GEARS Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is GEARS?
    Gaining Early Advanced Riding Skills is the premier rider training program for young ridersthat is available through the BMW MOA Foundation.
  • What is the BMW MOA Foundation?
    The Foundation is 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation separate from the BMW MOA social club. The Foundation promotes rider training and safety.
  • Who can attend?
    The program is open to anybody 14-26 years old. BMW MOA club membership is not a requirement, and no riding experience is necessary.
  • How long is the GEARS program?
    The two-day program runs in conjunction with the BMW MOA Rally each year. In 2018 this will be in Des Moines, Iowa, and will run July 11-12.
  • What will I do there?
    You will be introduced to and taught the basics of riding a dirt bike safely. For those who have a little experience, can provide their own licensed and registered motorcycle and have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license, they may participate with the, new to this year, Street Masters program associated with GEARS.
  • Who can attend?
    Anyone between the ages of 14 – 26 may attend. BMW MOA membership is not required. GEARS registration includes attendance to the Rally.
  • How much does it cost to attend GEARS?
    Registrants pay a $50 deposit to guarantee their spot. This fee is completely refundable upon successful completion of the course. There are no refunds for those who register but fail to show.
  • Will I receive any form or certificate after completing GEARS?
    An MSF Dirt Bike School Certificate will be awarded to all who complete the training. Street Masters will issue a certificate for those participating in their portion of the program.
  • Do I need to bring my own motorcycle?
    Motorcycles of the appropriate size will be made available for those who participate in GEARS. Everyone who elects to participate in the Street Masters program must have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license and must bring a licensed and registered motorcycle.
  • What safety gear do I need to bring?
    You will need the basic safety equipment that fits you: a DOT-approved helmet along with a visor and/or eye proteciton, gloves, long sleeve shirt and full-length pants, plus over-the-ankle boots.
  • Is there any safety gear available for my use?
    No, you must provide your own gear.
  • Who provides the training at GEARS?
    An MSF-certified company that is qualified to teach the program. In Des Moines, that will be DirtBike Tech out of Minnesota. Street Masters of California will instruct their portion of the program.
  • Do I need to get insurance to attend GEARS?
    No; insurance is provided by DirtBike Tech, by the MOA Foundation, and other MOA organizations.
  • Is there emergency medical assistance nearby in case of an accident or injury?
    There will be on-site First Aid available at the Rally, and staff will call 9-1-1 for emergency assistance should it be needed.
  • How do I apply?
    By registering at The specific registration link will be available soon.
  • How many students are in the class?
    There are 12 seats available in the GEARS portion and 25 seats available in the Street Masters portion of the program.
  • I have already attended GEARS, can I go again?
    Yes, you may sign up for the same basic GEARS program. If you are a graduate of an MSF-approved dirt bike school or have completed GEARS, you may sign up for the GEARS ABC advance skills course.
  • What is GEARS ABC?
    GEARS ABC (Advanced Bike Control) is a follow-up course that will provide returning riders an option to have more fun and learn advanced skills on the dirt. GEARS ABC is offered to those who have completed a basic dirt bike course or a GEARS course. Effective braking, controlling rear wheel skids, proficient clutch control, improved balance and traction management skills for improved bike control will be some of the new training offered.
  • Do I need to bring lunch, snacks or drinks?
    No, water, drinks, snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided.
  • What is the schedule for a typical training day?
    The day will begin at 8:00 AM sharp. The participants will be divided into two groups, based on experience or the lack thereof. One group will go to the riding course, the other will be in an air-conditioned classroom; each group will have a two-hour training segment. The groups will then switch locations. Snacks and drinks will be provided at this break time. After lunch, the groups will again go to the starting point of the day and after two hours will switch again. The SMARTrainer will be in use and a qualified instructor will be there to assist the student in operating the simulator in street riding mode. In addition, multimillion-mile riders Paul and Voni Glaves will be on hand to encourage the participants and to share their riding experiences from basic bike maintenance to long-distance touring.
  • What topics will be addressed?
    For the riding course the proper gear will be addressed, along with providing an understanding of the motorcycle, its controls and safety features. Positioning on the motorcycle, use of the controls and safe operation will be addressed. In the classroom, there will be an introduction to crash scene management and first aid so the participant will understand the basics of what to do in the unfortunate case they happen upon a crash scene.
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