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Old 04-24-2014, 01:24 PM   #31
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Location: Vienna, Austria
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A track day and an off-road skills course are both on my wish list - but out of my price range for now. So it's thread trawling and youtube watching time.

What I'd personally love is a mechanical skills course focussing on issues most commonly encountered, ideally in a language I can understand 100% (ie English and not German) - but a:) they don't exist here and b:) no dosh. Hmmm, maybe it's a business opportunity :)
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:30 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by cccolin View Post
been thinking about taking some advanced riding classes lately. a little background: I'm on my third bike. two 650 twins, and now a liter i4. first bike was in 06, had it for about a year. mostly just commuted with occasional hour rides. didn't ride again until last may, when I picked up my second bike. rode the hell out of it, did a 1500 miler and a bunch of shorter trips, around 4 hours out and 4 back. rode a bunch of twisties down south over the winter. have had the liter i4 since January, mostly urban commuting and longer rides on the weekends. felt like the bike was constantly trying to kill me when i first got it, but am feeling much more confident on it. i ride pretty hard, feel confident in curves, braking, etc. have never had a knee down, but mostly because I don't have gear with knee sliders and am not exactly looking to grind my kneecap off. I'd like to get more confident with riding fast, like actually fast (but at the same time am getting more leery of riding faster on public roads, partially due to close calls with maniac drivers, and partially due to two different friends recently getting nailed and put in the hospital while riding at legal speeds).

anyone have suggestions for classes to take for someone at my level? I'm in NYC, if that makes a difference.

Just me...but to ride in NYC is insane. Besides, you have a perfectly good, extensive subway system.
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:58 PM   #33
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you are completely correct. it is a daily exercise in absolute insanity and testing the fates. particularly on a heavy liter i4. which is why I sold the FZ today and am buying a nice bicycle (yes, the subway here is good, but i live AND work in neighorhoods that are hard to get to by train), and will be either buying a 650-ish and doing my commute on local streets and staying off the BQE, or buying a track bike and doing track days only. most likely the latter.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:28 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by outlaws justice View Post
I teach the Total Control Program, and it is available in NY and I teach it in Tennessee as well. This is 10 times better than the MSF advanced program!

I took it as a student in 2006 and at the time I was already an MSF Rider Coach (Still am) it was the best thing I have ever done for my riding and to make me both safer and better. I did my first track day a few weeks later and the difference between my self and the other newbies on the track was amazing (And I was only riding a Ninja 500) So I went and worked to become and instructor for the program as well. I continue to look for and take more rider training but by far this was the best I have done.
I took the Total Control program (level 1) with Lee Parks in Toronto. Mr. Justice was one of the instructors. It was a great class. I think it gives you the foundation you need to get the most out of a track day or school.

I did a track school a few years after I started riding. I had never been on a sportbike or a track. It was just too much to process in a day. Having taken Total Control, I think I'd enjoy the track experience a lot more.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:25 AM   #35
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I take the MSF class every 2 - 3 years. Here in MN you get 12 guys and schedule your own class it is $25/bike and you can do the class 2 up if you want to.

I suffer from a common problem of the right hand turn. Left turns I can do circles and drill down to China all day long, right hand turns I have to work at.

I also have a couple of bad habits they always try to help me correct. The insurance discount alone makes the class worth it.

Last time I took the class I was smart and brought a cooler full of waters because of how many others forgot to bring any water and the wife made cookies for us and even shared with the instructor since they were nice enough to give up a day of their riding time to teach us.

mngl1500 screwed with this post 04-28-2014 at 11:34 AM
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:29 PM   #36
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I just attended California Superbike School at Streets of Willow- it was really fun and very informative. I learned a ton and had a great time. I did rent one of their s1000rr and that is one easy to ride superbike- even if it was in Rain mode (we were given the option to switch it to sport mode but I didn't take them up on it- Rain was enough for me that day)- I also rented one of their leather monkey suits and track boots.

Why did I spend 600+ to go to an advanced school? Simple- I love learning. AND I wanted to pick up techniques from experts. I did have a friend suggest I could learn cornering skills by "just riding the same road over and over again"- that, right off the bat, made no sense to me and it wasn't the cycle I wanted to get caught up in.

My girlfriend took the class too- she rode her Ninja 300 and she had a blast and came away much more comfortable in the corners- plus her tires now look like those scrubbed up tires you see on race bikes. Obviously, she's a keeper.
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:29 PM   #37
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I've done MSF Basic once, Advanced twice, and Sport Bike once.

