FAQs

Note, the Texas Department of Public Safety has a great FAQ page as well.

A) Courses We Offer (4)

What is a Basic RiderCourse (BRC)?

The best place to start once you’ve made the decision to ride. Covers the basics of operating a motorcycle and safety-oriented mental strategies. Motorcycles and helmets are provided for your use. Successful completion of this course, consisting of five hours of formal classroom activities and ten hours of riding instruction conducted over two or three sessions, plus its knowledge and skill tests, will waive the license test unless you are a minor. The course may also earn you an insurance discount.

What is an Experienced RiderCourse (BRC2)?

The Experienced RiderCourse is designed for motorcyclists with an existing motorcycle license. The course teaches advanced street survival skills. It costs $125 and is approximately 5 hours – consisting of advanced riding skills training on the range. (no classroom work only riding on range)  The class may count for defensive driving, insurance discount, dealership discount and tuition reimbursement from some motorcycle manufacturers.

Don’t forget, we ride in most weather conditions so bring layers and raingear as necessary.  Check the weather forecast before you head out.

You MUST arrive on time with a FULL tank of gas!  (please arrive 15 min before class start)

Your motorcycle must be in safe operating condition and you must wear a DOT- approved helmet.  You must wear the REQUIRED gear.

Students successfully completing an Experienced RiderCourse will receive an MSF course completion card which may entitle you to motorcycle insurance discounts and tuition reimbursement through some manufacturer programs.

Students that are not Texas residents are invited to take this course. However, there is no guaranty of reciprocity with your home state for licensing purposes. Please click on this directory of state administrators for information about courses in your home state or reciprocity with Texas.

These courses emphasize the risk involved with riding a motorcycle. These risks also exist while one practice rides during the course.

Students unable to keep pace with the class or who pose a hazard to themselves or others may be dismissed from the class by the instructor.  This is an important duty performed by the instructor.

There will be no refunds, pro-rated or in full, should a student be dismissed by the instructor for any reason.

Do you offer the Advanced Rider Course (ARC)?

No, Total Rider does not currently offer the ARC/MSRC.  The Advanced RiderCourse is designed for experienced motorcyclists and includes advanced riding techniques on a full-size range. To find an ARC class near you, visit www.dps.texas.gov/msb and select Training Locations, then look for a location in your city that has the word Advanced in their Curriculum description.

Attn Army: The Department of the Army POV Task Force has affirmed that the ARC will substitute for the Military Sport Bike Course for sport bike riders, and will be the equivalent of the BRC2 for Non-Sport bikes.

Do you offer three-wheeled motorcycles (trikes or Spyders) training?

Yes!  Total Rider is proud to now offer 3WMC classes on a monthly basis at our Killeen location.  Please check our schedule.  Currently, you are required to supply your own 3WMC.

*note, if you are trained on a 3WMC your licenses will be restricted to only a 3WMC. A 2-wheel “M” endorsement covers all 2 and 3 wheeled motorcycles.

D) Our Policies (8)

Can I use my own Motorcycle?

  • BRC: No
  • BRC2: Yes
  • 3WBRC: No

We do NOT allow students to use personal bikes or scooters for the beginner BRC class.  However, they are required for the experienced BRC2 classes.  Even though a personal bike may be small it is typically not geared for the constant low parking lot speeds and maneuvers, thus increasing wear & tear on the clutch and transmission components. Also, liquid cooled motorcycles don’t do well in a training environment, which also increases wear on the motorcycles.

If a student crashes a training motorcycle they usually are not as upset as they would be on their personal bike. Additionally, a mechanical failure on a personal bike could cause a safety problem on the range, resulting in the student being dismissed from the class. From a safety perspective, BRC students typically don’t have a motorcycle license, and we don’t encourage illegal or untrained riding.

What do I need to bring to a Basic RiderCourse (BRC)?

All students must bring to the classroom portion:

  • Valid driver’s license or photo ID.  Out-of-State residents need only provide a copy of their home-state driver’s license to participate.

