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How many of you took a MSF course? How many of you just went and got your liscense?


Personally I learned to ride on my permit with some very astute riders, to say the least. I picked up alot for these guys (good or bad) in a short period of time. Not so much the legalities of motorcycle riding, but not so common sense tactics to keep yourself alive. I took my road test a couple of months after I got my permit and passed the first time with no deductions. Im aware that the MFS course provides some great information, but realize that not everyone goes that route, as in my case.
 

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MSF pays for itself.
 

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The biggest reason I went was for my license. You cant take a license test at the license branch MSF is the only way. I knew and expected it to help me and was surprised how much it did so. Im going back for the experienced course this year.
 

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I've just got a couple of thoughts on the deal.

I'm sure that your friends are good riders. I'm sure that they taught you everything you know. How do you know what they taught you is how it's supposed to be?

Again, I'm not trying to be a jerk, but at least with the MSF course you get a set of instructions and practice sets with instructor supervision that takes you step by step through the basics of riding a bike. It's a set of instructions that's been tried and true.

While I understand that not everybody needs to take the MSF course and not everyone has the money to pay for the MSF course (well, that's a story for another day), IF you had the option between MSF and friends teaching you to ride take the MSF at some point-- the intermed or expert level. Who knows, you might pick up more instruction or another defensive strategy that will only help you and increase your knowledge. Not a bad deal.




Or if you don't want to/ can't/ refuse to, pick up the book Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough. Great book on the basics.
 

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I took the MSF as well. Like someone else said, it pays for itself.

Discounts on insurance and some local vendors give discounts for the MSF receipt (not on bikes unfortunately, just the gear/accessories).

I also think I learned more there than I would have with a friend teaching me.
 

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I introduced myself to motorcycling with no formal instruction or mentor.

My first bike is my current desert bike, a WR250 2t, bought at age 19. I learned how to ride competently and aggressively off-road, and soon began racing harescrambles.

I bought my first streetbike about 2 years later and studied as much as I could about street riding before setting out.

I took the MSF course almost directly after I got my streetbike, and well... it honestly didn't do much for me (california MSF). I knew almost everything in the lectures, and everything about the technicalities of operating a motorcycle. Not even the drill helped me, because I had already been practicing them.

Was it a waste of time? Of course not, because I got my M endorsement, "formal training" certificate, and an insurance discount. Did I learn anything? No.

Now with about 20,000 miles under my belt, I plan on taking the Experienced Rider's Course next month. I hope to learn something in this class.

~JuGGz
 

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I also wanted to add that I think the MSF poorly equips new riders for STREET RIDING.

It (the government mandadted California MSF) does not go in depth enough about the more technical survival skills of street riding. They show you how to operate a motorcycle. They give a weak lecture on alcohol, safety, and street smarts.

But they do NOT go into the meat of technical riding that will save you in combat (riding in traffic) or that will save you when riding recreationally (touring, canyon carving, posing at starbucks).

I feel that the MSF can NOT be your only source of training. I strongly feel that a good mentor, books, patience, and maturity is needed to succeed.

Now don't take this post as bashing the MSF. It does a great job of what it is, and that is to introduce the new rider to motorcycling.

Some day I would like to be an MSF instructor for the beginner's course.

~JuGGz
 

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In FL, you have to take the MSF in order to get your endorsement if you're under 21. I was so I had to take the course. I'm glad I took it and recommend it to all n00bs- it's easier to pass the class than just taking the test at the DMV, they teach you how do things correctly, and you get to network.
 

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The MSF is not intended to turn you into a Complete Rider. It's a 20-hour course over one evening and a weekend. There are limits to what can be done. As they say during the course - it gives you the basics of motorcycle operation. It's an excellent starting point that insures that the rider knows the correct way to perform basic skills.

The problem with being self-taught for the general public is that they know nothing, their friends don't know how to show them correctly, and they start riding without even some of the most basic knowledge. It's often WAY too hap-hazard.

One guy leaving our shop who repeatedly said he 'knew how to ride' dropped his bike THREE TIMES before we finally stopped him and one of the MSF-licensed guys spent 15 minutes with him. That 15 minutes made a huge difference.

Street strategies can only be learned on the street, not in a parking lot. It's fantasy to think a classroom can effectively simulate and teach riding on the street. That's why car driving schools have ride-along instruction. To do the same on a bike simply isn't plausible, or safe.
 

