Soon the roar of motorcycles will be heard across the campus of Glen Oaks Community College, the new regional host site for the State Motorcycle Safety Training course.
For Michigan bikers to receive a motorcycle endorsement in Michigan, they are required to complete a basic skills course. In the recent past, the course has been held at the Sturgis Middle School.
“Classroom activities introduce the mental and perceptual processes needed to be a good rider and show participants how to process information and make safe decisions,” said Paul Aivars, GOCC director of business outreach. “The riding sessions have participants practice basic controls including clutch and throttle coordination, straight-line riding, stopping, turning, and shifting using the program’s motorcycles. Also included are quicker stops, curves, and swerves. It is important not only to be healthy, but also to have enough fitness, strength, and coordination to learn well and manage the physical demands of riding a motorcycle.”
The Motorcycle Safety Program has been in St. Joseph County and coordinated through the auspices of Glen Oaks since 1998. White Pigeon High School was the first site for the range training portion for several years before it was transferred to the Sturgis Armory for another couple of years and then to Sturgis Public School through 2020.
“With the help of the State of Michigan in repaving a section of the parking lot at the college for range testing, the program has now been transferred to the college,” said Aivars.
Since its inception, hundreds of participants have been trained in operating a motorcycle safely and have earned their motorcycle endorsement on their license — which is now mandatory to ride in the State of Michigan.
Basic Rider classes are offered in one day, either on a Saturday or Sunday. Range instruction takes place on a Saturday or Sunday using the programs training motorcycles.
Registration for the Motorcycle Safety program takes place in the early spring and due to the high demand, the program fills up fast. Classes are filled up for this spring and summer.
“We are excited about the opportunity to serve as the host site for the program and look forward to many more years of training,” said Aivars.