Riders encouraged to refresh skills, improve safety with WisDOT’s updated Motorcyclists’ Handbook

Release date: June 20, 2023

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has a new resource available to keep motorcyclists safe on the roads. The updated 2023 Wisconsin Motorcyclists’ Handbook explains the rules of the road and important safety tips specific for motorcycle riders.

“Reviewing WisDOT’s Motorcyclists’ Handbook and understanding the safety challenges unique to motorcycle riding is the first step to safe riding and proper licensure,” DMV Administrator Kristina Boardman said. “Rider education, whether basic or to improve riding skills, helps remove factors that can lead to a crash.”

The handbook provides information and links on training opportunities, outlines the required steps for a rider to become legally licensed in the state of Wisconsin, explains state laws related to operating a motorcycle and shares other important riding safety information.

Motorcycle safety

There are about 2,000 crashes involving motorcycles every year in Wisconsin. Hundreds of Motorcyclists are hurt and dozens are killed every year.

Riding a motorcycle takes more physical skill and mental concentration than driving a car, so training and experience are critical.

“Education is key to ensuring all travelers stay safe on our roads. This newly updated handbook is a great resource to learn best practices, so we encourage every rider to brush up on their skills and safety knowledge. At the same time, we remind drivers of larger vehicles of their important role. Stay aware of other types of vehicles and share the road to avoid crashes,” Bureau of Transportation Safety Director David Pabst said.

Riders are encouraged to:

  • Get properly licensed
  • Wear high visibility protective gear
  • Observe all traffic laws and obey the speed limit
  • Ride sober
  • Avoid distractions

Drivers of larger vehicles should keep in mind that more motorcyclists will return to the roads this time of year, so it’s important to always share the road to keep all travelers safe. Motorcycles can be harder to see and are at a greater risk of being hurt or killed in a crash. Look twice for motorcycles before making a turn or changing lanes.

Getting a motorcycle license

WisDOT has an informative chart at wisconsindmv.gov/cycle to help riders determine if they need a motorcycle license (Class M endorsement) to legally operate their two- or three-wheeled vehicle on Wisconsin roads.

To obtain a Wisconsin Class M license, a rider must either complete an approved rider course, hold a Wisconsin motorcycle instruction permit and complete a motorcycle road test, or surrender a valid motorcycle license from another state.

Wisconsin allows motorcycle riders who completed an approved motorcycle course to waive the on-cycle road test. Motorcycle rider courses are available and effective for all skill levels.

Information about instruction permits, the DMV road test, and rider courses is available on the WisDOT website.

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581, opa.exec@dot.wi.gov