ever taken advanced riding classes? worth it?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by cccolin, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. cccolin

    cccolin Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    also, still wondering:

    #21
  2. Am.E

    Am.E Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    NCNC
    Jumping in here 'cause I've taken Cornerspin and Total Control.

    Cornerspin is THE SH*T (should I just swear already?) Just fantastic and so much fun. Search the forum for more reviews, I know there have been some good write ups about it. Aaron Stevenson and his instructors are really great. I recommend this without reservation, for any level. I would like to make Cornerspeed happen at some point.

    I liked Total Control, but depending on your level, you may not get much out of it. I received good instruction and feedback, and fixed at least one bad habit I didn't realize I had. (Took it in Woodbridge, VA). Its parking lot fundamentals, but is a good foundation for a track school. Reading a book is one thing, but you may not be executing the technique like you think you are, and having someone else look at you and correct you was valuable to me, even though we weren't going fast.

    So far I'm pro advanced riding classes. 2/2 on good experiences that are worth it. I'm also not a fast or very naturally skilled rider (I'm not bad, perfectly competent for the street, but won't be scraping knee either, and not willing to try and keep up with the fast riders, so.....whatever that means).
    #22
  3. Import

    Import Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    346
    Location:
    bc
    Did the course in the uk..loved it so much, I qualified as an instructor.. Took 8/9 hour rides around uk, all different traffic scenarios, if the lead bike kept a constant 70 mph, the last in the group would be doing a ton catching up....the idea is to teach anticipation, hazard awareness, positioning on the road for the greatest view, use of momentum, and "restraint" ..if you plan, it's amazing how much progress you can make, without taking unnecessary risks... For out and out speed, no safer way to improve than doing track days....the instructors at the circuits will offer all kinds of usefull advice if you ask... Racing lines, brake points ect.....try something, you won't regret it..I'd really love o get back into it..
    #23
  4. KingOfFleece

    KingOfFleece SplitWeight(tm) waterproof seat covers

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    926
    Location:
    Western New York
    Track days and instruction are great for skills. For survival on the road try www.stayinsafe.com.
    #24
  5. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,707
    Location:
    Michigan


    Speaking of pricey....



    I guess you gotta pay for quality education.
    #25
  6. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2002
    Oddometer:
    7,423
    Location:
    Fredericksburg, Va.
    I've done Supercamp. HIGHLY recommend it or Cornerspin based on what I know of it. You will have fun, and you will be a better rider.

    Barry
    #26
  7. filmfan

    filmfan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    905
    Location:
    live free or die
    I am taking the ERC this weekend. Looking forward to it.
    I would also like to do some of the classes like Total Control or a track day, but the ERC seems like it will be a good value in terms of money and time.
    #27
  8. DougFromKentucky

    DougFromKentucky Just a good 'ole boy

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    Bowling Green, Kentucky
    I took the BRC some 10-15 years ago. Even after riding all of my adult life I learned a lot. Returned for the ERC several years later, learned more. Not a track school but pretty good for learning and reinforcing slow speed control. I probably need to return and take another ERC to refresh my skills. I wish the MSF would bring out a class just for us grey beards to help us adapt to the slowing of our reflexes.
    #28
  9. Mollygrubber

    Mollygrubber Eschew obfuscation

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,457
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I was self-taught and had ridden for over 20 years before I ever took a class. Went with my wife to a beginners riding school when she was getting her license, figured I'd offer her moral support. While I was better than the new students, I still leaned a lot.

    That made me want to expand my knowledge farther so I took a Roadcraft Academy (local to me) course. It was awesome, much like the style that motor officers learn. Learned SO much. One of the instructors is a multiple Goldwing "Top Gun" winner, that guy can do things on his big 'Wing that are amazing.

    All in all, I'm totally behind advanced training of any kind. More tools in the toolbox is always a good thing.
    #29
  10. Vulfy

    Vulfy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    574
    Location:
    NYC
    "Corner Spin" actually looks and sounds awesome! I'm now thinking of taking their class sometime in June.
    #30
  11. catweasel67

    catweasel67 Honda XRV 750 RD04

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    9,833
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    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 :)
    #31
  12. Newbedonnie

    Newbedonnie Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    273
    Just me...but to ride in NYC is insane. Besides, you have a perfectly good, extensive subway system.
    #32
  13. cccolin

    cccolin Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    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.
    #33
  14. Ah Um

    Ah Um A lurker emerges

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada┬┤s Cold Concrete Canyon
    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.
    #34
  15. mngl1500

    mngl1500 []

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    682
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    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.
    #35
  16. CONKSO

    CONKSO Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    108
    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.
    #36
  17. lmychajluk

    lmychajluk Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,146
    Location:
    Meadowlands, NJ (just east of the USA)
    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.
    #37
  18. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice Long timer

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,152
    Location:
    Watertown NY
    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
    #38
  19. Vulfy

    Vulfy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    574
    Location:
    NYC
    Well thanks to this thread, I'm signing up for Corner Spin. :D

    Thanks OP!
    #39
  20. cccolin

    cccolin Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Hey no problem. I like to help when i can ;)
    #40