  • Pen or pencil for taking notes

  • Requirements:  If you are under 18 years of age: as a minor, you must have a valid learner’s permit or driver’s license to take our courses.   In addition, you are required to bring our signed parental/guardian medical consent and course waiver forms with you.  We HIGHLY recommend you make two copies of each of these forms, and bring one set to the classroom portion, and one set to the range portion.

*PDF files will open in a new window.

All students must bring to riding practice:

  • REQUIRED: Helmets must be manufactured to meet Department of Transportation (DOT) standards; only DOT-approved helmets are allowed on practice area (Total Rider provides helmets at all its sites. However, students are encouraged to bring their own if they own a DOT-approved helmet)

  • REQUIRED: Eye protection (eyeglasses, sunglasses, face shield or goggles)

  • REQUIRED: Sturdy over-the-ankle footwear.  If ankles are not protected you will not be allowed to ride.  Canvas and cloth shoes are not permitted.

  • REQUIRED: Full-fingered gloves (leather preferred)

  • REQUIRED: Long sleeve shirt or jacket

  • REQUIRED: Long non-flare denim pants or material of equivalent or better durability.

  • RECOMMENDED: Rain gear (course runs rain or shine)

  • RECOMMENDED: Sun block, as needed

  • RECOMMENDED: Snacks, lunch, and non-alcoholic beverages (BRING plenty of water in the Summer)

If you do NOT bring the REQUIRED gear to riding practice you will not be allowed to participate in the class.  You will forfeit your course fee and have to pay for another class.

What course materials are provided?

Applies to Basic Rider Course (BRC) only:

For the classroom portion: All books and study materials.  You are welcome to bring a snack and drink, but please dispose of afterwards.

For the riding (range) portion: A motorcycle, and a helmet.  You are welcome to bring your own helmet as long as it is DOT approved.

You are also welcome to bring a snack and drink, but please dispose of afterwards.  Be sure to read your booking confirmation email about wearing proper clothing for the riding portion.  If you do NOT bring the REQUIRED gear to riding practice you will not be allowed to participate in the class.  You will forfeit your course fee and have to pay for another class.

Does Total Rider offer discounts?

Total Rider offers a $15 discount off our full-rate BRC and BRC2 courses for military, police, firefighters, EMS, school teachers and other public servants! Please contact us to arrange for the discount before you book your course.  Be prepared to show ID upon entrance to class.  This discount can not be combined with any others in effect.

We also offers discounts at various times during the year via our website, Facebook page, and our TR Partners.

What is your refund & cancellation policy?

Please read as you will be essentially entering into a contract with Total Rider, LLC once you pay your class fee.  Even if you allow someone else (like a dealer) to book your class for you or your book over the phone, our policies still apply.

What if I do not show up for my class?

Like missing the bus, classes will go on without you.

However, we do understand that occasionally, “Life” gets in the way.  If you:

  • could not attend classroom portion (not the range portion)
  • arrived late to the classroom portion (not the range portion)
  • or failed the classroom knowledge test

we provide a one-time “Hall Pass” per student for an additional $75.00 administrative fee.  Email our office staff via our website’s Contact Us page explaining your situation in detail, or call (512) 522-5844 Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm.

You will forfeit your entire course fee if you:

  • do not show up or arrive late for any classroom training, and have already used up your one-time “Hall Pass”.
  • begin training on the motorcycle at the range and then leave for any reason
  • arrive late for range training – period.
  • leave during any part of the class to include weather delays causing the class to run over the scheduled time
  • do not wear the proper apparel/gear for riding (click here to see what to wear)
  • are dismissed by the instructor for any reason
  • self-counsel out (quit)

Classes go on rain or shine, hot or cold unless Total Rider cancels the class due to severe weather. See our weather faq.

