Harley Beginner's Riding Course ??

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by space, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    #61
  2. bwalsh

    bwalsh UUU, UUU!!!

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    Case in point! :deal




























    :evil
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  3. rdcamp

    rdcamp Been here awhile

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    Yeah I had actually barely passed the riding portion of the MSF test. the instructors were very professional, very rigid. Reminded me of the ex marine range officer that taught me to shoot a rifle.

    At that point in time, I had been on a dirtbike once (when I was 12) otherwise I had no previous practice with a standard transmission vehicle.

    As a ski instructor I understand the dilema of working with a large group of students with VASTLY varying skill sets.

    There were a number of "Old Ladies" who rode on the backs of their husbands Harleys who were quite hopeless.

    Again, I barely passsed. Later in the summer I got a job which involved me driving around on a standard transmission 4wheeler, which definitely helped me out.


    My dad had me work on his R100RS for a few hours in a parking lot with some brief road riding. Then I started using my R80RT which is a much more forgiving bike then the RS.
    #63
  4. DavidBanner

    DavidBanner Banned

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    i'm sure day one would be something like:

    1. proper safety gear: leather vest, no gloves, jeans. brain bucket.

    2. "Cruisers are safer than ninjas"...because they go slower and they are heavier.

    3. "don't use the front brake, or you'll go over the handlebars...use the back brake only."

    4. buy a sportster.
    #64
  5. Veteran Noob

    Veteran Noob Astoundingly Unremarkable

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    I was an instructor in an adult hockey school and one of the participants was an instructor with both the local MSF program and and the HD Riders Edge. I mentioned my daughter had asked to ride and I was going to enroll her in the MSF Basic. He pitched the Riders Edge saying it was the identical curriculum, better prepared bikes and at least double the seat time (smaller class, dedicated bike for each student so no sharing).

    He ended up getting my daughter in a RE class that had an open spot (gratis). The only marketing addition to the RE class was a mandatory tour at the HD shop (which was waived for my issue).

    After both days of the riding portion my very fit 17 yr old was very tired (and complained she couldn't hold her phone with her left hand) so I'm guessing they spent plenty of time riding.
    #65
  6. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Huh, WTF is up with that? When my wife took the MSF there was no sharing of bikes.
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  7. bwalsh

    bwalsh UUU, UUU!!!

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    I think that RE instructor was making a sales pitch to increase his paycheck. Even the "better prepared bikes" part was probably BS. All MSF bikes are supposed to be maintained in good working order...
    #67
  8. Veteran Noob

    Veteran Noob Astoundingly Unremarkable

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    Local classes share bikes dependent on enrollment. One of the guys I work with took the MSF course and he had to share a bike. Spent two days on the range but took turns practicing each exercise.
    #68
  9. space

    space a.k.a. Jake

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    Thanks for all the feedback.

    My buddy signed up for the local HD class, but they weren't the best at communication. Among other things, they told him only a few days beforehand that he'd need to first take a test at the DMV -- and he only found that out because he asked. Maybe this is common knowledge, but ... well, I didn't know it, and I've been riding for a while now. Anyhow, he didn't have time to get to the DMV on such short notice, so he canceled.

    He'll be taking a non-HD course next weekend. He's psyched. He's into cruisers, so he's looking into used Honda Shadows for his first bike. Maybe he'll turn up in Road Warriors.
    #69
  10. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    Weird....must be a California thing.:deal

    I am an MSF and RE instructor. I ride a BMW:deal A 1983 BMW:deal:deal

    I was a card carrying HD basher, but those days are over. I grew out of that shite and realized it doesn't matter what you ride, but that you do. The unfortunate stereotypes do exist, but the fact that some HD dealerships are offering rider training is helping to educate its consumers and minimize the sterotype. When Georgia went to a 2 day state run course, I was flabergasted!!! That isn't a lot of time to get through the curriculum and riding portion....any problem will set you back. So 1 or 2 riders out of 12 have clutch control issues, or mechanical issues with the bikes, or you happen to have a crash were the rider needs a few minutes to relax......you're wayyyyy off schedule. And why would you want to fly through education of new riders is beyond me.

    Riders Edge is no less than 3 days. It gives instructors extra time to get to know there riders and ease them into the process a bit, mechanical problems....you usually have 2-3 back up bikes at HD, rider needs extra time...you have it. Our dealership charges 325-350 depending if its a weekeday or weekend, state class is 250. You get more talk time and ride time at HD here in GA.....and that's a good thing!

    Also a lot of state classes are run out of a trailer. Not very comfortable. HD dealership are usually very accomodating and the facilities are top notch.:thumb I recommend a Rider Edge course over a state course here in Georgia because, well, more time = more education. Even if it's the same curriculum, you can actually have a conversation about things instead of just reading text aloud from a book.

    Rant off. Keep in mind your experience will vary from dealership to dealership, so word of mouth is key picking your dealership.
    #70
  11. bwalsh

    bwalsh UUU, UUU!!!

