Safety riding courses......


Anything goes - doesn't fit any other category!
  • Sponsored Links
User avatar
vinlugg
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:40 am
Location: Barrington, New Hampshire
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800ABS/blue
1973 Kawasaki Mach111 500 Triple
1975 Kawasaki Mach1V 750 Triple
1978 Honda 550-4
1983 Honda V45 Sabre
2003 Kawasaki 800A
2005 Kawasaki Nomad 1600
2012 Honda Goldwing

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by vinlugg » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:30 pm



WingAdmin wrote:
MNAspencade wrote:I will be retuning to riding a wing again as the weather clears here in northern MN. My last bike was a naked wing about 20 years ago. I have been reading about the courses and they look to be of good value. The hard part for me is the cost as my budget is tight - though I have a month or so to plan for it.... I also need to get the wing up and running first.

How much practice time should I have before taking the course??
How much are the courses? Here in Ohio, they are all a flat $25...however perhaps they are state subsidized?

If you're taking the basic course, no previous experience needed. If you're taking the experienced course, you should have at least a year's riding experience under your belt.
The cost for our state run classes (which is what I teach) the BRC classes are $110 the IRC is $50 and the ERC is $60. We are partially subsidized by a fee charged when we register our motorcycles.

vin


Happy Riding

Vin
Retired US Army Combat Flight Medic
MFS Instructor since 2004

User avatar
vinlugg
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:40 am
Location: Barrington, New Hampshire
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800ABS/blue
1973 Kawasaki Mach111 500 Triple
1975 Kawasaki Mach1V 750 Triple
1978 Honda 550-4
1983 Honda V45 Sabre
2003 Kawasaki 800A
2005 Kawasaki Nomad 1600
2012 Honda Goldwing

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by vinlugg » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:51 pm

Fatwing Chris wrote:A course here in Ontario will run you around $300 all out of your own pocket.Only takes a couple of mistakes when you start the riding part and they are sending you home.You don't get to finish the day even.They just tell you to rebook(for the same price) and try again.Been more than a few woman leave there(Barrie,Ont) bawling their eyes out and never go back.Not a great learning experience anyway,but for $300 I'll take my chances.For $25 or $50 I'd take it.Alot of insurance companies won't give a discount either for passing the course and others won't even give you a quote if you haven't taken one.

PS This course is mostly for people that don't have their full bike license and if they pass will have a full license.Never talked to anyone that took it that already had a license.


Not sure what a full licence is but I've had many many current riders take the course or people that claim they rode for many years then had a break for awhile,in my classes. it's amazing how "rough" they rode the first day. By the end of the class they all admit they should've taken the class many years ago.
Happy Riding

Vin
Retired US Army Combat Flight Medic
MFS Instructor since 2004

User avatar
garwil
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:08 pm
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500SE
2002 ST1100

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by garwil » Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:32 pm

When you realize that many people who have driven cars for 20 - 30 years are not very good drivers, is it any surprise that some who have ridden for years are not good riders? Just because you are able to drive/ride does not translate to being a highly skilled driver/rider. That is because being able to start, stop, turn, hold your lane and hit a parking spot are not all there is to being a good driver or rider. Riding a motorcycle is the same. There are many skills that have been discovered over the years that can be taught in a class or read in a book that you may never figure out on your own. Likewise, only through careful study in controlled situations can certain riding behavior be proven to be more (or less) affective. That is why there are so many "Experienced" riders who believe we steer by shifting our body weight (as apposed to counter steering).

I admit that I have never taken a riding course. My state does not offer any discount, nor does my insurance company. Back when I started riding, I was unaware that such courses could be found. However, I have, since before I started riding, read everything I can lay my hands on to improve my riding skills. Books like "The Upper half of the Motorcycle" and "Proficient Motorcycling" provide a lot of very good information. There are many very good training video's on You tube. Even if you have taken courses, you should continue to look for information and skills that might save your life. I have begun meeting with the GWRRA chapter in my area and am planning on taking courses when they are offered because they cannot hurt my riding skills, they can only improve them.

