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Thread: Advanced Rider's Course

  1. #16
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    I'd save my money for something taught on a real race track.
    If that's what you want, sure, why not? I have no interest in racing, personally, but love to watch it.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by rd400racer View Post
    I'm not in any way trying to be a smartass , just looking for an honest answer.

    Like many people here, I've ridden since I was a kid (51 y.o. now). I've owned street bikes since I was 16 and would modestly guess that I have anywhere from 300-500K miles on 2 wheels. I ride my bike to work almost year round.

    I've also roadraced with WERA since 1997 on everything from an RD400 to a CBR900RR. Currently running an FZR400 and RZ350. I've attended many racing schools.

    So how exactly would I benefit from taking one of these courses? Maybe there is something I'm missing, but I want to think that I pretty much know everything there is to know about 2 wheels.

    I can't be the only person that thinks this way, so what can I gain?
    I'll tell you this, I didn't start riding until I was 51 (a bit over four years ago.) In that time, I've taken the BRC and the ERC/BRC2 four times. A few weeks ago I took a multiday trip with my boss who has been riding for decades. When we used to ride together, I'll always lead so I could set the pace. This time we swapped since I've ridden so much more than him in recent years that he has trouble keeping up with me. (Full disclosure--I ride an R1200R and he rides and ElectraGlide which accounts for some of the speed difference as well).

    Anyhow, he hasn't taken any courses recently. I asked him if he wanted to take the ERC/BRC 2 with me and he said he didn't find it useful. Riding behind him, I could see just how many mistakes he made, particularly at low speed.

    Admittedly this is just one anecdote but it makes me think that even experienced riders might gain more than they think. I know I ride year 'round, 20K a year, and I can tell an improvement after the course.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rd400racer View Post
    I'm not in any way trying to be a smartass , just looking for an honest answer.

    Like many people here, I've ridden since I was a kid (51 y.o. now). I've owned street bikes since I was 16 and would modestly guess that I have anywhere from 300-500K miles on 2 wheels. I ride my bike to work almost year round.

    I've also roadraced with WERA since 1997 on everything from an RD400 to a CBR900RR. Currently running an FZR400 and RZ350. I've attended many racing schools.

    So how exactly would I benefit from taking one of these courses? Maybe there is something I'm missing, but I want to think that I pretty much know everything there is to know about 2 wheels.

    I can't be the only person that thinks this way, so what can I gain?
    given your particular parameters, you would probably not gain a great deal from this course (altho the classroom portion might be a touch enlightening, maybe not).
    however, from what i have seen, you are among a distinct minority of club members who have extensive racing experience.
    many riders who "have been riding for 30+ years" really have only ridden one year, repeated 30+ times.
    to wit: i've taught ERC courses at the National for years, and have had more than one rider that would not have even been able to earn their M endorsement. god only knows how they even got to the rally site without having or causing a crash.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    If that's what you want, sure, why not? I have no interest in racing, personally, but love to watch it.
    skills taught on the track translate quite well to street conditions. if you've taken numerous parking lot based courses, maybe a track day would be your next level for improvement.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    Anyone know of an ARC course in Massachusetts yet? Couldn't locate one with a bit of searching. Training wheels online is the dominant MSF course provider here, and so far, they aren't listing ARC.
    take a road trip to CT- they offer it there.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  6. #21
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    skills taught on the track translate quite well to street conditions. if you've taken numerous parking lot based courses, maybe a track day would be your next level for improvement.
    I'm far more interested in a dirt course.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  7. #22
    Registered User 39520's Avatar
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    I took the MSF advanced class on a wooden-clutch Moto Morini 350 about 25 years ago. It was fun and all, but the whole weekend I kept thinking that I could be spending my time riding in the mountains... They asked me to come back as an instructor but I passed on that.

    I had about 2 years experience in WERA/AMA road racing at the time of the MSF class. MSF has something to offer, for sure, but the track is where you work on your PhD level of motorcycle education. I did a CLASS class 2 years ago at VIR and I had an adrenaline buzz for hours afterward. Highly recommended.
    Ub
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  8. #23
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rd400racer View Post
    I'm not in any way trying to be a smartass , just looking for an honest answer.

