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Discussion Starter #1
Me and my wife took a class last Saturday. Rode with a Motor Police Officer and got our riding skills assessment. Class was free as well as the lunch at local HD dealer. Not sure if it is available in every state, but I recommend taking it if available (we live in NC).

Supposed to lower your insurance premium as well, I'm going to find out.

Just wanted to share with you, guys.
 

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Did you learn things you did not know about riding, or about yourself?

I took the MSF class to get my license 5 years ago. I had ridden dirt bikes all my life, and figured the course would be a formality to get my license in 3 days, without having to do the whole road test nightmare.

I was amazed at how many things I did not know about riding on the street, and how many things I had been doing wrong my whole life on a MC.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Did you learn things you did not know about riding, or about yourself?

I took the MSF class to get my license 5 years ago. I had ridden dirt bikes all my life, and figured the course would be a formality to get my license in 3 days, without having to do the whole road test nightmare.

I was amazed at home many things I did not know about riding on the street, and how many things I had been doing wrong my whole life on a MC.
Yes, I learned a couple tricks and got some tips from the officer. I gotta polish my "one foot down at stop" and try to detect possible hazards a bit better. I learned to wave the bike at the intersections where there is a car on another roadway or in front of the car if it is turning left so they can catch my moving headlight and actually see me. Also, he said that it is totally fine to ride in the center of the lane on the highway and it is not the most slippery part of it because dripping oil gets blown away by the wind (only on highways, not in the city and intersections). And, of course, all three lane positions you supposed to take to maximize your view angle.

And it was fun riding with a Police, suddenly you get all that respect from the drivers! lol

We're planning to bring all of our friends to that class in spring time. You can take that class as many times as you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It MIGHT lower your insurance about $5. Don't expect much more.

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I'm not too concerned about that. I have already lowered it 2X by switching to another insurance provider.
 

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what do you mean about the 1 foot down at a stop?

I know Im not suppose to, but for most stop signs and even some red lights, I slow down to about 1mph and crawl up to the intersection, look both ways twice before going, and never actually stop or put my feet down unless there is a traffic conflict.

When I do stop I put down both feet. With the windshield and back rest on my bike I find its easier to hold the bike dead stable upright when stopped, without wobbling side to side.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
1 foot down means when you come to a complete stop you downshift to the first gear and put your left foot down and keep the right foot on the brake pedal. You shouldn't walk you bike to the stop with both feet or put both feet down. That way you can take off faster and safer if something is going on behind you. You always want to check your mirrors while stopped and always stay on the first gear and clutch (no neutral!). If you watch MCRider channel on Youtube that's what he recommends as well.

1 foot down is what I was taught when took MSF course. I took my MSF thru Harley Riding Academy.

https://www.youtube.com/user/kevinmorris22
 

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interesting.

I dont see the reasoning behind keeping your right foot on the brake. I hold the front brake on when stopped.

If I have to pull my visor up or something while stopped I put my right foot back on the brake to hold the bike so I can use my right hand, and I definitely feel less stable leaning the bike on my left foot with nothing to stop it from falling over on the right side.

When I took the MSF class they told us to put down both feet.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
interesting.

I dont see the reasoning behind keeping your right foot on the brake. I hold the front brake on when stopped.

If I have to pull my visor up or something while stopped I put my right foot back on the brake to hold the bike so I can use my right hand, and I definitely feel less stable leaning the bike on my left foot with nothing to stop it from falling over on the right side.

When I took the MSF class they told us to put down both feet.
Well, I guess there are different opinions on this subject. Anyways, I always try to put 1 foot down. If you feel safer with both - just do what you think is the best for you.

I heard a reason to keep both brakes engaged if you stop on the hill is that if one fails you won't roll off the hill. It becomes a habit after a while (I keep both brakes engaged because I used to it).
 

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I always practice this! One foot down with bike still in 1st gear. Make sure to check the mirrors behind you! Had a buddy get rear-ended while he was stopped at an intersection by a car going 55 mph. Almost killed him, broke his back in several places.
 

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I've been an MSF rider coach for a bit so, the "company" answer is :
Downshift, left foot down, right foot down. I didn't understand the order either until I watched a lady rider drop a big HD twice when stopping. She would stop with both feet at the same time because she used the front brake in a turn down" didn't like the rear brake". The front brake will always throw you off balance in a turn, try it, the more you grab the worse it is. Rear brake at the end of a turn (talking slow speed) is the way to go.
Since muscle memory is so important, we teach the same process for stopping straight or in a turn.


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Discussion Starter #11
A possibility of getting rear-ended is the exact reason for 1st gear, checking your mirrors and having the front wheel pointed towards an escape route.

