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Advanced MSF Course ?


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Poll: Do It ? (26 member(s) have cast votes)

Do You think everyone should take the "Advanced Course" ?

  1. For sure (15 votes [55.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 55.56%

  2. Its good . But not esential (8 votes [29.63%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.63%

  3. If you ain't got anything else to do its O.K. (4 votes [14.81%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.81%

  4. Forget it "Waste of time" (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#21 Silver Penguin

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 05:07 AM

Multiple people have mentioned un-learning "bad habits".
What are some examples of these? :unsure:


Some of the basic bad habits are not-compatible with riding an FJR successfully (for long). For example, bad posture will make itself known as soon as you start riding past the bar on the corner, once every two months. Poor braking and cornering techniques don't do well with this kind of bike.

In general, the bad habits I've seen include:
Not looking where you want to go.
Target fixation.
Braking while cornering (not controlled trail braking, but oh-shit! braking).
Covering the front brake all the time.
Using the front brake while the front wheel is turned.
Being afraid of the front brake (see above). I'm told that it can throw you over the bars on a heavy cruiser.
Paddle walking to start and stop the bike.
Two fingers on the clutch instead of four. That's good in the dirt and maybe on the track but not for basic street riding.
Braking and swerving simultaneously.
Sloppy habits with riding gear.
Lack of respect for how risky motorcycling can be.
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#22 Sharif

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 05:26 AM

Would the advanced rider course be worthwhile? Why?
Or mayby "track day" would be a better leaning experiance?


I thought the advanced course was worth it just for the extra practice, specifically drilling the low speed "bike follows head" maneuvers.

Haven't done a track day, but would love to some time - I've learned lots doing them in cars.
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#23 charismaticmegafauna

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:13 AM


Multiple people have mentioned un-learning "bad habits".
What are some examples of these? :unsure:

In general, the bad habits I've seen include:
...
Braking while cornering (not controlled trail braking, but oh-shit! braking).
Covering the front brake all the time.
Using the front brake while the front wheel is turned.
Being afraid of the front brake (see above).
...
Braking and swerving simultaneously.
...

Exactly...!
I lump these under: "Poor right-hand discipline." And many riders, who've not had the benefit of professional coaching, are guilty of being affected.
Basically, it's not having the right hand wrapped around the right h/b grip all-the-time (unless braking). With the right wrist orientation DOWN -- so that the throttle is automatically rolled-OFF when reaching for the brake with 4 fingers.
The most common offence is 2 fingers around the throttle and 2 fingers dangling over (or, actually pressing some) the fr. brake lever. Like: trying to go and stop at the same time...! :o
Poor right-hand discipline can really rear-up and bite you -- especially on a big/powerful/heavy bike like the FJR. :(
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#24 Candyman

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:58 AM

I am an MSF instructor, I teach the basic and experienced courses. I guarantee you will learn or relearn something. Take the course.
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#25 cruppelt

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 03:52 PM

I took an advanced Team Oregon class last summer, and I had a blast. First we had some great teachers there (including a certain long standing high ranking figure of the IB community that happens to be a coworker of mine as well), and second I took the class in the Medford area instead of close to Portland, simply because I had heard that the track was supposed to be a little bigger and therefore just a little higher speed on average. So I made a nice weekend out of it.

My reason for joining the class were especially to get better (or less fearful of - too much respect for the heft) with leaning the big pig and also slow speed maneuvering (the throttle control part). The slow speed simply got better during the day. There is a lot to be said to be simply able to repeat the same corners over and over...

It was a hot day which meant sweat, but also excellent grip, and there were a few folks there that should have maybe had a beginners course instead (one girl dropped a nice red Honda Interceptor she had borrowed from a friend just for this class - ouch, but that was the only drop we had), but mostly folks had their basic skills down.

The 2 biggest things I got out of the class is that
1) I had forgotten how important it is to TRULY look THROUGH the next curve, instead of getting side tracked all the time. I thought I did it right, but as it turned out I really had forgotten how to do it right. That simple little thing ended up completely cleaning up my lines. No need to think about apexes etc. after that!

2) I got completely comfortable with the heft of my FJR after riding pillion behind an instructor on his ST1300. He whipped that thing through the curves fully loaded 2-up, and one handed with the pegs scraping every single time. He needed the other hand to touch the apex flags in the curves for emphasis :lol:
At the end of this class I did the same thing, scraping my pegs and touching the flags at the apex. If he could do that with a 2 up ST, then I can fricken do that with my FJR!!! :P

Come to think of it, I had so much fun I think I'll take it again later this year. And I'll probably go down to Medford again as well. :)

EDITED TO CORRECT MSF TO TEAM OREGON
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#26 Fred W

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:05 AM

He whipped that thing through the curves fully loaded 2-up, and one handed with the pegs scraping every single time. He needed the other hand to touch the apex flags in the curves for emphasis :lol:
At the end of this class I did the same thing, scraping my pegs and touching the flags at the apex. If he could that with a 2 up ST, then I can fricken do that with my FJR!!! :P


Hmmm... That sure sounds like one of those "bad habit" things that one would want to break. :P


But seriously, thanks to those who chimed in on this thread. I'm also considering taking an ERC here in New Hampshire and was wondering how lame it was. I'm still not entirely sold on the idea, but it is sounding a bit more attractive.

