Author Topic: I want to be a better rider  (Read 723 times)

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Offline Diz

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I want to be a better rider
« on: May 12, 2019, 12:28:43 pm »
So I enrolled in a motorcycle instruction course. It was named "Experienced Rider Course". Certified by the State of Connecticut. A Saturday afternoon in a very large parking lot. Class size was limited to 12 riders who supplied their own bikes. My class had 10 bikes participating. All riders were male. I brought my Honda which at 700cc's was the second smallest bike. I must confess that I brought that bike cause I was afraid I would drop the Connie.

I had wanted to take an rider instruction course for some time. Had a discussion with Steve Smith (Northeast Area Director) over BBQ once about things adults take lessons for so that they can improve their performance in one of their interests. Steve starting listing these different sports where perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars per year are spent on instruction. Golf, tennis, skiing, horseback riding, fishing and on. Motorcycle instruction didn't really make the list unless one counted the "in lieu of permit" classes that licensed drivers take to get their endorsement. Steve would know as he is a certified motorcycle instructor. The college where Steve teaches has a program managed by John Purdy that provides the different courses taken from MSF material as certified by the State. Most scheduled classes are for the "Basic Rider Course". Both Steve and John are COG members. Our class was joined by another certified instructor who rode as a student because he had never seen the "Experienced Rider Course" presented before.

The overview of the course is teaching safety skills that are needed in everyday driving conditions. It consisted of one of our instructors verbally describing the exercise, describing the objective and then walking us onto the range to see how the cones were arranged. Then the other instructor demonstrated the exercise until the class expressed understanding. We then rode our bikes as directed.

I'm not going to describe the entire course as that would be a disservice to Steve and John. My understanding could not possibly give a complete picture The skills they endeavored to help us with were, turning, stopping and emergency measures. The different exercises had a progressive learning curve. For instance; the 1st segment was a pause and go, a complete stop and a weave with 2 patterns. We were still employing the coaching from the 1st sement when we are being introduced to the 6th segment where we had to do 2 U turns (a left and then a right- like a figure 8) in a painted box, a stop then a sharp turn and a very tight "S" turn. All of these exercises were done at slow speed. One of my classmates put it best- slow speed magnifies your errors.

And slow speed did magnify my errors. I did some bonehead things but received a positive message to help remove my bad habit. None of my classmates were criticized. I felt this was the most important part of the class presentation. John and Steve were our coaches with a paramount interest in our safety. An example would be that the course allowed us to have a passenger and I talked my GF into signing a waiver. I had to ride solo in each segment through the cones at least once before my pillion could ride with me. My coaches presented this condition as a benefit for our understanding. She got to see the bikes going through the cones as I learned the path and nuances of each segment. Then we rode as a team. Completed every segment.

We were told that if we learned just one thing that would save our life; the course paid for itself. I seemed to learn 1 thing about my need to correct bad habits with each segment. The course cost $100 plus $20 for the passenger. I received a coupon for 10% off my motorcycle insurance for completing the course. It is State mandated. That's a $85 savings. Our coaches presented the material in a consistent manner that promoted safety, understanding and fun. And it was fun! Spent all afternoon on asphalt, stopping and going slow under a brilliant sun and no one said "No Mas". Including our coaches. The class was supposed to go from 12:30-6 PM. Our coaches were still on the range coaching with heart at 6:45. Thanks John and Steve.

Offline S Smith

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Re: I want to be a better rider
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2019, 01:19:22 pm »
Hey Dana...  Thanks for the kind words and very happy you were able to make it. Motorcycle safety training is a passion for John and myself, as it likely is for most MSF RiderCoaches. I've instructed/coached thousands of riders in the nearly 20 years I have been involved with the program and always enjoys working with experienced riders like yourself and the others who bring the desire and motivation to improve. It makes for a fun day of coaching and skill improvement, and is a nice break from newbie training.

The Experienced Riders Course that Dana participated is the MSF BRC2u-SP. Connecticut also offers the Advanced RiderCourse (ARC2u).For other riders out there seeking additional coaching and skill training, there are several options. Most states offer a variety of the different MSF courses - contact them to find out what is available near your. Besides MSF programs, there are other terrific skill development options like Total Control, California Superbike School, CLASS Motorcycle School, and others. I prefer these structured programs with professional staff over basic track days.
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There is more to be gained by members raising hands saying "I'll do that" instead of pointing fingers saying "nobody's doing that."

