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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! First timer here waiting to do the MSF course in a few months. Really excited and have been lurking around here for about a few weeks and decided to join. Thought it would be good to try and get some input from you guys as I prepare for my first motorcycle. I don't know whether to go for the ABS or not but maybe you all can chime in and help me with my decision! Glad to be here and if you have any questions about me i'll be more than happy to answer.

-Ryan
 

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ABS would probably be a good investment in SoCal with how slick those roads can get when it starts to rain and how terrible some of those drivers are. I used to live in Oceanside, and sold my R6 just because of the drivers around there. I have an ABS model, and either the ABS is totally seamless in it's operation, or this thing just has really good brakes. I should have locked up the brakes a clouple times, but the bike just came to an un-eventful stop.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ABS would probably be a good investment in SoCal with how slick those roads can get when it starts to rain and how terrible some of those drivers are. I used to live in Oceanside, and sold my R6 just because of the drivers around there. I have an ABS model, and either the ABS is totally seamless in it's operation, or this thing just has really good brakes. I should have locked up the brakes a clouple times, but the bike just came to an un-eventful stop.

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Yeah the drivers around here aren't the best and I think the ABS would just give me some extra reassurance while riding. Thanks for your insight about it and your experience.

Thanks! Glad to be here!
 

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Orange County MSF

Hey Mustang:

Welcome (I'm new here as well - been lurking for awhile).

Will you be taking the MSF at Saddleback? I did a short write-up of my experience there, which I can post if you're interested.

Regards,

(Also in Irvine)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey Mustang:

Welcome (I'm new here as well - been lurking for awhile).

Will you be taking the MSF at Saddleback? I did a short write-up of my experience there, which I can post if you're interested.

Regards,

(Also in Irvine)
Yes I'm most likely going to the one in Saddleback hopefully by the new year. That would be awesome if you could post the link to your review, really helpful.
 

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Saddleback MSF

Hey Mustang:

I wrote this about the Saddleback MSF in response to a posting somewhere where a new rider expressed some concerns about taking the course with no prior experience. Thing is, I never got around to posting it - so here it is:


I'm a 'returning rider' and bought my 300 about two weeks ago. (Definition of 'returning rider': an old guy who quit riding about the time kids arrived.) I just finished the MSF this last weekend so I thought I'd share a few thoughts for any who might have concerns about taking the class.


Overall, I can't say enough good things about the program and instructors. Mine were ultra-patient and were very good with the new riders (about 8 in my group of 12). Oh... and everyone passed.


Day one: 2.5 hours were devoted to classroom instruction and 5 hours to riding. Most of the first day riding was very basic; just getting a feel for the bike, learning the basics of clutch control while walking the bike in first gear... stuff like that. Even if you have never operated anything with a clutch and manual transmission, you should have no problems. (I wish I would have learned this way. In the olden days instruction consisted of, "Turn this to make it go. Pull that to make it stop. There's the wall that you'll probably run into.")


During that first day you will never go above second gear and 15 mph. In fact, you can go through the entire course and never get out of second or over 15.


Suggestion #1: Pay attention to the small stuff. For example, on day one you will be told to keep your throttle wrist flat. Unnecessary detail, right? Wrong! If your wrist isn't flat, it's really easy to roll on the throttle as you are reaching for the front brake lever - which is exactly when you don't want to roll on the throttle.


Day two: Same schedule as day one, but at the end of the classroom session you take a 50 question multiple choice exam based on the manual you received on day one. If I understood the instructor correctly, it is rare for anyone to fail the written exam.


Suggestion #2: Why not ace the written? All you need to do is spend about an hour (likely less) reading your manual between sessions and you'll be good to go.


On the range, the riding exercises on day two are a bit more advanced. Still, it was amazing (at least to me) to see how well people who could barely operate a clutch on day one were doing by day two. This is the day you cover things like swerving, fast braking and lane changes.


Suggestion #3: On day one most cornering is done a very low speeds... I'm talking around 5 mph... so cornering by simply turning the handlebars is the suggested method. On day two, speeds are a bit higher so you need a different technique. To do this, the instructors advised students to "press" on the down-side grip, e.g. to turn right you need to lean right. To lean right, press gently on the right grip (counter steering).



While this advice is correct, for me, I like to know how things work. If you feel the same way, there are some good videos on YouTube for this topic. Unfortunately, there are also some pretty bad videos. A decent one can be found here:


The last thing you will do in your class is the final evaluation. This part is scored by assigning points for mistakes. So, for example, if you don't brake fully (with both brakes) before the turn in the cornering evaluation, you receive 5 points.


Here are the 4 evaluation exercises;


1. Braking from a speed of 12 to 18 mph using both brakes and while performing a down-shift.


2. Swerving at a speed of about 15 mph (your counter steering is used here).


3. Properly braking (before the turn) then cornering at a speed of about 15 mph (head up and focused on the exit) while maintaing (or increasing) throttle speed while staying within a marked lane (more counter steering).


4. The dreaded "box of death". In this one, you enter marked rectangle (20' X 60') at a very slow speed, execute a u-turn at one end, then cross back to the side you entered on, execute another u-turn and exit the box at the opposite end without putting your feet down or crossing the lines of the box. This one seems to drive people nuts.


Suggestion #4: My instructor insisted that the easiest way to do the box is to establish a slow speed in second gear, then just turn the bars and shift your weight away from the turn. I would suggest that you check out this YouTube video,
. I had better results using the technique described in the video.


Suggestion #5: Don't freak out about the box. As my instructor aptly said (I'm paraphrasing here), 'You can drive outside the lines of the box, you can put your feet down in the box... heck, you can even do the exercise in the wrong box and still pass the evaluation!'.


Suggestion #6: On the final riding evaluation - which takes place on the last day - you will be given a speed range for 3 of the 4 final exercises, usually between 12 mph and 18 mph. There is nothing to be gained in my opinion by shooting for the upper range. If 12 mph feels good... then go 12 mph. For most new riders, I think it's easier to do the exercises well at the lowest permissible speed. In my case, I lost points on the final because I tend to come into things like turns or braking exercises too 'hot'. My bad.


Suggestion #7: Faster (as in 12 mph) is easy, slower (as in 5 mph) is hard. If you have a ride available to practice on before the class (legally of course) spend your time learning how to maneuver at 5 mph. Seriously!


Bottom line; you can perform less than perfectly on every exercise and still pass the test. The worst thing you can do is go outside the marked lane on the cornering exercise - 15 points for that one. (Makes sense, because if you do this in the real world you'll be off the road somewhere... or into an oncoming car.)


Suggestion #8: Saddleback has two Hondas in the training fleet which they try to assign to riders that have a bit of experience. Stay away from these bikes. As it turns out, they are a bit... let's just say "quirky". (Don't want to go into neutral, stuff like that.)



Suggestion #9: Your instructors put a lot of effort into this class so one way to say thanks is by showing up on time. If a riding session is scheduled to begin at 12, do everyone a favor and be there at 11:45. If a classroom session is scheduled to begin at 8:30, be there at 8:15. Oh, and it's also great idea to express your appreciation by just saying "Thanks for the effort"!


See you out on the road!
 

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Welcome to the forum!

May as well get the abs model if you dont mind throwing the extra cash at it =D its there for a reason! haha if it didn't help, they wouldn't use it.
Its best to be more prepared, its the times that your not that you regret it =D
 
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