T.O.P.S. Motorcycle Training Courses

Motorcycle Training CoursesAt T.O.P.S., we teach each student how to enhance their riding skills and confidence on their own motorcycle, not a loaner or rental. The skills and courses taught at T.O.P.S. are modeled after the same courses police motorcycle officers have used for years to keep them safe and survive on the street. Regardless if you are a recreational weekend rider, a daily commuter or both, at T.O.P.S. you will learn how to better control your motorcycle at both low and cruising speeds.

Advanced Motorcycle Training

Each T.O.P.S. class will consist of a brief classroom discussion on safety based topics such as: lane positioning, hazard recognition and avoidance and proper braking techniques for emergency situations. The majority of the 8 hours class will be spent on the motorcycle working on the various courses including, but not limited to:

TOPS I Training Course
  1. Picking Up A Fallen Motorcycle
    Proper lifting technique is taught in a way that will prevent injury to the student and further damage to the motorcycle.

  2. Straight Line Starts
    This is where it all begins, controlling your motorcycle with proper clutch control, throttle and brake application so you can avoid the “jerk” start from a stop and learn where the “gray area” is on your motorcycle.

  3. Figure 8
    Once you have learned where your “gray area” is to control your motorcycle at low speeds, it is time to start to apply it in the Figure 8. Proper head and eye placement are introduced as well as lean and transition control. These skills will be built upon as the class progresses.

  4. Slow Cone Weave
    Time to move into the first “cone course,” the slow cone weave. The purpose of this exercise is to build on the lean and transition control of the motorcycle at low speeds. This is where the student starts to develop the flowing relationship with their motorcycle.

  5. Offset Cone Weave
    Introduction of the “teardrop” turn will teach the student how to change directions rapidly and enhance their ability to maneuver their motorcycle in a more limited area.

  6. 90 Degree Pullout
    This exercise will teach the rider how to properly and safely initiate a low speed 90 degree turn from a stop. Not only is this utilized by motor officers as they pull out from a parade line, it is also a useful tool in crash avoidance when the threat is approaching from behind. Each student will learn how to initiate this maneuver to both the right and left, while understanding the importance of balance, throtle control and proper head and eye placement for maximum, effective application in a hazard situation.
  7. Braking Chute / Combination Braking
    This is the “meat and potatoes” of motorcycle riding safety! We begin by teaching you how to PROPERLY utilize the brakes through the concept of combination brake application, or threshold braking. We measure your stopping distance so you can develop a “snap shot” of your braking distance. You will also learn how to identify when a critical moment is about to occur and more importantly what to do to maintain control and avoid a crash. This exercise will allow the rider to learn how to scrub off the maximum amount of speed in the shortest distance, all while maintaining control of the motorcycle, and avoiding the impending collision.

  8. Brake and Escape
    Now that the student has learned how to properly combination brake, we throw a “real world” scenario at them and let them practice how to AVOID the hazard after braking.

  9. At Speed Cone Weave
    Unlike the slow cone weave, this exercise is done at speed and the student practices the principles of counter steering. The purpose of this exercise is for hazard identification and avoidance by utilizing counter steering techniques while traveling at cruising speeds. Riding jackets are strongly recommended for this course!

  10. 180 Degree Turn Box
    Each rider will be challenged to make a 180 degree turn within a 20' turn box. This is an evaluation exercise the instructors will use to determine if a rider is ready to advance to TOPS II, or if they require more time and practice in TOPS I.

TOPS II Training Course
TOPS II is a progressive circuit course (the TOPSY Turvey) divided into 5 sections, with each section building on the rider's skill and confidence level. The goal is for each rider to be able to complete the entire circuit from start to finish by the end of the day. The sections include the following:
Section I – The Figure 8 Alley Box: This lane based box course has a perimeter lane the rider must enter and negotiate while diving into and completing the internal figure 8 box. Tire placement, rapid direction change, balance and control are introduced.
Section II – The In-And-Out Lane / Sickle turn: This exercise allows the rider to start to work on multi-directional 360 degree turns, an aspect needed to progress to Section IV. The rider will be challenged with completing a 360 degree counter-clockwise turn and then progress into 3 lanes of 180 degree turns, ending with a sickle shaped 540 degree turn.
Section III – The Challenge Offset Weave: This tighter, more challenging version of the Offset Weave will demand the rider to make more rapid, sharper offset weave turns. Tire placement becomes more imperative to avoid knocking over the cones (a.k.a. striking the stationary object on the road).
Section IV – Closed 360/Figure 8: This "One Way In, One Way Out" is the final exercise the rider will be exposed to, but becomes the first leg of the circuit run at the end of the day. This course will require the rider to utilize all the skills accumulated throughout the day encompassed into one exercise – balance, lean, control, tire placement, tempo and pace are all critical for successful execution.
Section V – The Final Run – The Circuit: Each rider will be afforded the opportunity to run the "circuit" of each section, consecutively for timed runs. This will be the culmination of the program and introduces the rider to precision riding and simulated scenarios they would see in civilian motorcycle skills competitions.
Improve your motorcycle riding skills and stay safe on the roads.

Class Summary:

Class Size: 5-10 students
Class Duration: One day
(Saturday or Sunday)

Cost: TOPS I = $225
TOPS I Refresher = $175

TOPS II = $300
TOPS II Refresher = $250

Students MUST have previously completed TOPS I or TOPS II to qualify for the Refresher discount. To qualify for the TOPS II Course students MUST have completed TOPS I or received authorization from the TOPS Instructor staff

RIDER MUST BE ABLE TO MAKE A 180 DEGREE TURN WITHIN THE CONFINES OF 20 FEET IN BOTH DIRECTIONS

Credit Cards Accepted via Pay Pal

2017 T.O.P.S. Course Schedule:

ALL 2017 CLASSES WILL BE HELD AT ELGIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE

T.O.P.S. I:

  • Saturday, April 29, 2017 -
    Elgin Community College
    - SOLD OUT!
  • Saturday, May 6, 2017 -
    Elgin Community College
    - SOLD OUT!
  • Saturday, May 27, 2017 -
    Elgin Community College
  • Saturday, June 24, 2017 -
    Elgin Community College
  • Saturday, July 1, 2017 -
    Elgin Community College
  • Saturday, July 8, 2017 -
    Elgin Community College
  • Saturday, August 5, 2017 -
    Elgin Community College

T.O.P.S. II:

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017 -
    Elgin Community College
  • Saturday, September 9, 2017 -
    Elgin Community College
Cancellation Policy - please see Download PDF

Refund Policy - please see Download PDF

Refresher Training

One of the secrets of how a Police Motor Officer establishes and maintains consistent control of their motorcycle is PRACTICE! Repetition builds muscle memory and translates into consistency and efficient control of your motorcycle when "that moment" occurs. At T.O.P.S. we believe the same holds true which is why every student who attends and completes our class is invited back for "Refresher Training."

Refresher Training at T.O.P.S. allows a rider to register for a ride only class (no classroom or presentations) to practice and refine their skills. Refresher Training is available from 10:00am - 4:00pm at a discounted rate of $95.

Please note: To maintain our low student-to-instructor ratio, a limited number of Refresher Training spots will be made available per class.