Found a closer location for experienced rider training - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

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post #1 of 11 Old 04-01-2019, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Found a closer location for experienced rider training

I've been seeking out some form of advanced rider training for some time now, but my only options are quite some distance away. But I thought of something that might be a bit more convenient.

My local Harley dealer runs a new rider training program and a quick check of their website showed they also have a few sessions of experienced rider training. One of those days had openings and I was free, so I signed up for the class.

The cost was $125 and runs a full day. I spoke to the person in charge of the program and the description of the training seems similar to the MSF's experienced rider course. I also verified the training is not Harley- or cruiser-specific.

Once I've done the training I'll try to report back on it. It could be an option for others like me who don't have many training opportunities nearby.
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-01-2019, 06:08 PM
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Is this the advanced bar hopping course? or the "be a wrench" advanced course on finding/replacing lost bolts?

<joking>

Sounds cool. Looking forward to hearing about how it went. One thing to note, if they tell you to always use the rear brake, and forget the front brake, turn and walk out.
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-01-2019, 06:21 PM
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If your location of America's Dairyland means Wisconsin, there are multiple Lee Parks Total Control Clinic courses on several dates in Villa Park, IL (suburban Chi) this spring/summer. I took his 2-day course a few years ago and it helped me improve my riding proficiency immensely--and I've been riding since the early 60s! Although it's not what you'd call cheap, I wholeheartedly endorse the class if you want to improve your street riding skills. You don't need a sport bike to learn some pretty advanced skills. I took it on my Wee shod with worn Shinko 705s, and there were a few guys who were on full dress H-Ds and GWs.

https://www.totalcontroltraining.net/
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-01-2019, 09:22 PM
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Any advanced training is worth some investment. What you take away will make you a better rider. I've done the MSF stuff but many decades ago.
But I will suggest to those that have not done so to take the courses.
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-02-2019, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by badjuju View Post
If your location of America's Dairyland means Wisconsin, there are multiple Lee Parks Total Control Clinic courses on several dates in Villa Park, IL (suburban Chi) this spring/summer. I took his 2-day course a few years ago and it helped me improve my riding proficiency immensely--and I've been riding since the early 60s! Although it's not what you'd call cheap, I wholeheartedly endorse the class if you want to improve your street riding skills. You don't need a sport bike to learn some pretty advanced skills. I took it on my Wee shod with worn Shinko 705s, and there were a few guys who were on full dress H-Ds and GWs.

https://www.totalcontroltraining.net/
My goal is to start taking some form of rider training every couple of years at a minimum. Since this is my first, doing it close to home and within a budget was important. Something like a Lee Parks class is definitely something I want to do down the line.

Another option for those of us here in the Dairy State is the Street Skills 2 course offered at Road America. That was what I was planning to do before I discovered the HD option.

If it's a good day to wash the bike, it's a better day to ride the bike.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-02-2019, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by bajakirch View Post
My goal is to start taking some form of rider training every couple of years at a minimum. Since this is my first, doing it close to home and within a budget was important. Something like a Lee Parks class is definitely something I want to do down the line.

Another option for those of us here in the Dairy State is the Street Skills 2 course offered at Road America. That was what I was planning to do before I discovered the HD option.
Jumped on it and just signed up for the Skills 2 course at Road America.
This is very exciting.

Thanks for posting it!

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post #7 of 11 Old 05-06-2019, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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I took my course at the H-D dealership on Friday and wanted to report back.

The short version: A good experience and I'm glad I took the course. It was the MSF's Basic Rider 2 course.

The longer version:

I showed up around 7:45 a.m. for the 8:00 start. The class included 9 riders -- me on the Wee, 1 FZ6, 1 Indian Scout, and the rest were a mix of H-D's. I didn't receive any negative feelings about my choice of ride; perhaps it helped that my bike is orange and black

We started with a short classroom session where we met our 2 instructors, introduced ourselves, and learned what was in store for the day. Then we went out and did T-CLOCS checks on our bikes and provided the required insurance and registration documentation. The rest of the day was a mix of 2-3 riding exercises (which took 20-30 minutes each) followed by 10 minute breaks and approximately 30-minute classroom sessions. The dealership provided lunch (pizza) during a 45-minute break. After the afternoon practice and learning sessions, we had a skills practice session followed by a skills test where we were evaluated on a mix of activities from the earlier sessions.

I ended up with 1 ding on the skills test (touched a barrier line during the tight turn from a stop), which still got me a passing score. 2 riders were like me with a few points but passing, 3 riders had perfect scores, 1 opted not to take the test, 2 accumulated too many points to pass.

Overall I was very pleased with the total experience. Other than some good-natured ribbing about my Neon Power Ranger gear, I felt no non-cruiser bias. In fact, some of them were looking longingly at my 500-lb. bike as they tried to balance their 1000-lb. beasts during slow-speed maneuvers.

The next step in the MSF system would be Advanced Rider training. Unfortunately the dealership doesn't currently offer this course. The nearby tech school offers it occasionally; the next nearest spot is another community college a couple of hours away. That may be my next course in 1-2 years.

I'm super-glad I took the course and would highly recommend it to anyone. I now know the things I need to work on to improve my skills and will be making good use of the church parking lot next to my house.
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-07-2019, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bajakirch View Post
I took my course at the H-D dealership on Friday and wanted to report back.

The short version: A good experience and I'm glad I took the course. It was the MSF's Basic Rider 2 course.

I'm super-glad I took the course and would highly recommend it to anyone. I now know the things I need to work on to improve my skills and will be making good use of the church parking lot next to my house.
Glad to hear that you found it beneficial... I have a couple friends that are currently instructors for HD (that have many years of experience as MSF instructors) and they speak highly of the curriculum.. Advanced training and refresher training is never a bad thing...

~Mark

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post #9 of 11 Old 05-07-2019, 07:51 AM
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Does your state actually charge for the MSF courses? Here is Pennsylvania if you are a resident the BRC and BRC2 course is free. When taking the basic course the motorcycles and fuel are also provided free of charge. The BRC-2 you must provide your own motorcycle but the course is still free.

These courses are put on at established private sites. A lot of Harley Dealerships and Community College host these classes as they have big parking lots to set up the course.

I hope your Harley dealership did not charge you $125 for something that is potentially offered for free.
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-07-2019, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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In my state, none of the courses are free. When my wife and I took the BRC (or whatever it was called 10 years ago) we did it at the local community college. They charged around $200 for each of us.

A similar BRC2 course I planned to take before finding the dealership is over 2 hours away and was going to be $145.

So in comparison, the $125 I paid at the dealership was a bargain.

If it's a good day to wash the bike, it's a better day to ride the bike.
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