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Okay, I have to start this out with I am completely green! I have never driven a bike. Been a passenger MANY a times, but as far as driving myself, I have not had the opportunity. . .

I am looking to take my MSF course, but the local shop wants $300.00, and you to have your own helmet and gloves. Which seems like a pricey committment if I am not even sure I am confident on a bike on my own. . . How were everyone elses experiences with the course? Did they make you have your own equipment or did they provide? Any suggestions or tips for a total newbie?? Thank you so much for your time!!!
 

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Patriot Guardian
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Price varies from state to state, but it is a state-run program with a fixed price.

Double check, as the classes here DO have helmets available, however, they will require that you wear a hair covering.
You can buy a cheap Bell 3/4 helmet at Wal Mart and many auto parts stores that'll satisfy the requirements of the class... if you decide not to ride you can probably sell it, if you do, then consider it a "backup" helmet in case yours gets stolen (and at least in Florida if you're over 21 you can ride home without a helmet to GET your backup).

Gloves and boots? They specify leather over the wrist bone and ankle bone... they're basically trying to avoid people showing up in tennies. "Tactical" work boots (you can get them for as little as $30) are black nylon with some leather... they're fine.
Same for the gloves... they don't have to be "motorcycle gloves".... any heavy duty glove that covers the wrist bone will do the job. Most home improvement stores sell a light tan work glove for under $20, and a lot of people ride with them.



The class was designed for people who have never seen a bike. On the range, you'll spend over an hour on the bike before it is actually moving under it's own power with your feet off of the ground.

Relax. If you drop it, it's not a big deal as long as it's not during the test. Dropping during the test is an automatic failure. The hardest part of the test for most people is the figure-8 "box". Fortunately, no single maneuver in the test is enough to cause a failure (unless you drop the bike), so when making the figure-8, if you go outside the box, just relax and try to complete the maneuver... don't freak and try to get back in and drop the bike, and if you can, avoid putting your foot down (doubles the point loss).


People drop MSF bikes all the time. Very few have functioning turn signals, and most have dents in the tank from the turn signals.
Relax, enjoy the class, and learn to be a safe rider.
 

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Extreme Gizmologist
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You might check around for prices. In Maryland, most (but not all) courses are given by local community colleges and the price varies county to county, from $85 to $295. The four H-D dealers authorized to give courses charge about $325 for their RidersEdge class. If you end up buying a new bike, most dealers will give you some sort of rebate ($50) for completing the MSF BRC.

Given the price of the course, it does make you a bit more committed to completing it. Some states offer it for free or heavily subsidized (PA charges $25) and I bet they get a lot more lookers attending.

I've found training centers online in the Tampa area with fees in the $225-$245 range.
 

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I agree with everything Rich said about the gear that you bring and that they provide. In NJ The course is about $300, but you get a 10% drop on your insurance rate, so if you do get that bike, you'll make the money back in insurance savings.

Mike mentioned HD. Their course is MSF certified, but uses bigger bikes and is a bit more pricey, but most sponsoring dealers refund part of the cost if you buy a bike from them. MIke's famous HD in Delaware buys back the entire course and gives you a $50 gift card for gear.

On a scale of 1 to 10 on the importance of taking an MSF BRC (Begining Riders Course), with 10 being the best, I'd rate it a 52!

It saved my arse twice when I could have ended up in a hospital. Instead I ended up where I wanted to be, safe and sound.
 

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Agreed on all counts so far. Check your state for other MSF options. In my state, weekend classes are more expensive (about $250) than weekday classes ($110). As Rich pointed out, it just depends on your state.
As Kevin and Mike point out, you should get some deals from either the dealer and/or your insurer.

In the end, check to see if you can't find a better rate, but as anyone here will tell you, the MSF is WORTH EVERY PENNY, even if it is $300.

Ride safe, have fun.
 

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Rachel.. the helmet, gloves and boots are a good investment if you are a regular pillion rider. I had my own set of helmet, jacket and gloves even before i bought a bike. My biker friends won't take any pillion rider unless fully protected with good riding gear. As they see it, your safety is their responsibility once u get on their bike.
So even if u feel u don't want to ride your own bike, you still can pillion with your own comfy gear.
No ill-fitting helmet or gloves to deal with. The risk of roadrash is minimized too.
Good luck!! :)
 

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... at the old, ballgame!
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If you haven't already, go here:

Motorcycle Safety Foundation

Looks like there are at least 4 places you can take the BRC within an easy drive of Clearwater. One of them may be less expensive.