Rescheduling / Administrative Fees:

  • Refund / Reschedule*:
    • $25.00  Admin fee if Total Rider is notified 4 or more days prior to scheduled class date.
    • $75.00  Admin fee if Total Rider is notified 3 or fewer days prior to scheduled class date.
  • Riding Skills test retake:
    • $75.00  (for students who have progressed to Motorcycle Skills Test but not passed)
  • One-time Hall Pass:
    • $75.00  (applies to students who have not completed the Classroom portion of course on the first attempt)
  • 2 or More Attempts to Complete Classroom:
    • Full price (applies to students who have not completed the Classroom portion of course on two or more attempts)

* Reschedules/Refunds will only be discussed with the enrolled student unless student is a minor (15-17 years of age)

Total Rider assumes no responsibility for classes missed as a result of illness, emergencies, or other events beyond our control. We also reserve the right to cancel classes for any reason deemed necessary including classes not filling or scheduling conflicts and will notify you of that occurrence.

See our other Standard Policies on website FAQs and in “Info” under Book Your Class page

What if I am under 18?

If you are under 18 years of age: As a minor, you must have a valid learner’s permit or driver’s license to take our courses.   In addition, you are required to bring our signed parental/guardian medical consent and course waiver forms with you.

*PDF files will open in a new window.

What if I can’t complete the course?

See our What is your refund & cancellation policy faq if you are unable to attend the course at all.

See our What if I get “counseled out” out of a course? faq if your instructor has counseled you out.

Please understand we are restricted by Department of Public Safety and MSF rules and regulations as to what we can do if you are not able to complete the course for reasons other than those above.

What if I get “counseled out” of a course?

Students unable to keep pace with the class or who pose a hazard to themselves or others may be dismissed from the class by the coach.

There will be no refunds, pro-rated or in full, should a student be dismissed by the coach.

Statewide approximately 93% of students successfully complete this course their first time. Please understand that these courses have group learning format that limits the ability of the instructors to provide individual instructions to students. These courses are mentally and physically demanding, and weather conditions can increase the stress on students.
If you are counseled out contact us to discuss your options.

C) Attending Your Class (7)

What kind of motorcycles do you have?

Our range of training bikes includes Honda Grom 125cc, Kawasaki Eliminators 125cc, Kawasaki V-Star 250cc, and Suzuki GZ 250cc. We also have an Enduro-type motorcycle and at least one 50cc scooter at each of our locations along with our Can-Am Spyders 1300cc.

What do I need to bring to a Basic RiderCourse (BRC)?

All students must bring to the classroom portion:

  • Valid driver’s license or photo ID.  Out-of-State residents need only provide a copy of their home-state driver’s license to participate.

  • Pen or pencil for taking notes

  • Requirements:  If you are under 18 years of age: as a minor, you must have a valid learner’s permit or driver’s license to take our courses.   In addition, you are required to bring our signed parental/guardian medical consent and course waiver forms with you.  We HIGHLY recommend you make two copies of each of these forms, and bring one set to the classroom portion, and one set to the range portion.

*PDF files will open in a new window.

All students must bring to riding practice:

  • REQUIRED: Helmets must be manufactured to meet Department of Transportation (DOT) standards; only DOT-approved helmets are allowed on practice area (Total Rider provides helmets at all its sites. However, students are encouraged to bring their own if they own a DOT-approved helmet)

  • REQUIRED: Eye protection (eyeglasses, sunglasses, face shield or goggles)

  • REQUIRED: Sturdy over-the-ankle footwear.  If ankles are not protected you will not be allowed to ride.  Canvas and cloth shoes are not permitted.

  • REQUIRED: Full-fingered gloves (leather preferred)

  • REQUIRED: Long sleeve shirt or jacket

  • REQUIRED: Long non-flare denim pants or material of equivalent or better durability.

  • RECOMMENDED: Rain gear (course runs rain or shine)

  • RECOMMENDED: Sun block, as needed

  • RECOMMENDED: Snacks, lunch, and non-alcoholic beverages (BRING plenty of water in the Summer)

If you do NOT bring the REQUIRED gear to riding practice you will not be allowed to participate in the class.  You will forfeit your course fee and have to pay for another class.

