View Full Version : Anyone ever taken the advanced MSF riding course?
04-30-2003, 10:51 PM
I was thinking about taking the advanced course this summer/early fall. I figure that it's good to get back to basics every once in a while to try to unlearn all the bad habits I tend to pick up. Has anyone out there taken it, and if you have, what were your impressions?
I was kinda disappointed in it. I took the ERC last May, and it was just like taking the MSF beginning class again, except with less classroom time and without the very basics.
But I had "just" taken the MSF beginner course in 96.
Still, good to get out and practice.
04-30-2003, 11:54 PM
I just took the ERC on 4/17-18. It was me and one other guy, who had a beautiful custom Softail Deuce. I was there cuz I wanted to be there; he was there for doing 86 in a 60, and it was part of his deferred adjudication :) .
I agree with Brian, it was kind of short and the classroom portion was a rehash of the basics.
The couple hours on the range were great for me. I'm not one to lean the bike over very much (massive chicken strips). A few of the exercises involved some pretty leany turns, albeit at low speed. I wore my chicken strips down to about 1/8". None of this is a big deal to you folks, but I was pretty proud when he told me to move my feet back on the pegs, before I started to drag my boot...woohoo! I'm beginning to understand the real fun of cornering. I'll probably go back to only a bit of lean on the street (for reasons best illustrated by some of Tourmeister's ride reports, actually ;) ). Really want to get on a track now, though!
Bottom line was I learned a few things, and got to practice 'em.
The range is only 10 mins from my house, so I plan on hitting it on weekends when class is not in session.
BTW, a number of months ago, I spoke with a well-travelled BMW owner outside of Lone Star BMW in Austin. He said he takes the ERC every year, and always learns something.
Sorry, ran on a bit....
05-01-2003, 01:32 AM
:tab I know it costs quite a bit more, but I would suggest you take a track day instead. Not all of the track days are race focused. Quite a few are now targeting street riders. Nonetheless, the track is still the best place to learn what your bike is capable of with people that can help you do it safely. Lone Star Track Days (http://www.lonestartrackdays.com/) does them quite often at Texas World Speedway just South of Bryan/College Station. I think they are supposed to be very reasonably priced as well.
:tab Unfortunately, I have not done one yet :-? One of these days!!
05-01-2003, 08:11 AM
I'm interested in LSTDs. The aprilia is a pain to prep for most track days, though. I think that LSTD is a bit more lenient on prepping, at least according to my dealer, who participates a bit in them.
Note: LSTDs fill up very quickly, from what I've seen on the web page schedules...
05-01-2003, 08:18 AM
Thanks for all the feedback. I get the feeling that you guys that took it didn't think that it was that great, but but not bad enough to not recommend it. That's kind of what I was looking for here. I think that I'll schedule it and see what happens. I don't think I'm ready to take a track day yet, but that looks GREAT. I don't think that I've ever heard anyone say anything bad about a track day and I think it would be a great experience. Maybe I'll take the advanced MSF course this year and try to convince some of you to take a track day with me next year!
05-01-2003, 09:46 AM
I took the ERC course last summer on my Interceptor 500 with a group of Gold Wing riders from Houston. I really enjoyed the class and watching the Wingers take on the tight manuvers was really entertaining. I had taken the beginners course about a year and a half prior, so taking the ERC on my 500 was good experience I felt. Now that I have a VFR (and that I just got a ticket recently) I have the opportunity to take it again. The price has gone up since the last time I took it, but I don't think I'll regret the money spent. I'll probably have to take it in Houston because the local riding school only seems to have beginners courses. The nice part of that is the school where they have it is about a 30 second ride from my door step, so I practice low speed cornering and such there from time to time. At low speeds I can really feel the extra 100 or so lbs the VFR carries compared to my 500, so the practice is good. The course is also a great place to scrub in new tires at low speed before hitting the twisties... :wink: As far as the comparison between a track day and the ERC course goes, I've never been to a track day. I'm hoping to get to one some day in the not too distant future. I imagine the ERC course is probably good for low speed technical manuvering skills and track days probably cover the rest of the spectrum. Good luck either way. :)
05-01-2003, 03:02 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. I get the feeling that you guys that took it didn't think that it was that great, but but not bad enough to not recommend it.
I'm weird, I guess: it was okay, but I'd still heartily recommend it! :)
I don't think that I've ever heard anyone say anything bad about a track day and I think it would be a great experience.
Well there's always a risk: http://pub165.ezboard.com/fapriliaforumfrm30.showMessage?topicID=405.topic
So many aspects of this addiction to enjoy...
Thanks for all the feedback. I get the feeling that you guys that took it didn't think that it was that great, but but not bad enough to not recommend it. That's kind of what I was looking for here. I think that I'll schedule it and see what happens.
It was a good course, and cheap ($50 or so). Worth doing. I just expected to get something "advanced" out of it, like cornering techniques, trail braking, something besides stopping and avoidance drills. Not that there's anything wrong with those.
I took the ERC course last summer on my Interceptor 500 with a group of Gold Wing riders from Houston. I really enjoyed the class and watching the Wingers take on the tight manuvers was really entertaining.
I enrolled in it twice and had the class cancelled for lack of participants. Finally when I got in, it was with a local HOG chapter. It was me on my black Sprint ST, wearing my JR Phoenix jacket and full-face helmet with 11 harley riders in their vests and pudding cups.
It was thoroughly entertaining and they made me look like Freddie Freakin' Spencer out there on the practice course. 8)
Aside: One instructor chewed me out for locking the front wheel in a stopping drill after she kept telling me to squeeze the lever harder because I wasn't braking to capacity. I had to explain to her that yes, the brakes on the Triumph are that good. She was pretty cool, though, rode a green Lawson replica ZRX1200 with D&D pipes. :eek:
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