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I've been reading alot of threads on here about people of all ages who are brand new to riding. The main few concerns i see are this.

1. Why in the hell would you ever ride without first taking the MSF course? Watching videos of others riding or talking to riders is great and all but until you get on that bike nothing can replicate that. It just amazes me that people think that is a good idea to ride before you ever even had some training on such a dangerous vehicle. I understand the temptation but even around a parking lot or your neighborhood you could do some real harm.

2. I don't get how people can be so careless or reckless when it comes to riding. I see guys all the time lane splitting or weaving at high speeds and wonder if they have a death wish. Also why in the hell a new rider immediately thinks he should have a 600 or higher RR is just plain reckless too.

Just my 2 cents
 

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I've been reading alot of threads on here about people of all ages who are brand new to riding. The main few concerns i see are this.

1. Why in the hell would you ever ride without first taking the MSF course? Watching videos of others riding or talking to riders is great and all but until you get on that bike nothing can replicate that. It just amazes me that people think that is a good idea to ride before you ever even had some training on such a dangerous vehicle. I understand the temptation but even around a parking lot or your neighborhood you could do some real harm.

2. I don't get how people can be so careless or reckless when it comes to riding. I see guys all the time lane splitting or weaving at high speeds and wonder if they have a death wish. Also why in the hell a new rider immediately thinks he should have a 600 or higher RR is just plain reckless too.

Just my 2 cents
1.) Well, to start with 30 years ago when I got my motorcycle license the MSF course didn't exist. You basically learned how to ride by yourself and proved you had aquired skill by passing the road test for your license. Eventually accidents and fatalities became so common that someone decided to offer real training, but MSF courses are a fairly recent option for new cyclists and haven't been around since motorcycles first began crashing.
Also, a lot of people learn to ride very young on off-road bikes and quads. By the time they're old enough for their license they know more than most people who've taken an MSF course and have crashed enough that they know how to avoid it. Some of the best and safest riders I know started that way.

2.) There will always be squids.
 

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1.) Well, to start with 30 years ago when I got my motorcycle license the MSF course didn't exist. You basically learned how to ride by yourself and proved you had aquired skill by passing the road test for your license. Eventually accidents and fatalities became so common that someone decided to offer real training, but MSF courses are a fairly recent option for new cyclists and haven't been around since motorcycles first began crashing.
Also, a lot of people learn to ride very young on off-road bikes and quads. By the time they're old enough for their license they know more than most people who've taken an MSF course and have crashed enough that they know how to avoid it. Some of the best and safest riders I know started that way.

2.) There will always be squids.
Good point I learned from riding a dirt bike. The course wasnt available but I had no problem upgrading to a street bike. Nothing beats hands on experence
 

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I started on a moped when I was a teenager and had a moped license then last year I got a 178cc scooter and passed the test and received my motorcycle endorsement. The scooter gave me a lot of current road experience and helped me get comfortable with traffic on two wheels. I owned a manual car for 7 years and everyone told me that I will pick up riding a motorcycle in 10 minutes. I had the sales man ride my bike to my house. I checked out a MSF trainer video on youtube and he said shifting on a bike is like shifting in a car but the car shift pattern is in a "H" sequence and a motorcycle is in a linear sequence like your hand. Your thumb (down) is first, between your thumb and index finger is neutral (Half click up), index finger is second (click up), middle finger third (click up) and so on. Downshifting goes the opposite way.

It took me all of 5 mins to figure it out in my driveway with only a couple stalls and then I had it down pat and hit the streets crusin' for a couple hours. I had unbelievable confidence with this bike for a first timer. I even started my habit of coasting to the stop lights and stop signs just as I did in my former 94 manual Honda Civic. People who say a manual car is nothing like a manual motorcycle must be smokin something b/c it is the same principle, just in a linear sequence vs an H sequence. Actually, I had one experienced rider tell me that he tells newbies to learn how to drive a manual car first before riding a motorcycle.
 

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Also, a lot of people learn to ride very young on off-road bikes and quads. By the time they're old enough for their license they know more than most people who've taken an MSF course and have crashed enough that they know how to avoid it. Some of the best and safest riders I know started that way.

2.) There will always be squids.
IMO off road riding is the safest enviroment to learn to operate a motorcycle, for a number of reasons. Suffice it to say that learning to properly ride a motrcycle on the street, while on the steep part of the learning curve, with automobile traffic in the mix, who more than half of are multi-tasking, doing everything imaginable, except focusing on the road and actually driving as if they were qualified to do so... it's akin to playing Russian Roulette, only a matter of time before someone gets the loaded chamber.