The Advanced was cool to do on your own bike. I did it once on each of the two bikes I've owned, and the Sport Bike on my current bike. Oddly, I think I was 1 out of 2 non-cruisers in the Sport Bike class. The classroom and exercises in all the MSF courses are very pertinent to city riding. I would definitely recommend taking the Advanced and/or Sport Bike class as a 'refresher' every year or two, or maybe to help get acclimated to a new bike. The classes are cheap (compared to something like the Total Control, less than 1/2 the price), and you'll get an insurance discount for a couple of years.

Besides MSF (which has various vendors around the NYC area) and Total Control (which does classes in Poughkeepsie), there's also Ride Like a Pro in NJ, which seems to be similar in content and cost to the MSF course with maybe a little more emphasis on the exercises(?) (I actually came across this guy's parked trailer yesterday while riding around).

Note though that all these courses are classroom and relatively slow-speed exercises. Though they are not the same as a course that you may take at a track, there are definitely skills that you can use on the street in the content.
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:27 PM   #38
outlaws justice
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Originally Posted by Ah Um View Post
Having taken Total Control, I think I'd enjoy the track experience a lot more.
That is how I did it, Class first, then the trip to the track, I had a blast and the other guys in the group with me could not figure things out, it was a lot for them but I had a lot less to think about, since much of the technical stuff I had gotten from the class. I had the smallest bike there (A 1991 Ninja 500 in 2006) and I was riding the wheels off that thing! Well as best a novice can on a 500 cc twin with chen ching tires! ( or what ever they were) LOL
2005 KTM950 Adventure, 2007 BMW K1200GT, 2005 Yamaha Vmax, 2005 Suzuki SV650S, 1991 Honda VFR750, 2004 Honda CRF250X, 2000 Buell Blast................
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:31 PM   #39
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Well thanks to this thread, I'm signing up for Corner Spin.

Thanks OP!
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:27 PM   #40
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Hey no problem. I like to help when i can ;)
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:18 PM   #41
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Yes yes yes. Absolutely. And then take some off-road riding lessons. No amount of reading or internet lore will do as much good as good old fashioned training by qualified teachers. Then, practice what you learn. I have found it's worth every penny spent. Even after riding for 40+ years, my skills get rusty and a class now and then helps keep everything sharp.

I did find the MSF ARC to be pretty much worthless once you have a lot of experience and/or attended 'real' riding classes.
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Old 05-03-2014, 05:23 AM   #42
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I posted on page 2... laying in bed this am I realized I've been riding road as a licensed rider for ~33 years. So I figured I'd post again in a more general fashion.

I can tell you that mentally wanting to be a better rider and focusing on that goal every time you ride, riding with people that are mentally and technically better riders, and seeking out instruction from professionals is something that will make you a better rider. This is something that I've focused on more and more the last 10 years. My focus is to be a better rider every time I get on the bike, vs. when I got off the bike last ride. That applies to street, dirt, and the track.

Tail of the Dragon at Deal's Gap... Avoid it now, do a trackday.

Do not do business with Myrtle West Cycle... Not a reputable vendor by a long shot.
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:21 AM   #43
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As always, the quality of the coaching makes a huge difference, as much as the content of the curriculum (maybe more).

I've taken Lee Parks' Total Control and Advanced Street Skills #1 from a local school in the Seattle region that does an excellent job.

Find a local riding school that gets rave reviews. The Advanced Street Skills is actually country road riding, not city street riding. They rent a track for a day, ride one direction in the morning, reverse in the afternoon (so it is like two tracks--you don't want to memorize; you want to be able to evaluate anything.) Rain is good. Train in the rain, and you can ride in almost anything.

Nothing replaces a good coach, but in the meantime, buy and read these books: Total Control: High Performance Street Riding Techniques, Lee Parks
The Upper Half of the Motorcycle: On the Unity of Rider and Machine, Bernt Spiegel (the first half of this has some teutonic heaviness, but slog through's worth it)

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:11 AM   #44
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Ive done MSF basic twice, Advanced once, Advanced Rider Track Day (basically baby track day on slow tight technical course), and Cornerspin 1.0.

They all helped a ton in the order that I took desire to retake BRC now lol.

Cornerspin especially was mindblowing. Theres nothing like being scared/overwhelmed on an XR100 at 20mph to show you how much you still have to learn

Some people may be able to just ride hard and crash a lot and self teach but thats not me. I try to take as many classes as I can because I always come away with some new skills and theyre usually fun as hell
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