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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
i dont understand why people always tell new riders to take the msf. yes it may help out to understand things about riding. But u can do the same thing on a wide road with no traffic. aka a nice back road or parking lot. the dmv test is hard but it is like that for a reason (however i seemed to pass it just fine in a rain storm). so people that really cant ride or do not understand throttle and clutch control get weeded out.

In nys the road test is as follows, a right turn, a left turn, another right turn i believe basically various turns. With a couple of stop signs or lights. then they bring you to a wide road where you need to be able to do five full figure 8s with out your feet coming off the pegs.

the msf costs 250 in ny and you practice with 250cc bikes cruisers i believe, therefore when you get your own bike you have to re learn everything since even a 650r behaves and handles much differently then a cruiser type bike.


So here i am wondering how many people dropped there bikes after taking the msf versus taking the dmv road test. post em up!
-not talking about garage tumbles
-not talking about getting hit by a car (unless it was your fault failure to stop in time or something of that nature)
-not talking about prior to either situation
-not talking about 5 mph tumble in a p-lot or from your bike leaning to far moving it and losing your grip.
-----basically anything rider error------

-john
 

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The way I see it and based on my personal experience, the techniques and procedures that you learn at the MSF go way beyond how to learn to control your clutch/throttle.. MSF(motorcycle SAFETY foundation) keyword "safety".. Most first time riders who think they know what to do out on the open road around cars, trucks, people, other bikes.. Actually stumble n burn cuz they dont know how to react to unexpected situations.. That's where the MSF comes into play.. Much of the shit you learn at the course you won't learn on the street unless you go down! Or ride for seasons.. Passing the road test after the course it's over it's a bonus.. I paid 350 here in jersey n it'd been worth every penny... But again that's my opinion.. Ride safe dude
 

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OP have you taken the MSF Rider Course? If not then I understand why you would ask this question.

There are many things you'll learn during the MSF course that non riders will never think about until it's too late.

MSF Course is a training course the DMV is only a test. Apples and oranges.
 

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MSF Course is to properly train you how to ride, then tests you to see if you have learned the lessons they have taught ... DMV Test simply tests your ability to ride.

So, I say do the MSF Course. I enjoyed it very much.
 

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if you don't understand why you should take the MSF course you don't understand anything about a motorcycle and probably shouldn't ride...or you just really need to take the course to understand why so PLEASE take it
 

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To answer your question, i'm new to motorcycles, took the MSF course in May (on a 250cc cruiser), bought a new ZX6R, and have not dropped my bike (I've only ridden 300 miles). I'm still cautious, and having taken the course, I know what to look out for to help prevent loss of control.
 

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to me your description of the MSF course is just to basically bypass the DMV test to get your license. I think of the MSF course as a investment in your personal safety on 2 wheels through the instruction of experience individuals and a well thought out class. Been riding 2 months and 3k miles with no drop and dont regret the $ spent for the MSF course one bit.
 

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1fstavant, some people out there have never been on a bike before. A few $$ for the class, a reasonably priced helmet, a pair of gloves, and good boots are a lot cheaper than dropping your own brand new bike on your own expensive insurance, just to find out that you picked the WRONG hobby!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ninja thats a good point, so i guess its good if you dont have a bike to practice with and or in order to decide whether or not riding a motorcycle it for you.
To king the only reason i believe that is because everyone i know or who i have talked to that want to take that course is to bypass the road test, since the road test is alot harder to pass than taking that course.
Nassty i have no reason to take the msf and am not new to riding in any shape or form, have ridden in rain, snow, clear blue skies. i put roughly 300-500 miles a wk on my bikes.

now i may have never taken the course but after watching multiple videos that show the highlights of this course, it still doesnt seem like a better idea then finding a place to practice and passing the road test. lets put it this way, the course is 2 days or 3 days long, so maybe 20 hrs of hands on practice. i put 2000+ miles on my first bike practicing in order to be able to pass the road test, taking slow speed turns, practicing u turns, practicing figure 8s, riding with others in order to get used to other people and traffic and watching how people behave around you. but to each his own i guess....
 

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Here's the difference i've seen just from reading in this forum...

Someone who didn't take the MSF: "I had to lay my bike down to avoid hitting a car last night."

Someone who took the course: "An idiot pulled out in front of me, but I was able to stop in time", or "swerve around him".

Now, you may be a natural and have had a lot of seat time, but how are you at performing quick stops, scanning the road 2, 4, and 12 seconds ahead, stopping in a turn, dealing with a patch of sand, oil, our a 2x4 in the road?

Again, maybe you're a natural but I would recommend the course to any new rider. It would probably seem very basic to you if you went to take it now, but I bet you would still learn something.

P.S. Statistics show that people who take the course are 90% less likely to get into an accident.

To each their own though. Ride safe and Happy 4th!
 

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1fstafant, I believe you're confused.

