Free safety training benefits all levels of riders
Since 1976, one of the greatest opportunities throughout the state has been the Illinois Department of Transportation's free motorcycle rider training classes offered to all residents over the age of 16.
In northern Illinois, these Cycle Rider Safety Training Program classes, or CRSTP, are offered through Palatine's William Rainey Harper College at 16 different training sites.
Registration for the 2018 training season is under way and classes continue through the first weekend in November.
The Harper College Motorcycle Safety Program offers three different levels of CRSTP courses: beginner, intermediate and advanced. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Advanced RiderCourse (ARCu) has been updated for 2018. So even if you have taken an advanced course in the past, this one will have new material for you.
Students attending the advanced course will spend about two hours in the classroom and about six hours riding their own motorcycles on our range under the guidance of MSF-certified RiderCoaches. The course is designed to help people who already ride become even better riders on their own motorcycle.
There are no tests or pressure to perform at a specified level. The best part is, like all the CRSTP courses, the advanced course is free! The advanced course is offered at various times throughout the year at Harper's main campus in Palatine as well as at our partner training sites at the College of Lake County in Grayslake and Prairie State College in Chicago Heights.
So, why hasn't everyone with a motorcycle license and motorcycle taken the advanced course?
Some have said, "I don't want to crash my motorcycle." We don't want you to crash your motorcycle, either! This is not a racing or speed-type course. It's a safety class. Getting familiar with your own motorcycle is an essential component of crash prevention.
Students in this class challenge themselves at their comfort level with no test pressure.
We've also heard, "I don't have enough riding experience to take an advanced course." Don't let the name fool you. If you have a motorcycle and you are able to (legally) ride your motorcycle to class, you have all the experience you need.
Finally, we've heard, "I have been riding for years. I know how to ride." No matter a rider's current skill level, the advanced course can help everyone become a better, safer rider.
To someone who gives us this reason for not taking our class, we ask the question: "Can you ride better than our RiderCoaches?" If the answer is no, then the advanced course will make you a better rider. If the answer is yes, then we hope you will come to one of our classes to make us better riders or consider becoming a RiderCoach yourself.
We encourage everyone who has a motorcycle license and access to a motorcycle to take the Advanced Rider Course. This training is a great refresher course after our long winter breaks from motorcycling. It's also a great way to become a better rider than you already are.
Class sizes are limited to 12. If you have a group of at least six, we can schedule a class just for your group.
For more information about the Harper College Motorcycle Safety Program and any of the motorcycle courses we offer, please visit www.harpercollege.edu/motorcycle or give our office a call at (847) 925-6803.
Be safe on your bike• All IDOT Cycle Rider Safety Training Courses for Cook County and Northern Illinois are administered by Harper College and held at sites across the region. There is no charge for any of the courses; however, a refundable $20 deposit is collected at registration. Riders must submit a refund request within 30 days of completing the course.
Where: Various locations, including Elgin, Grayslake, Palatine, Prospect Heights and Rockford.
When: Now through the beginning of November.
More info: (847) 925-6803 or www.harpercollege.edu/motorcycle