I just finished a two day motorcycle course hosted by the Tampa Police Department Motor Unit. The S.M.A.R.T. (Safe Motorcycle And Rider Techniques) class is taught by instructors from TPD’s motor division and encompasses many important skills.
The Tampa SMART course is divided into 5 areas: (1) Basic Riding Techniques, (2) Slow Maneuver Techniques, (3) Crash Avoidance Techniques, (4) Street Survival Skills and (5) Practical Applications.
There’s a bit of classroom instruction but mostly you’re outside on your bike. On the second day, you put all of the skills you’ve learned into practice on an 82-mile group ride.
I can’t say enough good about the officers who taught the course. They were extremely knowledgeable and patient.
From the SMART site:
The Tampa Police Department, the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) and Motorcycle Safety Coalition - Ride SMART Florida recognizes the need for continued training and safety awareness for the motorcycling community. The goal is to do our part in mitigating the number of injuries and fatalities associated with motorcycling.
The intent of this course is to introduce the civilian motorcycling public to riding techniques that would enhance their safety and riding abilities. These riding techniques are in use by the Tampa Police Department Motor Unit and help in keeping their motor officers safe during their tours of duty. The premise behind the Tampa SMART course is if riding skills and knowledge utilized by the motor officer help keep them safe, then hopefully passing those skills and knowledge on to the public could also help lower motorcycle crashes and save lives.
The course is conducted on select weekends with 10 hours on Saturday and 5 hours on Sunday.
The SMART motorcycle courses are hosted by police departments all over the US. If this interests you, see if there’s one near you. I highly recommend it!
Here are a couple links about the course: