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. NOTE: If you are a new rider and taking our MSF Basic RiderCourse, you DO NOT NEED a motorcycle learner permit before the course! 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 our MSF Basic RiderCourse 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 for new riders (and BRC2-LW for experienced riders) is also the only course in NY State that waives the requirement for a road test with the DMV.
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). 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 runs weekends as well as weekdays. Our MSF Basic RiderCourse is given most weekends. It may also be taken on weekdays on Thursday and Friday. See our New Riders page for specific days and times on our class schedule.
Where do you give your lessons?
Our MSF Basic RiderCourse is given in Great River, NY (on the south shore of Suffolk County). We give one-on-one lessons in Nassau County near our office in Hicksville and also 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?
Can I train with my friend?
Many students find that training with a friend or relative enhances their experience. Please consider our MSF Basic RiderCourse – up to 12 riders can be trained by two instructors at one time.
Do you provide a motorcycle for me to use and will I fit on it? Will I be able to use it for the class?
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 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 previously did not require students to purchase any special equipment, however, because of COVID-19 students are now required to supply their own helmets and gloves for their training. 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 license law
Which of your training packages is for me?
Our most popular training package is the MSF Basic RiderCourse (see below). 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 day course and includes an online learning component (eCourse) done prior to attending, a short classroom session 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 New Riders 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 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 Experienced Riders page for more information.
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.
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 events like Americade a touring rally in Lake George, New York in the spring. Check our Web site for upcoming events and discounts.