I remember reading years ago that, when asked, the majority of drivers will tell you that they are a "Good" driver. The only trouble was, when they were asked to define what constituted a "Good Driver", they came up with wildly different answers. Some claimed they were good drivers because they obey all traffic laws. Others claimed to be good drivers because they had never had an accident (that was their fault). Still others claimed to be good drivers because they can weave through traffic and get from point A to point B faster. Needless to say, all of these "Good Drivers" are adamant in their contention that the majority of other drivers are bad drivers.

We have the same situation with Riders. We have all been passed the the rider who blows past us on the interstate at 80+ MPH while doing a wheelie (or is able to perform stoppies). I have endured group rides where one or more of the riders who have never had an accident cannot keep up with the group,or ride on any gravel, or turn around without a walmart. I have been on group rides where I purposely positioned myself away from experienced riders because I observed them riding in a way that caused me not to trust them not to cause me to wreck. I had ridden over 100,000 miles before I ever rode with a group, which made me one of the ones no one wanted to ride near until I learned a few rules/skills.

Long story, but I am for continuing to learn how to enjoy riding without killing myself or my pillion.

CaptLen
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:39 am
Location: Norwalk, Connecticut
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800A

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by CaptLen » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:09 pm

I had about 10,000 milesback in high school/college and 2 summers ago got a Harley Sportster 1200. I rode it for one summer to get back in the groove then the beginning of the second summer took the Experienced Rider Course and found it very excellent. Midway trhough the summer I got the 'Wing and I plan to take that course again or perhaps the Lee Parks Total Control course or Advanced Rider Course. I learned a lot and practice regularly in the parking lot before or after a ride and while riding.
I definitely endorse the courses and confirm that they are worthwhile

User avatar
Happytrails
Posts: 803
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:13 pm
Location: Tarentum, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1991 Goldwing 1500 SE

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by Happytrails » Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:59 pm

MNAspencade wrote:I will be retuning to riding a wing again as the weather clears here in northern MN. My last bike was a naked wing about 20 years ago. I have been reading about the courses and they look to be of good value. The hard part for me is the cost as my budget is tight - though I have a month or so to plan for it.... I also need to get the wing up and running first.

How much practice time should I have before taking the course??
In Pennsylvania and Maryland the MSF is completely free. Our class had a mix of experience levels. I had been riding a little 400cc bike for 6 months prior so I had a slight advantage over people who hadn't ridden at all. My friend never rode a bike before but he did quite well. One guy in the class had ridden a harley for like a year and he not only had a bad attitude but he didn't get much if anything out of the course. He did pass his test though.

I wouldn't worry so much about if you get any riding time in before the class starts. Like someone else mentioned they normally put you on something small like 250cc that will feel like a mini-bike. You'll feel comfortable on it and not feel nervous during the lessons. Their bikes take a beating but they maintain them very well.
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

User avatar
brenniac
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:11 pm
Location: Rochester, NY
Motorcycle: 2006 GL1800

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by brenniac » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:04 am

I had been riding about twenty years (self-taught) when I took an advanced rider course on my 1200 Goldwing. I learned a lot and improved my riding skills and awareness greatly. I learned why I was doing many things, how counter steering works corrected some bad habits and picked up some new (good) ones. Later that summer I was involved in a crash that, without the skills I learned in that class and practiced afterwards, I am sure my wife and I would have perished. Instead, we came away with bruises and a totaled bike.
I became an MSF Instructor the next year and taught for about ten years. Statistics are not made of accidents that don't happen but the feedback I've gotten over the years from former students, friends and aquaintences has me convinced that rider education is the greatest safety tool we have at our disposal.

