Commonwealth Journal

News Live

April 16, 2014

A Wheelie Good Idea

Motorcycle rider training class cranks up; knowledge gained saves lives in the clutch

Somerset —

Okay, despite Tuesday’s blustery snow showers, the weather last weekend was an ideal introduction to spring. And over at Hal Rogers Fire Training Center on Oak Leaf Lane in north Somerset, five fledgling motorcycle riders were enjoying another kind of introduction.
Their successful completion of a three-day Basic Rider Course (BRC) sponsored by Somerset Rider Training, in conjunction with the Kentucky Motorcycle Program, not only earned them the privilege of road test-free motorcycle licenses along with insurance discounts, but also the knowledge vital to a lifetime of safe motorcycle operation.
“Riders who successfully complete the course receive waivers which allow them to go to the Circuit Clerk’s Office and obtain their motorcycle endorsements without having to take a road test,” explained Ron Coffey, who manages the Somerset Rider Training program. “In addition, many insurance companies will give graduates of our course a 10 percent discount on motorcycle insurance.”
Although Coffey acknow-ledged that enrollment in the BRC has declined in recent years, that may change this year. A revision to the Kentucky motorcycle operator law now limits to two the number of one-year motorcycle permits a motorcycle rider may obtain.
In the past, many riders would annually renew their motorcycle permits without bothering to take the road test to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on their drivers license. (A Kentucky motorcycle permit does not allow a rider to carry passengers or ride out of state. Permit holders must also wear helmets.)
Harold Hobson, of Eubank, is instructor of the Somerset Rider classes. Hobson is a long-time motorcycle enthusiast who holds rider safety as the paramount consideration for participants.
Hobson said the BRC is designed for a new rider, or a rider who wants a good refresher course. The BRC is targeted at riders of all ages. Classroom instruction prepares riders for on-cycle maneuvers in a controlled, off-street environment. (Participants must be able to balance a bicycle before attempting on-cycle exercises.)

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