Motorcycle Learner’s Permit; Now What?

Next Step Is Turning My Learner’s Permit Into A Motorcycle License.

So, I still have to pass the motorcycle driving test( How Do I Complete My Pennsylvania Motorcycle Road Test? – FAQ ). I need practice and some way to get it. I do not have a motorcycle, so after some research my options are:

  1. Borrow a motorcycle and practice.
  2. Buy a motorcycle and practice.
  3. Take a motorcycle riding safety class to get real practice.

Let’s weigh each option:

Can I Borrow A Motorcycle?

I have friends who ride, but one of the most cherished items I found with my friends is their motorcycle. So getting a friend to part with their motorcycle is going to be difficult. I approached some friends, but after saying things like, “just got my permit” and “do you have a bike I can learn on?” some cower in fear, trying to defend their motorcycle without offending our friendship. Understandable, many of my friends don’t even like people sitting on their bikes, something about messing up the ‘butt groove.’

Another option was to borrow a friend’s second motorcycle. Well, motorcycle riding can be an expensive, time-consuming hobby, so many people don’t have extra street-legal motorcycles lying around. My friends typically trade up or sell their bikes to get their latest motorcycle. So they do not have a spare.

Given the results of my attempts, borrowing a motorcycle is out.

Am I Buying A Motorcycle With A Learner’s Permit?

This option was totally out for me for a few reasons:

1. Motorcycle Prices.

I didn’t want to shell out a lot of money for a good bike and didn’t want to go cheap for a bad bike. Also, I’m a motorcycle newb. I know pedal mountain bikes; it’s what I’ve road for decades, but not something with a real motor. I am too inexperienced to make a decision now and follow it up with a financial investment.

2. Motorcycle Insurance Options.

I only have a motorcycle learner’s permit. I contacted my insurance company and found they don’t even offer Pa motorcycle insurance. So I have to deal with an insurance company I have not history with and trying to convince them my Motorcycle Learner’s permit is enough to get insurance. I believe it would work, but again price might be the limiting factor.  

3. Motorcycle’s Emotional Investment.

I’m going to lay down the bike. It’s a fact of life; laying down a Motorcycle happens. If I invest heavily now, making a rushed decision, I will have an emotional investment in my practice bike. I might be too frightened to actually ride it, or I might want to hold on to the motorcycle, delaying my ability to upgrade later.

OK, so buying a first motorcycle is out at this time. I am too new at this hobby to commit to the purchase.

Am I Taking A Motorcycle Safety Class First?

Are there motorcycle riding classes near me?

This was easy; I just did so some search engine queries, “motorcycle classes,” “motorcycle safety foundation classes,” and found a lot of information and found a lot of good and bad news.

Bad News: Pennsylvania doesn’t use Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) classes. MSF is frequently mentioned on motorcycle websites, YouTube, and magazines.

I found the state of Pennsylvania picked: Total Control Training, Inc. ( Website ) I was not familiar with this company, and regardless, it seemed I had no choice. Total Control Training, Inc. was the service provider my state had picked.

Good News: If I took a motorcycle class and passed through Total Control Training, Inc., it would count as my motorcycle road test.

Bad News: With Pennsylvania’s continued lock-downs, the availability of motorcycle classes is limited.

More Bad News: with limited classes, frequently, they are booked immediately.

Good News: classes are becoming more available with time, I hope.

Can I get into a motorcycle class?

As I covered, motorcycle classes are limited in numbers and quickly filled up by other motorcycle learners. So I will just keep checking the website for classes being posted and open seats. This is going to be a challenge.

Update: I Used My Motorcycle Learner’s Permit.

I decided to go with a motorcycle safety class after I confirmed no motorcycle experience was needed. Going from just riding bikes to a safety class was worth it.

Was a motorcycle safety class worth it?

Spoiler alert: Yes! The motorcycle safety class was worth it. Here’s why.

After a few more web searches, I found this out:

  1. It’s Free! Well, it’s already paid for by my tax dollars.
  2. It’s professionally taught by a company that specializes in safe motorcycle riding.
  3. It counts as a road test. Yes, if I pass the class, it is counted as my road test requirement for my Pa motorcycle license.

My Conclusion:

When I look at my options(borrowing a motorcycle is out, buying a motorcycle is too expensive, and classes are limited), patience seems to be my only option. It’s wintertime, riding options are limited, and I shouldn’t rush anything. However, my choice seems clear. I need to take a Motorcycle Riding Class that is professionally taught.

Thank you!

Picture of me, as a New Motorcyclist.
Just Me…Newly Licensed.

Hi I’m Tom, A New Motorcycle Rider and Blog Author.

I am a new rider(Pa Learners Permit at the end of 2020, and I received a Pa Motorcycle License in 2021 after passing a Motorcycle Safety Course).

I bought my first motorcycle, a TaoTao TBR7, at the beginning of 2021 and have been doing upgrades on that motorcycle since.

I added to my motorcycle collection by buying a Boom Vader Gen 2 in 2022, and that Grom-Clone motorcycle has been upgraded by me as well.

I continue to ride my Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle as well as my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport bike.

Read more on my About Me page.

Fun Fact: I’ve only been on one group ride.

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