Offline Road Runner

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Re: I want to be a better rider
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2019, 12:15:08 am »
Hey Dana...  Thanks for the kind words and very happy you were able to make it. Motorcycle safety training is a passion for John and myself, as it likely is for most MSF RiderCoaches. I've instructed/coached thousands of riders in the nearly 20 years I have been involved with the program and always enjoys working with experienced riders like yourself and the others who bring the desire and motivation to improve. It makes for a fun day of coaching and skill improvement, and is a nice break from newbie training.

The Experienced Riders Course that Dana participated is the MSF BRC2u-SP. Connecticut also offers the Advanced RiderCourse (ARC2u).For other riders out there seeking additional coaching and skill training, there are several options. Most states offer a variety of the different MSF courses - contact them to find out what is available near your. Besides MSF programs, there are other terrific skill development options like Total Control, California Superbike School, CLASS Motorcycle School, and others. I prefer these structured programs with professional staff over basic track days.

Cool !  :great: I plan to take the Ride Like a Pro training this year: https://www.ridelikeapro.com/

Always learning!
David L. Hamil
Athens/Decatur/Huntsvile, AL area
'13 ZG1400 "Metallic Spark Black"

Offline S Smith

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Re: I want to be a better rider
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2019, 11:57:42 am »
Hey Dana...  Thanks for the kind words and very happy you were able to make it. Motorcycle safety training is a passion for John and myself, as it likely is for most MSF RiderCoaches. I've instructed/coached thousands of riders in the nearly 20 years I have been involved with the program and always enjoys working with experienced riders like yourself and the others who bring the desire and motivation to improve. It makes for a fun day of coaching and skill improvement, and is a nice break from newbie training.

The Experienced Riders Course that Dana participated is the MSF BRC2u-SP. Connecticut also offers the Advanced RiderCourse (ARC2u).For other riders out there seeking additional coaching and skill training, there are several options. Most states offer a variety of the different MSF courses - contact them to find out what is available near your. Besides MSF programs, there are other terrific skill development options like Total Control, California Superbike School, CLASS Motorcycle School, and others. I prefer these structured programs with professional staff over basic track days.

Cool !  :great: I plan to take the Ride Like a Pro training this year: https://www.ridelikeapro.com/

Always learning!


Report back once you do - I heard the courses with Jerry Palladino were excellent. Hopefully the training is the same at the franchised sites.  MSF has a similar course called Ultimate Bike Bonding RiderCourse. SOmeone I know took it last year in Lake George and said it was excellent.





| Steve Smith | COG #3184 |

There is more to be gained by members raising hands saying "I'll do that" instead of pointing fingers saying "nobody's doing that."

Offline NJ_Jim

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Re: I want to be a better rider
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2019, 12:35:18 pm »
Good call on getting some training!   Huge believer I. It myself. 

I’ve only been riding 5 years, but I’ve taken MSF training every year and benefited from it each time. 

BRC to get my license. 

ERC twice. 

ARC once. 

And I’m doing the weekend double, BRC and ARC again next month for the 5th year in a row training.

Some of the best money you can spend in this sport. 

I will probably branch out to a different school next year to mix it up a bit. 

I’ve got a good friend and riding buddy who loves to tell the story on how he self-taught to pass the test with the DMV.  He’s never done any motorcycle training at all, but has to train twice a year at work.  I don’t get it...
2015 Black C14
2001 BMW R1100R
1992 Honda Nighthawk 750

Offline Road Runner

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Re: I want to be a better rider
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2019, 08:17:53 pm »
Hey Dana...  Thanks for the kind words and very happy you were able to make it. Motorcycle safety training is a passion for John and myself, as it likely is for most MSF RiderCoaches. I've instructed/coached thousands of riders in the nearly 20 years I have been involved with the program and always enjoys working with experienced riders like yourself and the others who bring the desire and motivation to improve. It makes for a fun day of coaching and skill improvement, and is a nice break from newbie training.

The Experienced Riders Course that Dana participated is the MSF BRC2u-SP. Connecticut also offers the Advanced RiderCourse (ARC2u).For other riders out there seeking additional coaching and skill training, there are several options. Most states offer a variety of the different MSF courses - contact them to find out what is available near your. Besides MSF programs, there are other terrific skill development options like Total Control, California Superbike School, CLASS Motorcycle School, and others. I prefer these structured programs with professional staff over basic track days.

Cool !  :great: I plan to take the Ride Like a Pro training this year: https://www.ridelikeapro.com/

Always learning!

Will do!   :great:


Report back once you do - I heard the courses with Jerry Palladino were excellent. Hopefully the training is the same at the franchised sites.  MSF has a similar course called Ultimate Bike Bonding RiderCourse. SOmeone I know took it last year in Lake George and said it was excellent.
David L. Hamil
Athens/Decatur/Huntsvile, AL area
'13 ZG1400 "Metallic Spark Black"