California's Official Motorcycle Safety and Training Program

Zip Code:

BRC Student Handbook

      How to Get Your California Motorcycle License

Course Description

Prerequisites: Ability to ride a bicycle. Full protective attire is required. Must be of legal age to operate a motorcycle on the street. under 18 must have either a California DMV issued Identification Card, California DMV issued auto instruction permit, or a valid driver's license. Any person younger than 18 years must also have the written permission of his/her parent(s) or legal guardian.

The Basic RiderCourse is a complete entry-level, learn-to-ride class that consists of at least 15 hours of formal classroom activities and on-cycle riding exercises conducted over two or three days. About five hours are devoted to learning activities in the classroom, and around 10 hours of hands-on practice are included. Training motorcycles are provided. Successful completion may lead to a waiver of the motorcycle license skill test at the DMV and possibly an insurance discount.

Classroom Content

Unit Objectives
1 Unit I - Course Introduction
  • Course Requirements
  • Course Structure
2 Unit II - Introduction to Motorcycling
  • Types of Motorcycles
  • Risk Awareness
  • Risk Acceptance
  • Risk Management
3 Unit III - Preparing to Ride
  • Personal Protective Gear
  • Pre-Ride Inspection
  • Routine Maintenance
  • Controls
  • Basic Riding Skills Information
  • Range Safety Rules
  • RiderCoach Signals
4 Unit IV - Street Strategies
  • Positioning
  • Being Visible
  • RiderRadar
  • Mental Processing
  • Common Riding Situations
  • Maximum Braking and Swerving
  • Special Situations
  • Impairments
5 Unit V - Wrap-Up

Range Exercises

Lesson Objectives
1 Familiarization
  • Identify location and operation of important controls and major parts
  • Review mounting/dismounting procedures
  • Use engine start and shutdown procedures
2 Using the Friction Zone
  • Become skilled in using the clutch friction zone for control
3 Starting & Stopping Drill
  • Learn clutch/throttle coordination to start out and stop with precision and control
4 Shifting & Stopping
  • Shift gears and stop smoothly
5 Adjusting Speed & Turning
  • Develop the basic skills of adjusting speed and turning (counter-steering technique)
6 Controls-Skills Practice
  • Combine throttle, clutch, and brake use with a variety of maneuvers
7 Cornering
  • Develop the slow/look/press/roll technique for smooth, precise cornering
8 Matching Gears to Speed
  • Practice matching gear shifting to road speed
9 Stopping Quickly
  • Develop quick-stop capabilities
10 Limited-Space Maneuvers
  • Refine maneuvering skills to allow turns in limited spaces
11 Pressing to Initiate Lean
  • Develop deeper understanding of counter-steering for initiating turns
12 Cornering Judgment
  • Develop cornering finesse through additional rider judgment of entry speed and degree of curve
13 Negotiating Curves
  • Demonstrate smooth and precise cornering techniques through various paths of travel
14 Stopping Quickly in a Curve
  • Learn techniques to maintain control while stopping in a curve
15 Obstacles & Lane Changes
  • Develop proficiency in crossing over obstacles
  • Practice making safe lane changes
16 Avoiding Hazards
  • Learn the collision-avoidance skills of swerving and quick braking
17 Skills Practice
  • Capstone exercise that combines a variety of maneuvers
Test Skill Test To assess basic skills using a U-turn, swerve, quick stop, 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