My son and I also took the Keith Code Superbike course on summer in Mid-Ohio. It was by design way beyond your basic skills and the cornering techniques I got out of it also helped me a lot. I get a lot of enjoyment because I'm armed with the knowledge and practice the skills I've learned.
'06 Gold

User avatar
Fatwing Chris
Posts: 768
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:10 pm
Location: Ont.,Canada
Motorcycle: 2004 ABS Model Goldwing

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by Fatwing Chris » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:22 am

vinlugg wrote:
Fatwing Chris wrote:A course here in Ontario will run you around $300 all out of your own pocket.Only takes a couple of mistakes when you start the riding part and they are sending you home.You don't get to finish the day even.They just tell you to rebook(for the same price) and try again.Been more than a few woman leave there(Barrie,Ont) bawling their eyes out and never go back.Not a great learning experience anyway,but for $300 I'll take my chances.For $25 or $50 I'd take it.Alot of insurance companies won't give a discount either for passing the course and others won't even give you a quote if you haven't taken one.

PS This course is mostly for people that don't have their full bike license and if they pass will have a full license.Never talked to anyone that took it that already had a license.


Not sure what a full licence is but I've had many many current riders take the course or people that claim they rode for many years then had a break for awhile,in my classes. it's amazing how "rough" they rode the first day. By the end of the class they all admit they should've taken the class many years ago.
We have graduated licensing in Ont.You write a test and you get a license that allows you to ride,but with a lot of restrictions.Most ride for a while and then do the course to get your full license.You can do the test without taking the course,but it's pretty rigorous and I doubt most would pass.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
Chris
Double Dark
Darkside # 1602

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 19421
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:32 am

I agree with garwil, and he's right about what makes a "good" rider - so what DOES make a good rider, to you?

To me, I am constantly trying to increase accuracy and precision. The more accurately and precisely I can handle my bike, the better I feel about controlling it when an emergency arises. I pride myself on coming to a stop that has me barely on the brakes at the end of the stop, with my foot coming down just as the bike comes to a complete stop. If the passenger is comfortable without being tossed around on starts and stops, that's a good sign. When I enter a turn at exactly the right speed, lean angle and line, apexing at the correct place, and accelerating smoothly throughout, it is a beautiful thing. I practice these stops, turns, everything, every single time. When my stops start getting sloppy, it is a sign to myself that I need to get off and take a break.

Smoothness is part of precision, and it's tremendously important. I can recall from back when I crewed on a race car team, once a year our owner would rent a race car for a day and let the crew drive it around the track. It wasn't supposed to be a competition...but it was. :)

There were guys on the team who would accelerate crazily out of every turn, braking crazily into every turn, throwing the car around and making lots of noise. I on the other hand would simply drive as smoothly as possible, making sure the tires never broke traction, and working on a compromise with the car, between where it wanted to go, and where I wanted to guide it. To the other crew members, it looked like I was a grandpa babying the car gently around the track. Yet I consistently beat their times, which drove them insane. Smooth and steady wins the race.

The last trick in the arsenal is practice - you need to practice emergency maneuvers. They are a perishable skill, and will go away without constant practice. You need to develop the "muscle memory" required to brake, swerve and avoid, so that when you require that maneuver in an emergency, it happens automatically without you thinking about it. If you have to think, "ok, brake, off the brake, press, swerve"...it's too late, you've just hit what you were trying to avoid. Go into an empty parking lot and practice, over and over and over until it is automatic. This is the same reason that my first ride of each season is normally not a pleasure ride, but a ride to a parking lot to brush up those skills.

User avatar
themainviking
Posts: 3227
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:59 pm
Location: North Bay, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 2009 GL1800 AD
1987 Harley Softail Custom
1974 Harley FLH (sold)
1965 Harley FLHE (sold)
1957 Harley Chopper (sold)

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by themainviking » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:17 pm

A bunch of us here do exactly this. We have a school here that has consented to having a totally empty parking lot on a Sunday in spring. We have orange cones and set out a course. One of our group acts as faciltator (he is a msf instructor) and he puts us through a parking lot practice to get us ready for the year. Then another instructor puts him through it and we all watch and jeer and hoot, as he is the self proclaimed best rider, lol.
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

Image

User avatar
garwil
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:08 pm
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500SE
2002 ST1100

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by garwil » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:34 pm

WingAdmin wrote:I agree with garwil, and he's right about what makes a "good" rider - so what DOES make a good rider, to you?
You are correct, I did not state my own opinion about what makes a good rider. So let me give it a stab.

