The Benefits of Private & Small Group Training

1-on-1 vs Small Group Training vs. Group Training.
Which Is Right For You?

As the former Lead Instructor at a large motorcycle school teaching group classes to more than 500 students every year, and now, as the Lead Instructor at Urban Rider, I have seen the benefits of both options – Group Training and Private Lessons.

At Urban Rider, I made the choice to focus on 1-to-1 instruction and small group training because I feel the advantages to the student are significant.

When teaching a large group, it is necessary to cover the same material for all students regardless of individual experience levels. This means that a focus must be made only on the fundamentals, and it is necessary to skip any discussion of intermediate or advanced skills to avoid confusion. In a group setting, the instructor might also feel pressure to move through the fundamentals quickly if there are a large number of students with significant riding experience. The risk of large group lessons is that novice students can feel lost when things move too quickly, while more experienced students can feel bored and lose focus.

Teaching theory 1-on-1 offers an opportunity for more back and forth discussion relevant to the specific student’s concerns and needs, whether that be the basics, or techniques and tips for a student who already has a knowledge of some of the basics of riding safely in the city streets.

Teaching theory in groups, on the other hand, allows for student to student learning, as the discussions can draw on the experience of each individual in the classroom. In the classroom, there are distinct advantages to both methods.

The biggest advantages of private training and small groups is found in the parking lot. During group classes, beginner students can feel pressure to learn at the same speed as everyone else. Sometimes key fundamentals aren’t turned into habits. The fundamentals, in my opinion, need to be given a strong focus at the very beginning. It is much harder to overcome bad habits or to learn proper clutch control and correct balance issues later in the day.

On the other end of the spectrum, people with extensive dirt bike experience, or those returning to riding after a break, may find that group classes spend too much time on the basics and don’t give them the practice on more advanced hazard avoidance maneuvers that they were looking for. Private instruction, from a professional instructor, ensures that each rider gets exactly what they need.

At Urban Rider, we offer two options – private lessons and small groups (maximum three people). I have found that everyone can learn to ride a motorcycle if they start with private lessons, but, it costs at a higher cost. For those who want to keep the costs down, we now offer group lessons, but in my experience, the magic number is 3. Any more than 3 students and it is difficult for an instructor to individualize the instructions and give enough focus to each student.

Most rider courses are provided in English, while a large number of students don’t speak English as their first language. Private instruction allows the instructor to ensure that each student fully understands the lessons before moving on to the next topic. ESL or not, each student learns and understands at a different pace. Private instruction ensures that the lessons are delivered at your pace, whatever that pace might be.


  • Extra time spend on the fundamentals for first time riders
  • Advanced techniques taught for experienced/skilled riders
  • Undivided focus of the instructor on a single student, allowing for errors in technique to be caught and corrected early while they are still easy to correct
  • Conversation/discussion replaces lecture format for theory sessions, ensuring the instructor can properly evaluate the student’s comprehension level
  • Language and delivery adjusted to the individual student’s English Language comprehension level


  • Lower cost than private lessons.
  • More attention than larger group formats
  • More space than large group formats
  • In summary, private instruction gives each rider the opportunity to make the greatest amount of progress possible, in the shortest amount of time. Small group training offers a lower cost or more hours on the bike at the same cost, when compared with private lessons.

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