Getting Started–First Steps
June 23, 2009 at 1:46 pm #3049Capt CrashParticipant
So, you want to ride a motorcycle. First thing you should do is take the MSF. Why? To see if you really DO want to ride a bike. You’d be surprised how many people buy a bike, don’t enjoy it and end up selling it.
Here’s the Dealio:
Be Safe!June 23, 2009 at 2:24 pm #20063nok610Participant
I’ve never ridden a motorcycle in my life and I 100% agree with taking the MSF as the #1 first step to get into riding. Not only do they teach riding basics but the safety lessons they provide are great. You won’t learn bad habits that other experienced riders will pass on to you and they will help you every step of the way.
But not everyone seems to feel that way after taking the course. From the facial expressions of one of the other rookie rider’s, you can tell he felt a little discouraged by the end of the course and maybe saved himself a lot of money at the end. He walked into the class on day 1 ready to buy a bike, but at the end, I don’t think he has any motivation to pick up a bike. The instructors stated that a lot of people would walk out during lunch breaks and never come back because they realize it’s not for them at all (usually the U-turn box exercise). This happens a lot, but one can’t look at it as a waste of time and money. All experiences, whether good or bad, is always a life lesson that you can always walk away learning something. Without the MSF course, a lot of people would risk their lives and others by trying to ride a Hayabusa without any prior experience. Using the Hayabusa as an example, since a non-rider actually walked up to one of the instructors during our session and asked if the instructor could ride his brand new Hayabusa back to his house since he was absolutely terrified. He never rode a bike in his life and he went out to purchase a freakin’ 1300CC bike! He actually ended up signing up for the course that day which he probably should’ve done in the first place.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to like riding after taking the course being that it’s definitely more mental than physical when riding, but it actually made me realize how much I do want to ride. Even if I had decided not to pursue riding after completing the course, at least I would have walked away knowing that I tried, I still learned a lot of safety tips that could be applied while driving a car (even a bicycle), and the fact that I had a chance to feel what it feels like without having to take a risk it all on my own was comforting.June 23, 2009 at 7:35 pm #20088bigguybbrParticipant
I always tell people to take the class and really think about if riding is for them so they don’t end up like the woman at my work who sold her 2008 Yamaha FZ6 with only 74 miles on it…June 23, 2009 at 7:55 pm #20092nok610Participant
I guess some people just get bit by the bug and can’t wait to try it. Maybe they think it’s like riding a bicycle with a motor… meh.June 24, 2009 at 3:58 am #20108owlieParticipant
All I know is that I have seen one too many beginner bikes on craig’s list with just a few hundred miles on them… I’ll take the course and then decide if I want to drop the money on bike, insurance, gear…June 24, 2009 at 12:47 pm #20115CBBaronParticipant
I am thinking of taking the MSF course to get familiar with motorcycles and determine if I have any interest. Do I need to buy any gear besides a helmet to take the class? The description of required gear sounds like jeans, hiking boots and a long sleeve shirt or jacket. Is this sufficient for the class or should I spend some money on inexpensive cycling boots and jacket?
I probably will not be buying a bike right away as I want to take the class first and classes are booked into the fall, giving limited riding time before our long winters.
CraigJune 24, 2009 at 12:57 pm #20116Clay DowlingParticipant
Limit yourself to the helmet now. You won’t go over 30mph on the course, and the listed gear will protect you in that situation. Confirmed in my class, where one student did indeed make an unplanned dismount. No injury, and after a quick discussion with the instructor was back on the bike and graduated.June 24, 2009 at 1:12 pm #20118bigguybbrParticipant
At my course location lots of helmets were available to use for free, all you needed was a long sleeve shirt or jacket, footwear that covers your ankles, and a pair of gloves. I’d check with the course requirements where you live.June 24, 2009 at 2:10 pm #20122CBBaronParticipant
The website for the course says there are a limited number of loaner helmets available. However I would feel much better having my own helmet. Given that decent full face helmets appear to be available for under $100, I’ll probably pick one up.
CraigJune 24, 2009 at 2:22 pm #20123ranetteParticipant
At my course plenty of helmets were available. The only stipulation was that you needed to wear a head covering for sanitary purposes, and skinny white guys in dorags do not make a pretty picture.
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