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HD New Riders Course

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by bubbagumps, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Jun 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM
    #1
    bubbagumps

    bubbagumps [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone else taken this course? I was going to sign up for the Ohio BMV Motorcycle Safety Course but they are booked through the summer.

    The HD class is $300 but I figured what the heck. It's 12 hours classroom and 16 hours riding. The class starts Next thursday evening and I am pretty excited about it. The place is 15 minutes from me so it works out well.

    My Nephew was trying to get me to let him teach me but he rides like a maniac and I want to do this right. I am 47 now and just want a motorcycle for casual recreational riding, not posing or speed. Another benefit is the course completion counts as credit in place of the riding test for licensing.


    I am also using the class as a feeler to see if I really want to ride a bike. Not just about taking the class trying to get a certificate for BMV or anything. Anyways, I did not check the box indicating I am interested in a Harley so they will not try to market or call me.

    I talked to the instructor for about 15 mintues when I signed up. I was surprised to learn that the class only has a 68% pass rate. I assumed this was primarily going to be a somehwat serious class and also a push to get people out on the road riding(and buying) Harley Bikes. But the instructor was pretty candid and told me they have the same certification criteria as the BMV class. He said some people shouldn't ride a bike or do not have the coordination to ride a bike and part of their job is to screen this out and make sure this type does not pass. No refund, either. He also indicated their reputation would falter if they just pushed people through and they ended up in the morgue. You fail, tough luck. So it's not just walk in, take the course and buy a Harley bike. Which is good, because having never owned a bike, I really don't know if it is something for me. I just thought it would be fun. Always wanted to try.

    They supply the bikes. You have to bring a helmet and riding gear. I already have jeans, boots and a an old leather jacket so dont need to buy that. Only thing I needed was a helmet and got one from the Honda shop for cheap.
     
  2. Jun 25, 2012 at 8:50 PM
    #2
    Hardscrabble

    Hardscrabble Well-Known Member

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    I have not taken the HD riders course, but took the MSF beginner rider course many years ago. I do have a co-worker that took the HD course when he bought his first HD motorcycle at the age of 55. Lifelong dream realized. He did very well on the course and did mention it was tough.
    Good luck, take your nephew with you.
     
  3. Jun 25, 2012 at 9:19 PM
    #3
    Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    Smart man.

    50% of fatalities involve alcohol.
    50% of fatalities involve riders who were self-taught or taught by a friend/family member.
    Obviously, there is a lot of overlap with these two groups.

    Your highest risk is your first 6 months, and your 2nd year.

    First 6 months you don't know how to ride.
    2nd 6 months you know that you don't know everything.
    2nd year, you have the confidence of a successful year, but you have not encountered "everything", and very little is committed to muscle memory.

    Of course, there are exceptions... same as when a rider brags about his mileage. 50 Saturday night trips to the bar 5 miles from home is less experience than one weekend 250 mile coast ride.
    "Ten miles times ten thousand does not equal one hundred thousand miles"

    I clocked in 50k in 3 years... and only the last 10k was daily commutes. The rest was all weekend day trips and 3-7 day road trips.
    Longest trip was Red Lodge MT, 3000 miles total, and the last day was from Downey ID back to LA in 16 hours.
     
  4. Jun 26, 2012 at 6:48 AM
    #4
    meatman

    meatman I deal with dead animals

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    Years ago my brother in law went and bought a HD and finnanced thru them they made him take this class eventhough he had been riding for 20+ years. After he was done he was glad to have taken it but he said the only down side is the bikes they supplied were lil 250s and he weighed in at @ 280lbs. Made him feel like a bear on a bicycle in the circus LOL
     
  5. Jun 26, 2012 at 7:05 AM
    #5
    CRU

    CRU WHEEEEEEEEEEE!!

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    I took the MSF course about 12 years ago. Was only $180 back then. A year or so later my buddy took the Hardley version at the local Hardley dealer. He paid $50 more for it and they spent almost 2 hours of the course trying to sell the students a Hardley. Things may be different now though.

