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Did riding classes or schooling help you?

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How may of you have ever attended riding school or classes. In the past when I was getting my motorcycle lesson I have taken classes for defensive riding classes where I learned a lot about riding safely and defensively on the road with others. It made a huge difference for me and made me more confident and aware of what to do in certain situations. Have any of you guys done this or plan to. Maybe this would be a good topic and possibly pass on some insight to newer riders on this forum.
 

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How may of you have ever attended riding school or classes. In the past when I was getting my motorcycle lesson I have taken classes for defensive riding classes where I learned a lot about riding safely and defensively on the road with others. It made a huge difference for me and made me more confident and aware of what to do in certain situations. Have any of you guys done this or plan to. Maybe this would be a good topic and possibly pass on some insight to newer riders on this forum.

I took a Motorcycle Saftey class back in September last year. It was 1 class day and 2 full days of riding. There were a ton of useful things we learned in the class that's really difficult to sum up. They showed us everything we needed to know for the test, and some additional things for example they tossed down a board in the middle of the parking lot and showed us how to safely get over an obsticle in the middle of the road, and how to deal with potholes.

One lady who signed up for the class had not ridden a regular bicycle since she was 7 years old, about 40 min into the actual riding class she ended up off balance which caused her to grab onto the bike handles and in this case she pegged the throttle and was headed directly towards a telephone poll that was in the parking lot at what ever speed you can get to in 2nd gear on a 250 cruiser. She ended up getting tossed out of the class because it was far to dangerous for her to continue.

The rest of the class (about 8 people) were all feeling pretty confident by the end of day 2. Silly mistakes were still being made but nothing unrecoverable.

I'm planning to take intermediate riding class they are offering this spring/summer. Though I need my own bike first.

It's something I'd highly suggest you take. It doesn't take a lot of skill to hop on a motorcycle and shift a few gears, but if you want to be as ready as you possibly can when you encounter your first major problem while riding the class will help a lot.
 

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When I started riding, in 1960, there were no training courses, and a regular drivers license was all that you needed in the USA.

Having survived my initial "learning phase" I actually didn't get around to taking the Experienced Rider Course until about 5 years ago. They have renamed it again, but, it is still pretty much an accelerated version of the basic course. I need to get signed up for the Advanced Course and see if I still get called out for trail braking into the corner.
 

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Older riders might not have found much help from the schools but new riders will find value.

it's a rare opportunity to learn on a motorcycle that isn't yours on a course that is closed supervised by professionals.
 

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Older riders might not have found much help from the schools but new riders will find value.

it's a rare opportunity to learn on a motorcycle that isn't yours on a course that is closed supervised by professionals.
I think even older riders (who've never taken a class) can learn from it as well. Having someone critiquing you as you ride and point out bad habits or a more effective way of doing something is pretty useful if you want to be safer on the road. Granted they probably wouldn't learn as much as someone who's never ridden before...but thats why they have beginner/intermediate and advanced riding classes :cool:
 

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Riding instructors can be great provided they actually know how to drive. When I was taking car driving lessons, the instructor told me never to use my side mirrors when driving. It's only for parking? That doesn't make sense to me.
 

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As an older rider, I would strongly urge other old folks to take the intermediate or advanced course. I have a couple of bad habits that I developed in the early years that I'm still trying to unlearn (like the habitual trail braking going into a curve)
 

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I've never had lessons before strictly because there just wasnt any when I started. Im sure that it'll help now if I attended one. Have been riding for a while now, my son took the course when he started riding several years back. Like Jsonders said, I'm sure the course can teach old bears like us new tricks.
 

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I have done a course in between my licenses for entering in to the intermediate class. Got to learn lane blocking, throttle control and a little bit of trail braking. These kinds of course can help anybody in my opinion there is nothing wrong with fixing some bad habits and learning some new tips.
 

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I took a rider safety course. If you know absolutely nothing about motorcycles or driving standard you will come out of the course with the know how to ride a motorcycle. My course went a step further for the new rider in the market to get a motorcycle and brought several types for people to try. Sports bike dirt bike cruiser bike ... it was pretty neat.

Learn some safety techniques that could get you out of trouble if you remember to use them ... it also affects your insurance rates if you took a safety course .. not by much though
 

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I have done the entry level motorcycle course and also some safety maneuvers to be defensive while riding. I did end up learning a lot. I will be taking another intermediate course during the summer when I pick up my CBR500R. the first course gave me more confidence and I think only more will come from the intermediate course.
 

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I took the BRC course and it was amazing. The class was compromised of mostly beginner riders, but there were also some riders who had their bikes for a few years already, driving on their permits. Everyone loved the course. The course takes you through baby steps of riding a bike. Teaching you at a steady controlled rate that anyone can follow, and learn comfortably at. After getting your bike moving, they teach you everything you need to know about riding safely, and you get lots of practice riding the bikes. It's a whole lot of fun, and the skills you develop there will be saving your life on the road. It is definitely worth it. In NJ it is a really good deal. To take the class you do not need a motorcycle permit as long as you have your drivers license. Then upon course completion, you will receive the motorcycle endorsement on your license, and can also use it to receive discounts on your motorcycle insurance.
 

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Don't you guys have to take a test to get a license?
The way it works here in British Columbia, Canada is,

1. Write a $15 multiple-choice test on rules-of-the-road and proper riding techniques. A pass will get you a learner's license. This license requires you to have an experienced rider along with you, and you can't 2-up or ride after dark. The Learner's is good for 1 year.

2. Take an MSF (the parkingl lot) test. You don't have to do this, but passing it will remove the restrictions of having to have a supervisior riding with you, and the after dark restrictions.

3. After about 1 month, you can take a road test. This has you being followed around by a tester in a car with a radio into your helmet, giving you directions for about 45 minutes. They will make you do all the usual PITA driving things, like 4-way stops, and school zones, U-turns, parking, busy intersections. Everything but highway driving. A pass nets you your full MC qualification on your driver's license. If you are a new driver (MC or Car) you will have to undergo a "graduated" license where you are restricted in how you can operate your vehicle for about a year(?).

Taking a course here is entirely optional, but highly recommended. Typically the course consists of a Novice course, where they spend about 4 days on classroom theory and parking lot practical excercises. At the end of this course, you take the MSF test through the school and go and have your Learner's restrictions removed. The second course is usally a 2 day course devoted to driving in traffic. This usually involves an instructor (on a Harley) escorting a group of 4-5 riders around for 2 days of group riding around town. The basis of this course is teaching you what to expect and how to pass that dreaded road test.

The course is a very good idea, for everyone actually. Passing the road test goes from 65% without the course to around 90% with the course. Further, some insurance companies will give discounts for taking the course, and some bike shops too. So over time I would think the course would pay for itself in cost savings, if not from sheer safety.
 
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