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 Motorcycle Safety
 Rider Training Courses
 Bike selection and a BRC
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radan2
Male Advanced Member
1117 Posts
[Mentor]


Jacksonville, NC
USA

Moto Guzzi

2007 Breva V750 ie

Posted - 01/04/2009 :  12:50 PM                       Like
In another discussion, someone brought up the point that he would have been better off taking the BRC, then buying a bike. He would have had a much better idea of what he wanted from a bike, and how the various kinds of bikes fitted his needs.

This brought to mind the number of people I know who have bought a bike, taken the BRC, then traded or replaced their original bike. It is likely they would have gotten a new bike sooner or later, but I have the impression that the BRC, by making them more aware of the varieties of bikes and their characteristics, caused them to change sooner than they would have. (Of course, this is to the advantage of dealers.)

As far as I can tell, the BRC is marketed strongly to people who have already gotten a bike. Is there some way to market it more effectively to people who are thinking about a bike, but not gotten one yet?

I am thinking of SCUBA. Basic Open Water courses are marketed to people who have no scuba equipment. For the course, all you need is a bathing suit, mask, fins, and a snorkel; equipment you can use equally well without SCUBA equipment. I got into SCUBA when I walked past a dive shop with a poster in the window showing some divers on a reef with the slogan: Come on in and learn. You know you've always wanted to." And I said to myself, "Yeh, I have always wanted to."

I wonder if something similar could be done for motorcycling?

I also wonder if my anecdotal observations are correct: are there any statistics or information about people who take the BRC, then buy another bike within 6 months so?

Texasphotographer
Male Advanced Member
896 Posts
[Mentor]


Copperas Cove, Texas
USA

Honda

2006 GL1800 Trike

Posted - 01/04/2009 :  3:47 PM
Radan2,

When I took my BRC, only one of our range class (I had to take it twice so only 1 in 14 students) already had a bike. I do find that a bit unusual as many of my fellow students were active duty military whom had recently returned from Iraq with pockets full of cash.

However, your assertion the BRC is marketed strongly to those already with a bike is probably true. I learned of the BRC when I visited a dealership with a friend. The classroom part of the MSF course was held at the dealership. Two other local dealers hold their own BRC and, of course, the object is to get more people interested in and buying motorcycles.
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babayaga
Standard Member
105 Posts


Omaha, NE
USA

Triumph

800XC

Posted - 01/07/2009 :  7:05 PM
quote:
It is likely they would have gotten a new bike sooner or later, but I have the impression that the BRC, by making them more aware of the varieties of bikes and their characteristics, caused them to change sooner than they would have.


I don't see this. I remember that the BRC briefly covers different styles of bikes, but I don't believe that it really provides any substantive information that would change riders' minds (e.g. switching from a dual sport to a cruiser). I believe that most folks already have a particular style of bike in mind before they go...that's why they go in the first place. They want to ride. Their initial purchase was largely influenced by their peers (rather than experience), and after gaining some real experience, they are in a much better position to understand why a bike really is better for them (or not).
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SkootchNC
Male Advanced Member
1062 Posts
[Mentor]


raleigh, north carolina
USA

Harley-Davidson

road glide

Posted - 01/27/2009 :  12:58 PM
quote:
Originally posted by radan2

In another discussion, someone brought up the point that he would have been better off taking the BRC, then buying a bike. He would have had a much better idea of what he wanted from a bike, and how the various kinds of bikes fitted his needs.

I also wonder if my anecdotal observations are correct: are there any statistics or information about people who take the BRC, then buy another bike within 6 months so?



I know several folks who bought a bike, then took the BRC, and then "traded up" and I also know some that bought a bike took the class and then parked the bike (for good)

Seems to me most people get a fantasy about riding a bike, then they talk to a friend who has them buy a bike like the friend has. Fellow takes the class then decides this bike ain't for me.... and then sells it, or stores it.

Unless you ride, it's impossible to know what bike is right for you. The BRC revirews the missions of the various bikes, but you don't get to try a lot of different bikes.
I took the BRC, there were mostly Suzuki cruiser 250's a couple of Honda nighthawk standards, and one Honda dual sportm not much of a selection.

The local BRC/ERC are both list under "hobby" in the "adult continuing education" portion of the Wake Comunity College web site, and booklet.

I know the local Honda shop has printed material for WCC at every table, and the local HD dealers all havve signs for the "Riders Edge"
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louturks
Male Junior Member
75 Posts


Richmond, VA
USA

Yamaha

Virago 250

Posted - 01/28/2009 :  8:25 AM
I bought my bike first, then took the BRC. I still have my bike a year later with no thoughts of getting rid of it.
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Night Train
Male Advanced Member
1667 Posts
[Mentor]


Sydney, Nova Scotia
Canada

Harley-Davidson

99 Sportster XL 1200

Posted - 01/28/2009 :  2:14 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
The local bike dealers ran a promotion a few years ago where they gave a certificate for the MSF course with each bike sold. The drawback of course was the person had to buy the bike first and allowances weren't being made to get them into an ideal first bike but rather whatever bike they wanted to buy. Whenever I encounter someone who is thinking of buying a bike, especially for the first time, I always encourage them to take the MSF course first, then if they still want to pursue the purchase of a bike they will have a better indication of what they should get. If they decide that motorcycling is not for them, then they are only out the cost of the course and not the price of the bike as well.

