I’m a total beginner. What class should I take?
In most cases, the Basic RiderCourse™ (BRC) is the one you want. The only pre-requisite is that you are able to ride a bicycle. Although the Instructor(s) may ask how many of the students have experience, the class is always taught the same way, assuming that all of the students know virtually nothing about a motorcycle. The first day’s riding exercises begin with identifying all of the controls and their operation, progressing through riding in a straight line, turning, shifting and stopping. The second day’s riding exercises are comprised primarily of street survival skills: advanced cornering, braking and swerving.
Successful completion of the BRC (80% on the written and the riding tests) will waive any further testing at the WA Dept. of Licensing for your motorcycle endorsement.
In the case of the person who has never even been around motorcycles, we offer the 4-5 hour First Ride™ course. This is a familiarization class only. You will not be taking any tests, so there is no testing waiver from the Dept. of Licensing. You will start out in the classroom for about an hour, then go out to the range for up to the first four exercises of the Basic RiderClass™. Mostly just straight line riding and gradual turns, getting the “feel” of a motorcycle.
I’m under 18, can I still take a motorcycle class?
A motorcycle safety course (Basic RiderCourse™, Intermediate Rider Training course, or Experienced RiderCourse™) is required for 16 & 17 years olds in order to obtain their WA motorcycle endorsement for a 2-wheeled motorcycle. Students under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (proof will be required) to the first class session to sign the registration forms. The minimum age to take this course is 15 yrs 10 months.
What must I bring to the course?
For the classroom sessions you will need a pen or pencil and a photo ID. For the riding sessions you will need: long sleeves and long pants (pants must be denim (jeans) quality or better and not baggy), full-fingered gloves that are appropriate for motorcycle use (they do not need to be leather), boots or shoes that come far enough up your leg to completely cover the ankle bone (high-top tennis shoes are not allowed), and some kind of eye protection (glasses, goggles, safety galsses, etc). A windshield on your bike, for the Experienced, Advanced and On-Street classes, is insufficient for class purposes. You can either bring your own DoT approved helmet (it must be in good shape), or for the Basic or Intermediate class, you can use one of ours.
Do I bring my own motorcycle to the Basic RiderCourse™?
In almost all cases we must provide a motorcycle for you. Pacific NorthWest Motorcycle Safety’s fleet of bikes are mostly 2006 or newer models, 350cc’s or smaller. We also have 125cc scooters that you can use in the class, but you must make sure you reserve one at the time of registration. For the Intermediate class we also usually have a few BMW G650GS models.
If you own a scooter and would prefer to use it instead of one of ours we will need to know the make and size of your scooter. It must be no smaller than 50cc and no bigger than 350cc.
Because of the smaller size of the training bikes we are required to use, we are only able to accommodate people between 4’11″ and 6’4″, weighing less than 300 lbs. If you fall outside that criteria and have your own bike, or if you require special (non-standard) equipment in order to safely operate it, we may be able to make special arrangements for you to use your own bike. It will need to pass a safety inspection and must be insured to at least the minimum liability limits in WA state (10/20/5). If you are beyond the height/weight criteria and need to use one of our bikes, call us.
Permission to use your own bike or scooter requires 3 weeks minimum notice in order for us to obtain approval from the DoL.
Do I need a helmet?
We have helmets available at the training site for your use during the class. We cannot guarantee we will have one that fits you properly, but they come in seven sizes from XXS to XXL. If you have a DoT approved helmet, in good condition, you can use it. You should still bring glasses, sunglasses, goggles or safety glasses to wear to cover the eye protection requirement. Not all of our loaner helmets have a face shield.
How much are the courses?
- First Ride – $100
- Basic RiderCourse™ – Subsidized – $125, Unsubsidized – $255
- Intermediate Rider Training – $125, Unsubsidized — $199
- On Street Course™ – $199
- Advanced RiderCourse™ – $149
- Additional Riding Session – $100
- Students under the age of 18 pay $50 for the BRC, or IRT classes.
- The state of WA will only subsidize a specific amount of students for each contractor and we spread those “subsidized seats” out over our contract period. To make sure that we have enough classes to fit the demand of our areas, we need to designate some classes as “unsubsidized”.