First, a good rider must have at least a moderate amount of actual riding skills. Note that I did not say, must have great riding skills. After all, we all start riding with very poor skills and hopefully improve over time. However, until you reach the level of riding skill where you can comfortably deal with the majority of road and traffic condition that the average rider can expect to deal with, then you cannot claim to be a good rider. My example of this is a young lady I knew who had totaled four vehicles in single vehicle accidents. She considered herself a good driver despite this record because all the accidents involved circumstances she considered extreme (Rain, Ice, Frost Heaves, wind, etc.) However, they were driving conditions common to the place and time and most other drivers were able to negotiate them. Over the course of some years she proved that she could only control a vehicle if conditions were optimum.

Second, a good rider generally obeys the traffic laws. I want to differentiate this from the rider/driver who will not violate any traffic law regardless of the circumstances. The good rider will obey the laws, but will not compromise safety for themselves or others in the name of law abiding. The most common example of this failure is the individual who insists on driving a few MPH below the speed limit even when all the traffic around them is going much faster. The oposit is the individual who insists on going the speed limit when the vast majority of others riding/driving in the same conditions consider that speed to be suicide. I admit suffering from the later condition for much of my life.

This second criteria speaks to a key feature of a good rider, and that is good judgement. You may have riding skills that exceed the vast majority of others, but if your judgement is bad you will try to ride when, where and how is it not wise. This will result in crashes, injury and even death to yourself and/or others. The ones who fall into this group are those who treat the public roads like they are privat race tracks. (I have been known to do this, but I have pretty much sworn off now) If you want to drag a peg, or a knee while cornering at the utmost extreem, go to the track. Do not endanger inocent bystanders.

The third criteria is best expressed by my Mother when I was learning to drive. She told me to try to drive in such a way that people riding with me would feel safe and confident in my abilities. She told me this when I was still struggling with stopping and starting without jerking. However, I found it a very useful motivation for becoming a good driver, and eventually a good rider. It made me constantly think about how I was driving. How were my passengers reacting to my driving. Were they screeming in terror, or silently (or loudly) praying for redemption, or were they able to enjoy the ride and/or focus on other things. After I had ridden for many years solo, and I finally got my Wing, I had to go through a similar adjustment in attitude when my wife began riding with me. Was she comfortable, happy, enjoying herself? Was I starting or stopping in a way that made our helmets bang? Would she want to ride with me more, or was I going back to solo only? When I started riding with the GWRRA chapter, I had to examin again to see if the rest of the group was happy to see me show up, or quietly jockying for the position away from me.

Last, and related, a good rider is a thinking rider. He/she is thinking about riding on and off the bike. What have I not learned that might kill me, or save my life? What bad habits do I need to eliminate? What is up ahead? What is behind me? What is coming out of that side road, or hedge? Is there loose gravel on that curve? Is my bike properly maintained? Are there books, articles or courses available to help me ride better and safer? Can I practice this manuver in a safe place? Can I ride through this, or is it time to get off because . . road is to slick, I am to tired, bike needs maintenance, whatever.

People who drive without thinking are dangerouse. People who ride without thinking are suicidal!!!

If a rider has developed a moderate level of competence, if they show a reasonable respect for the law, if they exercise good judgement and keep their brain engaged both on and off the bike, then I think they can be considered a good rider. I also beleive these will translate into many miles of happy safe riding. Their repair bills will be lower. Their insurance will be cheaper, and their family and friends will sleep easier (such as my wife on the back of the wing).

This I might add is just about the highest complement I have received on my riding. My wife and two of my Nieces have peacefully slept on the back of my bike. This means they are comfortable enough, have enough trust in my riding skills and judgement, that they can relax and fall asleep. There are few things as satisfying as a helmet gently rocking between your sholderblades. When this happens, I try extra hard to not wake them up.

