We welcome your comments on any of these ideas.

Converting to a Kansas Drivers License (valid license from another state)

 Several of our students have asked the question about converting their out of state drivers license to a Kansas drivers license and how this effects their motorcycle endorsement.  Recently, I went in search of that answer.  On the Kansas Department of Revenue webpage,, I found the following. 

PLEASE NOTE - An out of state license is acceptable as a second form of ID, but not as proof of your legal name and date of birth. You will have to provide the legal documents as outlined under Proof of Identity. Visit the National Center for Health Statistics for information on obtaining birth certificates, marriage licenses, and divorce decrees from each state.

If you have a valid out-of-state license you must:

If you have an out-of-state license (expired one year or less) you must:

  • Present acceptable proof of identity and proof of residence
  • Not be canceled, suspended, or revoked in any state
  • Pass a vision examination
  • Pass all applicable written examination(s)
  • Pay applicable fees

If you have an out-of-state license (expired more than one year) you must:


You notice that the endorsements, such as motorcycle or those that CDL drivers need, are not mentioned.  I asked the Topeka DMV if this statement from the webpage includes endorsements.  They said yes. 

My advice to you is to be assertive at the DMV and be taken care of properly.  If they don't want to honor an out of state endorsement, you should ask for the supervisor until they call Topeka and get themselves straightened out.

Posted by Mike Harlan on February 11, 2013. Continue Reading

Riding on Gravel


Staying in Control

Consider a gravel road to be like any other slippery surface, but with the added dimension of acting like a thousand miniature obstacles that can deflect your tires in random and competing directions. Sounds treacherous, but you can take control with a few simple steps.

Choose a path of “firmest” gravel, beaten down somewhat by other traffic. Keep speeds low so the gravel won’t be kicked up by the tires and damage your bike or hit you or any vehicle/rider following you. Don’t focus only on the ground directly in front of you or you’ll lose sight of your intended path; keep your eyes moving near and far along your path as you navigate the loose surface.

Don’t make any sudden changes of direction; keep your motorcycle as vertical as possible. Put more weight on the footrests to allow quicker upper body responses to maintain balance. To prevent arm fatigue from the continuous front-end deflections, don’t tense up on the handgrips. If you have to turn, rise off the seat slightly and allow the bike to lean beneath you as you turn gradually. Keep weight balanced front to back so you don’t “plow” into the gravel and push up a pile in front of you.

If you frequently ride on gravel roads, consider taking an MSF DirtBike School course to improve low-speed control on unpaved surfaces.

Copied from MSF News, October 2012,

Posted by Mike Harlan on October 26, 2012. Continue Reading

Gear Position at a Stoplight

 Escape Route vs. Avoiding Hand Fatigue

There's often lively discussion on this issue at MSF.

The keep-it-in-first camp says: maintain readiness to pull out quickly in an emergency. The keep-it-in-neutral camp says: avoid the hand fatigue and avoid stressing the bike's components.

Safety often involves weighing many potential risks, and waiting at an intersection requires a rider to think about several. A major research study showed that 3.2% of motorcycle crashes occurred when a motorcyclist was struck from behind; certainly not a major cause of crashes, but still a factor to consider. One point for the keep-it-in-first camp. But consider that if the light turned red just as the rider approached, the rider would have to hold the clutch in for up to two minutes or more depending on traffic and the timing of the signal lights. One point for the keep-it-in-neutral camp. If a semi-truck pulls up and stops behind the rider, the truck offers some protection against a drunk driver barreling up from behind, but the truck driver might absentmindedly start moving as soon as the light turns green, and forget that the rider is there below the driver's sight line. One point for each side.

A rider should be constantly aware of what's going on all around. What are the traffic conditions? Is it daytime or night? How well can you see to the front, the sides, and especially to the rear via your mirrors? Do you have an “escape path” in mind? Where we net out on this one is that an experienced rider can consider all the factors and decide to wait in neutral, ready to quickly shift and move out if things developed, but we believe that leaving the bike in first gear is a better default strategy for newer riders.

Reprinted from the MSF's website: 6/6/12 -

Posted by Mike Harlan on June 06, 2012. Continue Reading

Current Discounts?

This is a frequent question.  The short answer is yes we do.  Checkout the About Us section or click HERE.

Posted by Mike Harlan on February 25, 2011. Continue Reading