What course materials are provided?

Applies to Basic Rider Course (BRC) only:

For the classroom portion: All books and study materials.  You are welcome to bring a snack and drink, but please dispose of afterwards.

For the riding (range) portion: A motorcycle, and a helmet.  You are welcome to bring your own helmet as long as it is DOT approved.

You are also welcome to bring a snack and drink, but please dispose of afterwards.  Be sure to read your booking confirmation email about wearing proper clothing for the riding portion.  If you do NOT bring the REQUIRED gear to riding practice you will not be allowed to participate in the class.  You will forfeit your course fee and have to pay for another class.

Can I study course materials before class?

What a great idea!  Sure you can… just point your browser here.

What about weather?

Classes go on rain or shine, hot or cold! (unless Total Rider cancels class due to severe weather).  Dress appropriately, wind and rain can make temperatures seem much colder.  On hot days black clothes absorb sunlight so avoid those if possible.  Read your confirmation email as it contains important information on what to wear.

Our instructors will delay or cancel a riding class if necessary.  Typically we never cancel the classroom portion of your training.  However, the coach must delay the class in the event of lightning or other severe temporary conditions until it is safe to begin again.  If you leave the riding area and the class was not canceled by the coach you forfeit your tuition fee and must begin the class from the beginning.

Also, review our cancellation and refund faq.

What if the training motorcycle doesn’t fit me?

Occasionally a student will come to class who doesn’t feel comfortable on our training bikes because of height or fitment issues (e.g. their legs are too short, or too long, or their hands get tired because they’re too small, or they are using different muscles). Very rarely are our training motorcycles too tall or too small for the student. We use 125cc and 250cc motorcycles, and 49 cc scooters, the smallest on the market.

The shortest student we have trained was 4’6″ and weighed approximately 88 pounds.  The tallest was approximately 7’4″ and weighed 450lbs.  Both of these students completed the course successfully on our training bikes. We use motorcycles with the lowest seat heights available and the lightest weights available.  Most scooters actually have a higher seat height than our training bikes by approximately 1″ to 2″.

If you are concerned about sitting comfortably on one of our training bikes please visit any of our dealer partners to sit on a comparable motorcycle or scooter before enrolling in our class, or contact us.  We can try and arrange an onsite visit during a class so you can sit on a motorcycle.

B) Booking Your Class (5)

Is the Basic RiderCourse (BRC) required for a motorcycle license?

Yes, effective September 1, 2009, a law passed that required successful completion of an MSF Basic RiderCourse. This applies to all riders 18 years of age and older or if you held a motorcycle license which has since lapsed.

If you are under 18 years of age: as a minor, you must have a valid learner’s permit or driver’s license to take our courses.   In addition, you are required to bring our signed parental/guardian medical consent and course waiver forms with you.  We HIGHLY recommend you make two copies of each of these forms and bring one set to the classroom portion, and one set to the range portion.

*PDF files will open in a new window.

If you have a motorcycle with a “J” or “K” restriction you may take the motorcycle on-cycle skill test at your local Driver License office instead of taking the Course.

For exact verbiage of the statute, read Texas Transportation Code §521.148

Do you accept cash or checks?

TotalRider does not accept cash or checks at its classrooms or range locations.  Our coaches are not allowed to accept cash or checks.

Our preferred payment method is credit, debit card or PayPal via our website

Do you accept Paypal?

As of February 2017 we now accept PayPal as a way of paying for your course, in addition to credit and debit cards.

Do you take deposits for classes?

At this time we do not take deposits for classes.  Classes must be paid-in-full at the time of booking.

Do you have scooters?

We always try to have at least one operating scooter at each of our locations.  However, we cannot guarantee availability and scooters are first-come-first-serve.  If you are interested in a scooter please add that to the notes section when you book your class.

Uncategorized (3)

What is the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF)?

