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Discussion Starter #1
Is this course available to be taken before we even own our 650,
since we don't own a bike now, can we take course with their bikes?
My wife and I both want to take the course. Neither one of us have
used traditional motorcyles (bikes) which require shifting coordination.
Thanks guys
 

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Mike,

When I took the MSF Basic Rider Course they required you to use their bikes. Only for the Advanced Rider Course are you required to provide your own bike. Even if they were to let you use your own for the Basic course, I'd suggest using theirs. Even though you may be getting a scooter and will not be using a clutch, it is a good skill to know. And if you were to lay down a bike, wouldn't you rather it be theirs?
 

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Hi Mike,
You all won't be the only ones with no motorcycle experience. When I took it, quite a few of the students didn't have bikes yet. I did have my scooter and was on the rode about two months before I took the course. My experience actually was a hinderance to me because I liked to release the brakes after I came to a stop. They called that "popping the clutch", and it took me a whole day to unlearn it. Take the course with the motorcycles and enjoy. :wink:
 

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Same here in Ontario, Canada.

I am taking the course in April on THEIR bikes, 250CC I hear.

Helmet will be supplied if required, but I will probably have my own by then anyway.

Second course (to acquire final level of graduated licence), requires you to be on your own bike, or scooter, which you will have been riding for up to 5 years (18 month minimum).
 

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Mike said:
Neither one of us have used traditional motorcyles (bikes) which require shifting coordination
No problem, Mike. Your instructors will have you both shifting gears after only a couple of hours into the riding portion of the course. Because of the course's speed limitations, you will probably only be shifting from neutral to first to second and back down. That's OK because you'll use the same technique to up or down shift for the other gears once you're on the road.
My wife took the course here in PA a number of years ago and had no idea of how to shift gears - not even in a car. It only took her a short time on the range to get the hang of it (but, she still can't shift gears in a car).
Don
 

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In Pennsylvania, you are encouraged (read nearly required) to use their bikes unless you have a special condition which prohibits use of their bikes. I have a badly arthritic (sp?) hip that prevents me from being able to straddle many bikes. In that instance, they just told me to tell the person when I registered for the class that I would be bringing me scooter.
 

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Doctor K said:
In Pennsylvania, you are encouraged (read nearly required) to use their bikes unless you have a special condition which prohibits use of their bikes.
You're right, Jim. The instructors are familiar with the State's bikes and their controls and know they are in safe operating condition. They couldn't be sure of the condition of bikes brought by students and can't take that chance with 12 students on the range.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to all for your help.
Dr.K, sorry to hear about the arthritic hip, but you can't keep a good man
down. I am in the process of getting knee replacements from the V.A.
(on the list anyway). The step thru 650 will be great for me when they
come to the showrooms. I may be recovering from surgery by then,
but can always get out to the garage for a visit.
 

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MSF safty course

Hi Mike, I live in Orange County Calif and just completed the basic course over the Thanksgiving weekend. It's been over 20 years since I have ridden on the streets. I did most of my riding off road. I didn't have my license at the time I took the course. There were alot of people in that class that never rode on a bike before and you could tell when the final came. Our instructor told us that anyone who scored more than 21 points would fail the class. The scoring is like golf the lower the better. One person scored 51 points.

I myself enjoyed the tips and the information that I recieved. I don't know if you know someone with a dirt bike but I would reccomend riding on a fire road on dirt road somewhere.

Take the written test and get your permit first. So you could practice shifting before you take the MSF course. It will be easier and you can concentrate on the breaking and turning. You will only us 1st 2nd and 3 gear in the class.

By the way I bought my 650 two weeks later. I looked at it on a Saturday. I told the person that I wanted to buy it. The following week I took the written test and failed the first time. Went back the next day and passed. Bought the scooter the next Saturday and rode home. I now have put 600 miles on the bike in less than a month.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Glad you have the 650 now Dutch. I wonder if MSF will let you retake
their course if you do not pass the first time (without another pound
of flesh)?
 

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MSF California alum

Several decades ago (really!) I rode a friend's scooter, a Rabbit I think it was, about the distance of one city block. Nothing else between then and when I took the MSF course last November. An extremely worthwhile investment. Since I had no bad habits to unlearn and the instructors were at such a good ratio to students, I passed with a score of 5. Even tho I have always thought I had the coordination of Steve Martin in The Jerk ("son, this is shinola"). If you use your scooter to pass the course it will qualify you for an M2 license--scooters only. With an M1 you can drive any 2-wheeled vehicle. I would go for that just in case. Check w MSF about re-takes.
 

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Mike,

THe following is taken from the FAQ on the California MSF site listed above.

What if I don’t pass the knowledge test or the skills evaluation?
If you do not pass the knowledge test or the skills evaluation, you can re-take the skills evaluation at a later time. Schedule the re-evaluation with your particular site. Check with your site for re-registration procedures and charges.
 

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I believe most places will let you retake the skill (MSF course) at 1/2 price if you fail the first time.
But then I guess each state makes it's own rules, so you just have to check.
 

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In PA we would allow a student who failed the skills test the first time to return the following week and retake the test at the test session for the following class.
We also strongly recommended that they return and take the last two training sessions (about 4 hours) with the following class prior to retesting, if a slot was available.
It wasn't usually a problem because the classes are free to PA residents.
Don
 

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MSF Safety Course

Mike, Billmeek is correct helmets and bikes are provided for the basic course. I don't know what the rules are for retaking the class. Check the MSF site or call. I do know of a Suzuki dealer that rents a 125cc scooter by a DMV office to take the driving part of the DMV test. That's what I planned to do if I failed the MSF class. I'm sure you can past the test you won't hit any speeds over 25-30 if your lucky. Most all the practice is at 20 or below using 1st and 2nd gear. Good luck and enjoy!!
 
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