Biker Training Program Stepped up in Louisiana

Biker Training Program Stepped up in Louisiana

Posted by Ben Baker on Jan 31st 2016

Louisiana requires bikers to pass a knowledge and skills test to get a full M-class license since 2011.

Now the Creole State is stepping up voluntary training for bikers who want to know more. The Louisiana State Police is offering the new training course at various locations and dates around the state.

“It’s fun and it’s terrifying at the same time,” said Quang Le, a first-time rider, told KSLA News upon taking the first ever offered course.

Last year, the Pelican State saw 1,951 biker wrecks. 80 riders were killed. In 2014, the numbers were much the same. In 2013, the numbers were a bit higher and in 2012, wrecks hit a high of 2,140 with 78 riders killed.

“Some of it (the wrecks) are people not driving up to their ability, some of those crashes involved people not being aware of motorcycles in the area,” said Trooper Bryan Lee with the Louisiana State Police on the occasion of the first safety course held in Baton Rouge. "We think it would be a great opportunity to get the public to come in. Learn these basic skills, learn some safety techniques, ways to reduce injuries and even death if you're involved in these crashes."

Those signing up for the courses must have: a DOT-certified helmet; long sleeves; full-finger gloves; eye protection, either a shield or goggles; long pants and over-the-ankle, sturdy boots. Rain gear is suggested as outdoor work won’t be canceled just because of rain.

The application asks “Can you ride a bicycle?” It notes that being able to ride a bicycle is “mandatory for participation.” Riders who have a trike for whatever reason apparently still have to ride a bicycle.

Each of the courses is also available to law enforcement officers.

Training is offered in three categories.


This 15.5 hour course is meant for beginning riders. It’s a combination of classroom work and riding with the bike work done in “two sessions on Saturday and Sunday in a controlled, off-street environment,” says the State Police announcement.

A limiting factor is engine size. Bikes in this category must be 550cc or smaller. Riders who bring their own ride with bigger engines must move to one of the next two courses. However, the Department of Public Safety will provide a motorcycle for the course work.

The cost is $100 if the State Police provides the ride and $25 for riders who bring their own. Rides must be street legal.


Spend 5 hours on a course. The State Police says this is “for the motorcyclist who wants to fine-tune their mental and physical skills. The course practices cornering, braking, and evasive maneuvering techniques Participants will also discus.” Practice braking, cornering and leaning how to dodge problems that come up.

No engine limits. The State Police will supply a ride for this, if necessary. Prerequisites are either the beginner course or a current M-class license.

It’s $100 if the State Police provide the ride and $25 if the rider brings one. It must be street legal.


The advanced course requires the biker to bring his own ride. It must be registered and insurance. The course is 4 hours in the classroom and 4 hours on the range. The State Police say, “emphasis is given to self-assessment, risk management, rider behavior, riding strategies and overall skill development, advanced braking, cornering and swerving procedures and techniques.”

A two-page application is required for any of the three courses.

Louisiana allows bikers to exempt the skill part of the M-class license if they have taken the "Department of Public Safety, Motorcycle Safety, Awareness and Operators Training Program" after Oct. 2011.