Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I just finished the course today. Basic Course, two days.
Sat 8-6
Sun 8-6

It was an average of 96 degrees both days. Way to hot to be riding in full gear at low speeds. The instructors gave us plenty of breaks for Gatorade and water which helped a bit.

Just to let you know I am 37 years old. Married with 2 teenagers. Rode a motorcycle when I was 18 for a few months but nothing since then.

There were 12 people in the course. 4 men and 8 women. The instructor said this is normal . A lot more women are riding.

The course was fun but a bit stressful for what I consider to be a beginner. On day one the oldest member of our group, a 68 year old gentleman, laid his bike down twice and couldn't separate throttle and clutch action. He decided to quit after about 2 hours. I hated to see him go but it was for the best, he wasn't getting it.

They start you off pretty basic. Where everything is, what it does, how to start, how to stop, how to get going, etc. By the end of the first day you are changing gears, upshifting/downshifting, stopping quickly, maneuvering through cones, etc.

The second day is more aggressive. They tackle cornering, u-turns, swerving, stopping very quickly, lane changing properly, etc. Then comes a 4 part road test. Scoring is done with the driver starting with 0 points. Points are given for mistakes, like 3 points for hitting a cone. You can still pass with up to 21 points. Then comes a 50 question written test.

I passed with a 100 on the written test and 3 points for touching a line in the figure eight test.

The big thing is my confidence level is a lot higher and I feel like I can be a safe driver now. But this is really just the beginning. Time to get some experience under my belt and then practice making good habits.

Sorry for the long write up just wanted to share my thoughts :)

I
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
742 Posts
don't let your guard down...

not to be a pessimist, but i did the course... went the next day and got my license (a sat.)... and then rode all week like there was no tomorrow?!?! ......... then an idiot cut across 3 lanes of traffic to try and get into a Rite Aid parking lot?!?! clipped me, totalled the bike and sent me flying threw the air!!!! 5 weeks later i still have shoulder pain but got a new bike!!! now, more than 10 weeks past the accident i still have shoulder pain but i feel "more confident"!... i am a prick when i ride now... the cagers are complete a-holes and don't care!!! REMEMBER THAT!!!

BE SAFE! A course definitely helps... but get some road time under your belt to feel the everyday b.s. of riding!

good luck and safe riding!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
927 Posts
Great job on the course... pray for many happy hours on good riding
Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys :)

im glad this was a good course for you i am scheduled for next weekend
You'll have fun I'm sure. Some people say it's not advanced enough but for beginners it is a must. There are several things that you find yourself doing automatically after the course is over that you would not do without the training.

Like for an experienced rider it's simple when stopping to squeeze the clutch lever, downshift to first, squeeze the front break lever and push the rear brake lever all at the same time. For a beginner this takes time to learn as a habit. By the end of the course you will be doing it without thinking.

A beginner doesn't really know that pressing the left handle bar forward turns the bike left. It seems weird because you feel like you should press with the other hand. After the course is over you do it automatically.

Like I said it is a big confidence booster and starts you down the road with GOOD habits, not bad habits you will have to unlearn later.

For an experienced rider the course might be boring. There were two experienced riders in my class and they said it was boring but they did learn a few new things. Especially maneuvering in tight spaces at slow speeds. Seems most people are terrible at this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
i am looking foward to it i watched ride like a pro and am trying to learn the correct way rather than unlearn like yourself i am 3 with 3 kids havent ridden since i was around 18 and even then it was very limited so i just want a beginner class to try and get things moving correctly!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I just did the Canadian version a couple weeks ago. Awesome course. Mine was 3 days (Fri,Sat,sun). It was definitely challenging by the end of the course. Our test was 8 "event" with a max of 3 attempts on any event. 5 of our 16 riders weren't able to complete the course. I really enjoyed the whole course and when I went to do my licensing test it was much much easier then the course exam had been. I took the Driver course years ago and was kind of expecting the same thing, ie watch some videos then answer some quizing proving you watched the videos. This was completely different and over 90% riding with actually challenging exercises (for a new rider anyway).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Congrats!

I went through the course about a month ago. Ours was three days. The first 4.5 hour day was in-class and we took the written test then. (Everyone had to have a state issued permit to take the class). Then two 5 hr days of riding.

I made a few stupid mistakes on the driving quiz that I had not done throughout the prep but still passed.

The wife, who used to ride all the time but had not for 12 years took it as well and said it was a great refresher and confidence builder in that they do a good job of instilling GOOD habits from the start so you don't have to un-learn some bad self-taught process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
The MSF basic course is a must. I took it about a year and a half ago before getting back on a bike after nearly thirty years. Best thing I ever did. Got my endorsement the next day and about a month later pulled the trigger on a new VN900 Classic LT. "Skoot" and I just turned over a thousand miles and, I guess, we would no longer be considered new. I have reached the place of being completely at home in the saddle and that is a good feeling. It comes from time on the road and time in an empty parking lot practicing slow turns, "U" turns, and just basically handling the bike and getting used to the feel and balance of it.

That being said, I would add that the key to staying safe on two wheels is to assume when you get on and start up that you become totally invisible to anyone in a cage. Also assume that if they can see you they are out to get you.

Stay safe and happy riding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Hey, speaking of the safety courses, who out there has taken the intermediate or advanced courses? I am thinking of signing up for what is kind of an intermediate/sort of advanced course here in Tucson and I was just wondering how it went for others. Thanks!

Cat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
just finished mine it was 2 days and absolutely worth the time and money by the time the two days were over the class was doing u turns and 90 degree turns and slow speed manuvers and quick stops .... so worth going i would recomend anyone to go there!!!!
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top