Driving a car, whether auto or stick, and operating a motorcycle have absolutly not one freaking thing in common beyond the rules of the road. PERIOD. To say otherwise is just talking out of your a**.
 

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car manual tranny = same principle as a motorcycle manual transmission.

I was only referring to the transmission operation similarity. Some people have thick heads. Comprehend what you read.
 

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The MSF course was neat but relatively uninformative.

If I hadn't been reimbursed for the class fee, I wouldn't have been nearly as positive about taking the course.

I was just looking for a refresher as well as a break in insurance by taking the course but I agree with what's been previously stated here in that young riders learn more out on the farm or backroads with ATV's.
 

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I started riding without MSF... it was a minibike and I was 10. That would be what - 45 years ago? Graduated into 100cc dirtbikes, then to 250s, then 450s, then 1000cc, now back to 250.

As for careless and reckless (not "wreckless", mind you), people who like taking risks are often drawn to motorcycles, much in the same way that child molestors try to become Scout Masters and Guidance Counselors. Careless motorcyclists eventually are cured - either by dying while doing something stupid or by being close enough to read the writing on the wall.

Even those who consider themselves careful are sometimes careless. I consider myself careful, but the other day I head-checked the adjacent lane for a little too long and when I got my eyes back forward, the car in front of me had suddenly stopped. He was mine, and it was going to be my fault. Lucky for me, there was a center turn lane that I could move into, so I stopped beside his trunk instead of in it. I'm sure he thought I was careless as Hell, and in that particular moment I was.

Most of the extremely reckless behavior I've seen was groups of guys, each apparently trying to impress the next with his skill and daring - another good reason not to ride in groups.
 

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LOL

Perhaps not the best analogy but I understand what you're implying.

I agree with riding solo. I feel less inclined to maintain higher speeds when commuting alone to work.
 

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I had ridden when I was young in the 70s-80s, but when I decided to ride again in 2006, I didn't need to take the MSF class as I could be grandfather in because of my past experience. I instead decided to take class at my expense instead. It was only $200 and I figured it would be a good refresher, provide a break on insurance and I wouldn't have to deal with the DMV when I went to get my endorsement.

We all have our moments, I had one last month and totaled my Triumph with very little damage to myself.

But here is Florida there are way too many squids riding with no gear and doing crazy dangerous stuff. The worst I have seen was a guy STANDING on his seat with his arms straight out, sort of like Jesus on a cross while coasting at about 60 mph. He coasted about a half mile before coming to a red light where he jumped down on the seat to hit the brakes.
 

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Cmon Mike, Dudman knows all.
Not to correct you, madd-trapper, because you may be right, but I think he claimed to have some sort of natural ability when it came to motorcycles. The YouTube video's he watched just helped to bring all the concepts into focus.

We should all have been so lucky to ascend the learning curve so rapidly, and apparently without nary a scratch. I guess some are just born with an innate ability. I know I wasn't.
 

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Motorcycle transmissions require that you pass through each gear; auto/truck transmissions will let you cheat if you chose to change by more than one gear without having to go through the "cheated upon" gear(s).
 

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I am a new rider. Just started in March after taking the MSF course. The course as taught here was outstanding. 3 of the 12 folks failed. I had a ton to learn and came away with a good load of knowledge and skills. I still try to go to the parking lot and repeat the drills and skills.

Several of the local dealers tried to sway me to a 600cc. WhyTF would you out a 57 yo lady with zero experience on a 600cc rocket. One reason they make more $$$.

Loving my commute on the CBR250R. well except for the 20-30 mph cross winds...

When you stop learning ...you die.
 

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No matter how skilled you are or how long you've been riding you cannot control cagers. We are all at the mercy of them and need to respect them. I see many stupid bikers that weave their way around traffic asking for trouble. I almost took one out in my car when I was on a trip in California, two guys were racing and one crossed in front of me at a high speed just merely a couple inches in front of my bumper.
 

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Tas, you're generalizing all beginner riders. just because a few people want to start off on a 600 doesn't mean they have a death wish. You don't know what their ability level is or what they are capable of so getting mad over it is useless. I'm practicing to ride before taking the MSF course. Why? So I don't waste the $200 I paid for the course by failing it.

Heck, even when you get a you're drivers license the only real experience you get is from being on the road, in traffic. At least that's how I learned. A motorcycle is a tool. And every tool can be good or bad depending on the user. The true key is humility and respect for that tool. When you respect something you're less inclined to do stupid stuff with it.
 
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