User avatar
brenniac
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:11 pm
Location: Rochester, NY
Motorcycle: 2006 GL1800

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by brenniac » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:00 pm

WingAdmin wrote: The last trick in the arsenal is practice - you need to practice emergency maneuvers. They are a perishable skill, and will go away without constant practice. You need to develop the "muscle memory" required to brake, swerve and avoid, so that when you require that maneuver in an emergency, it happens automatically without you thinking about it. If you have to think, "ok, brake, off the brake, press, swerve"...it's too late, you've just hit what you were trying to avoid. Go into an empty parking lot and practice, over and over and over until it is automatic. This is the same reason that my first ride of each season is normally not a pleasure ride, but a ride to a parking lot to brush up those skills.
I agree wholeheartedly with the "practice" mantra. I also practice imaginary scenarios when I'm on the road. When circumstances allow I like to practice swerving in curves. My mindset when I'm riding is always total concentration with minimal distractions, which is pretty darn hard to do on a 'Wing.
'06 Gold

User avatar
toanogreen
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:59 am
Location: Toano, Va
Motorcycle: 2007 GL1800 with NAV and ABS
Previously Owned:
1999 GL1500 Goldwing SE
1989 GL1500 Goldwing

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by toanogreen » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:30 am

I haven't taken a rider course for over 30 years when I started riding. I'M GLAD I DID! The things I learned I still remember and still use today. I strongly recommend new riders to take a course (or courses) before they ride or buy a bike. My son and wants to ride and I said not until I see your certificate from the course.

As I said I haven't taken a course in 30+ years, but I do frequently look at the safety videos on YouTube and other internet sites. Not the same as being there, but I do go out and try these skills on my own to keep myself fit and alert.

User avatar
Happytrails
Posts: 803
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:13 pm
Location: Tarentum, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1991 Goldwing 1500 SE

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by Happytrails » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:45 am

toanogreen wrote:I haven't taken a rider course for over 30 years when I started riding. I'M GLAD I DID! The things I learned I still remember and still use today. I strongly recommend new riders to take a course (or courses) before they ride or buy a bike. My son and wants to ride and I said not until I see your certificate from the course.

As I said I haven't taken a course in 30+ years, but I do frequently look at the safety videos on YouTube and other internet sites. Not the same as being there, but I do go out and try these skills on my own to keep myself fit and alert.
Maybe your son will make you go with him. I had a couple fathers do that in the class I was in. Although I think it was the mothers/wives that did the enforcing for that!

I've been watching youtube too during this brutal winter. And been watching video's for safety too trying to stay mentally sharp and thinking the right things. Its surprising how beneficial that is. Particularly when you watch people in other parts of the world expressing there views on safety. And how the UK approaches it with their basic safety and MOT tests.
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

User avatar
rufus15
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:02 pm
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Motorcycle: 2012 level 3 goldwing

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by rufus15 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:46 pm

Fatwing Chris wrote:A course here in Ontario will run you around $300 all out of your own pocket.Only takes a couple of mistakes when you start the riding part and they are sending you home.You don't get to finish the day even.They just tell you to rebook(for the same price) and try again.Been more than a few woman leave there(Barrie,Ont) bawling their eyes out and never go back.Not a great learning experience anyway,but for $300 I'll take my chances.For $25 or $50 I'd take it.Alot of insurance companies won't give a discount either for passing the course and others won't even give you a quote if you haven't taken one.

PS This course is mostly for people that don't have their full bike license and if they pass will have a full license.Never talked to anyone that took it that already had a license.

Sounds like a scam to me. If they had safety in mind and safe riders then they wouldn't be doing business like this, they would first try remedial training after finding out what the problem area's are. That's if they cared about what there putting out on the street.

drebudrebu
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:38 am
Location: corsica, pa
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100A Aspencade sold
1987 Yamaha Virago 700 sold

1997 GL1500A

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by drebudrebu » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:40 am

I took the BRC course with my son as he was getting his first bike. I really learned alot and feel better with him riding with the knowledge he picked up from the course. I live in PA and ALL the courses are free and you can go on the MSF website and see locations and types of classes and register. Also a friend of mine in now an instructor and we ride together alot and practice out on the road what we have learned in class.