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    I stand corrected! 25 hours instead of 15. I just nuked the post.

    I was going by the local HD shops program...but it is run by an independent company.


    I guess some states do things differently. Each training facility here has at least five extra bikes(that are serviced and ready to go), and have an actual classroom. The HD shop has their class in the employee break room.
    #71
  12. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    One dealership I work at, we hang out in a seperate HOG building. Nice place, other dealership we are in a confrence room. What I think is pretty cool is a lot of HD shops grill every Saturday. So it's a fun hang out time with lots of people from around the area.

    I think GA lost a lot of cash when it came to the Motorcycle safety program. A lot of state bikes are pretty old and not very well maintained..... lots of mid 80's rebels and GN125 oh and a few CB 125's. CA certainly has more cash than us.
    #72
  13. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    That's funny, considering the lawsuit was mostly over copyright claims on classroom materials and some terms, like "clutch lever".

    The ONLY thing used in Idaho and Oregon is one video on impairments (yeah, the Chip Eston video) which I'm told is no longer used by MSF. Actually, I can't speak for Idaho- I know there are differences to what Oregon teaches, as both programs have tweaked things in the past few years.

    Cringe. I'd hate to ever hear of a direct correlation between a student passing and an instructor's income- that's BS. But even the potential conflict of interest with a company making a sale or not based on whether a student gets an endorsement waiver is too much for some states. RE as intended by HD and MSF was never going to fly in Oregon because of that.

    Well, they'd be Buells- that is, Harleys. REAL bikes. :deal

    Wish in one hand, :topes in the other... I know of sites that have eventually lost their franchise because of poor maintenance (although it's easier to lose it due to RC's in loose cannon mode, teaching their own thing under the MSF's name).

    That's bollocks. Students have enough stress without all that. Caveat: Insurance rules limit bikes to 12 on a full size range. Sometimes we have 1-2 returning students taking a skill retest inline with a class; they share a bike with a regular student. But not as part of training.
    #73
  14. space

    space a.k.a. Jake

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    Just to clarify, I'm not bashing Harley or RE here. I simply wasn't all that impressed with this particular dealer's handling of my friend.

    I suspect he may wind up on a Harley eventually. That seems what he really wants, but I suggested a Shadow as a cheaper, lower-displacement first bike. Ah well, I'll still ride with him! :D
    #74
  15. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    and state to state.
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  16. bwalsh

    bwalsh UUU, UUU!!!

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    No wishing to it. Again, I said "supposed". There are exceptions to everything. I've seen a couple that needed a bolt tightened up during a class(which I promptly did) but I've never seen one that was unfit for use, that was still in use. Can you saw lawsuit? The schools here have a reputation to uphold(other than just MSF classes) and act accordingly.

    #76
  17. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

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    I don't know about California, but here in Michigan the Harley course is exactly the same as the MSF Basic Rider course. In fact, the local Harley dealer even employs the same teachers that I took my MSF course with years ago now.

    It is just a LOT more expensive ($25 for MSF compared to $250 for the Harley one) but it is also much more accessible as the $25 MSF courses often fill up by the time the snow is gone.

    I don't know for sure what Harley uses here, but I assume it's Buell Blasts. The MSF course uses mostly 250cc bikes. I took it again with my son about 3 years ago and rode a TU250. Nice little bike.
    #77
  18. ZiaThunder

    ZiaThunder Go big or go home

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    I've taught the Harley version of the BRC (Rider's Edge) and still coach the MSF BRC...

    They are the same, (use the same books) with the exception of a few added pieces, the ones I didn't like are where they push the Harley product.

    I did really like a few of the things they added and would have liked to seen them taught for the MSF BRC, like the 'how to pick your first bike' and riding with a passenger piece.

    They also take more time in the HD version, you get a lil' more time for the exact same exercises on the range.



    I also took that version when I learned how to ride 7 years ago. I got a lot out of it and it's one of the reasons that I decided to become a coach.
    #78
  19. bwalsh

    bwalsh UUU, UUU!!!

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    Just curious here and am in no way trying to give you a hard time...

    How are they the same with a ten hour time difference? That's an awful lot of "a lil more time for the exact same exercise". How much of that extra ten hours is actually used? Is it a five hour classroom and two ten hour days or?

    Also how do they cover the "picking your first bike" while being made to listen to a Harley sales pitch? Do you tell them to ignore the pitch?
    Usually that is covered during a break or two after one of the students asks that very question.

    If I paid the price some pay for a RE class I'd be pissed to have to listen to a sales pitch. They should be paying the students to listen to it! :lol3
    #79
  20. Sanderthomas

    Sanderthomas Total Newbie

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    I took the HD Rider' Edge course last November. It was twice the cost and three times further away from home, but it was also twice the range time Nad twice the class time. As a complete noob, I wanted as much one-on-one time as I could get. I felt it was a comprehensive, well-taught class with constant emphasis on safety.
    #80