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#27 cruppelt

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 01:35 PM


He whipped that thing through the curves fully loaded 2-up, and one handed with the pegs scraping every single time. He needed the other hand to touch the apex flags in the curves for emphasis :lol:
At the end of this class I did the same thing, scraping my pegs and touching the flags at the apex. If he could that with a 2 up ST, then I can fricken do that with my FJR!!! :P


Hmmm... That sure sounds like one of those "bad habit" things that one would want to break. :P


Fred, I think the seriously bad habit that's hard to break is not so much the touching of the flags in the apex, but rather the pre-riding and adding of all the flags to the apexes of all the curves for every ride. Think about all that wasted time :dribble:

It does sound like there might be different experiences out there depending on the quality of the track and that of the teachers, both were great in my case. Glad if I could entice anybody to try it.
Chris in Portland
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#28 cruppelt

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 01:44 PM

Double post.
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#29 TechJunkie

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:46 PM


Multiple people have mentioned un-learning "bad habits".
What are some examples of these? :unsure:


Some of the basic bad habits are not-compatible with riding an FJR successfully (for long). For example, bad posture will make itself known as soon as you start riding past the bar on the corner, once every two months. Poor braking and cornering techniques don't do well with this kind of bike.

In general, the bad habits I've seen include:
Not looking where you want to go.
Target fixation.
Braking while cornering (not controlled trail braking, but oh-shit! braking).
Covering the front brake all the time.
Using the front brake while the front wheel is turned.
Being afraid of the front brake (see above). I'm told that it can throw you over the bars on a heavy cruiser.
Paddle walking to start and stop the bike.
Two fingers on the clutch instead of four. That's good in the dirt and maybe on the track but not for basic street riding.
Braking and swerving simultaneously.
Sloppy habits with riding gear.
Lack of respect for how risky motorcycling can be.


This is a pretty good list. I took the Advanced MSF course last summer. I took it with a buddy just as a refresher to ensure I was not developing any of the bad habits mentioned above and to work on my entrance and exits to corners. As luck would have it it rained all day. We pushed on and I ended up with greater respect and admiration for the FJR. Even in the rain it cornered with precision and stopped on a dime. The instructors were great, both long distance riders. One rode a Goldwing and the other a ST1300. They pushed us to do it right. It was fun to do the exercises from the Basic MSF on our own bikes and at greater speeds. I feel it was a great refresher. I will have to admit that the figure eight is tough to do when you can't hardly see the lines.

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#30 Aasland

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 04:07 AM

I took an advanced MSF class last summer, ...


MSF or Team Oregon?

I didn't think the MSF operated in Oregon?

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#31 cougar8000

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 05:42 AM

I am an MSF instructor, I teach the basic and experienced courses. I guarantee you will learn or relearn something. Take the course.


AS another instructor I second this.

Advanced class is not your regular basic class. It is BRC on steroids if done right. You are not mentioning where you are from. In IL it is basically free.

Yes, you can do the same on the parking lot with your buddies, but do they know what to look for and what pointers to give to you? 10 out of 9 NO. Being an Instructor myself I take that class every 3-4 yrs or so as a student. WHY? Because I can't see myself from the side and do miss some things. going to this class allows me to get a feed back from someone else who knows what to look for.
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#32 cruppelt

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 01:14 PM


I took an advanced MSF class last summer, ...


MSF or Team Oregon?

I didn't think the MSF operated in Oregon?


Yeah, you're right of course. I corrected my post above to show Team Oregon.
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#33 CHRIS_D

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 05:27 PM

Sorry, a little late posting, :o

You may want to consider the ARC-ST over the ERC. The ERC is good as a basic refresher or as a good license waiver course for an experience rider. However IMO MSF's ARC-ST will give you some training on different techniques to handle corners and will also help to impove your skills in braking and swerving.
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#34 Keith D

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:20 AM

Greetings,

There's some great advice about training courses on this thread, but it also points out the huge variability even in courses with the same name, i.e. Experienced Rider Course. I live in Delaware and signed up for an upcoming Experienced Rider Course, a modest $35 fee (out-of-state is $100) and organized by the Delaware DMV. I took the Novice Course back in 2000 even though I had been riding for many years and managed to identify and correct some bad habits, mostly with my right hand (careful!). I bought a 2012 FJR and received it on 1st December 2011, so I'm pretty comfortable with it by now, thanks to our mild Winter.