When I think back to some of the things I did when young, dumb and stupid on a bike, no training but what you learn riding down the road, I am thankful that I am riding 30 years later.

User avatar
blallen58
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 10:21 am
Location: Hubert, NC
Motorcycle: 2010 GL 1800

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by blallen58 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:49 pm

I have taken the Basic, Advanced, Basic with a friend again, and the Experienced MSF course. I learned many new techniques in all classes. It is important to practice what you learn so when you need to react in an emergency the reaction is second nature and happens before you have to think about what you need to do.

User avatar
vinlugg
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:40 am
Location: Barrington, New Hampshire
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800ABS/blue
1973 Kawasaki Mach111 500 Triple
1975 Kawasaki Mach1V 750 Triple
1978 Honda 550-4
1983 Honda V45 Sabre
2003 Kawasaki 800A
2005 Kawasaki Nomad 1600
2012 Honda Goldwing

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by vinlugg » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:46 pm

rufus15 wrote:
Fatwing Chris wrote:A course here in Ontario will run you around $300 all out of your own pocket.Only takes a couple of mistakes when you start the riding part and they are sending you home.You don't get to finish the day even.They just tell you to rebook(for the same price) and try again.Been more than a few woman leave there(Barrie,Ont) bawling their eyes out and never go back.Not a great learning experience anyway,but for $300 I'll take my chances.For $25 or $50 I'd take it.Alot of insurance companies won't give a discount either for passing the course and others won't even give you a quote if you haven't taken one.

PS This course is mostly for people that don't have their full bike license and if they pass will have a full license.Never talked to anyone that took it that already had a license.

Sounds like a scam to me. If they had safety in mind and safe riders then they wouldn't be doing business like this, they would first try remedial training after finding out what the problem area's are. That's if they cared about what there putting out on the street.

In my 10 years of teaching the course I have asked only a handful of students to drop out...if they become a safety hazzard to themselves or other students and show no improvement after being spoken and recieved additional time with the instructor and bike during breaks, then sometimes you have no choice but to ask them to drop. It's not a scam. We have a very limited amount of time to teach the ENTIRE class the entire course. If we spend to much time on one student then it becomes totally unfair to the rest of the class. Some people aren't cut out to ride or need time to practice on a bicycle at home etc.
If I allowed a student,to continue riding, that was becoming dangerous to the class and they lost control and took out one of the other students.......that injured student would probably be extremely upset that we hadn't asked that student to drop when it became apparent. The course is a good place to find out whether it's for you or not or that you need pre-class practice.

Also remember the main reason for taking any safety course is to learn to be safe....whether your insurance company gives a discount or not.

I have had many people who already held a motorcycle licence take the course again for many reasons...been a long time since riding, did it with a family member as a show of support, feels uncomfortable on the road and wanted the additional practice, to name just a few.


Sorry if I'm coming across on the strong side but I take offense when someone makes a statement that it sounds like a scam. Every rider coach I've ever taught with or met is dedicated and does everything within their power to get all students through the course......safely.

Thanks for listening to me. Sorry for the rant.
Happy Riding

Vin
Retired US Army Combat Flight Medic
MFS Instructor since 2004

User avatar
brenniac
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:11 pm
Location: Rochester, NY
Motorcycle: 2006 GL1800

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by brenniac » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:52 am

