What will I learn in the MSF course? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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What will I learn in the MSF course?

Here's the story. I got my license and rode a Honda 400 for one summer in 1979. My brother taught me the basics and I passed the test. I don't know if MSF courses existed back then. 34 years later (this year) I did a bunch of research early Spring and bought a 2007 Yamaha 250. I actually signed up for the MFS course but had to back out due to conflicts. I put about 1500 miles on the 250 riding mostly on county roads, not much in town. My 20 year old son took the MSF course in May and I read the book he brought home. In June I bought 2010 V900 classic and I've put about 3000 miles on it.

Now, I'm reading this forum and realizing there are probably a lot of techniques my brother did not teach me (or know himself) the they may teach in the MSF course. I also see there are advanced courses which I would like to take but I probably need to take the first course first, yes? But this is all guesswork. So my question is as in the title, what will I learn in the MSF course that I haven't learned reading the book and riding 4500 miles this year?

I guess I should mention what I "think" I know now. I fully understand the bike operations, not to brake hard on the rear, how to counter steer, how to slow before a curve and accelerate through it, how down shift when slowing, how watch for loose material (gravel, sand, leaves, etc), how to drive defensively all the time, and I wear full gear all the time. I keep it in gear and watch around and behind at a stop. But, I keep catching wind of discussions about practicing hard stops, u turns, avoidance techniques?, etc. Does the MFS course really cover significantly more than what I would have learned on the road, from reading the manual, and from reading these forums? The course is $200 here and I'd spend that if it's worth it but I don't want spend it and be bored silly for 90% of the course.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 10:44 AM
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I think at this point you would find the Basic Course a little boring now that you covered this many miles and have read through the course material. Here a copy of what's covered in the Basic Course...

Classroom topics:
Protective riding gear
Risk management
Street strategies
Special riding situations

Early riding exercises teach basic skills:
Clutch and throttle control
Straight-line riding

Later exercises teach advanced skills:
U-turns and counterweighting
Maximum braking
Counter steering

I do think you would benefit from the Basic Rider Course 2. Here's what's cover in this Course...

Sharpen your riding skills in the five-hour Basic Rider Course 2 (BRC 2) and earn a MSF Basic Rider Course 2 completion card. Riders spend most of time riding on a course.

Riding Skills Practiced:
Counter steering
Maximum braking
Riding strategy
Risk management
Tight turns
Traction management

The cost of this course is in the $60 range as you'll be using your own motorcycle (as it should be) and only 5 hours long. Check it out...

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 10:45 AM
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Even if you learned one new technique that might save your skinny one day don't you think that would be worth $200? Plus you get to ride!

Most MSF courses make you take the basic course and get the card before you can take the advanced one...but some places are different. Never hurts to ask.


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 10:51 AM
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Good catch... OldDave - you would need to check that out. Not sure about Iowa, but these are the requirements for Minnesota for the Basis Course 2.

Eligibility Requirements
Participants ride their own motorcycle during the course.
Motorcycles must be street legal, licensed, insured and pass a basic inspection.
Riders must show proof of insurance to the instructor .
Riders must have a valid driver’s license with either a motorcycle endorsement or a valid motorcycle permit.
Riders must be proficient in the basic skills of clutch control, straight-line riding, turning, shifting and stopping.
Riders must have 1,000 miles of riding experience in the past year.
Participants under 18 must have their parents sign a waiver form prior to on-cycle instruction.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 07:17 PM
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It is a great course. Take it, it will make you a better car driver as well!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 07:18 PM
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Btw most insurance companies give a discount if you have the cert
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 08:15 PM
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Guessing your confidence level would go up - mine did.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 11:00 PM
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Both of my younger brothers had Honda 350 in the 70s to early 80s. Younger of the two took the course sometime over a year ago and said it was well worth it. So I took it a year ago. Yes, well worth it. A better rider is a safer rider. I rode my bike, the Rebel, to the course when I took it, so being able to ride doesn't mean you won't learn a lot.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 11:05 PM
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Fundamentals which are invaluable.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 11:08 PM
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I actually just took the class August 18th but here in Illinois it's only $20 and the money is refundable if you pass it was a great class although the first day u ride ull be bored they do clutch control for like three hours because there really are people who don't know how to ride that take this class(one person kept forgetting to out their feet down when stopping so they dropped the bike like 5 times) they do teach new techniques on turning such as instead of physically leaning your body the way u wanna turn push down on the handle bars*to turn left push down with ur left hand an vise versa*

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