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My m/c experience goes as so:

Rode dirtbikes agressively with some fairly decent riders for quite a few years.
At about 18, some of the local boys started gettin gixxers, ninjas, etc. These guys would come over and chill at my place and one day they let me borrow a bike to take for a spin (i had NO street experience). It turned out to be relatively easy the first few times. I did some stupid stuff on bikes that were too big for me and too fast for me....
Then I move, and a later housemate gets a CBR600F4 and he works 2nd shift (I work 1st), and doesnt ride the bike much (no license) and he knows that Im capable of riding it and handling it and being responsible on it.
So for the next 6 mos I ride the bike whenever I can after work (still no license, but I did get a permit). I got about 12hrs of street time on the bike before the owner wads it up one night when he was drunk.

Skip 2 yrs later. Im still interested in gettin a bike, and the current g/f is too. She picks up a Blast and starts riding it. I still have my permit (the 3rd year renewing it) and I ride her bike and an old yamaha 650 when she's on her blast. G/f's dad was an MSF instructor and he made both of us practice and show him we could ride before we went and got our licenses. we both pass and the licensor comments to me that I clearly looked like I had previous m/c experience while I was taking the road test.

So in short, I havent taken the MSF course. I may take the MSF ERC course next year, but I have no intentions of taking the main course. I feel that although Im sure I could learn something from the course, I dont feel its something I necessarily need to take- I feel that I have already been through part of the course with the g/f's dad (being an instructor about 10yrs back). I dont see me needing to go through it again.

If anything, its the ERC course next and then a track day to work on my riding....
 

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The course did not exist in Texas in 1978. For the driving test all I had to do was drive around the block without falling over  ;D. Thats probably why I had 2 accidents the following year. Got rear ended at a stop light the first time and had a 72 year old man pull into my lane and hit me head on in the second crash. The second one put me in the hospital for 3 days but I bought another bike 2 months later. The fact that I was 16 and running wild on my own probably didn't help.

I think the course should be mandatory but they need to increase the available slots here in Virginia. In the last 27 years of riding I have taken several courses and learned from everyone of them. I will be taking the Cornerspeed Track Days class at VIR next spring.
 

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I've been riding motorcycles since I was like 6 yrs old, so I didn't feel the need to take the course. I've been riding on he streets since I was 15, had a couple accidents but nothing major (all my fault for doing something stupid, not traffic accidents). I'm sure it could make me a better rider, but I am broke.
I may do it next year to help with insurance more than anything, it's paid for until next summer, so maybe I'll take it when I need to renew my insurance.
 

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Definantly recommend the MSF course. The first time I rode a bike was the day I bought my SV. Man I thought I was hot shit, nothing could touch me, yadda yadda.

Then a few months later, I got busted doing wheelies...well, I wasn't exactly legal. O.k, I didn't have my Motorcycle endorsment, so I had to get a MC license before my court date, and the on;y way to do that is if you take the MSF course (I was under 21). And after 4 months of riding, I learned SO much more than I would have if I kept teaching myself. Believe it or not, but I still use that stuff I learned there, but then again, it's not a solve all, cure all, it teaches you the beasics, teaches you to use you mind, and coordination, and to think on your feet.

I'm still thinking of going back to take the expeirenced course to see what I could learn.
 

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MilkJuGGz said:
Did I learn anything? No.
So already you knew how to stand a bike up when braking in a turn, that you should only have one foot come down when coming to a complete stop, "slow, look, press, roll", how to properly swerve, leave at least 2 seconds between you and the car in front of you, look 12 seconds ahead so you can SEE (Search, Evalute, & Excute)?

Is Illinois the only state that offers it for free?
It's free in NJ. ;D
 

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i did it a little of both ways if that makes any sense.

i got my bike about a month before my msf course and taught myself how to ride it. after reading proficient motorcycling. i was doing pretty good on taking short trips by myself and even commuted to work a few times.

but i wouldn't even think about riding now without having taken the msf course. not that i wouldn't have been ok without it, but it teaches you so many little things that you use every day. it really helps you gain confidence in doing the tight parking lot stuff and lays a good foundation for all of your riding on the road.

and as a bonus you don't have to take the dmv test to get your liscense.

and apparently i took to it very well since i aced both tests in the course and the instructor said i should get some experience and then maybe come back as one.
 
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