Basic Rider Training
- For new riders or those looking for a basic refresher.
- Teaches fundamental riding skills and strategies to help reduce risk.
- About 16 hours of training.
- Includes the use of a school motorcycle (or scooter by request).
- Includes permit written and riding skills tests.
- Training locations in Tacoma, Steilacoom and Olympia.
- US DOT compliant helmet (small supply is available)
- Eye protection (glasses, goggles or face shield)
- Long sleeve shirt or jacket
- Long pants
- Full-fingered riding gloves
- Sturdy, over-the-ankle footwear offering adequate ankle protection (work boots, hiking boots, military boots, etc.)
- Canvas high-tops or slip-on boots with elastic or stretchy material over the ankle is not considered sturdy and will not be allowed
- Prepare for the weather (rain gear, sunglasses, snacks & drinks, etc.)
- A parent permission form if under the age of 18 prior to the first riding session
What is involved in the class?
While in this class, riders will learn the primary controls of a motorcycle and become confident with the fundamentals of starting, stopping, shifting, cornering and slow speed maneuvers. Riders will also learn basic hazard avoidance skills such as stopping quickly and swerving. In the classroom, we will have the opportunity to discuss choices we make as riders, strategies to reduce risk and ways to increase the enjoyment we get out riding.
Is this course for true beginning riders?
Prior riding experience is not required. The Learn to Ride course is designed to accommodate the average beginning rider who does not know how to operate a motorcycle.
If you are unsure if the Learn to Ride course is right for you or you want additional time to prepare, consider the Intro to the BRC (I-BRC) as your first experience to riding a motorcycle. The I-BRC is an optional pre-training session designed to build confidence of the basics in a relaxed environment with smaller class sizes.
How does the schedule work?
We try to utilize as much daylight hours as possible for conducting classes. Each Learn to Ride course consists of 2 riding portions along with 2 classroom portions. Some classes start in the classroom while others start on the range. You can see more information on our schedule page found here!
Our classes are only two days to make it convenient:
- 2-Day Schedule
- Day 1: Full day (classroom, riding)
- Day 2: Full day (classroom, riding)
- 2-Day Schedule
- Day 1: Full day (riding, classroom)
- Day 2: Full day (riding, classroom)
How much does the Learn to Ride cost?
The LTR full cost is $265. However, due to subsidy funding through the Department of Licensing using motorcycle endorsement fees, we are able to offer most of our classes at a discounted rate to WA residents (with a WA ID#) or active duty military depending on the subsidy allowed at the time of reading this. The schedule will show what the cost is for a particular course assuming you are a WA resident or are active duty military stationed here. If you are a non-resident or without a WA ID#, the price is $265 regardless of the price shown on the schedule. There is no difference in course content between the $265 and the subsidized price displayed.
What if I'm under 18 years old?
A training course is required by state law for anyone under 18 years old trying to obtain their motorcycle permit/endorsement. A parent or guardian will need to sign a waiver before you will be allowed to ride. This must be done at the beginning of class, in our office, or can be notarized prior to your training date.
How do I sign up?
- Check the schedule for open availability. Click here to view the Schedule.
- Once you find a training date you are interested in you may register:
- Online (click the Register Now button next to your training date)
- Call our office (253) 770-8888 (Monday - Friday from 9am - 5pm)
- In person at our office (address is at the bottom of the page, or call for directions)
- For your convenience you may use your Visa or Mastercard online, over the phone, or in person at our office.
- After payment is made for your spot we will send you a Confirmation Letter containing dates, times, maps, directions, what to bring, what to expect, and more.
Where can I buy the riding gear that I need?
We recommend that you check out our list of supporting dealerships found on our links page.
Will I get a lunch break?
Throughout the course you will be given a short breaks as well as a lunch break on full 8-hour days. Make sure you bring plenty of fluids and snacks. Learning to ride a motorcycle safely demands an alert mind. We would also recommend a good night’s rest before your course date.
What type of motorcycles will I be riding in this course?
The types of motorcycles will vary over time. However, here is a list of common bikes used at our locations.
- 250cc Honda Rebel (cruiser)
- 250cc Suzuki GZ250 (cruiser)
- 225cc Yamaha XT225 (dual-sport)
- 200cc Suzuki DR200 (dual-sport)
- 200cc Yamaha TW200 (dual-sport)
- 125cc Kawasaki Eliminator (cruiser)
- Scooters Available (if requested at registration on a first come first basis)
Can I ride my own motorcycle?
Yes. If your motorcycle meets all of the requirements of our training motorcycles and you have the necessary insurance you may be permitted to ride your own bike. However this is not common and should not be expected. Your bike will have to meet two of the following requirements as a minimum.
- Unladen weight of 400lbs
- 500cc or less
- 30 inch maximum seat height
You MUST check with our office for more information and approval.
What kinds of benefits are offered as a result of passing this training?
- Motorcycle permit along with a course completion card
- Cheaper insurance
- Dealership discounts & coupons
- Learn/Improve skills
- Greater confidence
- Information on riding gear
- Base access for military riders
Will I still have to take a test with the DOL to earn my permit?
No, the permit tests are included as part of the training course. Successfully passing both the written and skills evaluations earns you a completion card as well as an option to add your permit to your license as long as you add it within 180 days following the completion of your testing. We will upload your scores to the DOL system within 3 days of completion and you can go into the DOL or apply online for your permit after paying the motorcycle permit licensing fee to have the permit added to your license. *Note* You will not be legal on the road until the permit is added to a valid license.
I do not have a driver license. Can I still take the course?
Yes. However, you still will have to register for a WA State ID# so we can upload your scores to the DOL assuming you pass the course. You will be issued a completion card for your use if you pass both the written and skills tests Thus, you have 180 days to get a valid license and have the motorcycle permit added should you choose.
I have a license from out-of-state. Can I still use the completion card to get a motorcycle permit?
Some states will honor the Course Completion Card as a way to get your permit/endorsement added to your license, however, some states will not. Please check with the Department of Licensing from your state to verify what requirements are necessary. You can always get a Washington State license and have the permit added, if needed.
I drive a sidecar or trike. Are there any courses for me?
Puget Sound Safety does not offer 3-wheeled motorcycle training courses, however there are other schools in Washington that do. Please check the Department of Licensing to find the closest school to you.
How can I get in sooner?
You may show up to any of our courses and if another student does not show for their class, you may take their spot. Be prepared to fill out a registration form and make payment (cash only) regardless if you are registered for another class. You will be refunded once the paperwork reaches our office. If you wish to try and do a “standby”, give us a call prior to the class so we can make sure you have the details needed for the class including dates, times, and directions.
Do you have any cancellations?
We do not know when a cancellation will happen and are unable to keep a wait list due to the high demand. It is recommended to sign up in the next available spot and then call periodically asking for these possible spots.
Is there anything I can do to get ready for the Learn to Ride Course?
Nothing is required to be ready for this training with the exception of your riding gear however, if you can’t wait and want to do something you may start reading the course handbook which can be found online as a read only. Motorcycle Operator Manual (PDF)
Other things you may choose to do. Get out and ride a bicycle, how long has it been since you balanced on a bicycle? This will help you in the beginning exercises on your motorcycle. Do you have a motorcycle? You may want to start learning where the controls are located and read how they operate. This will also help in the beginning exercises so you don’t have to think about them. Another good source of information can be found in the recommend books we have discounted for students to purchase found on our products page.