Courtesy of MotorcycleCourse.com we took part in an M2 Motorcycle Rider Training Course at the Durham College campus parking lot in Whitby, Ontario. M2 stands for ‘Motorcycle Class 2′ and is part of a Graduated Licensing System that exists in the Province of Ontario. Similar to new car drivers, motorcyclists start out by writing a test granting them a restricted learner’s permit called M1. The only way to upgrade to a nearly unrestricted M2 licence is by either passing a driver’s test conducted by the Ministry of Transportation or by enrolling in a ministry approved rider training course.
Considering that the average passing rate of a ministry conducted M2 test is between 20-30%, it’s a safer gamble to take a weekend long motorcycle rider training course that guarantees a near certain M2 exam passing rate. The way it works is as follows: one 3-hour classroom session on Friday evening that teaches us about motorcycle ownership, rules of the road, hazards, and what to expect in the coming few days, one 8-hour Saturday session and one final 9-hour Sunday session where we finish off by taking the M2 test on Sunday afternoon as well-trained, confident riders.
[From the MotorycleCourse.com website]
While Friday’s classroom course was quite basic but necessary, most people were eagerly anticipating Saturday morning when we’d get to pick out our bike and start riding. We’d eventually get to pick from 200 cc or smaller dual-purpose bikes that ranged from small to large. One of the taller bikes, a handsome black Suzuki DR200, was the bike we picked to tackle the weekend with.
What most of us expected was for Saturday to be a quiet and slow day where we’d all gingerly get accustomed to the controls and feel our bikes, while Sunday would prove to be the more hands-on, excitement-filled day. However, Saturday actually proved to be the most action-packed day of the weekend that saw all of us go from bike rookies to what quickly looked like experienced riders.
At 10 AM we were pushing each other around on our bikes to hone important balancing skills. By 11 AM we were already finding the clutch friction points and trundling along in 1st gear. We couldn’t believe the progress we had all made in only a few hours time when by the early afternoon we were shifting through the gears and riding around the parking lot course at good pace. But the truly extraordinary part was that the entire group made up of women and men of all ages all reached the same skill level by the end of the Saturday session.
Looking back at the almost unbelievable amount of progress that was made in one day, we realized that it wasn’t just our collective bravery, patience, and enthusiasm that got us there, but the top notch quality of instructors. Not only were they excellent communicators and teachers but also an entertaining and welcoming group of friends. Everyone was having a great time which translated into great morale and a comfortable learning environment. At the end of the day, none of us could have experienced the kind of progress we did if it weren’t for the streamlined curriculum and seamless guidance by the instructors.
While Saturday was all about getting comfortable and building up speed, Sunday centred around emergency techniques. The morning session consisted of emergency braking, collision avoidance, and push steering exercises, while the inevitable M2 test loomed in the back of everyone’s minds. We would line up in groups and attempt the various challenges one by one as instructors provided instant individual feedback. Cruising through the challenges we eventually felt prepared to tackle the M2 test which nearly all 50 of us ended up passing with flying colours.
Enjoy the pictures and don’t forget to check out http://www.motorcyclecourse.com to find out more about the world-class team of instructors that make these invaluable courses possible at various locations around the province.
Thanks again to legendary instructors at MotorcycleCourse.com!