My experience teaching the course for ten years is similar to vinlugg’s. The course is structured such that by the time students get to the range to ride they have had at least three hours of classroom training and simulation practice. In addition, the initial stages of actual riding are designed to reinforce the classroom training. If a person cannot handle a bike safely by the time they’re on the range, chances are it is going to take a lot more time for them to learn to ride than the course allows or the person should not ride at all.
Riding is not for everyone and being able to discover that for three hundred dollars compared to the alternative of paying thousands for or borrowing someone else’s bike and crashing it within minutes or days due to lack of training.
All people have different learning rates and styles. Some people take longer than the allotted course time course to learn to ride. I have personally volunteered my time to remediate some students after class or before the next one. I was successful with some and others, not so much. Passing the course does not automatically mean you’re ready to ride. I’ve also helped some people that actually passed the course and should not have been on the roads with a motorcycle. I know that the courses taught in our area are offered over varying lengths of time to accommodate different schedules and learning styles. Any person endangering the rest of the class should be removed for safety of everyone else involved. The decisions around the rebooking or remediation are largely business decisions.
I still maintain that a RiderCourse is the best way to learn to ride for most people. Licensing or insurance discounts can be additional benefits but your personal safety should be the primary reason for taking the course.
'06 Gold

486261
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:51 pm
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Motorcycle: 2007 GL1800

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by 486261 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 am

I am very lucky because in the Oklahoma City area we have an excellent MSF course that is put on by the University of Oklahoma. They also train Police and Highway patrol officers.

I took their course about 7 years ago and because I already had an M on my drivers license they wouldn't let me take the beginers course but I still learned more in one day than I did in a life time of riding and when my adult son wanted to start riding I told him that he wasn't going to sit his butt on 1 of my bikes untill he took the course which he was allowed to take the beginners course. I consider him a very good rider because of it.

As for countersteering my son was taught from the get go how to do it in his course and I had some training in my course. I have come to the realization that you will never be a really good rider untill you master it.

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 19421
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:43 am

486261 wrote:As for countersteering my son was taught from the get go how to do it in his course and I had some training in my course. I have come to the realization that you will never be a really good rider untill you master it.
It's my opinion that anyone who has ridden a bicycle (or motorcycle, for that matter) already knows how to countersteer. It's intuitive, you may not even realize you're doing it. You have to, otherwise you'd never be able to turn the bike!

What needs to be taught is what I call the panic countersteer: When in an emergency situation - faced with an object that must be swerved around, in a curve that tightens unexpectedly - the mind says "turn the handlebars and steer the bike!" Which, of course, does the exact opposite of what is needed. Training is required to rewrite the brain circuits, so that the instant, automatic response is "countersteer around the object" or "press harder into the corner."

That sort of training is not going to happen in a weekend. It's a good introduction, but it takes many miles of repeated practice to burn that response into your brain, so as to make it automatic.

User avatar
vinlugg
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:40 am
Location: Barrington, New Hampshire
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800ABS/blue
1973 Kawasaki Mach111 500 Triple
1975 Kawasaki Mach1V 750 Triple
1978 Honda 550-4
1983 Honda V45 Sabre
2003 Kawasaki 800A
2005 Kawasaki Nomad 1600
2012 Honda Goldwing

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by vinlugg » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:47 am

486261 wrote:I am very lucky because in the Oklahoma City area we have an excellent MSF course that is put on by the University of Oklahoma. They also train Police and Highway patrol officers.

I took their course about 7 years ago and because I already had an M on my drivers license they wouldn't let me take the beginers course but I still learned more in one day than I did in a life time of riding and when my adult son wanted to start riding I told him that he wasn't going to sit his butt on 1 of my bikes untill he took the course which he was allowed to take the beginners course. I consider him a very good rider because of it.

As for countersteering my son was taught from the get go how to do it in his course and I had some training in my course. I have come to the realization that you will never be a really good rider untill you master it.




That's awesome you tried to take the course with your son. In NH we'll let any licenced rider take it as many times as they wish. As far as counter-steering.....I personally wish they'd take the explanation out of the curiculum. It becomes confusing to many students. If you already knew how to ride a bicycle then you already perform counter-steering to go around a curve. simply put "push on the hand grip to go in the direction you wish too go in. Push right go right"
I have had only a few students who had never learned to ride a bicycle. It was a challenge for them. Have many studends who don't know how to use a clutch. Most vehicles have come with automatic trannys' for many years now. Most of us "mature" folks learned on a shift. I learned on my dads dump truck in the back yard and "three on the tree" was in numerous vehicles back then.
Happy Riding

