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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-01-2001, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 10
Question

Ok, I wanted to get into riding this year, but fate seems to have other plans =P I was not going to ride until I have taken a MSF class - 1 because I really need it, and 2 because I would feel safer on the bike. However, all the places around me (DC metro area) are booked until early fall! So, I see two options here. 1: to wait until the fall and take the class. Then not actually start riding until next year. OR, I can go to the DMV and take the test and limit my riding to parking lots and quiet roads while under the assistance of my friend that does ride. He has a lot of experience (years upon years, racing, etc) but I just feel like I need that MSF class. I really wanted to ride this summer but I would rather wait a year if I have to for safety sake.

I have some experience, but that was dirt bikes and about 10+ years ago.

What do you guys think?

-Jet
Jetsam is offline  
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-01-2001, 04:24 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 182
Hey man,
I really suggest that you take the MSF class. I took it and it did wonders for me. It helped me feel more confident on the bike and not sorry jumpy. On the other hand, it would not hurt that much if you just rode in parking lots and what not... You are not going to become an expert right after the class. Just like everything else in life, experience is where you actually learn. The more you ride, the more you become better. So the decision is really up to you, just depends how comfortable you feel on a bike at this moment. If you are a little weary, then wait for the class, but if you feel pretty good, then just tool around and enjoy, but make sure you limit it to that. If that is your decision, make sure your friend helps you with the basics, starting, stopping, cornering, evasive manuevers.
smitty ZX-9R is offline  
post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2001, 08:03 AM
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 1,801
I would suggest taking the MSF as well.
However, if you do keep it to parking lots and short rides go ahead and have your friend teach you the basics. When the fall comes be sure that you are signed up for the 2nd level of rider course. The first class will teach you basics (starting, stopping, friction zones, etc.) The second level adds to that.
VYPIR is offline  
 
post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2001, 09:42 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 14
There is nothing wrong with having someone teach you to ride outside of the MSF class, but the problem is the training bike.

Most MSF bikes are smaller, 250-350 cc, than what people normally ride. Don't try to learn on a bike that is too big for you. I would suggest a 500cc bike - Ninja 500, GS500 - preferably used !

IMHO, I feel that I can do a better (or as good) teaching job than the MSF classes, because I can pace myself to the student. It's tough to learn a skill in a short period of time (one or two weekends). You need to let the brain develop those new neuron pathways over time - weeks.

I usually give half-a-dozen 2-hour lessons in a parking lot. Then, another 3-4 lessons on the street before their license test. I feel that I can go over more of the finer points in a one-on-one training session. At the end of 4-6 weeks, they are usually impressively proficient: smooth clutch, counter-steering, down-shifting, lane placement, etc.
softrider is offline  
post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2001, 10:37 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 702
You guys are a lot nicer than the other BOARD!

JetSam...Yeah take the course, I'm getting ready to buy an R6 and I'm taking my course this weekend. Now I won't have my bike for another 2 weeks, cause I'm waiting on some money. I know this course is going to help. I've never driven a bike before at all, and I'm planning on doing what you say. Your probably like me, you want to ride because you think you will enjoy it, and you don't want to act stupid, you just want to ride around and look good.


Everyone....You should have seen the way I was flamed on the other board about buying my bike, they were much harsher than ya'll



Off the subject..
This is a reference to the other Message Board:
Someone had the nerve to call me a POSER, I'm like never have been, never will be. I guess to him anyone that buys a bike that has never owned one before is a poser. So I'm like, if I'm driving my Toyota Tercel and I make $65K a year, dang it if I want to buy the BIG BMW 740iL I will! hehe... I'll just take excellent care of it. I hope ya'll see my point.
minfinger is offline  
post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2001, 03:46 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 5,474
Welcome and I will add the experience of my return to riding and it was alot longer time than you. I had not ridden more than 3 or 4 times in 20 years. I purchased my '96 Honda VFR and put in 4200 miles before I was able to get into the MSF course. I had read about riding techniques and followed racing for about 4 years prior to getting back on. It was not as difficult as I thought it would be. It is an ongoing learning process though. I already knew all of the stuff taught in MSF because of my reading but it was still a fun course. I do have one advantage in that I live outside of any major cities so it is easy to find fairly safe roads to ride on.

Good luck and I'm sure you will do well. It shows some serious forethought just by asking the question.
RCjohn is offline  
post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2001, 08:40 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 28
Exclamation You can walk in to the MSF course

Jetsam, I live in the DC area also... I took the MSF course last year, but when I tried to register in the spring I was told that the course was booked full until next (this) year!

But, I slipped into a class on standby. Most of the locations have a wait list before the start of each class- if a registered student does not show up within 15 minutes from the start of the first class, the standby is given the spot... No-shows are pretty common, so the instructors are happy to let you in.

Get there early though, I went to NVCC an hour early and was fourth on the list (didn't get into that one). I eventually drove to Germanna (about 40 min south on I95) and got right into a class.

Good Luck, look me up for a ride when you're up on two wheels...
jtensuan is offline  
post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2001, 04:25 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 14
For MSF classes in Chicago, they have a lottery for all the stand-by/walk-in that show up. It does not matter how early you get there.

There is a difference between stand-by and walk-in. A stand-by is someone who has officially pre-registered and paid for that day, but does not have a spot. A walk-in just shows up.

Stand-by get preference. If there are more stand-bys than open spots, there is a lottery. Same thing then happens for walk-ins.

A friend of mine just got in last weekend on stand-by. A 12 person class had 3 stand-bys (15 total registered). 5 did not show-up or were late (a lot for this early in season). The 3 stand-bys get in. They have a lottery for the remaining 2 slots from the 20 walk-ins that showed up.

12 people stay for the class and 18 go home and try again another day ! Around here you need to find another way: register in southern Illinois or have a friend teach you.
softrider is offline  
post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2001, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 10
Talking Gracias

Thanks for all the info. I just found another guy in our company that rides (cbr 600)... i always saw it in the parking lot and wonder who's it was.. now i know! he said to try calling on thursdays to try to get spots that opened up when people called and cancelled.

maybe i will get my class m from the dmv and just take it slow till i take my class in the fall (or whenever).. then take it slow still =)

thanks again for the info!
-Jetsam
Jetsam is offline  
post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2001, 07:28 AM
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 1,801
Re: You guys are a lot nicer than the other BOARD!

Quote:
Originally posted by minfinger
Everyone....You should have seen the way I was flamed on the other board about buying my bike, they were much harsher than ya'll

Off the subject..
This is a reference to the other Message Board:
Someone had the nerve to call me a POSER, I'm like never have been, never will be. I guess to him anyone that buys a bike that has never owned one before is a poser. So I'm like, if I'm driving my Toyota Tercel and I make $65K a year, dang it if I want to buy the BIG BMW 740iL I will! hehe... I'll just take excellent care of it. I hope ya'll see my point.
You POSER, SQUID, what are you thinking start on a an R6 you so crazy man...... I'm just joking around

Starting off on a bigger bike depends on the rider. I started on a 250cc bike. Knowing myself, if I had started on a 600 it would have been nasty. I have met some that are very laid back and would be fine with a 1300cc to start. So it all depends on the person operating the machine.

As far as learning it might be good to have something that can take some scratches well. More than likely you will drop it.
VYPIR is offline  
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