As gas prices continue to rise, motorcycles are becoming much more appealing. They use far less gas than a standard vehicle, which can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each year in fuel costs.
Plus, they are super fun to ride. Motorcycle riding isn’t just for the reckless, young, twenty-somethings who have something to prove. Motorcycles, and motor scooters, can be for everyone.
But before you can start commuting on two wheels, you are going to need a motorcycle license. Like a standard driver’s license, these are going to require a basic course, followed by a test and finally a practical, hands-on driving test.
Wondering what it takes to get your license in Florida, arguably the best state for motorcycling? Keep reading to find out what the Sunshine State requires.
Motorcycle License in Florida
Most people that want to drive motorcycles already have a standard driver’s license. So if you also want to get licensed to drive a motorcycle, you are actually getting a motorcycle endorsement, as opposed to a separate license.
You’ll get a new license that looks almost identical to your current one, but with a small endorsement on it that says you can also operate a motorcycle.
Getting a motorcycle endorsement in Florida starts with a motorcyclist education class. This class, called Basic Rider Course (BRC), covers the laws, safety practices, and rider responsibilities necessary for safe motorcycling in public. These typically take place in-person, as there are many demonstrations, as well as on-bike training required.
There are many authorized course providers in the state. Once you complete the course, you have one year to actually get the endorsement. To do this, you need to enter a driver’s license office, show them your course completion certificate, pay the designated fee, and you’ll receive your endorsement.
Other Reasons to Get a Motorcycle License
The most common reason to get a motorcycle license is obviously, so you can legally operate a motorcycle in your home country. However, there are other reasons to get one, even if you never plan on buying a motorcycle.
If you like to travel, particularly to countries in Southeast Asia or Europe where motor scooters are common, it’s tempting to rent one while you are on your vacation.
They are cheap, effective ways to get around and explore at your own pace. But there’s a problem. Accidents are common and your travel insurance won’t cover the cost of medical treatment unless you are licensed.
That is, in order for them to cover a motorcycle or motor scooter accident abroad, you need to have a motorcycle license in your home country. So it could be worth taking the time to get a motorcycle license in your home country so that you can ensure you are covered when traveling and renting scooters.
Buying a Motorcycle
There are many different types of motorcycles you can buy. With different speed and power ratings, there is something available at every price point.
The biggest factor is size. You want a bike that fits your body so that you are always comfortable. A bike that is too small will feel cramped. A bike that is too big may result in you falling over when you are stopped.
Visit a bike shop that will work with you to find the perfect bike. Or consult an expert friend or family member when looking for used bikes.
Motorcycle Gear Needed
Aside from the motorcycle itself, there are other things you are going to need in order to safely operate a motorcycle. The first, obviously, is a full-face helmet. This is your lifeline.
Should you ever get into an accident, this is going to save your life. Don’t skimp on a helmet. But the best you can afford and ensure it fits comfortably.
You’ll also want to wear a motorcycle jacket, which is thick and durable. These will protect your skin in the event that you slide across the pavement. Even a fall at slow speeds can ruin your skin for life if it isn’t covered.
You also want to wear durable boots, even in hot weather. Your feet are always close to the ground and are at high risk. Thick, comfortable boots will keep them safe.
Gloves will protect your hands in the event of an accident, as well as prevent sunburns. You should always wear durable, long pants as well. Thick jeans are acceptable, but won’t provide as much protection as proper motorcycling pants.
Becoming a Responsible Rider
Your safety is your responsibility. If you want to live a long life, enjoying the open road for decades to come, you need to develop safe driving habits. This means not doing anything you see in the movies.
Just drive the speed limits, don’t weave through traffic, and don’t do pointless stunts on the road. If you want to play around on your bike, always do so on your own property or in an empty parking lot.
What to Do If You are In an Accident
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents aren’t uncommon. While you might be the safest, most responsible rider on the road, many vehicle operators don’t pay attention when they are driving.
As a result, riding motorcycles are risky, and you could eventually find yourself in an accident. Hopefully, you are always wearing the proper protective gear, which can save your life.
But if you get injured or your bike is damaged, pursuing legal action might be the best option. Motorcycle crash lawyers can help you determine if action is worth taking and what you may be entitled to. They can fight for you and make the process quite easy on your behalf.
If motorcycles are going to become part of your life, research lawyers ahead of time so you are ready to make a call when necessary.
Get Your License and Enjoy Warm Weather Riding Today
Getting a motorcycle license isn’t difficult. It typically only takes a weekend to attend a class and pass an exam. You can do this even if you have zero experience on a motorcycle.
Once you have the endorsement, you can begin looking for a bike to buy so you can enjoy the endless warm weather riding that Florida has to offer.
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