Originally Posted by Red9
I can't believe some of the people here advocating not to ride until you have taken "the course."
Makes me wonder how us old folks survived! Believe it or not junior, many of us here took up motorcycling long before there were any courses to take.
Throw a leg over the damn thing and go on out into the country and ride.
Don't head out into heavy traffic or down any super twisty roads but dammit man, ride! Even if it's in an empty parking lot or up and down an empty street.
Learn how to operate and get a feel for the controls, the brakes and throttle. How to balance at a stop etc.
And don't listen to the pussies who didn't throw a leg over until somebody ran alongside and held their hand. They'll tell you you're going to learn bad habits and blah blah blah....
I strongly recommend you do take a riding course but did you take a course to learn how to ride your first bicycle?
Back in "the day" there weren't the dangers on the road there are now. Bikes didn't go and stop like modern ones either. Plenty has changed. I took my first course 20 odd years after learning to ride from my dad, uncle and grand father. All had been life long bikers. Not riders, bikers. They were all concerned about my interest until they figured out the kind of riding I fell in love with. What could a "course" possibly teach me they couldn't? Answer? PLENTY
I took it so a friend who had never ridden would have someone he knew in the class. I'm not sure I didn't get more out of it than he did. Lots of bad habits to break and a mound of info I didn't know. Never even thought about.
Too many teach, or try to teach a buddy to ride and it ends in disaster. Professional instruction isn't always the end all, but it is a good start. Are you one who think slow speed parking lot drills don't help in the so called "Real World" too. This faulted thought can't be farther from the truth.
I had a great instructor, so all aren't created equal, but it is time and money well spent, just go in open minded and ready for criticism. If you can handle it, the course is great. The ARC is even better, IMHO.