Motorcycle season in full-throttle

Published: Jun. 27, 2020 at 4:12 PM CDT
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It's full-throttle into the 2020 motorcycle-riding season.

"I just like the open air," rider Trena Levsque says. "I just like being on the road. It feels good."

Saturday morning at Abate of North Dakota was Levsque's and many others' first course. Others have been riding for years.

"I've ridden for about two years, just with a permit," rider Austin Wagner says. "I was hoping to get my license.

Whether you're a first-timer or just brushing up on the skills, experts say it's a good idea to take classes before getting out on the road.

"Some people come in here and they'll pick up on the skill in eight hours. They'll ride better than I do," Instructor Steve Hohnadel says. "Other riders, maybe you want to practice in a parking lot before getting on the streets."

Hohnadel has been teaching at Abate of North Dakota in West Fargo for 20 years.

He says courses are four hours in the classroom and eight on the bike.

To get your license, you'll have to complete the course and take a written test with the Department of Transportation.

"We always tell riders, don't expect to graduate from this class and be out on 45th St. at 5:30 on a Friday night," Instructor Bear Reed says.

Reed says motorcyclists make up about three percent of the population. Adding, you're 38 percent more likely to crash on a bike than in a car.

"For car drivers, just simply noticing us makes a world of a difference," Hohnadel says.

He says it's best to ride like you're invisible and to be a defensive driver.

It's not just about riding safely, it's important to have the right gear too. Things like helmets, eye protection, boots and long-sleeve clothing.

These courses are in a safe and controlled environment. For many riders, it's a good test to see if the bike riding is for them.

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