Get Some Experience-Then the Class
I took the MSF class to learn how to ride. It was really great....But I wish I had some riding experience before I spent the $. I was the greenest in the class and I felt intimidated. I did pass, and learned great stuff. However, now that I have been riding a bit (about 100 miles, which isn't much, but enough to know how much I need to learn) I feel I could really focus more on the skills they teach you. I would love to take the class again, but because of cost I probably won't. After the class and my license, I rode in a parking lot for one day on my new bike (a 2005 883 Harley Sportster) and have been riding on the road with my hubby. I dropped my bike last week, That's OK, it happens, don't want it to happen again, but it made me realize I need to practice the safety skills I learned in class, primarily turns and emergency braking.
Bottom line, If I knew the basics when I took the class, I feel the harder stuff would have stuck in my brain more. so..if possible, practice in a lot somewhere on a small bike with some guidance from a rider, then take the class and KICK BUTT!
Just My observation.