Ask a Trooper: Motorcycle training helps develop and improve safe riding skills

Questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota may be sent to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow at 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56560. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or email him at

Close-up of Minnesota State Patrol trooper's squad vehicle

Question: It seems like I am seeing more motorcycles than ever. Can you talk about their safety?

Answer: Here is some information that was shared on the Department of Public Safety’s blog which can be found at .

“With everything going on in the world today, a motorcycle ride can be the perfect escape. Leave your worries behind, put that helmet on, and head for the open road. Wearing proper protective gear can help keep you safe in case of a crash, but having good riding skills and a strategy can prevent a crash from happening in the first place.

"The number of motorcycle fatalities is high this year compared to past years with 42 rider deaths, according to preliminary reports. At this time last year, there were 31 rider deaths. August through fall is prime riding time for many Minnesota motorcyclists.

"Here are steps you can take to reduce your risk of crashing:


  • Ride sober.
  • Wear highly visible protective gear, including a brightly colored helmet.
  • Have a good riding strategy for every ride.

"Motorcycle training is a great way to develop and improve safe riding skills, but time is running out to register for the Basic Rider Course to earn your endorsement. So register now for one of the 22 locations throughout Minnesota. More than 1,300 riders took the course in the first two months of the training season, which started the first week of June, and nearly 300 more riders took other Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center training courses.
"There are a limited number of intermediate courses still available too. This course is a great way to practice riding a new motorcycle or riding with a passenger. You can take the intermediate course with a passenger for no additional charge. MMSC offers advanced and expert training courses too, but those have wrapped up for the season. Challenge yourself to take a training course every year or two to keep your riding skills sharp — after all, training can make a huge difference in avoiding crashes. You can find details about all the training courses on the MMSC’s website , including eligibility requirements for each level.

"You can register online for the motorcycle training courses that are available through September, but don’t wait. Courses are filling up. If you can’t take a training course this season, follow other safe riding tips to keep yourself and your passenger safe. Happy summer and happy riding!"

Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow

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