Motorcycle Operations

Motor Troopers patroling a rural roadway

Colorado State Patrol Motorcycle Operations
15055 S. Golden Road
Golden, Colorado 80401

The Colorado State Patrol Motorcycle Operations Unit is comprised of highly skilled motorcycle officers who are assigned throughout the State of Colorado. The primary function of the motorcycle unit is the enforcement of traffic laws in areas where the roadway design, traffic volume, or special circumstances, such as construction projects, make traditional enforcement with an automobile difficult. Their secondary function is to assist local troop offices with the numerous special events, escorts, and civic functions that occur during the year.the



Motorcycle Rider Safety Tips:

  • Complete a motorcycle rider education and training courses
  • Wear a helmet & protective gear.
  • Ride where you can be seen & avoid motorists’ blind spots.
  • Never share a lane with a car or drive on the shoulder.
  • Signal before changing lanes and never weave between lanes.
  • Never mix motorcycles and alcohol.
  • Be aware that riding with a passenger requires even more skill than riding alone.


Motorist Safety Tips:

  • Give the motorcyclist a full lane of travel.
  • Look for the motorcyclist on the highway, at intersections, when a motorcyclist may be making a left turn, and when a motorcyclist may be changing lanes.
  • Clearly signal your intentions.
  • Predict evasive actions motorcycles must make to avoid road obstructions.
  • Don’t follow motorcycles too closely.

Fast Facts


  • Motorcycle fatalities have climbed an alarming 104 percent from 1997 to 2005—the 8th years in a row that motorcycle related deaths have increased.


  • The U.S. Department of Transportation says that in 2005, 4,315 motorcyclists died in crashes, up 7.7 percent from 2004.


  • In Colorado, 87 people were killed in motorcycle crashes in 2005. More than 76 percent of these motorcycle fatalities resulted from crashes with no helmet use.


  • Colorado motorcycle fatalities have nearly doubled during the past decade, increasing from 49 motorcycle crash deaths in 1994 to 87 deaths in 2005. The number of crashes and injuries are also on the rise. In 2004, there were 1,899 motorcycle-related injuries compared to 1,582 in 1994.


  • In 2005 an estimated 78,000 motorcycle riders were injured in accidents nationwide, up 2.6 percent from 76,000 in 2004 and 37 percent from 57,000 in 1995.


  • Motorcyclists are 34 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a crash, per vehicle mile traveled.


  • Motorcycle Popularity Reflects Crash Trends


  • Motorcycle riding has boomed in popularity, with a growing number of older and more affluent riders. At the same time motorcycle fatalities are also on the rise, reaching their highest level in 2005 since 1987. There has been a dramatic jump in the number of deaths among motorcycle riders age 40 and older in recent years.


  • Older motorcycle riders now account for about half of all motorcycle rider fatalities. In 2004, 46 percent of motorcycle riders age 40 and over were killed in crashes, compared with 23 percent ten years earlier. In Colorado 45-to-54 year olds had the highest number of fatalities, with 21 of the 87 deaths in 2005.


  • Fatalities among young motorcycle riders have dropped in the past ten years. In 2004, fatalities for the under 30-year old group dropped to 32 percent, from about 50 percent in 1994. Fatalities among 30- to 39-year olds fell to 22 percent in 2004, from 26 percent ten years earlier.


  • Motorcycle sales are at a 30-year record high with more than 1.1 million bikes sold in the U.S. and over 5 million registered in 2004. Colorado has already issued 63, 424 drivers license motorcycle endorsements in 2006—outpacing the 74, 424 issued during all of 2005.


  • Motorcycle Helmets: In 2004 motorcycle helmets saved 1,316 lives. NHTSA says that if all motorcyclists had worn helmets, 671 more lives would have been saved. Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries. A NHTSA study covering 10 states found that when universal helmet laws, which pertain to all riders, were repealed, helmet-use rates dropped from 99 percent to 50 percent. In states where the universal law was reinstated, helmet-use rates rose to above 95 percent.


Motorcycle Helmet Use Laws: Colorado is one of only four states with no helmet use laws (Colorado, Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire). Only 20 states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books that require all motorcyclists to wear helmets. In 26 states only people under a specific age (mostly between 17 and 20 years of age) were required to wear helmets.


Common Questions


Q. How do I add a motorcycle endorsement to my license?


A. You can add a motorcycle endorsement to your license two ways:

1- Pass the written test at a Driver's License office, purchase a motorcycle instruction permit, pass a drive test at a Driver's License office or with a 3rd-party tester and pay the fee to add the endorsement to your license.

The following is for the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles office list where each office lists the services provided, including whether or not they offer motorcycle drive tests.


2- Enroll in a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) training course and, after successful completion of the course, present your MSF certification card at a Driver's License office. When you present your MSF certification card at a Driver's License office, the written and drive tests are waived. Pay the fee to add the endorsement to your license. Colorado law requires minors under 18 to purchase and hold a motorcycle instruction permit for 12 months before adding the motorcycle endorsement to their license. Minors under 16 must be under the direct supervision of the MSF motorcycle instructor at all times while driving a motorcycle.

Q. How do I insure my motorcycle?

A. Colorado requires a minimum amount of liability coverage to pay for damages you cause to someone else, but it’s a good idea to talk to your insurance agent or company about additional coverage for you and your passengers. Motorcycle insurance is widely available. Most of the top ten auto insurers offer motorcycle insurance, either as an endorsement to a personal automobile policy or as a separate policy. Many companies offer discounts from 10 to 15 percent on motorcycle insurance for graduates of training courses, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) rider course.