I already have some experience. Should I take the Intermediate Rider Training or Basic RiderCourse™?
The Intermediate Rider Training (IRT) course is designed for the “returning rider”. It’s for the person who used to ride, but maybe, has since sold the bike and not renewed their 2-wheel motorcycle endorsement. You already know the basics and don’t have to start with….”this is a motorcycle”. You will be in the classroom for the first 3 hours, then on the bikes for the rest of the day until 5-6pm. The first exercise will be an evaluation where the instructor will determine if you still have the skills needed to make it through the rest of the afternoon. If you do…..you continue. If you don’t….you will be counseled out with a recommendation to take the Basic RiderCourse™ and a portion of the fee you paid for the IRT will go towards the BRC when you register. You can ride our bikes in this course so you don’t need to have a permit or an endorsement.
If you want to use your own bike: you need to be able to get it to the training site legally, it needs to be insured to at least the minimum liability limits in WA, and it must pass a safety inspection. (Your Instructors will be checking for proof of ownership, insurance and safety.) You will take a written and riding test in the class that will waive any further testing at the DoL. (You must acheive 80% on both tests to pass.)
I already took the Basic RiderCourse™ but I’d like more riding time. Is there a course for that?
We offer the Additional Riding Session to give relatively new riders a chance to get “more time in the saddle” under the supervision of our certified Instructors. This course is approximately 4-5 hours long. It uses about half of the same exercises ridden in the Basic RiderCourse™ (BRC), and is designed to allow you more practice time. To qualify for this course, you must have completed the two full days of the BRC. You don’t need to have passed the skill test. If you took the BRC from a company other than Pacific NorthWest Motorcycle Safety, you will need proof of that completion.
You can use one of our bikes, or your own in the ARS. If you use your own, you must have a permit or endorsement on your license, you must provide proof of ownership and liability insurance to the minimum acceptable limits in WA, and the bike must pass a safety inspection.
Where are the courses offered?
Our courses are all offered at the SuperMall (soon to be The Outlet Collection) in Auburn and at the Apex Airpark in Silverdale.
When are the courses offered?
All of the courses are offered on the weekends and during the week. Please see the schedule for dates and times.
Can I “stand by” for a course?
YES!! If a registered student no-shows for a class or doesn’t show up on time we will take stand by students on a first come-first served basis. Just show up by class start time on the first day of class, with the appropriate riding apparel. You will need a drivers license and either the exact amount of cash or a check to pay the course fee. NOTE: the instructors cannot process credit cards and they do not make change.
Can I use my sidecar rig or trike in a Basic RiderCourse™ or Intermediate Rider Training?
No. Sidecar rigs and trikes handle significantly different from 2-wheeled motorcycles. PNW Motorcycle Safety offers 3-wheel training at both our Auburn and Kitsap sites.
If I pass the class will I get my endorsement from my Instructor?
No. Successful completion of the course, including passing (80%) both the written and riding tests, will get you a completion card. Take that card to any DoL office within 180 days of class completion and it will waive any further testing. You will need to pay the appropriate fees and the DOL will issue a new Washington Driver’s License with the endorsement on it.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule my class?
Pacific NorthWest Motorcycle Safety has a strict “8 days from the class” cancellation and/or reschedule policy. If you need to cancel your registration or reschedule your class we must hear from you more than 8 days prior to the class start date/hour. If you don’t contact us or call more than 8 days before your class starts, any money paid for a class will be forfeit and there will be NO refunds.
What about off-road motorcycle training?
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s (MSF) Dirt Bike School is offered by Puget Sound Safety in Roy, WA. They can be reached at: www.pugetsoundsafety.com or 253-531-4585 .
For any other location nationwide the course is run directly by MSF from Irvine, CA. It is our understanding that they are offering courses in other locations in WA. You can contact them at: 877-288-7093 .
Are there other locations for the training?
Pacific NorthWest Motorcycle Safety is one of fifteen companies contracted by the WA DoL to offer this training in the state. For other locations and information please visit the WMSP website (http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/motorcycles.html) or call: 800-962-9010 .