2 Wheel Motorcycle
Riding Guide

Motorcycle Safety Training Guide

Motorcycle Rider's Pledge

Riding a motorcycle is inherently riskier than any other mode of transportation. It requires more skill and awareness than driving a car. When riding you are more vulnerable to weather, being seen and injury. Riders must make every effort to minimize risk as there is very little room for error. Putting safety first is a fundamental aspect of being a good rider. 

Washington State Motorcycle Laws

To learn more about the individual motorcycle laws click on the RCW or WAC below to read the full details.

RCW 46.04.330 Definition of motorcycle

RCW 46.16A.200 One Horizontal Plate 

RCW 46.20.100 under 18-years old permission and training

RCW 20.500 Endorsement requirements

RCW 46.20.505 Endorsement fees

RCW 46.20.515 Skills testing

RCW 46.20.520 Safety education

RCW 46.30.020 Liability insurance required

RCW 46.37.522 Running lights

RCW 46.37.523 Headlights

RCW 46.37.525 Lamps

RCW 46.37.527 Brakes

RCW 46.37.528 Stopping standards

RCW 46.37.530  Mirrors, eye protection, children 5+ Years, DOT helmet and strap

RCW 46.37.535 Helmet when renting

RCW 46.37.537 No modified exhaust

RCW 46.37.539 Horn Muffler mirrors tires

RCW 46.61.120 Overtaking on left

RCW 46.61.460 Headlight required speed over 35 miles per hour

RCW 46.61.608 No lane splitting, one vehicle per lane, two motorcycles per lane

RCW 46.61.610 Passenger seat and pegs

RCW 46.61.611 Bar height<30″ above seat

RCW 46.61.612 Leg on each side of motorcycle

RCW 46.61.613 Motorcycle restrictions suspended for parade

RCW 46.61.614 Can’t attach to other vehicles

RCW 46.61.660 Passengers and animals

RCW 46.61.670 Can’t ride off side of road

WAC 468.510.010 Motorcycles permitted in HOV 

motorcycles students learning to ride grouped together on their motorcycles

Ride Your Own Ride

Motorcycle Braking

  • Tires take tremendous gradual load, but not an abrupt change in load
  • Changing any input abruptly can exceed any amount of traction 
  • Smooth inputs maximize available traction
  • Changing inputs, like brakes for lean, must be exchanged with finesse
  • Load front tire with 5 percent of brake
  • Progressively squeeze, increasing rate of squeeze as friction builds
  • Most braking occurs at end of braking
  • Ease off last 5% to minimize suspension rebound, freeing traction
motorcycle students grouped together smiling

3 Cs

What Can I See?

Actively search using your central and peripheral vision.

What Can’t I See?

Identify areas where threats can be hiding.  Check your mirrors often.

What Could Happen?

Adjust speed and position to SEE and BE SEEN.  Create space.  

Pre-Ride Checklist

Washington Motorcycle Safety Training


Rested & Physically Able
Mentally Alert
Have a Plan
Ride Your Own Ride


Other Conditions


Eye Protection


Tire Pressure

Cornering and Motorcycles

  • Identify the entry point of the corner
  • See radius of curve to determine speed
  • Turn your head & look as far as you can through the corner
  • Establish exit for path of travel to ride through end of the corner
  • Straighten out corner, which gives rider a GREAT SAFETY MARGIN
  • Scan surface for hazards to determine best Path of Travel
  • Body Position – Tighten radius, less lean, stability, turn bike, max traction

You don’t have your motorcycle endorsement until you add it to your drivers license.​

Motorcycle endorsement qualifying courses are for riders that have a current Washington motorcycle permit and are ready to earn their full motorcycle endorsement.

Are you a WMST student that needs to participate in a skills retest?