There is a limited amount of funding available from the Dept. of Licensing (DoL) to partially subsidize (pay for) student tuition in classes that lead to a motorcycle endorsement. The Basic RiderCourse class actually costs up to $275, depending on location. The Basic Sidecar/Trike class actually costs $325. If/when there is subsidy money available from the DoL these two classes are listed at $125 per seat and the DoL pays us the rest of the cost. If there is no subsidy money available then the student has to pay the full amount of the class, and that’s the price listed on the website for that seat. In an effort to spread the subsidy money out so that there are always some subsidized seats available throughout our entire contract period with the DoL, in most cases only some seats in each BRC and Basic S/TEP class can be offered at the subsidized price. That number of seats varies depending on which training site is chosen. It could be as low as 2 seats per class.
We’re often asked how a student “qualifies” for a subsidized seat. The only “qualification” for a subsidized seat in a class is that the student must either be a WA resident (provable with a WA Drivers License or WA ID card), or an active-duty military member, currently stationed in WA. If you meet the criteria of being a WA resident or active-duty military, and there are subsidized seats are available in the class you want at that particular training site, then you will pay the subsidized price of the class.
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 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 four exercises. Mostly just straight line riding and gradual turns, getting the “feel” of a motorcycle. We don’t take any more than 6 students into this course with a student to Instructor ratio of 3:1.
The IRT was designed to offer a one-day course option to people who have recent motorcycle experience, or perhaps are currently riding without an endorsement, and who don’t need the full two-day Basic RiderCourse. The curriculum designers used the assumption that anyone taking this class will already know the basics of motorcycling and the laws pertaining to doing so. The classroom session of the IRT will only go over about 1/3 of what’s on the 2-wheeled motorcycle written test. IRT students are expected to already know the rest of the written test material. If there is a question in your mind about being ready for that test and you want to study before the class, you can go to any Dept. of Licensing office and pick up a copy of their “Motorcycle Operator Manual — 2 and 3 wheel”; or you can download that book in .pdf format from the DoL’s website at: http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/motoguides.html. That is not the book we will use in the class, but the answers to all 25 questions on the written test can be found in either book. If you would feel more confident taking a class that will go over everything on the written test we advise you to take the Basic RiderCourse.
The IRT also contains a skills screening exercise to ensure that you do already have basic motorcycle control skills. It is the first thing you will do when you get to the training range (riding area) after the classroom session. The screening asks you to prove that you can: ride in a straight line, turn, shift, stop and successfully maneuver through an off-set cone weave. There is no coaching during this screening exercise. If you are unable to successfully perform these basic control skills to the satisfaction of the Instructor(s), you will be dismissed from the class with a recommendation to take a Basic RiderCourse.
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. A Basic or Advanced Sidecar/Trike class is required for those under the age of 18 in order to obtain their WA endorsement for a 3-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 16.
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). Sturdy over the ankle footwear offering adequate ankle protection must be worn. It must completely cover ankle bone (work boots, military boots, cowboy boots, light weight hiking boots, or riding boots are all acceptable). No canvass high-tops or slip-on-boots with elastic, or even partially elastic, ankle covering. No more than a 1-inch heel. And some kind of eye protection (glasses, goggles, safety glasses, 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 Rider Course, Intermediate Rider Training or the Basic Sidecar/Trike Class, you can use one of ours.
We have to provide a motorcycle for your use. However you can use your own if you choose to, subject to the conditions below. Pacific NorthWest Motorcycle Safety’s fleet of bikes are all 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. If you prefer to use your own motorcycle or scooter instead of one of ours, it needs to pass a safety inspection that our Instructors will give at the beginning of the riding portion of the class, and you need to provide proof of ownership and insurance for YOU on the bike you will be riding.
Because of the smaller size of the 2-wheeled training bikes we are required to use, we are only able to accommodate people between 4 foot 11 inches and 6 foot 4 inches in height, weighing less than 300 lbs. For the Basic Sidecar/Trike classes some of our 3-wheeled rigs will accommodate taller students weighing up to 350 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, you may use your own bike, subject to the requirements listed in the previous paragraph. If you are beyond the height/weight criteria you will need to bring your own bike.
The law requires that you must have a valid Permit or Endorsement to ride a 2 or 3 wheel motorcycle on the public roads. If you don’t have either, you can tow/trailer the bike/scooter to the class or have someone who is endorsed ride it to the class for you. We cannot store your bike overnight at any of our sites so you must make arrangements to legally get the bike to and from the site each day of the class.
If you are riding a borrowed bike (one that isn’t registered to you) you must provide a letter from the owner of the bike indicating that you have permission to use the bike. It does not have to be notarized, but it must be signed by the owner. (NOTE: We are aware that many couples, whether living together or legally married, may not have the same last name; and that in cases like this you may choose to take a class using your partner’s bike. Even in these cases, if the bike’s registration doesn’t show the student’s name on it, we must have a letter signed by the legally registered owner giving you permission to use the bike.) You must also provide proof of insurance on the bike you will ride in the class. (The owner of the bike’s insurance.)
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.
Passing both the written and riding tests in a class are part of the curriculum and are the only way to successfully pass or fail a class. Any test you took outside the class cannot be considered “part of the class”.
- First Ride – $100
- Basic RiderCourse™ – Subsidized – $125, Unsubsidized – Up to $275
- Intermediate Rider Training – Up to $175 (This is an Unsubsidized class)
- Basic Sidecar/Trike Course (Includes Spyder) – Subsidized- $125, Unsubsidized – Up to $325
- On Street Course™ – Up to $249
- Advanced RiderCourse™ – Up to $199
- Additional Riding Session – $100
Students under the age of 18 pay $50 for the BRC, or the Basic 3-Wheel Course classes if they register for one of the subsidized seats in a class. A Motorcycle Safety class is REQUIRED for 16 and 17 yr olds) The state of WA will only subsidize a specific amount of BRC, & Basic 3-Wheel students for each training company and we are required to spread those “subsidized seats” out over our contract period. To make sure that we have enough classes to fit the demand of our areas, at times we need to designate some classes and/or some seats within a class as “unsubsidized” and students will pay the price posted for the class regardless of age or any other consideration.
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 4 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 within the 12 months immediately preceding of when you take the ARS. 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. (Note: If you need to retake the skills test after completing the ARS you must do that with the company you originally took the BRC from.)
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 limits in WA, and the bike must pass a safety inspection.
Our courses are all offered at the Outlet Collection (formerly SuperMall) in Auburn, at Sand Point Magnuson Park in North Seattle, and at the Apex Airpark in Silverdale.
All of the courses are offered on the weekends and during the week. Please see the schedule for dates and times.
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.
No. The Instructors are not allowed to take payment for testing at the testing site. You MUST pre-register and pre-pay for a Testing Session.
No. Sidecar rigs and trikes handle significantly different from 2-wheeled motorcycles. PNW Motorcycle Safety offers 3-wheel training at both our Auburn and Silverdale sites.
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.
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.
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.
Pacific NorthWest Motorcycle Safety is one of fourteen 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: 360-902-3674.