Motorcycle Safety Course

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It is not necessary to take this course to obtain your motorcycle license. To get my license without this course, I would have to take the written and riding exam all at the DMV (PITA). It will cost me more money to do it this way and I also wouldn’t have the added benefit of the safety course. As for the “legally “ part. Whom among us has never ridden a bike or driven a car without a license? I’m trying to be safe, legal and save cash. Sounds like a good idea to me. I don’t know how to post emojis or I’d post a smiley face so you’d know I wasn’t being pissy. Lol!
Thank you for taking the time to explain, as I mentioned we only have to do this once over here until you reach 70 (age, not mph :) ), unless your license is revoked on legal or medical grounds.
We do have police and privately sponsored 'advanced' motorcycling courses (at a price), which I believe are necessary for those wishing to become instructors, and whilst they may have a beneficial effect on insurance premiums (and rider safety, of course), for the rest of us they are entirely voluntary (unless somebody knows different?)
 
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Okay..... memory lapse.... but still stays with you 'til 70, and renewal doesn't call for another driving test...
My mate is my age - 80. He rides a 1200cc Suzuki Bandit. The other day he said to me 'some of these old guys who drive cars have never been able to drive properly'. I have not raced my motorcycle in the past 6 years. If I went to Winton today, it would take me 5 laps to get up to 90% of race speed. Once you are competent, it does not usually go away, unless you get extremely ill. My wife complains because I drive my car too slowly. Driving cars bores me shitless. - I hate it. Motorcycles are different - fewer constraints when you race.
 
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If you don't use your brain, you will have memory problems. There is very little which I cannot remember, and there is probably much more for me to remember, than with most other people.
 
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Thank you for taking the time to explain, as I mentioned we only have to do this once over here until you reach 70 (age, not mph :) ), unless your license is revoked on legal or medical grounds.
We do have police and privately sponsored 'advanced' motorcycling courses (at a price), which I believe are necessary for those wishing to become instructors, and whilst they may have a beneficial effect on insurance premiums (and rider safety, of course), for the rest of us they are entirely voluntary (unless somebody knows different?)
Have you tried to get insured when you are over age 70 ?
 
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Have you tried to get insured when you are over age 70 ?
At 64 there IS one small problem ;-)

Though insurance for the elderly can't be too hard to find (are SAGA international?), or there'd be no Nissan Micras sold.
 
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cehenard

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Larry S.,
Good choice. You'll have a good time and hopefully learn a lot. I taught the class for thirty years and I'm still learning all the time.
Charlie
 
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The best thing I ever learned about being safe when riding motorcycles on public roads, was to go road-racing instead
 

ashman

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Al its like a broken record with you we all know you don't like riding on the road as you tell us all the time as you only talk about when you raced, now you saying you haven't been on your bike for over 6 year and you say it will only take 5 lap to get back up to 90%, how do you know that when you haven't been on your bike for so longgggggg, another thing if you drive your car on the road to slowly really you put others in more danger as they will take risks in trying to get past you, hope you are not one who drives slow in the fast lane, seems to be a lot of old people being caught doing that, I see it all the time while out riding or driving, some older folks think its their right to drive slow in the fast lane, maybe it be safer for everyone you give up driving on the road, seems your wife might be right for once, listen to her.
I know it be a sad day when you realize its best for everyone that its time to give up driving or riding, it happens, old age creeps up on us and I know when the time comes for me to do the same, but it will happen, it happens to all of us at some time in our old age, you just got to know when.
Maybe your wife complains you drive to slow because you scare her when she is in the car with you, just maybe, listen to your wife.

Ashley
 

Fast Eddie

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The best thing I ever learned about being safe when riding motorcycles on public roads, was to go road-racing instead
Al I think you often forget that this is a motorbike forum… created (primarily) by, and for, people who RIDE Motorcyles… ON THE ROAD.

Your narrow minded preaching is becoming quite tiresome… perhaps you’d be better fulfilled by finding a forum created by, and for, EX racers….
 

ashman

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There is nothing wrong with racing and people who do on our old bikes and of course doing safety courses do help if you been off the road for so long and always in courage people to do so, me I have been off the road a few times in the 49 years of riding, I have always had a dirt bike and a road bike since I was 15 and the last time I was off the road was lost of points, 3 months without being on the road all because I was a naughty boy, nearly went mad not being able to take the bike out, but I accepted my plight maybe you need to accept yours AL or do a safety course, seems your wife knows something you don't, your not the only one in the car.
 
