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Discussion Starter #1
I just finished registering for the BRC (Basic Rider Course)at my local community college for a whopping ONE HUNDRED THIRTY FIVE dollars. ( It is sponsored by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation)

I have been riding on and off for 30+ years. I have two reason for taking this course. 1) I can get my state M endorsement w/o having to go to the DMV and take their test. 2) I am most definitely sure I will learn a new "trick" to to help keep myself safe on the roads.

I will take the Experienced Rider Course (ERC) next year.

How many of you have taken the BRC or ERC? What is one of the things that has always stuck with you from it?
 

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I got my first MC when I was 19, rode it on the streets and in the 'swamps' of florida for 2 years.
then I got an enduro bike that I had for 30 years, riding only off road on forest trails.

I took the MSF BRC when I was 55, for the same reason, to get my license before I had a street bike to ride.

I thought it would be a formality, since I had been riding for over 40 years.

Instead I was amazed at how many things I did not know, and how many things I was doing wrong.

You got a good deal, it cost me $250 in NYS, and it paid for itself the first time I did not crash my bike, and many times since when I did not crash my bike, thanks to the things I learned in those 3 days.

Have fun, be humble, and Kudos for signing up!

PS: 5 years since the BRC, no dints in my bike.
 

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ct didn't start the BRC until 2011 so i wasn't required to take it but here it costs 200.00, i did the advanced rider course and before we could begin we to wait for the basic rider course to finish. it must have been the final day because some of the people were getting loud and angry about having to spend another 200.00 because they didn't pass this one big dude was yelling " how do expect me to pass riding that small childs bike " all i can say is get your permit first and get some riding time in before taking a BRC going in with little to no experience is recipe for failure and paying again would totally suck. i would recommend the advanced course for all riders no matter how long you have been riding, i still do the advanced course every 3 to 4 years and i'm alway surprised at the things i had forgot in just the few years between, plus it's just a fun way to spend the day
 

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Discussion Starter #4
... "riding that small childs bike"...
Another (small) reason I am taking the BRC course is riding a 150 or 250 cc bike BECAUSE it is easier to pass than my riding Road Star.
My comfort level is not what it was. But, it will come back. I'd rather be legal & practicing around my hood. Then illegal & practicing.
 

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I took this insane maryland driving test in my huge sport touring bike back in 96. The instructors that where grading me thought it was insane to attempt it.

I never took the BRC, but many friends have, and thought it was great, especially about how to emergency turn around a stopped car in front of you, how far you can lean that bike over and not crash it.
I have never been able to get into the BRC classes, cause they are so booked solid up here (it's been a lot better now then it used to be). Once my daughter gets old enough, I'll book classes and take it with her.
 

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How many of you have taken the BRC or ERC? What is one of the things that has always stuck with you from it?
Road a little in college, but didn't get my license until 2011 at 50 years old. Great class.

Whats stuck with me . . . Two best pieces of information / advice.
1. The bike will go to the spot on (or off) the road that you are looking at. There are times on tight turns I consciously remind myself of this.
2. Never be in a hurry on a motorcycle. Going fast and being in a hurry are different.
 

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when I took the course they had a couple bigger bikes for the larger students. I dont know what they were, maybe 400 or 600 CC, looked like a cruiser bike, think the name started with a V (not victory). Never saw another one.

some people take the BRC and discover they should not or can not ride a motorcycle.

When I took the class there were 4 or 5 people in my group that had never ridden a motorcycle, and had never driven a car with a clutch. Everyone passed.

Sometimes its better to learn things, like how to ride the friction zone of the clutch, correctly the first time you sit on a motorcycle, than to practice doing things wrong for a while, then have to relearn to do it right in 3 days. Most things in life are a trade off, and both approaches have merit.

the one bad habit I had from riding enduro bikes on trails all my life, I kept looking at the "path" right in front of my front wheel, because that is where you have to look when riding on trails. Instructor told me at least 30 times "LOOK UP! LOOK UP!" Look for cars and people and look ahead where you are going....

