Motorcycle riding schools fall into several categories. Make sure you pick the right one for your skill level.

BASIC RIDER LICENSING AND TRAINING This instruction is the most common. It’ll take you from zero to applying for your license. Most of the time these classes are geared for street bike riders. Very often they will provide all the safety equipment you need—and a bike as well.

ADVANCED RIDER TRAINING These schools are for street riders who want to advance their skills to the next level. They can be operated either by the same foundations that set up the basic schools, or they can be offered on racetracks by various expert riders.

RACING ASSOCIATION SCHOOLS Many racing associations will require you to take one of their school courses before you can participate in an event. These classes are often held at your local racetrack. You’ll need your own equipment and a track-prepped bike.

RACING SCHOOLS Separate from the association schools, these are typically run by former racers who either tour the country or operate out of a home track. The classes can last several days and are often a nice vacation opportunity for advanced riders: You get to meet a famous racer, hang out with him for a couple of days, and get first-hand riding tips. You also get lots of track time on a new course.

DIRT BIKE SCHOOLS These courses can be either basic or advanced. Like the road bike schools, you may want to pick one at an exotic location and make a vacation out of it. This training is becoming more and more popular for the big twin-cylinder adventure bikes like the BMW GS series and the KTMs. Your dealership can probably give you a good idea of what’s out there.