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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 5/5/2005 10:28 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
First off, if you took the MSF course (old or new format), good for you for admitting there is more to learn than just twisting the right grip and aiming. What are some things to do next though?
1) Practice, practice, practice, then practice again, oh uh, practice some more. Next time out practice again.
2) Keep yourself open to learning, always, every ride is a learning experience, even for me after 33 years of street riding. If you ever feel like you know it all, quit riding or become a MSF instructor and we'll set you on a new course of learning.
3) Take up dirt riding. This is THE most fun way to learn what a motorcycle naturally does when the traction is constantly varying. I have gone back to dirt riding after 33 on the street and loving it. So much to learn! And many of the skills of dirt bike balance and traction management directly apply to street riding. I can always tell when a new MSF student has some dirt riding experience.
4) Read everything you can get your mits on about riding strategy. Some excellant books:
                          Motorcycling Excellance
                          Proficient Motorcycling
                          Proficient Motorcycling 2
All written by David Hough, and are THE best books about street/road riding strategies and skills. Dave covers everything you may think of and all the stuff you'll probably never think of. Great gift ideas!!! By the way, Dave is also a long time rider, MSF instructor and one of those guys that tries to ride all year round (not in CA either)
5) Take an advanced riding course, like one on the specialty riding courses held on closed courses.
6) Take a race riding class, no kidding, This will provide you loads of input on what you and your bike are doing.
7) Join a riding club, not one that rides to a bar and wastes a great riding day away. A riding club gives you the opportunity to learn from others, and it gives you another reason, and someone, to ride with.
8) BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF ABOUT YOUR RIDING. Ride for you and you alone, be greedy about it. Don't let anyone else force you into something you're not capable of doing.
9) When it doesn't feel right, don't do it. That includes riding, if your head isn't in the game, or your gut tells you this isn't a time for you to be riding, don't do it. See #8 if in doubt.
10) ENJOY IT OVER AND OVER AND OVER. TREAT RIDING AS SPECIAL AS IT IS, RESPECT IT AND ENJOY IT.
      After 33 years of riding it just never gets old, and I hope I never grow out of it. If I do, bury me.
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GeoffG
Instant Classic



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   Posted 5/6/2005 7:55 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Good post, Andy. A basic riding course is important, but it is still just the starting point...

Andy VH said...
I can always tell when a new MSF student has some dirt riding experience.

Yeah, I had a 16 year old student once with far better bike handling skills than I had--he'd been racing motocross since he was six or something. The only reason he was taking the course I taught (basic riding, range only) was to qualify for the "traffic" course, which his mother demanded he take before getting his license. My main concern was to keep this kid from getting too bored--but there WERE a few things I was able to teach him, specific to riding on asphalt as opposed to dirt...
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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 5/6/2005 2:08 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

Thanks Geoff, and good for you for getting involved and sharing your knowledge with others. But your comment matches with my experience that even though they might have good dirt skills, the on-street knowledge given by someone in a mentor position still has a lot to offer. The hazards on the street are FAR different and worse than the one in the dirt.

If the MSF sites in your area are anything like ours, they need instructors too.

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Wilkie
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   Posted 5/6/2005 6:10 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Good advice. It's amazing how one day it just doesn't feel comfortable and others everything clicks. Of course, I still only have a total of 1,000+ miles under my belt, er, butt, so maybe the differences from day to day are a bit exaggerated...

Finally found time today while waiting for a friend to ride over to practice quick stops. Started by accelerating to 10 mph then hitting the brakes and downshifting; then 15 mph, then 20 mph. Unfortunately, that's when my friend rode up. Just this 10 minutes of practice did me well later in the day when a stop light changed unexpectedly...

My other little accomplishment today was starting from an uphill position by keeping right foot on rear brake and then taking off smoothly but hitting the friction zone, rolling on the throttle and taking foot off the brake. Small thing really, and something I probably won't even think about in six months, but had flashbacks to leave to drive a car at 16 and having to hold the car on the hill with the clutch. Of course, with the technology of today, you'd burn out your clutch if you did that.

Didn't mean to write a "Newie" post at "Motorcycle Safety," but just want to reiterate the necessary of practice, practice, practice as Andy VH suggested. I'm continually convinced that the best way to ride safely is to accurately and with painful honesty assess your skills and never ride beyond them


Harwinton, CT
------------------
'99 Triumph Legend 
 

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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 5/7/2005 8:57 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Way to go Wilkie. Keep that attitude and you'll enjoy a long life of riding. Don't hesitate to input as a "newbie", that's one reason I made this post. The newbie responses are  just as important as the experienced ones. That's the benefit of a forum like this, we all get the chance to talk. The skills do improve with time and practice, I have about 250,000 miles under me from all the bikes I've owned, and I'm still learning, and I still analyze my skills to see where I can improve. Keep it up!
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sonicgt
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   Posted 6/23/2006 8:46 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
STARTED MY MSF COURSE LAST NIGHT , I THINK IT'S GOING TO FUN AS WELL AS INFORMATIVE!!burger


STILL RACING IN SPIRIT!!!!!!

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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 7/3/2006 8:21 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Good luck to you. Keep and open mind and a controlled ego going through the class and you'll be surprised by what you pick up. The first day can be, well, frustrating at times, especially if you have ridden before. But hang in there, because the second day really counts. If you have some riding experience, ask the instructors to critique you a bit harder and more. If you stay receptive to their input, admit that you have a lot to learn, you'll get even more form the class and the instructors wil have a better time too. I know, I've done it a bunch of times.
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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 1/14/2007 3:16 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I just correct this sticky in that the book, Motorcycling Excellance, was not written by David Hough. It is in fact a publication of the MSF and is derived from the basis of the study guides for the MSF RSS, MSF BRC and MSF ERC programs. However, the book builds considerably on the data covered in the MSF handbooks you would have received in taking any of the MSF classes.


Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Get MSF trained, check out: http://www.msf-usa.org

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shadowulf
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   Posted 1/23/2007 11:45 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Funny you should mention dirt experiance, trying to break my "bad" dirt habits was the hardest part of the msf-brc for me.
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Barbs H-D
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   Posted 11/11/2007 12:33 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
take the ERC
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Rebel Rider
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   Posted 8/27/2008 2:25 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I took the MSF here in portland oregon, I didn't pass the class I missed passing by like 4 points. I can say I learned a lot from the class, although sometimes it was like speaking a different langue **they want us to do "what", the class did not have time to spend with student who may needed more time. I wish there was a class that you could go to that offered more time with student. Meaning I got confused with the instructor wanted but went through the motions. I understand better now as I have read more (profiecent riding by David Hugh)and applied what they where talking about in class. I know I still am learning an I am a new rider posting here so other new riders can read and perhaps you experience riders can understand.
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MichaelW
The Old Bald Fat Guy



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   Posted 5/3/2009 6:48 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
After taking my MSF class upon returning to 2 wheels after 2 decades in a cage (sometimes literally, off road rock crawling) I will X100 on the recommendation. Take the course.

After being back on the road I wanted to develop beyond the basics. I purchased Ride Like a Pro DVD and have been doing the practice lessons on a regular basis. I still keep learning and my slow speed skills and more importantly confidence is through the roof. That was my next step and it worked out really well for me.


_________________________________
MichaelW
The Old Bald Fat Guy


Read about the Ride
This space for lease.
_________________________________

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