Like everything else, the skills of the instructors will vary from one location to another.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
looking at the "path" right in front of my front wheel. .... Instructor told me at least 30 times "LOOK UP! LOOK UP!" Look for cars and people and look ahead where you are going....
I've been practicing on my bicycle at "looking up." My chin is parallel to the roadway and my eyes are "touching" the ground about 90+ feet (maybe longer) in front of me {You can laugh at me. The mental picture is funny.} I've also, been thinking how I would ride my bike, when I am driving my car. like ... I would take this path to miss this pothole. Stay on this side of the road to stay farther away from this putz in this car. etc.
 

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People that take the MSF courses say it makes us better car drivers too. Cars have so much protection we dont drive around as if our first born son is strapped across the front hood, but on a motorcycle there are no fender benders - there are leg breakers and face smashers.

Learning to ride with that extra level of awareness, so you anticipate when another vehicle is in a position where they MIGHT hit you, carries over to when you are driving your car. That level of awareness stays with you all the time. Its ok to get hit car to car, you will probably walk away and the insurance companies will buy you a new one, but I dont want to get hit in my car if I can avoid it

and you can avoid it.

I notice the difference the most when Im driving with my wife. I will see someone that looks like they are not slowing down enough for a stop sign or a red light, and she gets huffy "why are you slowing down, YOU have the right of way and HE has to stop"

NO, the other guy does not "have to" stop - he is suppose to stop, but hundreds of thousands of cars ram into each other in the US every year. I dont want to play Right Of Way!
 

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How many of you have taken the BRC or ERC? What is one of the things that has always stuck with you from it?
when we first sat on the bikes for the riding day, the instructor announced: "congratulations. you're now all invisible."
that's probably been my biggest lesson in riding - always act as if no one can see you. from time to time someone will post that they try to look into another driver's eyes to make sure that they see them. i think that's the completely wrong frame of mind to have and can actually do you more harm if you're focusing your attention on something so small and specific.
 

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I had decided at the end of summer in 2012 to get my license, thought about it all winter, and signed up for the course in March of 2013. My class was the last week of May.

I had it on my calendar, and yeah... counted off the days for two months.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I had decided at the end of summer in 2012 to get my license, thought about it all winter, and signed up for the course in March of 2013. My class was the last week of May.

I had it on my calendar, and yeah... counted off the days for two months.
I feel like a kid on Christmas morning, before his parents wake up and I am just staring at the presents under the tree.


It's kind of funny. 20 years ago, I would have said... F0rk the DMV & needing a license. I own the bike, pay insurance and its registered. That is good enough. I did not think thru my decisions. I just made them.
Now, I think them thru and try to make good ones. AND I am guessing that is because I have more to lose.
 

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I think maybe the best part of taking the MSF riding course, is the level of confidence you get.

Riding a MC can be frightening when you dont know what you are doing.

When you know how to countersteer around curves, swerve around cars without dropping your bike, ride over pot holes and 2x4s, skid your back tire to a stop, or stop the bike as fast as humanly possible
then you enjoy riding far more.

SAND!

DEER!

GRAVEL!

DOWN POUR!

SHARP CURVE!

.... I got this - beautiful day for a ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Completed 3 hrs of classroom work last night. 4.5 hrs of range time, plus another 3 hrs of classroom work.
Passed the written exam.
Another 4.5 of range time tomorrow morning.
Very happy with riding progress. The only thing I'm upset about... I didn't do this year's ago!
 

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are there any students in your class that have never sat on a motorcycle before?

there were 4 in my group of 20. I was very impressed how quickly the instructors had them riding across the practice area and back - literally within 10 minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
are there any students in your class that have never sat on a motorcycle before?
There is 12 total in my class.
6 had riding experience to varying degrees. (Me icluded.)
2 had ridden a dirt bike once or twice for a few minutes.
4 had none whatsoever.
No crashes. Only saw one put his foot down in a turn. Several stalls from letting the clutch too quickly & a few who forgot to turn the fuel petcock to on.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
There is one thing I'm annoyed with and it may just be me. I am riding a Honda 250 Nighthawk. Let's say I turn the throttle 1/4 turn. Go to let out the clutch and a bike will start moving once the clutch is engaged it feels like the a throttle drops down to a quarter turn. And then when adjust by giving a little more gas. It's like I'm now running at 2/3 or 3/4 throttle.

I've never felt this on the other bikes I've ridden.
 
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