FAQs

Do you have an explanation and comparison of all your training options?

Yes! See Course by Course Comparison.

Do you have quick start guide for new riders?

Yes! See New Rider Quick Start Guide.

I’ve never been on or ridden a motorcycle – can I learn to ride?

With the proper instruction and guidance almost anyone who is physically capable and has the balance to ride a bicycle can learn to ride a motorcycle.

I want to get my motorcycle license and learn to ride – where do I start?

The first step is to get a New York State DMV Motorcycle Learner Permit. You can take the 25-question, multiple-choice test at any NYS Department of Motor Vehicle office. No reservations are necessary and when you pass, you’ll be issued an Interim Learner Permit. A permanent, laminated photo-ID learner’s permit will be sent to you in the mail. It is good for one year and can be renewed one time. Use this link to find your local DMV office: http://dmv.ny.gov/offices. Effective September 2014, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles policy that requires a motorist to have a valid NY Motorcycle Learner Permit as a condition of attending the New York State Motorcycle Safety Program’s Basic RiderCourse has been eliminated. However, a permit is still required to be eligible for the road test waiver and become licensed. Students don’t have to have a permit to attend the class, however, students are advised that the BRC does not waive the permit requirement and a valid permit will be required in order to waive the road test and apply for a license at DMV. This policy change provides customers the convenience of making a single trip to DMV to get their motorcycle license instead of two trips, and it affords them the opportunity to experience motorcycling before having to commit to a permit. A motorcycle learner’s permit is still a requirement for any one-on-one lessons.

Now that I have my learner’s permit, what do I do next?

Start with a plan – perhaps the MSF BasicRider Course (BRC) is for you. It is by far our most popular training option! The BRC is a group class with up to 12 riders and two instructors. See: more about MSF courses for more information. It is geared to the brand new rider with no experience on a motorcycle, however, riders with some experience will also get something out of the training. The MSF BRC is also the only course in NY State that waives the requirement for a road test with the DMV. Want individualized training? Perhaps our novice rider package is for you. It provides five lessons of one-on-one instruction on our motorcycle tailored to you and all you need for the road test (motorcycle, car for the DMV inspector to ride in and licensed motorcyclist over 21). There are other benefits including priority in scheduling and other discounts. Please see Classes & Pricing, call or send us an email for further details.

I have motorcycle riding experience, but I don’t have a motorcycle license. What should I do?

The first step is to obtain a motorcycle learner permit (see above) and contact us for an evaluation on whether the road test package will meet your needs. It includes one 60-minute one-on-one lesson on our motorcycle, a practice before the road test and the road test service (motorcycle, car for the DMV inspector to ride in and licensed motorcyclist). We will evaluate your skills and come to a determination with you on whether more instruction is necessary. Alternately, the MSF Basic RiderCourse 2 with License Waiver provides more training and practice and provides a road test waiver. It is a viable option that many experienced riders choose to obtain their motorcycle endorsement.

I work during the day – can I take lessons after work or on weekends?

Yes, the Big Apple Motorcycle School gives one-on-one lessons Tuesday through Sunday from 9AM to dusk, weather permitting. Our MSF Basic RiderCourse is given most weekends.

Where do you give your lessons?

Our MSF Basic RiderCourse is given in Great River, NY (on the south shore of Suffolk County). Our main location for one-on-one lessons is in Nassau County near our office in Hicksville but we also give one-on-one lessons in Oakdale in Suffolk County. We will travel outside the local area for individual lessons – please contact us for special arrangements and pricing.

How do I schedule lessons?

For the MSF Basic RiderCourse or Basic RiderCourse 2 with License Waiver, see our class schedule. For one-one-one lessons, call us at 516-639-9977 or fill out the form on our contact page to arrange a time that is convenient for you. You can also register on our website on our classes and pricing page

How often should I take a lesson?

Can I take more than one lesson at a time? For one-on-one lessons, we recommend taking at least one lesson a week. We don’t advise taking more than one one-hour lesson per day. It is important that the student be alert and able to concentrate on the task at hand to facilitate learning. Motorcycle riding is an intense activity requiring physical skill and mental concentration.

Can I train with my friend?

Many students find that training with a friend or relative enhances their experience. We offer students that want to train together the option of booking a 2-hour lesson block and alternating time on the motorcycle in 15-20 minute periods. We also offer the option of training together on two or even three separate motorcycles during a single one hour lesson. If you want a group class, please consider our MSF Basic RiderCourse – up to 12 riders can be trained by two instructors at one time.

Can I schedule my road test through you and where is it given?

The Big Apple Motorcycle School offers DMV road test scheduling for their novice rider and road test package students. Let us know what days are convenient for you and we’ll make your road test appointment. The road test facility in Nassau County is located in Syosset and in Suffolk County is located in Hauppauge. For the MSF, Basic RiderCourse and Basic RiderCourse 2 with License Waiver, no road test is required as the course has a road-test waiver that is obtained by passing the skill evaluation that is a component of the class.

Do you provide a motorcycle for me to use and will I fit on it? Will I be able to use it for the road test?

The Big Apple Motorcycle School provides small training motorcycles (like the Kawasaki Eliminator) and scooters for their students. They have a low seat height and weigh less than 375 lbs. They are also used for the road test and in the MSF Basic RiderCourse. The only classes where the student must provide their own motorcycle is the Basic RiderCourse 2 License Waiver (or Skills Practice).

I don’t have any motorcycle gear (helmet, gloves, etc.). Do I need to buy these items before I take a lesson?

