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I'm a new rider, having driven the Burger 650 for 6 weeks now. Prior to that it was a 50cc scooter. Here's the deal. I'm taking the MSF class in 2 weeks (so that will make it 2 months of riding the 650 by then).

My question is this... the MSF provides you with motorcycles, not scooters. There's a clutch on the left handlebar as opposed to a brake which I've become VERY used to. Under your right foot there's a brake!!

Has anyone else taken the MSF class after having ridden nothing but scooters with no clutches and no foot brakes? Is this going to be a problem?

Next problem. The 650 is a BIG bike!! Am I going to feel a lot less stable on one of those 125 or 250cc bikes the MSF class provides? I'm wondering if I should use my own bike (650)... but then again I'd rather not be the center of attention - it wouldn't be fair to the other students to distract them from their primary concentration.

- Chuck
 

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By the time you take the course you will have very little need, if any for the riding part, the important part for you will be the class room and safety work, after all you already know how to ride .
I say take the class just like anyone else, learn to shift and clutch and use your foot brake, why not at that point in the class you have nothing else to learn anyway.after all the point of the class is to learn, and you do not need to unlearn anything.

By the way, your concern about a motorcycle is groundless you will find riding a 150 or 250 cc bike no trouble at all.
So , go learn something and enjoy, by the time you climb back on your scooter you will forget shifting and foot brakes (but you will have the knowledge) :)
 

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chuck807 said:
...I'm wondering if I should use my own bike (650)...
In some areas you can use your own bike (but I wouldn't recommend it), in others you are required to use theirs. Here in Washington you can use yours on the BRC only if you don't fit on theirs (over 6'5" and/or 300 pounds) or if you have a disability that makes riding theirs impossible. On the ERC you can ride your own, and the MSF keeps talking about a scooter course, but I haven't found one yet.
 

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[quote="chuck807" My question is this... the MSF provides you with motorcycles, not scooters. There's a clutch on the left handlebar as opposed to a brake which I've become VERY used to. Under your right foot there's a brake!![/quote]

Chuck, take the course! Yes, they will teach you how to ride a standard motorcycle and how to use the bar-mounted brake and clutch levers and the foot operated brake and shift levers. And you, like many millions of us, will find these controls are not difficult to operate and become second nature quickly. You will be shifting and braking after only a few hours into the riding exercises and wondering why you were even concerned.
As far as riding your Burgman after a number of hours of riding a standard bike in the class, as most of us on this Forum can tell you, it's not a problem. My 650 is my first scooter in over 30 years of riding and I adapted in probably the first 50 miles or so. I was able to remember NOT to use the left lever (clutch on a standard) for shifting almost immediately( but with some concentration). The only habit that took a few stops to break was pressing my right foot against the Burgman's floorboard when stopping.
As a former MSF Instructor, I would highly recommend that you use their bike. Students (even some with experience) have been known to drop a bike on occasion so why take the chance of scratching that nice shiny Suzuki. :D
 

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I highly suggest using their bikes. You never know when you might want to ride a regular bike (ie - loaner when getting your Burgman serviced). I wouldn't worry about not being used to the clutch and foot brake. The Beginner Rider Course is designed to train someone with no experience in riding motorcycles how to ride. The change from scooter to motorcycle is not that difficult and you'll adapt quickly. I would suggest not riding the Burgman while taking the course. It'll be easier to keep your new skills without changing back and forth between them for the 3 day period of the course. When you do get back on the Burgman, give yourself at least a small amount of time to be comfortable with the braking setup again. It never hurts to practice some of the same driving skills learned in the course once you are back on the Burgman.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for the heads up! I feel much better about taking the course on a standard now. Sounds like its easier to go from scooter to standard rather than the other way. Well, the course will come and go in 2 weeks and it'll all be behind me then. Thanks again!
 

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This is nothing but a "me too" post, but anyway.........

When I took the MSF class I hadn't ridden a standard bike in about 35+ years, but had ridden a scoot extensively. My wife, who took the class with me, had never ridden a gearshift bike - only a scoot. No real problem. The wife was uncomfortable for the first hour or so on the little cruisers the MSF provides, but then it became alright. She is glad she learned to ride the gearshift standard bike, 'cause who knows, we may get one (or two) some day.

You could probably bring your own scoot - in fact I think you have to - to the Experienced Rider Course next year, if you want to go through the "basic training" business again. Dunno if I do!

Bottom line: no problem, you'll enjoy it.
 

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After riding my 400 for the last 4 months I finally took got into the MSF class here. (there is a long wait for the class) Riding my bike was not an option. I am glad I took the class and took it on ther bike. When I got home and took my bike out I felt a lot more confident on it. I wasn't afraid to push myself to the max on the range because it was their bike and it already was dented up. On my bike I would have been worried about dropping it instead of focusing on riding. I had no trouble "changing gears" after a few minutes I remembered that the left was no longer a brake.
 

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I highly recommend NOT using your own bike for an MSF class, especially any with newbies in it. Not because you may hit them, but because THEY may hit you. The class I was in had a 3 person pile up, all because the person in the rear hit the gas rather than the brake. One person ended up with a broken clavicle and another a broken ankle. All 3 bikes had minor/moderate damage. Freak low-speed accident.

I'd have been terribly upset if i'd been on my own bike and had someone rearend me during the class...at a low speed, and caused damage to both the bike and me...

It happens, but no need to hurt your own bike if another is available (and at no charge).

Flint
 

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We went into the MSF course not having ridden a traditional motorcycle but having a few months of Burgie riding under our belts. I tried to approach it from the aspect of learning a totally new skill, so that helped me not focus on comparing the Burgie to the little cruisers we used.

As someone already mentioned, it did give me more confidence once I got back on the scooter. Also, in PA at least, they do allow scooters in the advanced class.

You should do fine! Take deep breaths and think about the fun of learning something new! :)

Bryna (recent MSF grad)
 
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