Motorcycle safety riding course - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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Motorcycle safety riding course

How many people have taken a state or local Motorcycle Safety Riding Course?

I took one several years ago here in Illinois and it was fantastic. Took the same course at the end of last year and it was so bad when the other people in the class found out I owned and rode a motorcycle they were asking me questions! Yikes! I literally would have learned as much from reading their book. Caveat here, I have been involved in the teaching world for 30 years, so it does aggravate me when presenters / teachers are not trying at all. Such was the case here. At least TRY to teach! OK, rant mode off.

I am signing up for a Advanced Rider Course (ARC) class again this year. I say again because I signed up twice last year and both times class was cancelled due to not meeting minimum numbers to have a class.

I am also looking for a track day this year for beginners just to get some high speed cornering experience.

I own what I consider the best motorcycle book on the planet ever written, David Hough's "Proficient Motorcycling" which is available on Amazon.com as a new but also used book for a really good price.

Ideas, thoughts, criticisms, your experience??

Enjoy.

BEST,
ANDY

"ALWAYS IN QUESTION, NEVER IN DOUBT".
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyversystheworld View Post
How many people have taken a state or local Motorcycle Safety Riding Course?

I took one several years ago here in Illinois and it was fantastic. Took the same course at the end of last year and it was so bad when the other people in the class found out I owned and rode a motorcycle they were asking me questions! Yikes! I literally would have learned as much from reading their book. Caveat here, I have been involved in the teaching world for 30 years, so it does aggravate me when presenters / teachers are not trying at all. Such was the case here. At least TRY to teach! OK, rant mode off.

I am signing up for a Advanced Rider Course (ARC) class again this year. I say again because I signed up twice last year and both times class was cancelled due to not meeting minimum numbers to have a class.

I am also looking for a track day this year for beginners just to get some high speed cornering experience.

I own what I consider the best motorcycle book on the planet ever written, David Hough's "Proficient Motorcycling" which is available on Amazon.com as a new but also used book for a really good price.

Ideas, thoughts, criticisms, your experience??

Enjoy.

I took a motorcycle safety course in December 2016 at a community college in Southern Ca. The class was held over two days. Half day of classroom and half day of riding. I wouldn't ride a motorcycle without taking this type of course. There were two instructors and the class was limited to 8 riders. The instructors were very good and patient. Not everyone in the class passed the riding portion. They could have just taken everyone's money and let everyone pass.

This class waived the DMV riding portion, still had to take the written. I rode around on a Honda NC700x for about 6 weeks then bought a 2017 V1k. I rode the V1k down to a local DMV and ran myself through the riding course and didn't have any problems. I don't think I would have passed without taking this course.

I haven't been riding long. The best advice I can give is take the course, wear the proper gear, and ride within your ability. Just when you think your proficient, ride some more.

Stay safe out there folks!
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 09:11 AM
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Did a 4 hr advanced rider course here in PHX, put on by Team AZ (MSF training structure) and enjoyed it. Had 2 VG instructors, about 95% on-bike drills with individual coaching with each exercise as required. It's all done on the parking lot set up for MC training, no street. I learned some things but was not pushed very much in terms of what I expected 'advanced' to be, though a couple very new riders seemed to really struggle and learned a lot. I'm a decent rider, no racing or MX experience but lots of road time and awareness of risks and surroundings - which is primarily what the course is about. Anticipating hazards, maintaining a 'safe zone' and how to deal with common "oh ****e" moments like a decreasing radius turn or swerving out of the way. I would say it's really for people recently licensed looking to go beyond the basic new rider course.

There is another step in the training structure at TEAM AZ (no affiliation at all) called 'total control' and is another 2 levels of full-day training. I'm not sure if it's on a track or not, but geared towards high performance riding.

Advanced course was $150 and I would recommend it to newer or rusty riders. If you're a relatively well skilled rider, I would probably skip over that and go to the total control series. The only prerequisite is you've ridden 3,000+ miles in the last 12 months, unlike advanced - you just need a bike and a license.

Sadly, no ADV training here in PHX.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 09:51 AM
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When I got back into riding, I needed the endorsement on my license. So rather than dealing with the DMV, I chose the intermediate riding course from Team Oregon. This allowed me to bypass the DMV (other than the written and all the fees). Since I had past experience, the intermediate course was just right. Half day in class and the afternoon riding. I rode one of their 175cc bikes because mine was down for maintenance. The other benefit for taking the course was it knocked a few bucks off of my insurance premium.

Now that I've logged several thousand miles I've been considering taking the advanced course. If nothing else, its good to put yourself through refresher training once in a while to help remember basics and correct all the bad habits that comes with familiarity and complacency.

Ed

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 07:45 AM
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It wasn't around when I started riding.