Also, double check the helmet thing. By MSF's definition, the BRC includes the use of a motorcycle and a helmet: Motorcycle Safety Foundation I would think twice about taking the course from an organization that wants you to make that type of investment prior to passing the course.
 

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I took the MSF through Riders Edge, that's HD's program paid $325 I could have taken a state program through one of the universities for $20. Not to knock the state programs they're very good in fact the coaches at Riders Edge also worked the state programs but we had better equipment, year old Buell Blasts,ten students, ten bikes and facilities.

I had only been on a bike twice before in my life once as a rider around 1970-71 a couple times around the block on my neighbors Honda 305 and once as a passenger for about two mi also in the 70's when I ran out of gas and some biker gave me a lift.

I willing paid the $325 because I knew that only people serious about learning to ride would shell out the cash and I would just as well learn on good equipment as not. I bought a inexpensive Bell 3/4 helmet and a pair of heavy leather gloves.

It was the best $400 bucks I have spent!

Even after taking the course and passing my DMV M class test I was not sure I was ready for the street. I bought a '07' 900 Classic and had my neighbor ride it home. I rode around in my sub division and in the industrial park on following Saturday before venturing out in traffic. I took about 100 mi to feel comfortable. After 150 miles I took a 100mi round trip I'm up to 500 miles on the bike now and only the weather is preventing me from riding more this has all been since Nov 10 of 07.

I plan on taking the basic rider training again in spring at one of the state classes just as a refresher/reinforcer and the advanced riders later in the season when I have a few more miles on.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I most deffinatley am going to take the course. Not would be like attempting surgery with no schooling! My boyfriend and I are going to take it together! I just cant wait!!!! This is something I have wanted to do for so long now! I am so glad we both are in a position that we can make it happen! Thank you so much for the advice!!! I really appreciate it!
 

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Make Mine Pure BHP
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Check out this offering in Tampa for $210. I was going to take the course as a refresher with my newbie riding buddies when I lived in the Tampa area and found prices anywhere in the $200-250 range.

Beware of any verbiage that starts "through your local shop...:biggrin:

:cool:
 

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c'mon out to ND this spring and take it for $50 or at least that was what it was two years ago.
 

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We have them at the local community college here as well as at some of the dealerships. CC price is around $170 I think. The community college lends helmets and you just have to wear pants, long sleeves, any kind of gardening gloves or leather gloves and boots or sneakers that cover the ankles and eye protection (sunglasses count or a shield on the helmet). So the only motorcycle specific gear they require is helmets and they lend them. Do you have a friend who can lend you a helmet or other gear?

My sister and her hubby are taking the class in Florida and it is two weekends. The class here is only one weekend which could account for some of the difference in price.
 

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We have them at the local community college here as well as at some of the dealerships. CC price is around $170 I think. The community college lends helmets and you just have to wear pants, long sleeves, any kind of gardening gloves or leather gloves and boots or sneakers that cover the ankles and eye protection (sunglasses count or a shield on the helmet). So the only motorcycle specific gear they require is helmets and they lend them. Do you have a friend who can lend you a helmet or other gear?

My sister and her hubby are taking the class in Florida and it is two weekends. The class here is only one weekend which could account for some of the difference in price.
is it shorter here because we're just smarter and don't need as much training, or because we're not worth putting the extra effort into? :D
 

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w Colby [the 800 drifter]
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Hi Rachel
Most of the courses in our area is $250 the HD dealership Orlando is $199 but it is very much worth the investment. Owning your own helmet is a great idea if there is any possibility that you are riding with others and knowing how to ride helps you as a passenger as well. Below is the listing for who I took my class through and it was a great class. Wednesday is a few hours going over all the book work and learning the riding laws. Saturday is a pretty full day of riding and learning at your pace and Sunday more riding and the final test that means you don't have to take the test at the DMV. The instructors were really fun.

MINNREG VETERANS ASSOCIATION CLEARWATER 34624 (727) 524-3746
 

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is it shorter here because we're just smarter and don't need as much training, or because we're not worth putting the extra effort into? :D
The class is long enough to get the basics, then you can get your own bike and practice. That is what I did.
 

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w Colby [the 800 drifter]
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Hi Rachel
I forgot to mention that yes you had to have the gloves and safety gear but there were helmets that you could use. If you go to Quaker Steak & Lube for bike night on Wednesdays or Biff Burgers for bike night on Saturdays the vendors have cheap gloves that you can wear.
mommaDC
 
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