    Like many people here, I've ridden since I was a kid (51 y.o. now). I've owned street bikes since I was 16 and would modestly guess that I have anywhere from 300-500K miles on 2 wheels. I ride my bike to work almost year round.

    I've also roadraced with WERA since 1997 on everything from an RD400 to a CBR900RR. Currently running an FZR400 and RZ350. I've attended many racing schools.

    So how exactly would I benefit from taking one of these courses? Maybe there is something I'm missing, but I want to think that I pretty much know everything there is to know about 2 wheels.

    I can't be the only person that thinks this way, so what can I gain?
    As the racers like to say, "The day you think you're great, you've stopped being good."

    You might not gain anything 'new,' but refreshing what you know is never a bad idea. Motorcycling consists of perishable skills - use them or lose them.

    I instruct at Elkhart Lake's Road America, and routinely chat with world-class racers, as well as a fair number of intermediates. General concensus among them is that skills mastered on the race track stay on the race track - don't translate all that well to common street riding.

    I've done track days - super fun - but performing at a level not safe on public roads, mixing it up on lousy surfaces with distracted drivers.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 39520 View Post
    I took the MSF advanced class on a wooden-clutch Moto Morini 350 about 25 years ago.
    fwiw- that was a VERY different class back then, compared to the current offerings.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  10. #25
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    take a road trip to CT- they offer it there.
    I found that course offering and I might, although I suspect Training Wheels in Mass. is gearing up to teach it. I wasn't that impressed with the BRC in 2003, since the instructor was both new and an assuming individual, but the ERC was top notch with both instructors well-regarded and offering specifically helpful corrections. 12+ miles on the parking lot that day according to the GPS, time well-spent after 50k miles on 2 wheels in the few years since I started riding again after my 30 year break.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  11. #26
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    I have similar "credentials" to many others on this forum; started riding at 14 when I would steal my brother's CB450; have owned many bikes; had a 16 year hiatus from riding; and, now ride more than I ever have (just finished a 12000 mile ride and am about to depart for another). I don't think there was a moment in this class that I thought to myself, "I never knew that", but there were concepts that I had not thought about in many moons and skills I had not practiced in eons. If you think you are too skilled and knowledgable to take a course like this then bless you; but your confidence may be misplaced and it may be be your biggest problem.
    Kevin Huddy
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  12. #27
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    I went and took a Riders Skills refresher course with Team Oregon when I first got my new bike.... I figured it was a good place to learn how to handle my new bike and get a chance to put it thru some maneuvers I won't do every day... best $99 I spent in a long time and I got to chat motorcycles with a few neat guys..

  13. #28
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R1200RClassic View Post
    I went and took a Riders Skills refresher course with Team Oregon when I first got my new bike.... I figured it was a good place to learn how to handle my new bike and get a chance to put it thru some maneuvers I won't do every day... best $99 I spent in a long time and I got to chat motorcycles with a few neat guys..

    Team Oregon puts on a pretty good program. Worth the time and $$$.

    I'm aware of the bad blood between them and the MSF, so I guess I shouldn't even be saying stuff like this, but I've always called it like I see it.

    Glad you appreciated the training.

    Ride safe and often!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    Team Oregon puts on a pretty good program. Worth the time and $$$.

    I'm aware of the bad blood between them and the MSF, so I guess I shouldn't even be saying stuff like this, but I've always called it like I see it.

    Glad you appreciated the training.

    Ride safe and often!
    yeah, more or less the same thing from what I can see... both high quality products.

    I was also sort of surprised that when I went to BMW to get my $500 in free riding gear (Ride Smart Program) with purchase of new bike and an "MSF" course with in 90 days they accepted the Team Oregon course.

  15. #30
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    skills taught on the track translate quite well to street conditions. if you've taken numerous parking lot based courses, maybe a track day would be your next level for improvement.
    Indeed they do and this was obviously my point, although I was more thinking track-taught skills translate to highway skills as opposed to street skills.

    Hard to get too badly injured in a parking lot but it sure can happen overcooking a curve at highway speeds. Agree it's a matter of preference but I'd vote for having fun in curves as opposed to slowing down and wheelbarrowing around them. And, I vote for having fun on roads/highways as opposed to streets. You, too, I know. We both live where highways have curves.
    Kent Christensen
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