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    Thread: Taking my MSF course this weekend...A tad bit nervous.

    1. 04-04-2012 05:01 PM #1
      I don't know why but I am feeling a little nervous about the motorcycle course this weekend. I have been riding with my permit for about 6 months but I decided to take the MSF course to get my license. Any tips? Is it a hard class to pass or am I working myself up for no reason? I have been riding my good friends Sportster up until recently when I finished the restore on my 76 BMW R90/6 and have been riding that since. I am ready to start the class but just a bit nervous since I really do not know what to expect.

    2. Member ANSAracingb's Avatar
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      04-04-2012 05:40 PM #2
      Don't be nervous, the class is a lot of fun!
      The first day is all classroom stuff, then the following two days are riding. The first couple hours of the first day is taught as if you were never on a motorcycle, so if you are familiar with clutch, brakes, etc it is a little boring (but do not try to advance past the instructors--they will not appreciate it).
      I too had been riding on my own for about six months with a permit prior to taking the class, but I loved every minute of it and wouldn't mind taking it again in a few years to brush up on stuff.

      Have fun and above all, follow the rules because they can drop you super quick if you are not paying attention.

      -Bryan

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      04-04-2012 06:15 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by ANSAracingb View Post
      Don't be nervous, the class is a lot of fun!
      The first day is all classroom stuff, then the following two days are riding. The first couple hours of the first day is taught as if you were never on a motorcycle, so if you are familiar with clutch, brakes, etc it is a little boring (but do not try to advance past the instructors--they will not appreciate it).
      x2!

      The course isn't designed to stress you out, so there's nothing to be nervous about. I think it may depend on which State you're taking the course, but I know the one in California is good about easing into it because of the beginners that have never touched a motorcycle before the class (which was me at the time). This was the structure of the class when I took it in 2002:

      Day 1 pm: Classroom - why you ride, fundamentals, how to get on/off a bike, general road rules, etc
      Day 2 am: Course - you literally go through basic steps in the beginning, like getting on/off the bike 4 or 5 times. Then, you get on the bike and walk the bike 50 yards and jump off. Next step is starting the engine. You start it. You stop it. You start it. You stop it. Then you get on the bike, start it, and walk it 50 yards. Get the hint? It's super simple. Before lunch, you do get into riding around a bit, doing figure 8's, straight lines, stopping, shifting to 2nd.
      Day 2 pm: Classroom - More advanced riding techniques, like emergency braking, evasive maneuvers, 90 degree turns.
      Day 3 am: You apply everything you've learned from the classroom portion the day before.
      Day 3 pm: Your riding exam. You'll go through a series of courses, like a figure 8, executing a 90 degree turn, executing an evasive turn or emergency braking, etc.

      It really isn't a difficult class unless you're a super-slow learner. You follow what they say, follow the rules, and you'll be fine. Depending on the weather, you'll want to dress warm, wear boots, and gloves. They provided a helmet and the bike, so no worries if you don't have that stuff yet. Don't forget to have fun. They want you to be successful and pass, so they'll help you if they see that you need help in one area.

      Have fun and Good luck!
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      04-04-2012 06:29 PM #4
      I was nervous too. On the way to my second class, I thought "No way can I ride on the street, that sh1t is scary!" Now I'm zooming around everywhere.

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      04-04-2012 06:31 PM #5
      Don't be nervous, chances are there are people there that may not have ever even ridden before, talk about nervous! Have fun, it is a great course, and let me know if they even mention 'countersteering', I know when I took it they only mentioned press left to go left press right to go right, gave some folks concept that their body weight was making the bike steer.....

      Quote Originally Posted by Lmyamen1 View Post
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      04-04-2012 07:29 PM #6
      I definitely would not be nervous. The class is a lot of fun; at least mine was.

      I would say that while you've been street riding for some time, this may not put you at any kind of advantage. In fact, it may be a disadvantage, in that you may have developed some bad habits.

      I'd still not stress about it, but instead go into it with the mindset that you are learning from scratch, and try your hardest to dispense with any habits that seem contrary to what you are learning.

      I never put a leg over any kind of motorized bike until I was 33 years old, on the MSF range. I passed no problem, as did everyone else in the class. My wife passed the MSF two years later, also having no experience at all on a bike, and having the range days take place during non-stop torrential rain.

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      04-04-2012 07:59 PM #7
      I don't have anything different to add that hasn't already been said, but you'll be fine and have a blast.

      Before the MSF I had only ridden a scooter, so I was worried going in. I wasn't the best in the class, but I was far from the worst. You'll be surprised at how bad some people will be. Like, they have no business being on two wheels bad. To give you an idea though, everyone passed.

