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Good morning, Burgman folks. I thought it would take a moment to reflect on my experience of taking the MSF CLASS on my Burgman 400. I took the training in Northern California.

First of all, the lead instructor was fabulous, and, as far as I'm concerned, a superior instructor can make any class fabulous! The class was sponsored by Redwood Region Motorcycle Training, and the instructor's name was Dan ([email protected]). I've taken instruction in many sports including flying, scuba diving, mountaineering, white water rafting and a whole host of academic classes (most of which I could have done without!) and this instructor ranked among the best, if not THE best.

I was prepared to use one of their motorcycles, even though I have not rode a motorcycle before (except for a 1958 Indian with a suicide clutch clutch that I owned years ago!). However, Dan encouraged me to use my Burgman 400. By the way, he spoke very highly of the scooter and said that he has done some work for Suzuki Corp. in regard to the scooter. He said that since I will be riding the scooter, it would be best for me to train on it.

We met Friday night for academic classes on motorcycle riding. The class included small group discussion, videos, large group discussion, and filling in answers to questions that will be given on the written exam.

On Saturday and Sunday, we rode our motorcycles. The class consisted of inexperienced and experienced riders. We practiced all kinds of maneuvers: picked stopping, turning, slow driving, weaving, tight cornering, emergency maneuvers, riding over boards, S turns, etc.

On the last day, we were tested on maneuvers that are required for the certificate. The only place where I had problems was doing the figure 8 in a small rectangular box and staying within the box. Aside from my own lack of experience, I think that the longer wheelbase of the scooter versus the motorcycles they were using, and the fact that the scooter goes into neutral gear when going slow contributed to a lack of control versus the motorcycles. I was learning to resolve the neutral issue by lightly pulling on the rear brake as I was going slowly. In any event, on the final test I lost five points because I touch the lines in the rectangular box, but everything else was scooter friendly.

I was the only scooter rider and was pleased that Dan encouraged me to use my Burgman... I feel a lot more competent on it now. Everybody in the class, whether experienced or inexperienced, spoke highly of the training.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Bob Dorsett

PS Dan, the lead instructor, after many years of teaching this class, is looking for a change of job. If any of you know of a line of work that might suit an individual who is a fabulous teacher, fine human being, humorous, positive, organized, and a soft approach leader, you're welcome to contact me and I will pass the information onto him. Or you can e-mail him at the above address.
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