Passing an MSF course is very much recommended. There are a ton of benefits to it. But at the end of the day, what you pay for it also matters.
MSF prices vary—in some instances, a lot.
This raises some questions, like what is considered a reasonable and fair price for a Motorcycle Safety Course?
How much does an MSF Course Cost? MSF courses cost between $50 and $450, with an average of $280. The prices of Motorcycle Safety Courses taken through colleges and universities can be between $50 and $150, but they can be completely free, too. The MSF can also be free for LEOs, military and emergency personnel.
During my research, I looked at the prices in the different states and also considered some quotes by the various training providers offering MSF courses, collecting more than 120 price quotes in order to come with the average prices and costs of MSF courses.
What follows is more in-depth information and break down about how the prices are formed, what you can expect to pay normally, and more.
Table of Contents:
MSF prices by state
Depending on what state you are in, the prices of MSF courses can vary significantly.
Some states cover the full costs of the MSF course, others will cover only a part of the cost, and some will not offer any incentives or price reductions, leaving the rider to pay the full price of the MSF course.
Below you will find a detailed look at what the prices of these courses look like. However, although I have looked at more than 120 quotes, these numbers should be considered as general guidelines and not final data. Keep in mind that these prices can and do vary a lot. Even state-subsidized courses can be discontinued.
The MSF course in Pennsylvania is subsidized by the state and is entirely free.
MSF courses in Illinois are also free; there is usually a $20 registration fee that is fully reimbursed upon course completion.
In Ohio, the Basic Rider Course is partially funded and costs $50.
Michigan also offers partially subsidized MSF courses that cost $50.
The course in Delaware and Wyoming costs $50 through the DMV.
In Kentucky, it is about $150.
However, private MSF courses can also be found in all of these states, mentioned above, that can cost between $200 to $365.
In Florida, the MSF or the Basic Rider’s Course (BRC) costs between $175 to $450, depending on your area and course training provider, with an average of $250.
The prices of MSF courses in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Minnesota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Dakota, North Dakota, Hawaii, and New Hampshire vary between $100 to $250 on average.
In Idaho, riders can take the Idaho Star Program, which offers cheap Basic Rider Courses costing about $145.
MSF courses tend to cost between $100 to $375 in Louisiana, Mississippi, Colorado, New Mexico, Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, Kansas, Utah, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Alabama, Iowa, Nevada, Nebraska, Alaska, and Arkansas.
In Texas, the average cost of MSF courses is about $250.
The MSF courses in New York, Arizona, Connecticut, California, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Massachusetts tend to be a little more expensive on average, costing about $220 to $385.
There is also the New Rider’s Program offered by Harley-Davidson dealers, in most areas, which tend to be on the more expensive side, costing about $300 to $350 on average.
Why are there cost fluctuations?
Although the state where you will be taking the course will have a huge impact on the course’s price, there are also other variables to consider. Like:
- the length of the course
- the gear provided
- when the course takes place
- private lessons.
- rescheduling fees
MSF courses normally involve both classroom lessons (5 hours) and on-the-range riding (10 hours) and take about 2 days to complete. In certain cases, it can even be a single-day course.
However, some MSF courses can take as many as 5 days and even offer more hours of practice. This naturally will affect the course’s price.
The next thing to consider is what is supplied by your training provider and what you are expected to bring yourself.
Different places may require you to bring different gear. It is recommended to check up with your training provider and find out what they provide and what they require you to bring and wear.
Usually, you are required to wear a long-sleeved shirt over the ankle footwear and long pats, protective shatterproof eyewear, and full-fingered gloves.
Some places may require you to bring your own DOT-approved helmet or gloves, but others may provide you with a loner helmet and gloves. (It is recommended to bring your own, though.)
Usually, you will also be provided with a motorcycle. But some places may require you to bring your own ride, in which case the course should be significantly cheaper. On top of that, some training providers may offer significant discounts if you are using your own motorcycle. The same applies to scooters. Although most places will have some scooters on site, others may ask you to bring one yourself.
The prices will be somewhat uniform, but some places may offer lower prices depending on when the course takes place. For example, the courses carried out during workdays may be slightly cheaper than the ones during the weekends.
Some places offer the option to ride with fewer students or even private one-on-one lessons, which often means higher prices. For smaller group lessons and private lessons, you can expect to pay between $370 up to $450 for your MSF course.
Another thing to consider is that failing the MSF course may result in paying additional fees. Usually, the rider is not eligible for a refund, though some places may allow them to try again, one to three times, for free, allowing for more practice at no additional cost.