Does anyone have experience with the Delaware course? What group is responsible for its content (does the DMV contract out)? It's being held at a local DMV inspection location so I expect it will be plenty of low speed cornering types of drills. I'm hoping the course will give me a chance to practice skills with an expert's eye to point out areas for improvement. One thing that's very rare is the ability to watch ourselves ride, I expect many of us would find a few flaws if we could somehow watch annonymous video of ourselves riding.

Regardless, I'll report back on this forum afterwards if anyone's interested. I'm taking the course on 29th April 2012. Here's a link to the course description:

https://citizen.dmv....otorcycle.shtml

Apologies for the long post.

Cheers,
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#35 Bounce

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:28 AM

I try to take one every 2 years. It helps knock off any rusty bad habits and reduces my insurance. Since I've done it multiple times (each) on a Gl1100, GL1200, and GL1500, doing it on the FJR was loads of fun (and didn't seem too heavy). I did remove the saddle bags and set them by the bleachers.
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#36 azitlies

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:49 AM

Just came across this thread and being an MSF Instructor, thought I'd chime in...

First, yeah, the individual instructors differ. Not in what they teach, but in their experience levels and desire etc. They will also, of course, differ in style of teaching. Style difference has an impact in any Teaching / Learning situation, we all know that from school. Some we like, some we don't like.

The difference in experience levels can be important in that the instructor will know what to clarify and make sure what's being said is in perspective.

Here's an example of what I mean: Recently taught an ERC (now called CRC (confident riders course) or BRC2 or ... I wish they'd stop changing the name...) on a Military base (usually characterized by competent people that listen to instructions).

After a few exercises, and gaining their confidence, I asked who has been practicing Emergency Swerving on a regular basis? Only 1 of the 12 people raised their hand.

That skill, along with Emergency Braking and Proper Cornering Technique, are things they should have learned in the BRC, ALONG WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THEY SHOULD BE PRACTICING THEM REGULARLY BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT INNATE SKILLS, THEY ARE LEARNED SKILLS, THAT OUR ABILITY TO PERFORM WILL DIMINISH OVER TIME WITHOUT PRACTICE.

Sorry for the yelling.

So in response to those that think the BRC caters to the beginner. No. It's early exercises are there so that beginners can take the course (friction zone etc), but after that they should be leaving with an understanding of the importance of these 3 major skills and how to accomplish them, just like everyone else.

Another ERC class I taught, my fellow instructor were chatting after a few of the early exercises. I asked how he thought they were doing? His response was that more than half of them should be in the BRC.

We see so many "Confident Riders" (the ERC) (people who've been riding a long time) get to the Emergency Braking, and do pretty much nothing but lock up the rear tire and skid for a mile, or have no idea how to emergency swerve, or use proper cornering technique. Had to fail a guy recently that couldn't get around the 135 degree turn without going out of the lines. A fellow FJR rider took the BRC and started swearing when we were pressing him to turn his head in the corner. He just had a habit of looking a few feet and that was it, saw absolutely no reason whatsoever to look further, and was adamant about not doing it.

To clarify, I'm not promoting one class over the other. Only that there are things that should be learned in the classes that sometimes don't seem to happen, for whatever reasons. At least part of it is the Instructor.

But another part is perception. And we can find a lot about how people perceive these classes in this thread. That perception is important as it sets expectations. But I'd say to anyone knocking the course(s) :

Do you practice Emergency Braking, Emergency Swerving and Proper Cornering Technique regularly? Do you even know how to practice them, I.E. what the technique is? These are skills that save our lives you know. That is why they are on the BRC and ERC tests.

Advanced training is a good idea. But it's not inexpensive. And for the most part the concentration will be on the performance of the motorcycle. In Lee Parks Total Control book, the subtitle is "High Performance Street Riding Techniques". It's a great book. I hope to possibly be teaching that class in the future. But I sure hope that if and when I do, there aren't students who show up that don't know how to emergency brake, or swerve, or have the fundamentals of cornering understood...

cause that's just sad. and dangerous to themselves. and others around them.

#37 oldryder

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:57 AM

From my experience I'd say absolutely yes.

I took advanced riding instruction (not an MSF course) when I was training my daughter and we both had a blast. We had so much fun we did several of the advanced rider classes and 2 track days.

At the end of a season of classes and track days we were both vastly more proficient technical riders.

When I explain the value to others I use the example of rounding a curve on a 2 lane road in a wooded area and discover a pick-up pulling a boat coming towards me 1/2 in my lane. Before all the riding instruction my ability to deal with such a situation was very limited. Now I could at least push the bike to somewhere near it's limit in an escape manuever.

IMHO not one rider in a thousand can ride one of todays sport or sport tourers anywhere near the limit of its capabilities without advanced instruction and a lot of practice.