Vin
Retired US Army Combat Flight Medic
MFS Instructor since 2004

User avatar
ralph2723
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:30 pm
Location: McAlester, Oklahoma
Motorcycle: 2004 gl1800 goldwing

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by ralph2723 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:45 pm

Oklahoma is lucky enough to provide a motorcycle safety course through the State Highway Patrol Motorcycle Division. The course is taught by Patrol officers and is free to the public. You must complete the pre-registration on-line and show up with all your safety gear. The course is quick paced and not filled with a lot of class room instruction. All bikes, trikes and scooters are welcome. Several old timers with many years of combined riding time, quickly learned why the first step in the course was "How to pick up your bike". Some became very proficient by the end of the eight hours course. We learned braking, steering, shifting and counter steering. The course completion allows you to receive a discount on your motorcycle insurance for three years. 'Great course, fast paced and by allowing "all" bikes people were able to see how differently each type of bikes reacts to given situations.

GWRRA gold wing road rider association offers nearly every kind of safety course you and your bike/trike could need. I have attended several different trike courses offered by GWRRA and can honestly say, l learned something new each time which has made me a safer rider. You are never too old to learn how to safe your life, the life of a friend or even a stranger.

486261
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:51 pm
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Motorcycle: 2007 GL1800

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by 486261 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:36 pm

Thanks for the replies but I still think that counter steering has to be taught because I had never heard of it untill my course and everyone I have talked to feels the same. Also I made a major screw up on previous post in that I said the Oklahoma University put on the course, it's Oklhoma State University on the corner of Reno and Portland in OKC. I just been disowned by my whole family that grad from OSU.

User avatar
vinlugg
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:40 am
Location: Barrington, New Hampshire
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800ABS/blue
1973 Kawasaki Mach111 500 Triple
1975 Kawasaki Mach1V 750 Triple
1978 Honda 550-4
1983 Honda V45 Sabre
2003 Kawasaki 800A
2005 Kawasaki Nomad 1600
2012 Honda Goldwing

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by vinlugg » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:18 pm

brenniac wrote:
WingAdmin wrote: The last trick in the arsenal is practice - you need to practice emergency maneuvers. They are a perishable skill, and will go away without constant practice. You need to develop the "muscle memory" required to brake, swerve and avoid, so that when you require that maneuver in an emergency, it happens automatically without you thinking about it. If you have to think, "ok, brake, off the brake, press, swerve"...it's too late, you've just hit what you were trying to avoid. Go into an empty parking lot and practice, over and over and over until it is automatic. This is the same reason that my first ride of each season is normally not a pleasure ride, but a ride to a parking lot to brush up those skills.
I agree wholeheartedly with the "practice" mantra. I also practice imaginary scenarios when I'm on the road. When circumstances allow I like to practice swerving in curves. My mindset when I'm riding is always total concentration with minimal distractions, which is pretty darn hard to do on a 'Wing.


Like brenniac, I'm always practicing (while alone). swerving, braking etc. Assuming no traffic.
Happy Riding

Vin
Retired US Army Combat Flight Medic
MFS Instructor since 2004

User avatar
vinlugg
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:40 am
Location: Barrington, New Hampshire
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800ABS/blue
1973 Kawasaki Mach111 500 Triple
1975 Kawasaki Mach1V 750 Triple
1978 Honda 550-4
1983 Honda V45 Sabre
2003 Kawasaki 800A
2005 Kawasaki Nomad 1600
2012 Honda Goldwing

Re: Safety riding courses......

Post by vinlugg » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:24 pm

486261 wrote:Thanks for the replies but I still think that counter steering has to be taught because I had never heard of it untill my course and everyone I have talked to feels the same. Also I made a major screw up on previous post in that I said the Oklahoma University put on the course, it's Oklhoma State University on the corner of Reno and Portland in OKC. I just been disowned by my whole family that grad from OSU.

Some people can grasp the concept but like I stated, in ten years of teaching the program it confuses more students than helps.


Happy Riding

Vin
Retired US Army Combat Flight Medic
MFS Instructor since 2004

Post Reply