement from the State of New Mexico.

According to Orchowsky:

“We use the same (road) exercises we do in the basic course because they’re going to get tested on the same things.  We test for their ability to perform the exercises, but they also get a higher level of coaching.”

Other states (and private companies) have similar programs with different training curriculums as well.  What do you think about this type of course? Let us know in the comments below.

Featured image credit: Minnesota Department of Safety

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