Legaleasy Rider
April 20, 2006 11:45 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find an inexpensive and concise Motorcycle Safety Course in or around Atlanta?

I've been able to find a couple of courses being offered around town, however, they all seem quite expensive, or take place over a span of 3 weeks. If it matters, I have my own bike. (79 Vespa p200e) Also, general information and advice on getting a motorcycle license is also welcome.
posted by clunkyrobot to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
I took a class offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation about five years ago. It was one Thursday night and both days the following weekend, and cost $165 as I recall, but I don't know what their current curriculum and pricing structure is. Even if the cost has doubled since then, taking the class nets you a significant insurance discount so you'll probably get the class fee back within the first year.

Some sort of class should be mandatory in my opinion if you have little or no on-road riding experience. Even if you are an experienced rider, the class can be worth it because (at least here in California) if you pass the class you won't have to take the DMV driving test. The chief benefit of this is that they supply little 125cc bikes which are pretty maneuverable and therefore easy to take the test on -- this probably doesn't apply to you since you're not riding a cruiser, but might help someone else.
posted by harkin banks at 12:15 PM on April 20, 2006

What do you consider expensive? They all tend to use the same curriculum from the MSF, and for a brand-new rider they all ought to supply bikes (and not let you ride your own on the course), so I doubt there will be a lot of variability in price.

Here's the list of MSF courses in Georgia. I can't tell which of those are near Atlanta, but you probably can!

That said, if Atlanta is like anywhere else, signing up now will get you in a slot a couple of months from now. To get into the May courses around here, you usually sign up in the previous off-season.
posted by mendel at 12:16 PM on April 20, 2006

Thanks guys, the MSF website is exactly what I was looking for.
posted by clunkyrobot at 12:25 PM on April 20, 2006

You probably want a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course. I took a course as a refresher when I got back into riding after a few years away, and I think it was run over a weekend (class in the morning, riding in the afternoon, Saturday and Sunday). You'll ride their bikes, which is good because quite a few people end up dumping them. Better to get scratches on somebody else's bike.

The courses around here (Southern California) fill up weeks or months in advance, but sometimes you can get in as a standby. I don't know how things are in Georgia.

Good luck, biking is huge fun!
posted by spacewrench at 12:28 PM on April 20, 2006

I've also done the MSF course, and found it to be excellent. The trainers were simply awesome (hey, they're bike enthusiasts!), the print material was well-done, and while the videos were certainly showing their age (oh, god, the fashions and hairstyles!) they were also pretty decent.

Best of all, though, was learning on a well-maintained but worn-in beater bike that I knew I could drop without feeling bad. We started out on 125s in the parking lot cone courses, but our road training was on 250s and 500s. An excellent selection of models, from classic to cruiser to sporty, which itself was really useful.

Even at $600, it's a course well worth taking. The increased awareness of all the "gotchas" and means of dealing with threats on the road make it Worth. Every. Penny.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:46 PM on April 20, 2006

FYI, once you're done with the course, they'll give you a little card that you take to the DMV and they will issue you a new driver's license with the motorcycle license endorsement--you can skip the driving test by taking the MSF class.
posted by Ziggy Zaga at 9:58 AM on April 21, 2006

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