Top 10 Riding School Tips

Now that you have a class lined up, here's what you should know before you go back to school

If you are taking a course on the track you should tape up anything breakable.Billy Bartels

This article was originally published in the October 2002 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser.

Now that you’ve registered for a class or a riding course, what should you know before you go? A few universal truths to ease your learning curve:

  1. Pick the right group. "Fast" or "advanced" generally means wannabe racers or Iron Butt graduates. "Street Riders,""Intermediates" or "Group B" will probably net you the most usable street skills and will be easier to negotiate.
  2. Change your oil and filter. Your engine will be run hard this session.
  3. Check your suspension. If you're not sure, return it to stock settings and start with a clean slate. You'll get help at the class.
  4. Inspect your chain (if you have one), brakes and tires. Keep psi at recommended factory settings. Replace brake fluid before the class.
  1. Bring proper riding apparel. Most schools require leather or textile garments with armor. No holes in your gear, and the helmet must be DOT all the way.
  2. Pack a decent tool kit. A large flat-head screwdriver and pliers are golden, as are duct and electrical tape. Extra gas couldn't hurt, either.
  3. Bring water and lunch. And don't skimp on the water. Heat exhaustion is a real concern.
  4. You absolutely, definitely, without a doubt must be licensed!
  5. Make sure you know the location of the track...and if it's a long trek, consider booking a hotel room near the school.
  6. Get your bike ready for tech inspection. This is usually simply a matter of taping up anything breakable.