Do It For You

Advice #1 - Take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Course.

Advice #2 - Ride about 1,000 miles then take the Advanced MSF Course.

Agree on other advice to find a mentor!

I started with a small 250...I then was very interested in a BMW R1100S or a K1200R - was told by many too much power for me - too big - go with a smaller bike...a 500CC. Mentor/Friend encouraged and supported riding a few different bikes. K1200R was heavy for me - but loved the ride. R1100S - couldn't stop grinning. Ruled out other (smaller) bikes quickly. I LOVE my R1100S, I handle it fine. I found going out on the track (via a highly organized group) helped me gain a great deal of confidence.

I think doing a dirt course (obviously not on the bike I have) would be beneficial. I see the comments about gravel and I get a very tense when I have to do a stop on dirt or gravel.

Oh last thing - HATE the "grooved pavement" - failing to trust the bike in a turn caused me to lay down the 250. Thanks to mentor taking me through it - even 2 up - and explaining the mechanics and don't tense up - they're not a problem now. :)

Go Girls! My husband rides, but I tease and say I want to ride with him not behind him. :)

Comments for Do It For You

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Nov 20, 2010
Yes, do it for YOU
by: copycat

I've been riding since '05 when I bought my V-Star 650. I took the MSF course because it was easier to test on their bikes than on mine.

(By the way, the V is a great starter bike! It's weighted low so it's easy to pick up. It's large enough to be taken seriously by other riders. And it handles decently. Plus it's hard not to look awesome on it.)

I've logged about 2500 miles a year (the riding season is short in MN). This year, I took the Experienced Rider Course. The instructor was phenomenal, and he offered some great advice:

People drop all kinds of money on accessories for their bikes, but they hesitate to pay for riding courses. You should consider riding courses a necessity, because they enhance your skills and make you a safer and happier rider.

He was SO right!

I went on to a riding school that focuses a lot on racing techniques. I don't want to race, but I have to tell you that some of the basic cornering and handling techniques have already paid off. I am no longer skittish about riding in the rain or afraid of graded roads. I trust my bike a lot more and I have more confidence in my own abilities.

Because of this, I have enjoyed riding a LOT more.

Join a riding club (Meetup and your local bike shops are great resources), take a class, and always be open to trying new things. A year ago, I would have never considered riding a sport bike. Now I have one and I am having a blast! (And still riding in November!)

Jul 17, 2009
Great Course!
by: Cheryl

I took the ABATE course last month and learned so much about turns and control. I have more confidence and a better understanding of what not to do while driving. Not to mention your insurance rates go down if you take a safety course. Can't beat that!


Jul 16, 2009
Do It For You
by: Michelle

Thanks so much for the advice... I just finished my MSF course and followed through with a traffic course and did very well. I have had my Harley for 4 months and rode with my husband before the course. A couple times I did the stop and drop. On a hill and on the parking lot.I rode a Honda Rebel for the time of the traffic course and felt it was not very comfortable, however being a 250cc, never dropped it. Unlike my sportster which is soooooo heavy I tend to stop and drop. If I lose my balance or if it stalls I just can't keep it up. Not to mention the confidence level. Not very high right now... I am just glad to hear that you traded up and down and up again. It has given me the encouragement to think that I shouldn't give up just because of the bike...


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