Programs

The Motorcycle Rider Program offers courses for novice, intermediate and experienced and sidecar/trike riders. Which program is right for you?

Programs List

  • Have you wanted to learn how to ride but didn't know how to get started? Or, maybe you have limited riding experience but it has been awhile since you have been on a motorcycle. The Basic Rider Course (BRC) is for you!
  • Do you have riding experience and need a motorcycle license? Or, perhaps you rode years ago and need a refresher. If you already possess the basic skills to operate a motorcycle but need practice before venturing into traffic, the Intermediate Rider Course (IRC) may be for you!
  • Do you have your motorcycle, motorcycle license, and some real world street riding experience? Would you like to ride many of the Basic Rider Course exercises on your own bike? The Basic Rider Course 2 (BRC2) is probably a good choice! You will ride your own bike in this class!!
  • Are you an experienced rider who wants to develop more advanced riding techniques and greatly improve your mental and perceptual skills? The Advanced Rider Course (ARC) is for you! You will ride your own sport, cruiser, standard, or touring bike in this more challenging course!
  • Do you have a trike, sidecar, or Spyder and want to learn basic and advanced skills to safely operate these three-wheeled vehicles? Then check out our Sidecar/Trike Course (STC)!

What is the Basic Rider Course (BRC)?

Photo of bikes weaving in and out of road markers

This 20-hour program includes both classroom and "hands-on" instruction. It is designed to teach the fundamental skills of straight-line riding, shifting, turning, and stopping, then works toward developing more complex street skills including essential braking, turning and swerving techniques. It also focuses on developing good mental strategies and managing special situations. The motorcycles, helmets, and textbooks are provided for each student's use. Students must provide: a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, long pants (heavy material with straight legs), sturdy over-the-ankle footwear (not cloth or canvas), full-fingered gloves and eye protection (glasses, goggles or face shield).

Who is eligible to enroll in the BRC?

Illinois residents who are at least 16 years of age (on the first day of their course) are eligible to enroll if they have a valid driver's license or instruction permit. The ability to balance and ride a bicycle is expected. Persons under 18 years of age need the written consent of a parent or legal guardian.

Licensing

Upon successful completion of the Basic Rider Course, a completion card will be issued that will allow the Illinois Secretary of State driver's license examiner to waive the written and the riding portion of the motorcycle license test for all graduates who are 18 years of age or older. Persons who are 16 or 17 years of age must complete this course and take the Secretary of State's written and riding tests to be eligible for a class "M" motorcycle endorsement.

What is the Intermediate Rider Course (IRC)?

This 10-hour course is designed for riders with previous experience as a motorcycle operator. Did you ride years ago and would like to get back into the sport? Maybe you currently ride on-road or off-road motorcycles and want to earn your license to ride legally on the street. Or, perhaps you recently completed a basic motorcycle safety class and would benefit from additional practice. The Intermediate Rider Course (IRC) course may be for you!

Who is eligible to enroll in the IRC?

Illinois residents must be at least 18 years of age on the first day of their course to enroll in the IRC. Applicants must possess a valid automobile license or instruction permit and be reasonably proficient in basic motorcycle control operation including straight line riding, up-shifting, down-shifting, turning, braking, and stopping. Any student who is unable to demonstrate these minimum proficiences during the first riding session will not be allowed to continue in the IRC course but will be encouraged to enroll in a BRC.

Motorcycles, helmets, and textbooks are provided. Students must provide a valid driver’s license or permit, a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, long pants (heavy material with straight legs), sturdy over-the-ankle footwear (not cloth or canvas), full-fingered gloves and eye protection (glasses, goggles or face shield).

Licensing

Upon successful completion of the Intermediate Rider Training Course, a completion card will be issued that will allow the Illinois Secretary of State drivers license examiner to waive the written and the riding portion of the motorcycle license test for all graduates who are 18 years of age or older.

What is the Basic Rider Course 2 (BRC2)?

Experienced Riders in line This eight-hour course will further develop your basic skills while aboard your own motorcycle. Many of the exercises will appear familiar to graduates of the BRC but are developed to a higher proficiency level.

Who is eligible to enroll in the BRC2?

This course is for riders with on-street experience who have a valid motorcycle licesnse and can provide a street legal motorcycle in good mechanical repair. A DOT approved helmet, proof of current motorcycle registration, valid insurance and a completed motorcycle safety inspection checklist (checklist provided prior to the class) are required without exception.

Licensing

A valid motorcycle license is required to take the BRC2. Completion of the BRC2 course does not waive any test requirements for obtaining a motorcycle license through the Secretary of State but may qualify you for an insurance discount.

What is the Advanced Rider Course (ARC)?

The Advanced Rider Course (ARC) focuses on advanced braking, cornering, and perceptual skills. You will learn to use body positioning to manage traction and improve handling, and have multiple opportunities to self-assess your riding skills, risk taking behaviors, and attitudes. This high challenge, low threat course was originally developed for military sport bike riders and has recently been adapted for civilians. You will ride your own sport, cruiser, standard, or touring bike in this exciting eight hour course.

Who is eligible to enroll in the ARC?

