Originally Posted by fred flintstone
Definitely take the rider course, but then get your gear (helmet etc.) take your new motorcycle cert to a dealer and test ride a bunch of bikes before you start riding you brand new $$$ one. Maybe some old FJR if you can find one. It is so easy to make a bonehead move after 20 years off, would be a shame if it happened on your brand new bike.
Direct experience here, I took close to 30 years off, did my MSF, then test rode quite a few new & used bikes. Slooooowly. Wore off some of the newb jitters on them. But it took quite a few miles to get most of the skills & comfort back (esp in traffic), and modern bikes are so much more capable than mid 70's "sportbike" iron that I used to ride. Most modern big touring bikes are 11 sec 1/4 mile machines, just unbelievable. And the liter bikes are mid 9's off the showroom floor. Handling and brakes just light years ahead.
True story. I was test riding an 08 ZX14 one day, got it out into the country and cracked it open a bit. Thought I was maybe doing 90MPH. Looked down at the speedo. 140. Just nuts. This was after I'd been back to riding for 3 yrs and owned a CBR1100XX. These new bikes are deceptive and you can get over your head real fast.
You can get some valuable cross learning from riding a bicycle too (yeah the ones you have to pedal). Seriously they help with balance, counter steering, and picking your lines. The physical conditioning doesn't hurt either.