1 foot down just helps to take off faster.

light rear brake, "grey" clutch zone and looking thru the curve are the keys for riding "like a cop".

Just sharing what I heard/learned.
 

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Almost killed him, broke his back in several places....

Keith Post and nurtaeff like this.
one of those weird message forum culture things.... :^O

one of the situations I have thought about, you are stopped at a light and see a car coming right at you
so you dive off your bike and leap/roll to safety on the sidewalk

...... and the car stops or misses your bike completely...... DOH!

sometimes there are no good options, just several bad ones.
 

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the new VStar 3200 has a power kickstand

automatically deploys below 2mph.....

its needs the 3200 cc engine to power all the accesories
and it needs the power kickstand to hold up the bike & 3200 cc engine

its a vicious cycle.
 

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It's always good to to get input from experienced riders whether you're a noob or seasoned veteran... even the slightest tip can make you reassess one of your riding habits in a positive way. Since it's winter time and a lot of riders are going to be inactive it's a good time to crack open a good book and expose oneself to riding techniques (or remind oneself of some forgotten) which, IMHO, any of Keith Code's books can be enlightening. What can be better than cozying up fireside to a good motorcycle book, a pipe full of cyprian latakia and a cuppa Lapsang Souchong? (warning.... do not attempt this if you're in a serious relationship because your S.O. may label you as a stinky old man. How's that for being a sexist motorcyclist?).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
the new VStar 3200 has a power kickstand

automatically deploys below 2mph.....

its needs the 3200 cc engine to power all the accesories
and it needs the power kickstand to hold up the bike & 3200 cc engine

its a vicious cycle.
3200 is a version for beginners, Vstar 8400 is the one for those who don't put any foot down at stops! It also has M79s on the back to stop any threat that might rear-end you so you don't need mirrors anymore.
 

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I think the reason I prefer to plant both feet is the stability. With the front brake on I can push back with both feet and hold the bike solidly up straight, and I can push/plant both feet on the road and get a good sense if my boots are going to slip. If I needed to turn sharply I can immediately lay the handlebars all the way to one side and lean the bike in that direction to take off in a full turn. I feel I have more control over the mass of the bike with both feet down.

If I only have one foot down I can only push on my foot with just enough force to hold the bike leaning to one side, without pushing it over the center of gravity to the right.

I pick up my right foot and put it on the rear brake when I need to use my right hand for something, and I do not feel anywhere as firmly planted as I do with both feet down. In fact I slow down and creep up to a light if I need to pull my visor up with my right hand, rather than stop with only one foot down. When its cold in the morning my visor and glasses frequently fog up when I slow down.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I think the reason I prefer to plant both feet is the stability. With the front brake on I can push back with both feet and hold the bike solidly up straight, and I can push/plant both feet on the road and get a good sense if my boots are going to slip. If I needed to turn sharply I can immediately lay the handlebars all the way to one side and lean the bike in that direction to take off in a full turn. I feel I have more control over the mass of the bike with both feet down.

If I only have one foot down I can only push on my foot with just enough force to hold the bike leaning to one side, without pushing it over the center of gravity to the right.

I pick up my right foot and put it on the rear brake when I need to use my right hand for something, and I do not feel anywhere as firmly planted as I do with both feet down. In fact I slow down and creep up to a light if I need to pull my visor up with my right hand, rather than stop with only one foot down. When its cold in the morning my visor and glasses frequently fog up when I slow down.
Whatever makes you feel safer man! I didn't insist on one foot down, just shared my thoughts on the class. I personally prefer one foot down technique since it allows me to take off faster than with both feet down. I don't have any issues with holding my RK with just one foot. I also prefer to "creep" to the light when possible so I don't have to come to a complete stop, but I avoid doing what many other riders do - put both feet down before the stop and walk the bike to a stop line (see it a lot). Again, this is just me. Others may find this totally appropriate. I just try to adopt what more experienced riders advise, especially if I hear same thing from different persons.

And I still recommend taking that Rider Skills class since it is free and you may learn some good tricks.
 

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When you see a person slowing to a stop, with both feet sticking out like they lowered the landing gear

or you see someone stopped, duck walking their bike to either move up, or to take off, I think they do not have a MC license.

Im pretty sure they will fail your during your road test if you do either of those things, and you are required to show you can ride your bike at 2mph without putting your feet down.

If your engine is off its better to duck walk your bike to move it, than to stand on one side and push it by the handlebars. Ive done it several times, like waiting for 15 minutes to go through customs at the Canadian border, and I didnt want to keep starting my engine to move the bike up 20 feet atta time.
 
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