This course is for riders with on-street experience who have a valid motorcycle license and can provide a street legal motorcycle in good mechanical repair. A DOT approved helmet, proof of current motorcycle registration, valid insurance and a completed motorcycle safety inspection checklist (checklist provided prior to the class) are required without exception.

Licensing

A valid motorcycle license is required to take the ARC. Completion of the ARC does not waive the test requirements for obtaining a motorcycle license through the Secretary of State but may qualify you for an insurance discount.

What is the Sidecar/Trike Education Program (S/TEP)?

Trikes and sidecars are not automobiles. It is less obvious, but equally important to understand that three-wheeled motorcycles do not steer, brake or handle like their two-wheeled cousins. Operating a trike or sidecar outfit requires specialized knowledge and skills which are uniquely different than operating either a motorcycle or an automobile.

The course addresses basic set-up, emergency braking, swerving, weight shifting, steering reversion, and managing wheel loft. Instruction incorporates lessons on tip-over lines and ballasting, and essential crash avoidance techniques unique to three-wheelers. Prior experience operating two-wheelers is helpful but not required. S/TEP courses are typically offered in one day, usually on a Saturday or Sunday.

Who is eligible to enroll in the S/TEP course?

Any Illinois resident at least 16 years of age who holds a valid motorcycle license or instruction permit is eligible to enroll. A DOT approved helmet, eye protection, sturdy over-the-ankle boots or shoes, long pants, long sleeves and full-fingered gloves are required without exception.

Students must bring their own mechanically sound, street legal trike/sidecar rig to every session by legal means. Sidecars that are solidly attached to a conventional motorcycle, trike conversions with motorcycle based roots, and “reverse trikes" with two wheels in front such as the Can-Am Spyder are all acceptable. Three wheeled motorcycles that lean, trikes based on automobile powered conversions, and motorcycles with outrigger wheels are not appropriately designed to participate in S/TEP courses.

No student will be required to share their trike or sidecar with another individual, however, family members or friends may share a trike or sidecar in the same course if they choose to. Proof of vehicle ownership and valid insurance coverage will be verified at the first class session.

Licensing

A valid motorcycle license or permit is required to take the S/TEP course. Completion of the S/TEP does not waive the test requirements for obtaining a 2 or 3 wheel motorcycle license through the Secretary of State but may qualify for a discount on insurance.

Motorcycle Safety Instructor

The University of Illinois Motorcycle Rider Program is looking for service-oriented men and women to join our part-time staff of motorcycle safety education instructors. The level of responsibility is high but the satisfaction of assisting other people as they improve their mental skills, physical coordination, and life-saving driving strategies is extremely rewarding!

Over one hundred experienced motorcyclists are currently employed by the University of Illinois Motorcycle Rider Program in one of the largest motorcycle safety programs in the United States. Most of our instructors are veteran motorcyclists who have been actively involved in rider safety and education for many years. All of them have completed the Instructor Preparation (IP) course and maintain current certification credentials through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

Instructor Preparation (IP) Course applications are selectively accepted from individuals who:
  • are at least eighteen years of age,
  • have excellent verbal and written communication skills,
  • have excellent social skills with a strong interest in helping other people,
  • have an Illinois class "M" motorcycle operator license or equivalent from another state,
  • have completed a basic motorcycle rider course,
  • currently operate a motorcycle on a frequent basis, and
  • have a clean driving record with no possibility for license suspension or revocation. Please note: an original driving abstract issued by any Illinois Drivers Services Facility or your home state's Department of Motor Vehicles must be attached to your application.
Candidates accepted into the IP Course must successfully complete:

  • an initial riding skills test to demonstrate riding proficiency,
  • an 80-hour classroom/riding instruction course conducted by certified instructor trainers,
  • a written knowledge test covering the novice course curriculum and other highway safety issues,
  • a student teaching phase to demonstrate communication abilities and proficiencies at evaluating and coaching novice students, and
  • an Instructor Rules of Professional Conduct form.
Once certified, an instructor must:

  • attend annual refresher courses,
  • maintain first-aid certification through the American Red Cross or equivalent,
  • demonstrate safe riding habits and always wear protective gear when riding to, from and during rider training activities,
  • ride and drive free of alcohol and other drugs, and
  • conduct one’s self in a professional manner that includes appropriate appearance and communications.
Because certain areas of our training region are understaffed, and enrollment in these courses is limited, we reserve the right to select course candidates geographically. The intensity of this training may exceed that of any previous instruction in which you have been involved. Your commitment will require much more time than the actual contact hours listed in the course schedule and, once enrolled, there is no guarantee that you will successfully complete the course.

Course materials will be provided at the first course session. If successful, all teaching materials will be yours to keep. If you do not complete the Instructor Preparation course for any reason, the IP materials must be returned. Travel and incidental expenses will be the responsibility of the candidate.

Thank you for your interest in becoming involved with motorcycling safety. Your investment in this training will be extensive but the incredible, long-term rewards of helping new riders get started on the right track are immeasurable!

Why are the courses offered?

The Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, and S/TEP courses are offered through the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and community agencies to reduce the likelihood and severity of accident involvement by teaching risk management skills and developing essential riding skills through both classroom and riding instruction.

Course Sponsors

These courses are sponsored by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety through Public Act 82-649, the Cycle Rider Safety Training Act; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and community agencies.