First, you say that you can go practice in a parking lot and learn the same stuff, true. My issue, $250 for very experienced trainers, someone elses bike and a true safety course doesn't sound worth it? Plus, you get your license and are probably more prepared than just doing some turns and figure eights for a test. What did that parking lot teach you about object avoidance and the proper technique to do so? counter lean for tight, slow turns? clutch control? Like you said, some people who took the test didn't even know clutch control.

Then, you go on to say that people drop their bike after getting out of MSF because they learn on a 250 and they have a 650, ok. My issue, you're saying that people should learn how to ride in a parking lot on their 650 because learning on a 250 is pointless when they return to the 650. That makes no sense. If you apply the basic principles, learned in the course, it's not a hard switch. It doesn't mean they have to relearn to ride, a lot of people start on a 250 and upgrade. I personally would rather learn on a bike that is more forgiveable than not and it's someone elses bike that you don't have to pay for. :cheers:

I'm not saying learning in a parking lot is a bad idea, it's where I learned to ride. I also took an MSF course, to get my license, because they teach you things about riding on the road, on your bike, safely. There are no cagers in either parking lot but they teach you about it in the class...knowledge is good. I wish I would have taken the course before I "taught myself", it would have meant less money down the drain, other than the $250 for the course.

I hope this helps you understand why people refer NEW riders to the MSF course.

i dont understand why people always tell new riders to take the msf. yes it may help out to understand things about riding. But u can do the same thing on a wide road with no traffic. aka a nice back road or parking lot. the dmv test is hard but it is like that for a reason (however i seemed to pass it just fine in a rain storm). so people that really cant ride or do not understand throttle and clutch control get weeded out.

In nys the road test is as follows, a right turn, a left turn, another right turn i believe basically various turns. With a couple of stop signs or lights. then they bring you to a wide road where you need to be able to do five full figure 8s with out your feet coming off the pegs.

the msf costs 250 in ny and you practice with 250cc bikes cruisers i believe, therefore when you get your own bike you have to re learn everything since even a 650r behaves and handles much differently then a cruiser type bike.


So here i am wondering how many people dropped there bikes after taking the msf versus taking the dmv road test. post em up!
-not talking about garage tumbles
-not talking about getting hit by a car (unless it was your fault failure to stop in time or something of that nature)
-not talking about prior to either situation
-not talking about 5 mph tumble in a p-lot or from your bike leaning to far moving it and losing your grip.
-----basically anything rider error------

-john
 

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In my opinion, there is no better start than the MSF classes. The course only requires that people can ride a BICYLE! C'mon! How easy is that! I had never been on a motorcycle before, and my bicylce skills were not all that fresh. They put us on Buell Blasts (500cc) at 8am, and by 11am they had us swerving around the cones like maniacs! 2000 miles on a parking lot/road by yourself for the license? That's the biggest waste of (riding) time EVER! Not to mention how much of your own gas money you blew with that! This alone would have paid for the class! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
well in all honesty any riding time is worth the gas even if its just a 5 mile blast down to get some smokes from the store. and that 2k was not just doing figure 8s, it was primarily taking this little road less than 2 minutes from my house, that featured a nice long straight, a couple tight technical turns, some smooth long twists and a nice wide spot to practice my u-turns and 8s. however those miles also included blasts to other spots when riding with friends.

i understand and like the fact its not your bike so if you do drop it you dont end up paying for it. that is a great plus, but in reality when you learn something on paper it doesn't always translate into what you do in reality. IE mid turn wet spot, or mid turn plank of wood that you didn't expect (issue with learning in a wide open plot is you can see this all coming and plan for it). so what i was trying to imply is that yes you do "learn" things in a classroom setting with experienced people. but do they input those variables into the course when you are actually riding(my question mark button stopped working). i guess my issue like ive stated is soo many people use this to just get a quick license then go out and ride with out putting in the amount of real seat time needed. where as reading info on sites like this and motorcycle books,handbooks then going out and getting the seat time to where you can pass the test seems like the more sensible idea.

you caught me on the bike thing in a way. yes the same principles apply in the realm of riding, how ever throttle, position, turning radius all change based on the different types of bike you ride. a ninjette will turn in a very tight spot, and wont need a large amount of bp to get it to do a u turn. a 6r throttle and clutch are much more touchy, brakes are really touchy, turning radius isnt as tight and trying to make slow speed turns can be a big switch coming from a smaller bike. now if you practice on a ninjette for the course then switch to a harley type bike there is a huge difference in everything, from position, to gearing, to throttle, to torque, to turning radius. so what i was saying is for me it seems easier to learn on the bike you will be using everyday and get comfortable on that bike so when you are on the road and need to do some quick stops or adjust for debris in the road you know how your bike will react, not what a ninjette or enduro will do. IE you took the msf now your set to ride all day, you have a ss bike. your going down the street and a car pulls out, reaction pull the front brake, how much, well with the ninjette i could pull x far, the 6r if you go x far could result in the front locking and washing or you going end over end. i would rather learn on the bike that i will use everyday then learn on another bike that i will never ride again
 

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Most people don't do 2,000 miles before they take their test. They get taught by "Uncle Bob" (Who rode 20 years ago) or theirself and take the test and if they fail, work on what they couldn't do, until they pass. So taking the MSF course and then getting on the road at least gives you some tools to succeed while gaining the experience on the road. I'd be willing to say that everything they teach in the MSF course applies to the road. It's not like taking your drivers license test when they ask you "if there is a blind man on the corner, what do you do?"

