CVP ADVERTISER: When she created Motorcycle Riding Centers in 2010, Shari Ives was determined to make riding safer for everyone while removing the obstacles that frustrate both new and experienced riders.
“I waited six months for a class when I first learned to ride. It was ridiculous,” she said. “We offer so many classes per year that our students only wait 2-3 weeks for a safety class.”
In just five years, more than 5,000 motorcyclists in the tri-state area have been graduated from a Motorcycle Riding Centers course.
“We currently have 19 instructors — and 15 of them are only working at our school,” said Ives ( inset, above ), a paid CLIFFVIEW PILOT advertiser. “Many of our rider coaches are police motor officers. They have a vast amount of experience and resources.”
That number could grow to include 10 more rider coaches pending the results of a current prep course.
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Ives works closely with law enforcement motor officers in New Jersey. She regularly attends police academy sessions “for moral support — and coaching, if they ask me.” She also helps organize the annual police skills competition at the Willowbrook Mall.
Ives has helped change laws in New Jersey to make riding safer — including a 2011 measure that restricts you from riding anything over 500cc if you’ve tested on a 231cc bike or smaller.
“This was put into effect due to the rise of people testing on scooters and then going out and buying a rather large machines,” she said.
Ives quit corporate America “to help the motorcycle community,” and in 2006 became a rider coach after six years on a cycle.
“I started a few other schools but our community needed more schools to help get people trained properly without waiting months to take a class,” she said.
MRC serves as license test waiver program in New Jersey and provides motorcycles and helmets for use in the beginner program.
About half a day of classroom-style interactive exercises prepares you for ten hours of hands-on riding at the National Guard armories in Riverdale and West Orange.
“Why learn on the streets when you can learn easily in a structured and safe environment?” Ives said. “We teach you in wide open areas using modern motorcycles to ensure your learning experience is as easy and smooth as possible.”
The center also offers riders who have basic skills refresher courses — good for someone who hasn’t ridden all winter — and is the only provider in New Jersey that gives private lessons.
“Our veteran staff will come to your home and spend time with you on a one-on-one basis to help you build the confidence you need to get on that bike and get out on the road,” Ives said.
“We’ll work with you on form, technique, safety and much more,” she said, adding that the sessions can be arranged on consecutive weekdays,” she said.
MRC also offers a one-day advanced class for people who’ve ridden 1,000 miles or more and want to practice on their own motorcycles or continue receiving insurnace discounts — which are good for only three years.
You don’t need a valid NJ motorcycle permit to take the class ( NOTE: If you plan on riding before the class you still need a permit to ride legally on the street).
Pass one of the basic courses to get your motorcycle license test waiver. You can then go to the MVC for an “M” endorsement to ride unrestricted.
Once you’ve developed your skills, you can return to the center to complete vital training in a second-level course.
Through it all, safety is the priority.
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ALL YOU NEED TO GET STARTED:
A street-ready motorcycle;
• Motorcycle license “M” endorsement;
• Proof of valid motorcycle insurance;
• A helmet manufactured to U.S. DOT standards;
• Protective eyewear;
• Motorcycle gloves;
• A long-sleeve shirt or jacket;
• Over-the-ankle boots;
• Jeans, leather pants, or chaps
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