We don’t require students to purchase any special equipment and we have a variety of helmets and gloves that you can use. Many prefer to buy or use their own motorcycle-specific items and there are discounts available (please inquire for details). All students are required to wear over-the-ankle boots or shoes, long pants (preferably jeans or other durable material), long sleeves (motorcycle-specific jacket preferred or a leather or jean jacket is acceptable), DOT-approved helmet with approved eye protection if appropriate and full-fingered gloves.

I’m not yet 18 years old, can I get my motorcycle license?

Learner permits, limited-use junior driver licenses (Limited Class DJ or MJ), and full-use junior driver licenses (Class DJ or MJ) allow limited driving privileges for people learning to drive. New York State laws and regulations restrict where, and under which circumstances, you may drive. If you are under age 18, these restrictions depend on where you drive in New York State and the time of day. As a learner or junior driver, it is your responsibility to know and obey the restrictions in the General information about the graduated licene law

Which of your training packages is for me?

Our most popular training package is the MSF Basic RiderCourse (see below). We also specialize in one-on-one training. We offer hourly lessons and lesson packages. See Course by Course Comparison for an explanation and comparison of all our training options.

Our MSF Basic RiderCourse (BRC) is for new riders without any motorcycle experience. This is a group class of up to 12 students with 2 instructors. This is an intense two and one-half day course and includes 5 hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours on the motorcycle. It is intended to teach you the basics of safe motorcycle operation and provides a road test waiver upon successful completion.
Check out our MSF Courses page for more information.

Our MSF Basic RiderCourse 2 with License Waiver (BRC2-LW) is for experienced riders. It is designed for individuals that have had some street riding experience and have held a valid New York State Motorcycle Permit for at least 1 calendar year, and possess some street riding skills. This is a group class of up to 12 students with 2 instructors. The BRC2-LW is an 8-hour course that contains a unique on-line classroom segment as a pre-requisite and also offers a variety of practice riding exercises designed to further develop your riding skills on your own motorcycle. There is a skills evaluation at the end and it provides a road test waiver upon successful completion.
Check out our MSF Courses page for more information.

Our Novice Rider Package is for new riders without any motorcycle experience who want one-on-one training. You must be able to ride a bicycle (or you would not be able to balance a motorcycle). It is intended to teach you the basics of safe motorcycle operation. The Novice Rider Package includes 5 one-on-one lessons, extra practice before the road test and your road test with the DMV.

Our Road Test Package is for experienced riders who can confidently start, stop, shift and turn and have had a minimum of 6 months experience riding on the street. Our road test package is to get you accustomed to our training motorcycle, allow us to assess your skills to help you become a better and safer rider and to prepare you for the DMV road test. Our road test package is NOT to teach you the basics of how to ride. For that, please choose our Novice Rider Package or individual one-on-one lessons.

Our Street Rider Package is for existing riders and emphasizes improving cornering ability, crash avoidance techniques, street skills and on-road riding. Includes two one-on-one lessons that are each one hour long. Your first lesson will consist of cornering exercises and crash avoidance techniques. Your second lesson will consist of street skills practice and actual on-road riding. This package includes use of one of our training motorcycles for all training sessions. Our street rider package is for riders who already know how to start, stop, shift and turn but feel they would benefit from additional cornering practice and on-street riding.

What can I expect during my one-on-one lesson?

For our novice rider package students, you can expect one-on-one coaching starting with the basics. We’ll help you become familiar with the motorcycle and its controls, discuss and demonstrate what should be done prior to riding, and then begin the riding process. Your first lesson will hopefully result in your first straight-line ride. Your second lesson will build on what you learned in your first lesson. We’ll work on starting, stopping, turning and shifting. Subsequent lessons will deal with high and low speed turns, accident avoidance maneuvers, specific exercises needed for the road test and will culminate in a real-world ride on local streets. Our emphasis is to get your comfortable and confident for both your road test and beyond. Check out our Classes & Pricing page for more information.

Why do I have to wear all that clothing just to learn? Isn’t it excessive?

Motorcycling is a risk – one you should understand and try to manage. We believe in safety first, care about our students and require all of our them to wear a long sleeve shirt (at the minimum) or jacket, long pants and over-the-ankle boots. Helmets, full-fingered gloves and eye protection are also required. We personally wear full riding gear whenever we ride. There is a wonderful selection of riding gear available for purchase for any weather. For hot weather, ventilated jackets and pants work much better than a t-shirt and shorts and provide a lot more protection. For more information on our minimum requirements, check out our Ride Prerequisites page for more information.

What kind of motorcycle should I buy?

There are many motorcycles that are appropriate for the beginning and experienced rider. The most important factor is whether the motorcycle fits you ergonomically and has the horsepower appropriate for your level. Read the reviews in the motorcycle magazines and online resources. We do not recommend a heavy or high performance motorcycle as your first bike. You want a motorcycle that you will be confident and comfortable on right away. You do not want a motorcycle you will “grow into” as your first bike. Leave that for your second or third motorcycle! Check out our Choosing the right motorcycle page for more information or our Useful Links page for motorcycle dealers who might be of some assistance in choosing a motorcycle that is right for you.

Where can I buy motorcycle gear?

Many local dealers carry various brands of helmets, gloves and other clothing items. See our Useful Links for motorcycle dealers who might be of some assistance in choosing gear that is right for you. Other sources are motorcycle shows and events, like the International Motorcycle Show at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City every winter and Americade a touring rally in Lake George, New York in the spring. Check our Web site for upcoming events and discounts.

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