In some states, rider training courses are given at no charge to the rider; one example is Pennsylvania, where riders who successfully complete the course can then forego taking a motorcycle skills test to get their license.  Doing so is added incentive for riders to take safety courses. 

Alabama is one of the few states that do not require a skills test for a motorcycle license, if they did more people might take the classes and accidents and fatalities would probably decline.  Riders should check with their insurance company to see if they offer reduced insurance rates as an incentive for taking safety courses, perhaps starting with the comparison of major carriers on the Motorcycle Insurance Discounts page on the Dixie ABATE website.

Aside from the insurance discount, an important incentive for taking rider training classes in Alabama is increased rider’s knowledge and safety skills including evasive maneuvers, reduced number of injuries and fatalities on our highways, and enhanced rider’s confidence and enjoyment of riding.

 1.       GWRRA (Gold Wing Road Riders Association), State Representative for them is Roy Fosnight, phone 256-721-9151. 

At this time, the GWRRA has the only rider training course for trikes offered in Alabama.  As baby boomers age, there is a growing number of people who for a number of reasons choose three wheels instead of two so hopefully more classes for trikes will become available.  If you ride a trike, I encourage you to investigate the GWRRA trike training courses so you’ll get the full benefit of training on the cycle you intend to ride.  http://www.gwrra.org/regional/ridered/index.html  or http://www.alabama-gwrra.org/  in AL.

The following information was cordially provided by one of GWRRA’s safety instructors.  To put it as simply as possible, joining GWRRA, for those who do not ride a Gold Wing, is $50. per year for membership dues.  Once a member, there is no charge for their safety courses.  If you refer to the above mentioned Motorcycle Insurance Discounts page on the Dixie ABATE website, you will see that Allstate Insurance offers an extra discount (10%) on motorcycle insurance for anyone who is a member of GWRRA.   GWRRA offers classes for two wheels and three.  If another state offers a class sooner than Alabama, for a nominal fee, you may take the course in that state, and depending on where you live, it may be closer to go to a neighboring state than to attend a class in Alabama.

I will use myself as an example of how this works.  Due to chronic back problems as a result of my head being slammed through the windshield of a Camaro, I chose a trike because I thought it might be less irritating to my back, and since I ride a trike, I want my safety course on a trike.  By joining GWRRA, my course will cost me the $50. for membership dues, (since I ride a Honda VTX1300 and not a Gold Wing) and I will then enjoy two-fold insurance discounts from Allstate for having had their safety course and for being a member of GWRRA.  Actually, since my car and my home are also insured with Allstate, I qualify for multiple policy discounts too.  Investigate all your options when choosing an insurance carrier.  See the letter below for more.

 “Hi Vicky,

It was good to talk to you this morning about Trike training through GWRRA.  To become a GWRRA member either call:

Gold Wing Road Riders Association
21423 North 11th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85027

Phone: (623) 581-2500
Toll Free Phone: (800) 843-9460
Fax: (877) 348-9416
Email: customerservice@gwrra.org

Or the web site is: www.gwrra.org

GWRRA Membership Programs:

Individual Membership:

For individual Members only, this membership is for the person who owns a Gold Wing or Valkyrie motorcycle and pays the annual membership fee of $45 for one year, $85 for two years and $120 for three years.

Family Membership:

For families with two or more people in the same household who own a Gold Wing or Valkyrie motorcycle and pay the annual membership fee of $55 for one year, $105 for two years and $150 for three years.

Associate Individual Membership:

For those individuals who wish to take advantage of GWRRA and its benefits, do not own a Gold Wing or Valkyrie, and pay the annual membership fee of $50 for one year, $95 for two years and $135 for three years.

Associate Family Membership:

For families with two or more people in the household who wish to take advantage of GWRRA and its benefits, do not own a Gold Wing or Valkyrie and pay the annual membership fees of $60 for one year, $115 for two years and $165 for three years.

Keep your eye on the Alabama GWRRA website for the schedule of the next Trike Course on the weekend. http://www.alabama-gwrra.org/

Let me know if you need any additional information.

Thanks and regards, Richard Chapman”

  1. 2.       R.I.D.E. (Riders Institute for Defensive Education) offers rider training courses in Birmingham and Pelham.  http://www.ridemotorschool.com/Bios.php, or phone

             205-585-RIDE.  Joe Langenbacker is the owner of the group and one of the instructors. 

Per their website, R.I.D.E. staff instructors have over 100 years of combined Police Motorcycle riding and have trained over 1,000 police officers nationwide.  They offer classes at both beginner and intermediate levels. You can register online, or there are email addresses on their site. They do not offer classes for trikes.

R.I.D.E. staff instructors hold certifications from entities such as Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, The Institute of Police Technology and Management, and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

Law enforcement has long recognized that police motorcycle operators need more than a basic skills course to properly and safely operate a motorcycle in a law enforcement role.  The instructors at R.I.D.E. realize that many of the skills that were being taught could be

Transferred to the civilian population to help them survive dangerous encounters on the street and to become a more defensive operator.

  • (228) 697-6686
    in Gulfport, MS
  • (205) 585-RIDE
    in Birmingham, AL
  • (205) 585-RIDE
    in Pelham, AL

3.       The third source for rider safety training courses in Alabama is called the Alabama Motorcycle Safety Program (AMSP).  It operates out of the Alabama Traffic Safety Center in Montevallo, AL. 

“They are the provider/sponsor and have a facebook page, key word search ‘Alabama Motorcycle Safety Program’.  The curriculum the Alabama Motorcycle Safety Program teaches is MSF curriculum, but the AMSP provides it with the State of Alabama” – Thunder Roads Magazine

The Alabama Motorcycle Safety Program offers classes at various locations throughout the state for beginner to advanced levels.  The MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the entity that developed the curriculum used by the Alabama Motorcycle Safety Program and R.I.D.E.) has a curriculum for a safety course for trikes, but neither the Alabama Motorcycle Safety Program nor R.I.D.E. offers it in Alabama. 

The Alabama Motorcycle Safety Program Classes are given in Montevallo, Montgomery, Jacksonville, Dothan, Madison County (Meridianville), Tuscumbia, and Mobile.   Classes are available at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery for those with base privileges.    Phone: (205) 665-6740 http://www.montevallo.edu/atsc/motorcycle/ 

4.  Rider’s Edge is a class offered at some Harley Davidson dealerships.  It uses the MSF curriculum, bikes, 492cc Buels are provided, and the class costs $249.  Call 256-340-7333 for information and schedule.

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