Eager rider prospects are already thinking about next season. While any accredited school can put you through a motorcycle training course and conduct government approved licensing test at the end, all schools are not equal. Not only do you want to get an exceptional learning experience, you also want the right “fit” for your learning style, personality and convenience. Do your research.
While this post is directed at new riders, the same principles apply to any rider training course.
- Customer Focus. How you were treated when you first contacted the school, either at a trade show, by phone or online, the school culture you perceived and the degree of professionalism.
- Location. Pick somewhere that’s convenient. Those learning days out on the parking lot are tiring and you don’t want a long commute at the end of the day. Many of the schools have more than one campus, so if you find a school you prefer, ask about their locations.
- Class Sizes. While all (in Ontario) will have a ratio of 1 instructor to 5 students, the number of students trained at one time varies – between schools and between locations within schools. If you thrive on the energy generated by lots of people, you won’t be deterred by lots of bikes in the parking lot. However, if you prefer less distraction, pick a campus with fewer total students.
- Type of Bikes. Check out the age, model type and the variety of models available. Are there bikes to fit long legs, short leg, etc. Above all, you want to make sure the bikes are in good shape.
- Other programs. The Basic Rider program is only the beginning. Keeping your skills sharp requires life-long learning. Look for a school that offers advanced programs as you develop your skills..
- Reputation. Ask for references from other students who have attended the program you’re considering.
- Safety. What safety and emergency procedures are in place to support a positive learning environment yet be prepared in the event of an emergency?
- Facilities. How big is the teaching area; what is the surface condition where you’ll be learning? Look for gravel, sand, potholes, rough pavement, debris.
- Surroundings. Aside from the number of students, how conducive to learning is the surrounding area?
- Experience level of instructors. A good rider isn’t necessarily a good instructor. Ask about the riding and teaching experience of instructors, how they were trained and how often they teach.
You may notice that price is not one of the top 10 considerations. For the most part, the considerations above affect your safety and safety takes priority over the cost of a course. All other things equal, let cost be the deciding factor.