    You can find a local class here: http://online2.msf-usa.org/msf/Default.aspx.
     
  6. Jun 26, 2012 at 10:38 AM
    #6
    angrysam

    angrysam Bring Yuengling To MN!

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    The HD class is twice the price of a regular MSF class. If they're booked, they're booked. Not much you can do. I'd wait just out of principle. Lol.
     
  7. Jun 26, 2012 at 10:56 AM
    #7
    Deuxdiesel

    Deuxdiesel Well-Known Member

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    Two types of riders, those who have crashed and those who have yet to crash. I rode for 17 years (2 Interceptors, 1 Harley and 3 Buells) before I hung it up. With a wife and kid and every other shitty distracted driver out there, I decided the risk was too great. I miss it dearly, but I ended up with a Miata that I can run on track days, and it doesn't hurt as much as when you run off on a bike.

    Take the class, even though it is more expensive, because you can learn a lot and get away with a lot more mistakes on a 250 than you can on a liter bike.

    Oh yeah, I am in the first group - poor M2 :(
     
  8. Jun 26, 2012 at 11:18 AM
    #8
    Spitz Stang

    Spitz Stang Well-Known Member

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    I agree, I wouldn't pay double because it is put on by HD. Every time one of these yahoos goes roaring by on an HD I find myself wondering why I am suppose to be impressed. To each his own.
     
  9. Jun 26, 2012 at 6:31 PM
    #9
    TacPro45

    TacPro45 Well-Known Member

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    I am an MSF Instructor, and also an avid HD rider (Road King). In my experience, the HD class is pretty much the same as the MSF version, but instead of diversity in the training aid videos (sport bikes, dirt bikes, street, etc.) all they show is HD and they brand the heck out of it.

    I'm not biased to MSF courses by any means, but HD is known to be "High Dollar", so you may be able to get the same thing cheaper somewhere else. Where I teach, it's $270 for the course, and that is for 3 days, bikes, classroom and riding, and all required state testing included.
     
  10. Jun 26, 2012 at 6:55 PM
    #10
    tacobot

    tacobot Well-Known Member

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    I took a MSF class here in CA, and it was $200. They provided 250cc bikes (a few different kinds) and had lots of helmets if you needed one. I don't know anyone who has taken the HD class though, sorry.

    Maybe the MSF class has a waiting list you can get on?
     
  11. Jun 26, 2012 at 8:03 PM
    #11
    Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    That's a legal requirement.

    The bike's used in the classes can not be larger than 250cc.
    The bike used to pass the DMV test can not be smaller than 125cc.

    I took my MSF class on a Kawasaki Eliminator 125.
    I'm 6'3"
    My knees were hitting the grips on the figure-8.
     
  12. Jun 27, 2012 at 3:59 AM
    #12
    TacPro45

    TacPro45 Well-Known Member

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    They can be larger than 250cc but other factors come into play such as weight and seat height so 99% of the time in my experience at least, you won't see anything bigger that meets all the requirements.

    The size doesn't matter, all too often I have students complain about the bikes being too small or "well on my HUGE Harley it's impossible to do this...". Not true at all, if you can't do it on a 250 then you can't do it on your monster bike.

    Always funny when after class my girlfriend does the u-turn exercise side saddle on her street glide! 120 lbs on a 750+ lb bike.

    Obviously if you are just physically big then that's different but the bike not having the power the student craves is a BS excuse,
     
  13. Jun 27, 2012 at 5:41 PM
    #13
    Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely.

    Those class bikes never get out of 2nd or 3rd.

    Like my instructor said when he handed out our cards:

    "Congratulations, you are now qualified to ride a small motorcycle at 30mph in an empty parking lot!"
     
  14. Jun 28, 2012 at 5:21 AM
    #14
    TacPro45

    TacPro45 Well-Known Member

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