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Old 11-12-2012, 11:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thoughts on my MSF riders course this weekend

Hello all

A bit of background. I am from the New Orleans area and have always been interested in motorcycles. Recently, with encouragement from my amazing wife, I decided to seriously start looking to buy a bike. As a part of the process, I decided to take the MSF's basic riders course this past weekend at NOLA Motorsports in Avondale, LA. These are my thoughts in no real order:

- Dear god, riding is fun. This was my first time on a bike, so there was always the chance that I wouldn't like it once I did it. That did not happen. Even going at the relatively low speeds of the course, and using a tiny little 250 cc bike, it felt like I was going at light speed.

- If you get the chance to take a motorcycle class at a race track, DO IT! I spent my lunch breaks watching Ferraris and GT-Rs racing and it was amazing.

- The instructor was great. He was patient, knowledgable and just a nice guy.

- Bikes are incredibly stable when you give them a little gas. The people in our class who had the most issues were repeatedly told they were going too slow. I found that when trying to make sharp turns, the slower I went the harder they were. I think perfection lies somewhere between slow-assery and reckless speed.

- During our "graduation" our instructor told us we were now officially capable of practicing very carefully in parking lots. He stressed that the class by itself was not the end of our education and that we should take it slow and work our way up to city streets, highways, etc.

- There was a lady in our class who dropped out on day 2. This ain't for everyone.

- It takes an amazing amount of coordination to make all the controls work in concert. I think it's going to take some time before I'm fully comfortable with all of the different things my hands and feet have to do.

- I now know what a friction zone is.

I have a lot more, but this is getting kinda lengthy, so ill close with this. If anyone out there is considering a bike, please take a class first. It's fun and educational. Now to find my bike....

Last edited by AMC; 11-13-2012 at 12:41 PM. Reason: Sentence change
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I took it in a college parking lot, even tho I have been riding for some time. Good ol California circle thing. Aced the written and got dinged one point on the driving. I enjoyed it, I learned some and I recommend it to anyone looking to get started. Just please for the love of God, park your bike in first gear, not neutral.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Just please for the love of God, park your bike in first gear, not neutral.
I have to ask, why?
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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- There was a lady in our class who dropped out on day 2. This ain't for everyone.
When I took my course I don't know what this one lady did but, she fell and actually got run over by her own bike. She had a tire track imprinted across her white shirt. They made an exception and ended up giving her a scooter instead, that's all she was looking into getting anyway.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Just please for the love of God, park your bike in first gear, not neutral.
Wouldn't work out for me however, like spank, I wonder why?
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It might be some religious thing or maybe to prevent the bike rolling on a slope?
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have to ask, why?
Because if you don't, you clearly don't love god?
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I took msf course last week. One girl dropped the bike 4 times on first day on range. Then this young guy accidentally pinned the throttle open when he snatched the front brake for the quick stop. Somewhere in the panic he released the clutch and ended up in a pile with the bike at the edge of the range.

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Old 11-13-2012, 09:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I recall taking the MSF course five years ago. I hadn't been on a bike before then either.
Great experience and taught me a lot. Lots of practice and experience since then.
I'm approaching my 100k mile mark.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The only comment I'll make is that I hope you're not looking at a Triumph to continue your riding education.

Nothing in the Triumph range is suitable for a beginner.

You accept that the tiny little 250 goes at something that feels like light speed. Imagine controlling that greased lightening on the street, with traffic all around you. Then imagine something twice as fast. Something that will spit you off or ram into something unforgiving in an instant if you're a tiny bit clumsy with one of the controls, or a tiny bit lax in your focus. And imagine keeping that focus while you're also focussing on the roads, road signs, intersections and all that traffic that's out to kill you if you give it half a chance.

The 250 is the bike to learn on. Not a Triumph.

Rob
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