I still take MSF courses, Experienced and Sportbike. I'll be taking an ADAC training course before the end of the season; ADAC is the German version of AAA. This course is a little more "real world" than most. They want you to do things like locking up your brakes, rain or shine, so you know how to handle it. It takes the knowledge you have and puts it to the test; training is great for any level of rider.

well in all honesty any riding time is worth the gas even if its just a 5 mile blast down to get some smokes from the store. and that 2k was not just doing figure 8s, it was primarily taking this little road less than 2 minutes from my house, that featured a nice long straight, a couple tight technical turns, some smooth long twists and a nice wide spot to practice my u-turns and 8s. however those miles also included blasts to other spots when riding with friends.

i understand and like the fact its not your bike so if you do drop it you dont end up paying for it. that is a great plus, but in reality when you learn something on paper it doesn't always translate into what you do in reality. IE mid turn wet spot, or mid turn plank of wood that you didn't expect (issue with learning in a wide open plot is you can see this all coming and plan for it). so what i was trying to imply is that yes you do "learn" things in a classroom setting with experienced people. but do they input those variables into the course when you are actually riding(my question mark button stopped working). i guess my issue like ive stated is soo many people use this to just get a quick license then go out and ride with out putting in the amount of real seat time needed. where as reading info on sites like this and motorcycle books,handbooks then going out and getting the seat time to where you can pass the test seems like the more sensible idea.
 

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Well the only way for you to get an answer for your own question is to take the course and see what the difference really is... 100% of the riders who answered to this post so far, agreed that taking the MSF is the way to go.. I can understand how difficult it would be for an experienced rider to understand why the MSF?! when he/she learned on his own with no problem.. But everybody is different and different methods work for different people.. I took the course with 10 different guys. 4 of them were experienced riders who never took the course. At the end of the day they were actually glad they finally took the course cuz even after years of experience there was still room for improvement in their riding skills.. Take the course experience why it makes a difference in a riders foundation and then you'll have an answer to your question...
Ride Safe Dude.. Happy 4th
 

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i put 2000+ miles on my first bike practicing in order to be able to pass the road test, taking slow speed turns, practicing u turns, practicing figure 8s, riding with others in order to get used to other people and traffic and watching how people behave around you. but to each his own i guess....
My BS meter just hit full tilt.
 

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when you learn something on paper it doesn't always translate into what you do in reality. IE mid turn wet spot, or mid turn plank of wood that you didn't expect. do they input those variables into the course when you are actually riding.
I didn't make myself clear before, those things ARE taught on the 'course', in the parking lot. There are 2x4's to run over, the quick stops are determined as you're riding in 2nd or 3rd gear around a corner and the instructor throws his arms up (so you don't expect it, to a certain degree). The test times your quick stops so you know you're stopping in time, and not JUST stopping. They measure you're stopping distance and everything. The only one the course may not provide hands on training for is the wet weather scenario, although it rained during my course, so I got to learn all of that as well.

you caught me on the bike thing in a way. yes the same principles apply in the realm of riding, how ever throttle, position, turning radius all change based on the different types of bike you ride. if you practice on a ninjette for the course then switch to a harley type bike there is a huge difference in everything, from position, to gearing, to throttle, to torque, to turning radius. IE you took the msf now your set to ride all day, you have a ss bike. your going down the street and a car pulls out, reaction pull the front brake, how much, well with the ninjette i could pull x far, the 6r if you go x far could result in the front locking and washing or you going end over end. i would rather learn on the bike that i will use everyday then learn on another bike that i will never ride again
The course teaches you about these differences. The idea is not for you to get comfortable with how their bike works and reacts, it is to get you in the mindset so when emergency situation occur, you develop the habit of thinking "ok, i need to do this in this order, in this way". In the quick brake scenario, you're taught to gently squeeze the front brake and press the rear break at the same time, but not hard enough to lock it up. Every bike is going to be different when it comes to braking and it just takes practice, but at least you'll know what to do and you'll be riding safely and following the guidelines to give yourself enough room to react. I'll say this, in two days time, you are not going to get 100% comfortable with the little 250cc bikes and won't know how they will handle in all situations. So, when you're like me and get home to your brand new 600cc bike after the class, there is still a learning curve, but I considered myself WAY ahead of where I was before the course, and I knew I was doing things correctly. I practice quick stops and other emergency techniques as part of my every day riding when there are no other vehicles around. It just gets you in the right mindset, creating the right habits (not uncle Bob's or individual self taught habits).

I'll close with a saying I've always lived by, "don't knock it till you try it". As mentioned earlier, you should take the course at some point and report back on what you think. If you didn't learn anything, then you're a natural, a god, and you should become a course instructor. :D
 
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