- Should I take an M1 exit course (a.k.a. MSF riding school course), or just take the test with the ministry?
- Does taking a course for my M1 exit test help me save on motorcycle insurance?
- What are the approved ministry of transportation motorcycle courses and which one should I take?
Should I take an M1 exit course (a.k.a. MSF riding school course), or just take the test with the ministry of transportation?
This one is a judgement call. Here are some pros and cons of getting your intermediate motorcycle license by taking an approved motorcycle safety course vs. simply going and taking the riding test:
M1 Exit Course (for your M2):
- Costs over $400 in Ontario (CON)
- Allows you to get your M2 license before you own your own motorcycle (PRO)
- Allows you to try a variety of different styles of motorcycles before you buy (PRO)
- Teaches you basics as well as more advanced techniques such as emergency braking and swerving (PRO)
- Has limitations on course availability, dates, and locations etc. (CON)
- Has rules on gear you must wear in order to ride their motorcycles (CON)
- Testing is done in a large group (CON)
Ministry of Transportation M1 Exit Test (for your M2):
- Costs about $80 (PRO)
- May have more locations (PRO)
- You need to supply your own motorcycle or scooter to do the test (CON)
- You probably will not get the benefit of trying other styles of motorcycles before buying (CON)
- Will not teach you anything, this is test only (CON)
- Limited course availability (CON)
- Only rule on gear is a DOT-approved helmet (PRO)
- Testing is done in pairs (PRO)
Don’t discount the value of being able to get your license and learning to ride on someone else’s bike. Beginners drop motorcycles, better to drop someone else’s than your own. Adrian got into riding wanting a sportbike and after the course much preferred a cruiser. On the other hand, Ashley rode a cruiser throughout the course and ended up buying sportbikes. Remember: A course will cost more, but you don’t need to worry about damaging a bike, or having your own bike in order to get your license. The sooner you get your M1 and M2, the sooner your insurance premiums starts going down!
Read on to see if a motorcycle course will reduce your insurance premium, and what motorcycle course you should take. See also 10 Things The MSF Motorcycle Course Didn’t Teach You.
You used to save on your premium if you took a motorcycle safety course, but insurance companies seem to be changing on this. Fewer companies are still doing this.
- Companies such as Jevco will credit you with a year’s safe riding after you’ve held your M1 license for a year, even if you don’t own or have never rode a bike. Ashley saved around $500 by getting her M1 and M2 and not purchasing a motorcycle until the following year.
- The upgrade from an M1 class license to an M2 will give you cheaper rates. In Adrian’s case, he contacted his insurance broker after he upgraded his license and received a rebate check in the mail.
- Note: Upgrading from M2 to a full M motorcycle license generally does not impact motorcycle insurance rates in Ontario.
And finally, what you’ve been waiting for: Find out what motorcycle courses are out there and which one you should pick!
Decisions, decisions… What’s a new rider to do? Centennial College (Ashtonbee Campus): Offers students the chance to ride a Honda CBR-125R, Honda Titan 150cc, or Suzuki Marauder 250cc. Some gear requirements, cost is $470 (plus taxes?). All information is available here: http://db2.centennialcollege.ca/ce/coursedetail.php?CourseCode=CEMO-801 Humber College (North Campus in Etibicoke, Hershey Center in Mississauga): Offers students the chance to ride on Yamaha Virago 250cc motorcycles. Some gear requirements, cost is $442 plus taxes. There is also a scooter for an M2L (limited speed vehicle option), but we recommend not doing this: Even if you don’t ever want a motorcycle, you may want a 125cc, 150cc, 200cc, 250cc, or even 500cc scooter, and your M2L will not allow you to ride these bigger scoots. More information available here: http://www.humber.ca/motorcycle/
Learning Curves (Seneca College – Toronto, College Boreal – Kapuskasing, Northern College – Kirkland Lake, College Boreal – North Bay, Algonquin College – Pembroke/Ottawa Valley, College Boreal – Sudbury, Northern College – Timmins):
You’ll need to call and ask about what motorcycles are available for riding at your nearest location, here is the list: http://www.learningcurves.ca/locations/
Rider Training Institute (RTI) (Toronto, North York, East North York, Bowmanville, King City, Guelph, Oakville, St. Catharines, Orillia, Ottawa, Newmarket):
Offers students the chance to ride on a Honda CBR-125R, Honda Titan 150, Kawasaki Eliminator 125, Yamaha 200cc dual sport, Hyosung GT-250, and like Humber, even a scooter for your M2L (which we don’t recommend). Some gear requirements, cost is $395 plus taxes. All information is here: http://www.ridertraining.ca/courses/riding_basics/
We would recommend Learning Curves if they didn’t make it so hard for us. While they partner and offer deals through GTAMotorcycle.com, we just don’t know enough about them. Our experiences are with RTI, were positive ones. It was closer to home, cheaper, and the re-tests are free.
The following website is an all-inclusive list: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/driver/gradu/motocourse.shtml
Feel free to post your comments below, let us know what you think, where you learned, and what you enjoyed in the comments!
This article is a part of our How To Buy Your First Motorcycle series. The previous articles looked at the M1 License and we’ve created an M1 Practice Test. The next article looks at buying a new vs. used motorcycle or scooter and how not to get ripped off.