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When I rode motorcycles on public roads, car drivers did not have mobile phones. I don't know how you can do that these days. Surely, it is only a matter of when ? How many times have you been hit up the arse when you have been in your car and stopped at traffic lights ? In the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, there is a ward full of motorcyclists - they keep each other company. My mate was in there with a shattered shin bone, after a woman in a car turned in front of him. He'd road-raced for over 20 years and still got caught.
I don't want to rain on your parade, but when I was a kid, several of my mates died in road accidents on bikes. These days riding motorcycles on our roads is much more dangerous, than it ever was in the old days - even with our new drink-driving laws. The car drivers are better, but there is always that 19 year old girl with the mobile phone.
 
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Our police will book anyone they see using a mobile phone in a car. But they cannot be everywhere. Risk management is based on considerations of likelihood and potential consequences. When I drive around our town, I see plenty of drivers using those phones. Their cars are usually wandering.
 
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Larry S

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Ok, here’s my update on the motorcycle safety course. The book learning was the most beneficial to me, more so than the riding portion of the course. I learned that lane position is critical in to see and be seen. They used the acronym SEE (search, evaluate and execute). Looking at the situation you are in you evaluate what is going on around you and then you execute the desired maneuver. Stay out of blind spots. Be aware of road surface conditions and the weather and react accordingly. Pretend that you are invisible because people will look right through you at the vehicle behind or alongside you. They won’t even see you as they turn left in front of you. Many, many more things learned in this course to mention but these kinda stood out. Oops. Can’t forget about your riding gear, helmet, gloves, boots and long pants.

The riding portion was fun for me except it was 98 degrees F. I sweated my ass off but it was worth the while. On the first day of riding we had zero deaths, zero injuries but one accident. A person dropped their bike on a low speed U turn. She was embarrassed but she got back on and finished the day with no more mishaps. She had no previous riding experience. I told her not to worry about it too much because almost everyone has dropped a bike in their day. The main thing was that she got back on and didn’t quit. She got to feeling a little better the next day as another person dropped their bike. Young twenty something guy with dirt bike experience only. He got back up to ride also. The demographics of the course were: Three males over fifty with previous street riding, five males under thirty with dirt bike experience and one female twenty something with zero street riding experience.

On the riding portion they started with a pre-ride check of the bike which you should do every time you get on your bike. After that they taught throttle and clutch usage. Especially about the friction zone on your clutch. The easiest way to describe this is, slipping the clutch with little throttle to aid in low speed maneuvers. Somewhat difficult for new riders but instinctual for me even if I didn’t know the term ”friction zone “. Then they set up various riding courses doing right and left turns, U turns, weaving through cones, figure eights, stopping, swerving and other things escaping my memory.

All the bikes were 200cc 250cc twins. Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki. I rode a newer 200cc Yamaha because it was the tallest and fit me better. Picture in next post.

In my opinion, it was a well presented and structured course with great teachers. I would highly recommend it to everyone.
 

Larry S

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Picture as promised.
 

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Glad you enjoyed it and hope it serves you well.... Getting older I find myself doing the old fart daydreaming if I don't try hard to stay focused.. I had a fool 2 weeks ago almost take me out because he just couldn't see me, or didn't give a hoot... Kinda hard to not see an old Goldwing the way I view things. Anyway happy that I was watching... Be safe and have fun.
 

Ctefeh

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Larry,
Here in Oz, way back when Dino's roamed the earth, I had to go on one. Same deal - Honda 250's - and I learnt a lot about Road Riding on a Roadbike. Glad I did it as my then steed was a crotch stretching 2 stroke chook chaser. That course really presented me (at least) that there were vast differences between the two styles required. I had a roadbike a year later and put all the good stuff I learn't into practice.

You'll benefit from having done it.

Ctefeh
 
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". .. as my then steed was a crotch stretching 2 stroke chook chaser. "
Sounds interesting. What kind of bike was that?
 

franko

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Larry: My three children took the course about 15 years ago. It was good for them.
I only have two things that I disagree with what they were/weren't taught.
Lane position in the center is one. I find on poorly surfaced roads the tire track parts of the lane will have pushed the heat expansion bumps down somewhat (asphalt roads) and the stone, pebbles and what not (oil from leaky cars in the distant past) in the center get kicked up by the back tire onto the rider following.
What I thought should have taught was to release the front brake and rely on the rear brake when moving off the pavement and going onto a gravel shoulder at speed.
As it has been such a longtime ago, maybe these are now taught.
The course brought them up to speed much faster than if they had ventured off into traffic on their own.
I keep telling myself I should take the advanced course and will.
 

Ctefeh

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@Mark,
'90 KTM 350 E-XC. Emergency braking test (on asphalt) was not fun given the 12" front suspension travel.

Ctefeh
 
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