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 All Forums
 Motorcycle Safety
 Rider Training Courses
 Private Lessons
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Donryu
Male Standard Member
193 Posts


White Plains, New York
USA

Harley-Davidson

Ultra Limited

Posted - 08/24/2019 :  12:31 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend                        Like
Hello folks, I've been absent for a few years but hopefully am back and ready ride safely.

I just bought a new ride and am curious as to your thoughts on and experiences, if any, with private lessons. My thinking is it would be helpful getting to know a new bike, on a closed range under professional instruction. I'm in Westchester NY so there is a MSF school relatively close that offers private lessons.

I'm currently rereading James' two volume set, so have lots of PLP planned but thought this might help get things started. Using those exercises while being observed by an instructor I figure will help me focus efforts where they are most needed.

Thanks,

scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6937 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 08/25/2019 :  8:12 AM
I'm not going to be much help because I've always been one of those people who figures things out for myself. The first time I ever took a riding class was when I bought bike #13 after I had taken a few years off from riding. It was the Experienced Rider Course and I had already put a couple of thousand miles on the bike. The most valuable part of that class for me was the discussions, not the riding part.

Reading books on riding, highly recommended. Parking lot practice, also highly recommended.

If you work on all aspects of riding that you've read about and practice until you're comfortable with each of those things, what more do you expect to get from having an instructor watch you do it?
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Donryu
Male Standard Member
193 Posts


White Plains, New York
USA

Harley-Davidson

Ultra Limited

Posted - 08/25/2019 :  9:23 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I suppose it's more a question of feeling full of the academic side, in addition to James' two books, I've reread Hough, Parks, MSF literature, and a score of other books in anticipation of the new ride. And while it sits patiently awaiting me at the dealer, I'm not so patiently waiting for Motoport to ship my new riding suit.

All this leaves my brain with some extra time and it begins to think, in lieu of actual riding and practicing in my local parking lots, about other things I could do and so comes up with the brilliant idea of private lessons.

So to honestly answer your question, I'm not sure what a private instructor can give me that all of the above cannot.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6937 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 08/25/2019 :  12:38 PM
The Hough books helped me the most for being aware of the many possible dangers out there. The Parks book helped me learn to control a motorcycle a little better. I would read one chapter, then go for a ride or two concentrating on whatever that chapter discussed.

This forum has been quite valuable in helping me develop a safe riding attitude.
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DataDan
Advanced Member
582 Posts
[Mentor]


Central Coast, CA
USA

Yamaha

FJR1300

Posted - 08/25/2019 :  2:02 PM
For learning how to control the motorcycle, my first recommendation is lots of practice in the techniques taught by MSF. If you think one-on-one coaching will help, go for it. But it's not a substitute for practice. Some stuff you just have to do over and over again to properly embed in muscle memory.

Another source for motorcycle control technique is Jerry Palladino's Ride Like a Pro videos. Check out his practice guide at the website, too.

Dealing with real-world roads and traffic is a completely different problem. MSF does as well as they can in the brief time available, but that's not nearly enough IMHO. Like Scott, I highly recommend Hough's books. Proficient Motorcycling and Mastering the Ride (both links to second editions) are well known. But my favorite of Dave's books for developing motorcyclist situational awareness is Street Rider's Guide--an expanded and much improved edition of his earlier Street Strategies. It comprises 95 lessons, each on two facing pages, about particular situations, recognition and response.
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Donryu
Male Standard Member
193 Posts


White Plains, New York
USA

Harley-Davidson

Ultra Limited

Posted - 08/26/2019 :  2:34 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Thank you gentlemen for your advice. Regardless of if I decide to book some private range time with an instructor, my plans are pretty much as you've described. Read the books and practice the exercises. I'm a big fan of Jerry Palladion's Ride like a Pro stuff, maybe it's the retired LEO in me, but I do like the guy.

And like probably most of us, this site has really helped me focus on the safety aspect of motorcycling. In fact, if it wasn't for my exposure to this site, I'll bet I'd have already taken my bike from the dealership and be riding while I waited for my riding gear to be finished and shipped instead of waiting for the gear and then planning on picking up the new ride.

Still though, it's a test of what little maturity I posses to wait. :)
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