About MSF: The Motorcycle Safety Foundation® is the internationally recognized developer of the comprehensive, research-based, Rider Education and Training System (MSF RETS). RETS curricula promotes lifelong-learning for motorcyclists and continuous professional development for certified RiderCoaches and other trainers. MSF also actively participates in government relations, safety research, public awareness campaigns and the provision of technical assistance to state training and licensing programs. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is a national, not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMWBRPHarley-DavidsonHondaKawasakiKTMPiaggioSuzukiTriumph, Victory and Yamaha.

Mission Statement: To make motorcycling safer and more enjoyable by ensuring access to lifelong quality education and training for current and prospective riders, and by advocating a safer riding environment.

Vision: The MSF is an internationally recognized not-for-profit foundation, supported by motorcycle manufacturers, that provides leadership to the motorcycle safety community through its expertise, tools, and partnerships.

(from http://online2.msf-usa.org/msf/)

I lost my certificate! What can I do? How long are they good for?

If it has been less than 4 years since you took our BRC course then we can replace your MSB-8 certificate for a $10 fee. Please visit our Lost MSB-8 Certificate Replacement Request page to get started.

If it’s been longer then you’ll need to contact TX DPS by browsing to http://dps.texas.gov/msb/msbfaqs.htm, then scroll down to #8 where you will find more information on how to obtain a replacement certificate.

 

What is an autocycle?

On May 22, 2015, the Governor signed SB449 which created a new definition for an autocycle in Texas. The bill became effective immediately. Below are some common questions regarding the new autocycle registration, licensing and operation in Texas. In addition, the Motorcycle Safety Unit in ETR regulates and sets rules for motorcycle training in Texas and publishes information on motorcycle, autocycle and ATV definitions and requirements chart for your review and dissemination.

What is the definition of an autocycle?

The definition of an autocycle is: “autocycle” means a motor vehicle, other than a tractor, that is:

(1) designed to have when propelled not more than three wheels on the ground;

(2) equipped with a steering wheel;

(3) equipped with seating that does not require the operator to straddle or sit astride the seat; and

(4) manufactured and certified to comply with federal safety requirements for a motorcycle.

What type of driver license is required for an autocycle?

SB449 amends TRC Chapter 521 where an autocycle can be operated on a Class C license. This is because an autocycle is stable, has a steering wheel, and uses the traditional throttle and brakes like a motor vehicle does.

What type of license plate is on an autocycle?

For purposes of titling, registration, and inspection an autocycle will be considered a motorcycle. This is because the autocycle cannot meet the definition of a motor vehicle as required by federal statutes (airbag, crash ratings, enclosed, etc). The autocycle can meet the federal definition of a motorcycle as built so that is why the manufacturer can issue a certificate for a motorcycle.

Do riders of an autocycle need to wear a helmet?

Yes, SB449 amends the helmet section requiring a helmet. The standard exemption from the helmet requirement of having sufficient insurance also applies to an autocycle. Peace officers cannot stop a motorcycle or autocycle for the sole purpose of determining if a rider is in compliance with this section.

The autocycle is equipped with a safety restraint system, are riders required to wear the safety restraint system?

State law does not require riders to put on the restraint system, but riders should comply with the manufacturer’s suggestions for safe operation.

Does an autocycle have to have footrests and handholds like a motorcycle?

No, SB449 exempts the autocycle from the footrest and handhold requirement.

Can a child ride in an autocycle?

SB449 amends section TRC 545.416 to state that passengers may only ride in the seat of an autocycle and an operator may not carry another person in an autocycle unlessthat person is at least 5 years old.

What are the rules of the road for a motorcycle such as speed limit and lane operation?

The autocycle must be operated in the same manner as a regular motor vehicle for purposes of TRC Subtitle C Rules of The Road.

What does an autocycle look like?

Here is one example of a vehicle that meets the current definition:

Autocycle example

Additional information on the Motorcycle Safety Program can be found at

http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/msb/documents/VDRchart.pdf