I did take the advanced rider course a few times on different bikes. I used to be able to take it for free through work, but that program stopped. The rider course gets you a discount on insurance and ROK was offering $50 gift cards to those who just completed the course. Win-win for me.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 11:39 AM
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I remember the safety course when I was young

" Don't hit anything harder than your head, Got it"

Now go ride..
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:36 PM
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Andy...Versys (2009) rider in Chicago here. I took the basic course at Harper College last spring and thought the instructors were very good. I would like to take the advanced course this spring. Where are you looking at taking it? Harper currently has 100 classes posted at locations throughout the Chicago area but they are only the basic and intermediate. If you know of an advanced offering somewhere nearby I'll register to help get enrollment up.
Gordon
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Greetings Buildbigboats,

I will keep you informed. All MSF classes are now taught through Harper College. I was on their website and a few Beginner and a few Intermediate classes are listed. I will contact them and see if or when they will offer Advanced Rider Courses. I live in the Grayslake area so going to College of Lake County would be natural, they also teach many and multiple classes there as well. Maybe I will start a separate thread to gain some more interest. There has to be at least....something like 8 people to make up a class. Thanks for the inquiry!

ANYONE IN THE NORTHERN ILLINOIS AREA THAT WANTS TO TAKE AN ADVANCED RIDER COURSE LET ME KNOW. WE MAY ACTUALLY HAVE A CLASS THIS YEAR!!!

BEST,
ANDY

"ALWAYS IN QUESTION, NEVER IN DOUBT".

Last edited by andyversystheworld; 02-15-2017 at 06:37 PM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:09 PM
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Andy,
Tried to PM you with my contact info but....because I only have 11 posts I cannot. Need 15. If you PM me maybe I can reply
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 05:50 PM
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I live in Southern Illinois and we have a free motorcycle courses offered from beginner to advanced. I took the beginner course about 25 years ago, and the advanced course about 5 years ago. I will say the instructor for the advanced course was good. I don't remember much about the beginner class. However, I just saw a Facebook post recently that they are looking for instructors. So maybe move to the southern part of the state and teach some classes. I can imagine that if it's funded in any way by the state, then it's going to **** just like everything else here. I considered signing up to go through the instructor certification, but I just don't have the free time with my current job.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 06:00 PM
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When I was active duty Navy every time we transferred to a different command an updated motorcycle safety class was required. In my 24 year career I took 4 or 5 advanced MSF courses. Each one was with a different bike and all were "interesting". The most interesting was with a 74' Norton 850 Commando. A heavy bike with lots of grunt..............
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 06:25 PM
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I teach with Team Oregon Motorcycle Safety. One of the points I make with every student is "Don't make this your first, and last motorcycle safety class". In other words, we get rusty and having a professional evaluate your skills, then coach you on what to do to improve is essential for increasing your safety and enjoyment on your motorcycle. Simple.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 11:30 AM
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I'll add my two cents for what it's worth. Years ago I was an MSF instructor (while on active duty in the USAF) and thought the basic course was worthy of attending; however, over the years the focus seems to have changed in the MSF and now you find "rider coaches" rather than instructors. Unfortunately, demands of the USAF didn't allow me to continue as an MSF instructor after being reassigned, and after some time away from the program I found I wasn't comfortable with the program alterations. Perhaps I was influenced by my long time friend who was an instructor, a chief instructor, and ultimately one who educated the chief instructors; he left the ranks for the same reasons.

Both my wife and I took the MSF Basic Rider's Course as a refresher (and to avoid the state DMV fiasco) about ten years ago, after a few years away from two wheels, and thought it was good but the end result is that it doesn't go much beyond teaching a new rider how to maneuver slowly in a parking lot without having to intermingle with traffic, pedestrians, stray animals, road work crews, and such.

Are rider courses worth the expenditure of time and money? All in all, I imagine they are though successfully completing one is only the beginning of a long and safe riding career. Perhaps it can be compared with completing military basic training and then immediately being transferred to a combat zone. Now the fun begins!

Arion

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 02:45 PM
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...I am signing up for a Advanced Rider Course (ARC) class again this year. I say again because I signed up twice last year and both times class was cancelled due to not meeting minimum numbers to have a class....
Quote:
Originally Posted by PHX_Joe View Post
Did a 4 hr advanced rider course here in PHX, put on by Team AZ (MSF training structure) and enjoyed it...There is another step in the training structure at TEAM AZ (no affiliation at all) called 'total control' and is another 2 levels of full-day training. I'm not sure if it's on a track or not, but geared towards high performance riding...Advanced course was $150....
I took the Advanced Rider Course that Joe mentions (I BELIEVE I took the TOTAL CONTROL course, at Team AZ in Gilbert), and it was VERY helpful. PHX_Joe has followed me on a ride, and he MIGHT have an opinion on whether I got anything out of that course or not....

Ed
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