Wednesday, September 28, 2005

MSF's Experienced Rider Course

I completed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course last Sunday. I'd been looking forward to doing this course and wasn't disappointed ! It is a 5 hour course for people who already have some riding experience and want to sharpen their skills. When I showed up at the location around 8:30, some of the riders had already arrived and were chatting with the instructors. Most of the people registered for this course were older riders who were returning to riding after a 10 to 15 year break. There were a few Harleys, a Goldwing, couple of sports bikes, a BMW touring bike and a couple of Hondas like mine.

After introductions and some basic safety instructions, we started up the bikes to practice. The instructor would first explain the maneuver, while the other instructor demonstrated it. Then we would follow suit, repeating each exercise several times. The exercises included weaving through cones, making tight U-turns, emergency braking, quick stops in a curve, swerving and cornering techniques. Apart from being a lot of fun, the course helped a lot in revealing to me where I needed to improve. The swerving excercise was especially useful. I was getting better after each attempt, swerving at higher speeds each time until the instructor had to ask me to slow down! The instructors were great and the maneuvers that we practiced were well designed. The one thing I would have liked the course to cover is good cornering lines for different types of curves but thats probably a whole course by itself. I definitely recommend the course for people with some riding experience.

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