      On one of the days we were doing the course, we had a teacher that was what I would imagine to be the closest thing to a drill sergeant I'll ever see. Not exaggerating, the guy was screaming at people, calling us names. It got to the point where it was hard to take him seriously, and he was being serious. He even made one guy leave mid class and another not show up the next day.

      Everyone is nervous, it's ok if you mess up, and you already have some riding under your belt. Use it as an opportunity to improve yourself and break any bad habits you might have developed. And have fun!

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      04-04-2012 10:24 PM #8
      Just be ready to change anything you've learned over the past 6 months. It might not feel 'right' at first, but trust they know what they're telling you

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      04-05-2012 04:42 PM #9
      Use their bikes, too, for the beginner class. You never know when you might drop the bike doing some of the maneuvers, or someone else in the class doing something in a panic and knocking bikes over. The intermediate and advanced classes recommend you using your own bikes.

    10. 04-07-2012 01:06 PM #10
      Last night was the book work and written test, scored 100% on the test. Today has been raining all day but I am learning a lot and having fun riding, we're on lunch right now.

    11. Member turbinepowered's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 02:09 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Lmyamen1 View Post
      Last night was the book work and written test, scored 100% on the test. Today has been raining all day but I am learning a lot and having fun riding, we're on lunch right now.
      It rained both days of my riding portion too, but it was good practice dealing with "adverse" conditions.

      Great showing! Welcome to the 100% written test club.
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      04-07-2012 07:44 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Silly_me View Post
      The e36m3 of the motorcycle forum?



      pic.

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    13. 04-08-2012 02:15 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by kptaylor View Post
      Use their bikes, too, for the beginner class. You never know when you might drop the bike doing some of the maneuvers, or someone else in the class doing something in a panic and knocking bikes over. The intermediate and advanced classes recommend you using your own bikes.
      I was going to ask about this. That is if you are taking a class where you can use their bikes. Generally they have lightweight bikes easy to get around on.

      Here in WV you have to ride a course without putting your foot down. That's far easier on a light bike as opposed to a Harley.

      Either way, don't sweat it. The instructors understand and want you to be ready to get out and ride. IMO you made a good choice by taking the class.

    14. 04-08-2012 07:34 PM #14
      I am not sure what I was worried about that was not hard at all. I listened to the instructors and learned alot. Out of a possible 20 points you can miss I only missed 4 so I passed. I will be getting my license this week!

    15. Member ANSAracingb's Avatar
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      04-08-2012 11:47 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Lmyamen1 View Post
      I am not sure what I was worried about that was not hard at all. I listened to the instructors and learned alot. Out of a possible 20 points you can miss I only missed 4 so I passed. I will be getting my license this week!
      -Bryan

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      04-09-2012 05:12 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by Lmyamen1 View Post
      I am not sure what I was worried about that was not hard at all. I listened to the instructors and learned alot. Out of a possible 20 points you can miss I only missed 4 so I passed. I will be getting my license this week!
      Congratulations! What did you lose points on? Mine were for braking distance, I was trying too hard not to anticipate the stop.
      Quote Originally Posted by zukiphile View Post
      There is an area of a normal brain that lets the owner know the object works and needs to be left alone. Not all of us have it. It is like being colorblind.

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      04-09-2012 06:56 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Lmyamen1 View Post
      I am not sure what I was worried about that was not hard at all. I listened to the instructors and learned alot. Out of a possible 20 points you can miss I only missed 4 so I passed. I will be getting my license this week!
      Congrats.

    18. 04-09-2012 09:12 AM #18
      Thanks guys, I missed the points on the figure 8 turn, I got the first turn fine and did the second turn and my front tire went over the line of the box =(

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      04-09-2012 09:35 AM #19

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      04-16-2012 01:50 PM #20
      I just completed mine this weekend as well after riding cruiser and streetbikes for 3 years on the permit. The class is really designed for new beginning riders. It is easier to develop the new habits they teach rather than trying to break old habits for the class.

      We had 3 guys who had never touched a bike before the class that ended up doing great. We had no incidents with bikes but our separated morning class had a few dropped bikes and bumps into each other and I believe 2 people ended up failing. Always a good call to use their bikes. I lost my points on the turning portion. Neglected to use my rear brakes for the slow down which was strictly a habit I had formed prior to the class.

      I would recommend the class to anyone who hasn't taken it. Lowers insurance, chance to meet other riders, the bikes we were on were decent bikes so its a chance to mix it up and whip around on something that you don't have to worry about owning, and its a very informative class.
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