With the help of Biker Bob’s Harley-Davidson, new bike owners learn the skills to succeed as easy riders
Before new motorcycle riders get on their bikes, there is a statistic of which they need to be aware according to John Hankins of Biker Bob’s Harley-Davidson in Taylor.
“Nine out of ten motorcycle fatalities in any given year are riders who never took a training course,” says the Biker Bob’s Riding Academy manager. “The fact that training is not required by law is simply unbelievable.” Hankins, like the rest of the staff at Biker Bob’s, thinks that training should be mandatory. He has been training riders for years. Before joining Biker Bob’s Harley-Davidson, he trained riders, many of them police, at Michigan State University and Midwest Police Motorcycle Training.
Biker Bob’s Riding Academy offers two levels of training: one for beginners and another for more experienced riders. The first is a 24-hour course, longer and more extensive than many novice classes. Hankins says there is a good reason. “We believe in being thorough,” he says. The class follows the guidelines of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, an internationally recognized body. New bike owners learn the skills to succeed as easy riders.
“I get a feeling of accomplishment when someone who hasn’t ridden before gets that feeling of excitement from doing it the right way,” Hankins explains.
The Seasoned Rider Class is aimed at riders with at least 1,000 miles or a year of experience behind the handlebars. “The course lasts eight hours,” Hankins says. The advanced training adds more to the initial training at higher speeds. “We call it the ‘Seasoned Riders Course.’”
Biker Bob’s also offers the only Motorcycle Safety Foundation three wheel basic rider course in the state of Michigan. This fourteen hour class will get riders their three wheel cycle endorsement document.
Hankins himself has been riding for years. “I started on a friend’s Honda 70 when I was eight years old,” he says. “I rode down a hill and fell into some grass. I remember it like it was yesterday.” Since then Hankins says he has fallen hundreds of times. “If you are not falling, you are not trying to improve,” he says.
For more information on Biker Bob’s Riding Academy, call 734-947-4647.W