Some places may require the rider to enroll again in a new class paying a small rescheduling fee.
If you miss a lesson or an exercise, you will be required to reschedule what you have missed. While some places may do that for free, others may require you to pay a rescheduling fee, which can cost about $25 to $50 on average.
Can MSF courses be free?
MSF courses are not free. However, in certain cases, it is possible not to pay anything for an MSF course.
But here’s the thing.
Even in the instances where the rider will not be paying anything, the costs are usually subsidized by the state or another party.
Community colleges, universities, the army, and local bike shops and dealerships are good examples of institutions that often cover partially or fully the costs of MSF courses. (More detailed information on this in a bit.)
In some instances, the rider may be required to pay a small registration fee (usually $20 to $50) that is sometimes fully refunded upon completion of the MSF course.
How to save money on an MSF course?
Seeing how some states offer subsidized MSF courses, some riders may never have to worry about prices. However, others may be looking at somewhat steeper expenses.
There are a few ways some people may be able to lower the amount of what they pay for their MSF course.
MSF course prices if you go through a college or university
Some community colleges and universities offer MSF programs at reduced costs. Going through college, the average cost for an MSF course is about $25 to $150.
That being said, some colleges and universities may offer completely free MSF courses.
MSF course prices for riders under 21
People under 21 are often offered a small discount. Generally, the MSF course can be reduced by $50 to as much as $100 for beginner riders under 21, while people 21 and over usually pay the regular price for the MSF course.
This is done to encourage younger riders to pass the Motorcycle Safety Course and is often required in order to acquire the motorcycle endorsement.
MSF course prices for people in the army, police, and first responder personnel
The Army, Marine, Navy, law enforcement officers, and first responder personnel, including current and ex-military, in general, may often be offered partially or even fully subsidized MSF courses.
Some may even be required to pass an MSF course during duty, which means that they are essentially being paid to pass the MSF course.
Usually, the prices that they will be looking at vary between $0 to $125.
Offers by manufacturers, dealerships, and shops
Some manufacturers, dealerships, and shops offer between $50 to $300 towards the purchase of a motorcycle from them. Some limitations may apply, however. Some even offer to reimburse the full cost of the MSF course if you purchase your motorcycle directly from them. If you are looking to buy a new motorcycle, this can be an excellent two-in-one deal.
It is worth asking around to see what offers are available to you.
However, it is usually best to first pass the MSF course as it will allow you to get a better feeling of what you want your first motorcycle to be like.
See article: 17 Reasons Why You May Regret Buying a Motorcycle
How much does the MSF Basic eCourse cost?
The MSF Basic eCourse costs $19.99.
However, lower prices may be available, too. For example, recently, Triumph has teamed up with the MSF to offer new riders a free MSF Basic eCourse.
The MSF Basic eCourse is an interactive introductory online program. No practical riding is included. It teaches the basics of riding a motorcycle. Included are different photos, illustrations, and videos to further supplement the lessons.
The MSF Basic eCourse takes 3 hours to complete, but you do not have to do it all in one session.
The MSF Basic eCourse, should not be confused in any way with the standard MSF basic rider course. It cannot be used as a learner’s permit, a license waiver, or a license to ride a motorcycle.
It is a fairly basic introductory course that teaches the basics and can be used to determine if riding a motorcycle is right for you. It cannot substitute the real hands-on MSF course. In some places, the rider may be required to pass the MSF Basic eCourse before applying for the standard MSF course.
Are MSF Courses worth the cost?
The majority of riders, beginners and experienced alike, all agree that MSF courses are worth taking.
Although the Motorcycle Safety Course is an introductory course, it teaches you a lot of the necessary knowledge that every rider needs to know.
Everything taught in the course can not only save the rider’s life one day but also make them feel a lot more confident going on the road or when buying their first motorcycle.
In addition, passing the MSF course sometimes means that you will not have to take the road test at the DMV. This means that all you are left to do is the written exam. And this is a good thing considering that the DMV test can be fairly difficult in some states.
Sometimes you do not have to take even the written exam, and your training provider sends your motorcycle endorsement directly to the DMV.
And lastly, in some instances, you can also receive a discount on your insurance. Depending on the insurance company, the premium discounts can vary between 5% up to 20% in some cases.
This alone can make the MSF course pay for itself in no time.
Overall regardless of what you pay for your MSF course, the price is almost always worth it. There are some extra benefits to it, but it is one of the best investments you can make in your safety as a rider—and nobody can put a price on that.