Classroom Content

The NYSMSP uses the MSF Basic RiderCourse (BRC) curriculum, which consists of two levels of knowledge content and 14 range exercises that address basic riding skills.

Level I

Knowledge content is addressed using the MSF Basic eCourse. The MSF Basic eCourse is a highly interactive 3-hr. online program that provides riders of all skill levels with the basics of motorcycling. With integrated graphics, photos and video to illustrate the lessons, the program allows you to control the pace of your learning. It includes 12 sections.. Each section has a short knowledge test at the end of the section.

Level II

Knowledge content consists of a 5-hour interactive in-person classroom session. It consists of fun and collaborative learning activities related to behavioral function; including development of rider perception and situational awareness. There is an emphasis on self-reflection, personal choices, the social dynamic of traffic, and effectively managing risk. There is a knowledge test at the end of the classroom session.

Range Exercises

  1. Motorcycle Familiarization

    • Review T-CLOCS pre-ride inspection
    • Identify location and operation of important controls and major parts
    • Review mounting/dismounting procedures
    • Review elements of good posture
  2. Using the Friction Zone

    • Become skilled in using the clutch friction zone for control
  3. Starting & Stopping Drill

    • Coordinate the friction zone, throttle, and brakes to control the motorcycle
    • Start out and stop with precision and control
  4. Shifting & Stopping

    • Shift gears and stop smoothly
  5. Basic Skill Practice

    • Refine low-speed maneuvering skills
    • Refine throttle use and brake manipulation for corners
  6. Pressing to Initiate and Adjust Lean

    • Understand the maneuvering elements needed for negotiating curves
    • Experience the effects of handgrip pressure and handlebar movement to initiate and adjust lean
  7. Stopping More Quickly & Tight Turns from a Stop

    • Develop a feel for progressive braking pressure to stop more quickly without skidding
    • Practice making a sharp turn from a stop
  8. Stopping Distance Demonstration

    • Observe a demonstration of the reaction/braking parts of total stopping distance
    • To understand effects of speed on braking distance
    • To relate the results to intersection strategies
  9. Limited-Space Maneuvers

    • Refine maneuvering skills to allow turns in limited spaces
    • Learn the counterweighting technique
  10. Stopping in a Curve

    • Learn to maintain control while stopping in a curve
    • Understand traction management
  11. Curve Judgment

    • Improve skills for negotiating multiple curves
    • Understand the "search-setup-smooth" strategy
  12. Multiple Curves & Lane Changes

    • Practice negotiating curves and lane changes
    • Understand safety margins and gap selection
  13. Crossing an Obstacle & Swerving

    • Learn techniques for crossing over obstacles
    • Execute a basic swerve
    • Practice turning from a stop
    • Refine slow-speed weaves
  14. Skill Practice

    • Capstone exercise that combines a variety of maneuvers
  15. Skill Test

    • To assess basic skills using a cone weave, normal stop, turning from a stop, U-turn, quick stop, obstacle swerve, and cornering maneuver.
    • To demonstrate basic motorcycle control skills and ability to avoid an obstacle
    • To demonstrate ability to use the proper technique to negotiate a curve

The course concludes with a classroom knowledge test and hands-on a riding skill evaluation. Once your RiderCoach hands you the course-completion card, you'll be happy knowing that you’ve gone the extra mile to develop your own safe riding techniques.

There are benefits to taking a RiderCourse besides learning important skills and strategies: Most states waive the riding portion of your motorcycle endorsement test if you’ve successfully completed the Basic RiderCourse, and your insurance company might provide a discount on your insurance. Be sure to ask your agent.

Course fees vary depending on where you live. Some motorcycle distributors and brand-sponsored clubs have programs to reimburse you for all or part of the tuition. With more than 2,500 RiderCourse sites across the country, there is probably one near you.