Rather than a dealer being concerned with the immediate sale of a machine, it would be nice if they considered their customer for a long term relationship and provide guidance in respect to a recommended machine suited to their needs and experience. As well they should be promoting the MSF course. I thought a better program would have been instead of selling the first time bike that may be inappropriate, that they suggest the customer take the MSF course and once they pass it they can bring their certification in and have the cost of the course taken off the price of the bike. I find our local dealers don't even pay lip service to motorcycle safety, they are only intent on moving the machines.
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dhalen32
Male Moderator
846 Posts
[Mentor]


Omaha, NE
USA

BMW

R1200RT

Posted - 01/28/2009 :  2:16 PM
Radan:
My personal experience and opinion is that the BRC is not a course marketed towards people who have already purchased a motorcycle nor one that actively trys to sell a motorcycle after the fact. There is a brief discussion early in the course about generic bike types but there is no effort to sell students particular bikes or models. The Rider's Edge version goes a little more deeply into which specific H-D/Buell models fit into which category but there is no active selling by course design. We are actually schooled to stay away from brand specific discussions (including the gear/uniform we wear while teaching) in the BRC.

Does a successful student almost buy a motorcycle upon completion of their course? Absolutely! So, in this way the MSF certainly is helping (enabling) new riders to purchase new motorcycles. Some people say this is a bad thing and some people (like me) feel that this is a good thing.

I think it is actually smarter for people to refrain from buying until they complete a course. The primary reason: About 10% of those who start a class never finish the riding portion or they fail in their end-of-class skills testing. Some people opt out on their own, some are sent home by their Instructors and some just never achieve enough skill to pass the testing at course end. A little bit of patience can save a student big money if they can wait to determine if motorcycling is for them. It is not for everyone.

I also believe that beginners should ride smaller bikes at first and then move up if they so desire after developing their survival skills on a smaller, lighter machine. I do not believe that one should buy something they are not comfortable operating just so that they can "grow into it".

BRC and ERC course are certainly advertised in new bike dealerships as well as part/accessory sales and repair businesses. Certainly, the goal of these businesses is to sell new or used bikes, accessories and repair services after a student completes their course. Here in Omaha the local BRC providers still do not need to advertise in order to fill classes. Most of us place brochures in motorcycle businesses and then wait for the phone to start ringing.
Dave
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17322 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 04/08/2013 :  10:27 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
dhalen32 said:
quote:
I also believe that beginners should ride smaller bikes at first and then move up if they so desire after developing their survival skills on a smaller, lighter machine. I do not believe that one should buy something they are not comfortable operating just so that they can "grow into it".


There is one class that actively promotes another agenda - the Rider's Edge New Rider Course.

Promotions and justification efforts claim that new riders are better off learning to ride on a larger bike (like the Buell Blast) because it is closer in size to the other Harley-Davidsons that they sell.

I agree with Mr. Halen. The BRC and the NRC are specifically designed to teach NEW riders the FUNDAMENTALS of motorcycle riding.

Consider a slightly exaggerated rewording of the 'learn on a larger bike' argument ... suppose that a person who has never driven a car takes a driver's ed class and aspires to someday be a Formula I race car driver. Does it make sense to say that that student would be better off learning how to parallel park and shift gears using a turbocharged Corvette because it is more like a Formula I than to use a smaller, less powerful car to learn the fundamentals on? I think not.
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Axiom2000
Male Moderator
1761 Posts
[Mentor]


Georgetown, Delaware
USA

BMW

F 800 GT

Posted - 04/08/2013 :  2:18 PM
quote:
As far as I can tell, the BRC is marketed strongly to people who have already gotten a bike. Is there some way to market it more effectively to people who are thinking about a bike, but not gotten one yet?


It may seem that way because we put BRC literature and registration forms in as many dealerships as we can reach, but that is surely not the intent. Dealers are in the business of selling motorcycles and I doubt we could expect them to say to a potential customer, here go take the BRC first then come to buy a bike.

It always drives me nuts when I have a complete novice rider who tells me they have a brand new 1000cc this or that and can't wait for Monday so they can ride it legally. I do everything I can to convince them that all this course will do is provide them with the basic skills and knowledge to ride a small motorcycle in a controlled environment and that 1000cc beast in the garage needs to stay there until they have polished their new skills in a safe environment on a machine suitable for that task. Yeah I know FAT CHANCE, but I do what I believe is right, they can and will do what they please I guess.

We do spend a fair amount of time talking to individual students about why they want to ride what kind of riding they would like to do and what type of machines they have in mind. It's not curriculum time, but time at the breaks, on lunch and before and after class. I try very hard to advise them to look for a used machine under 600cc and spend lots of time on PLP and back streets until they have developed their skills. I tell them where they can find me on any weekend if they need additional help or just want me to take a look at their progress. A few have taken me up on that offer and for the ones that did I have been pleasantly surprised at their progress.
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