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Old 04-06-2015, 02:29 PM   #1
ManiZ OP
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Location: Colorado; 6,400ft.
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Need guidance on training classes. Which one to take?

I ride a large metric cruiser and have about 5 years of riding experience. I don't get to ride as often as I'd like and have clocked just under 20,000 miles so far in varying conditions including heavy rain. At least 70% of my riding is in the canyons of Colorado; the other 30% is the travel to/from them and some rides out in the country.

I took MSF's BRC just before starting to ride in early 2010 and bought a small Suzuki cruiser thereafter. Upgraded to a big Yamaha (my current bike) a year later and it took me a while to adjust to it; at least 8 months. During that time, my riding style was evolving as well and I was learning the basics of picking the right line (I prefer late apex) and selecting the correct corner entry speed (usually around the speed limit for me). I never even thought about body positioning until just a year ago.

I don't really have the aforementioned Holy Trinity dialed in 100% yet (line, entry speed, body position) but body positioning is my weakest area. and my slow speed handling could use a lot of improvement as well. I have read Hough's books (albeit going through them more thoroughly now) and watched ToTW2 but struggle to implement their teachings when out for a ride.

I need to take a really good intermediate/advanced class. 5 years is too long to go without one anyway.

I feel a track-based class would prepare me the best for the type of riding I do. The one I would love is the cruiser/street class at Tony's Track Days, but I can't travel to Connecticut for it; simply don't have the time. I can't find anything in the Denver area that's remotely similar. I found a Minnesota-based school that's hosting a class at a local track here in Denver this summer but they never responded to my email with questions on what they will cover.

I am now looking at Lee Parks' Total Control ARC I and II. I also see that MSF has Advanced RiderCourse though I'm sure it's more basic than Parks' ARC I.

What do you recommend I do? Take MSF ARC next month followed by Parks' ARC II a few months later (or perhaps even next year)? It would be the more economical option than doing Parks' ARC I and II.

Anything else that's out there unbeknownst to me that you guys think I should look into?

ManiZ screwed with this post 04-06-2015 at 03:20 PM
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Old 04-06-2015, 04:57 PM   #2
patmo
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Do the Total Control class! Do the first class, don't even waste time with the MSF class. It is all about proper body positioning and slow speed handling. Class is held in a parking lot and you use your own bike. When I took it a couple of years ago there was someone in the class on a VTX. By the end of the day he was doing figure 8's, scraping his foot boards all the way around, and grinning from ear to ear.

I learned more in that class than I have in all the other classes I have taken combined. Can't recommmd it highly enough.
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:33 PM   #3
Aj Mick
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School of Hard Knocks and Common Sense

You need to ride more.

My "formal" education ended 50 years ago with my father spending a couple of minutes to show me the controls on our farm bike. It was the School of Hard Knocks from then on, though had already been cycling for about four or five years by then. Four years on I swotted up on the road code to get a provisional licence a week after I turned 15. A week later I did the a 150 metre road test and had my full licence in 1969 at the age of 15 years and 2 weeks.

It was about five more years of getting around on motorcycles before the Common Sense endorsement was realised, and I have had neither an accident nor a ticket since then. Over the past 40 years I have always ridden to get around in about 15 countries, covering 4-500,000 km in that time.

Do all the courses you like. You may even become the inter-course champion, but in the end it is experience that counts.
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:17 PM   #4
leetrout
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I hadn't heard of the total control class... looks cool!

This is the blind leading the blind here- but I was looking at https://www.ridelikeapro.com/ with "Motorman Jerry". Maybe someone else here has tried his course and has something to add
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:16 PM   #5
Bucho
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I first want to say that it is great you actually want to take a motorcycle training course.

I have never taken a Total Control course but I used to ride with a guy who was an instructor for them. Ive never heard anything bad about them. Probably well worth your money.

After 5-6 years of riding (I never took an msf or any course when I got my license), I took the MSF Advanced Rider class. It is basically just the basic class condensded down to 6-8 hours. Im not complaining about the class but it was very basic. Besides some practice all I really got out of it was a discount on my moto insurance.
To me the most eye opening thing about the class to me was how bad the majority of the other students were. Out of the 7-8 riders in the class only myself and one other guy passed the MSF riding course. Everyone else failed, some badly.

The only other pavement training Ive had was an 80 hour police motor course. Glad it was a trainer bike I was riding. I dropped it a dozen times in the slow speed cone course!
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:19 AM   #6
LudemJo
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I just attended the Total Control Class in late March riding an Electra Glide. It was a great class, and well worth the money. I try to take some sort of motorcycle training every Spring to get warmed up for the riding season. I am seriously considering the Corner Spin class next year. I also do want to go down to Florida to take the Ride Like a Pro Class as well at some point.

Advanced rider training is very worthwhile, but running gas through the tank is just as essential to keeping yourself safe and alive.

John
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:25 AM   #7
Mr Head
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Walt Fulton's Street Masters
https://www.facebook.com/walt.fulton.3

And you get to ride to California.
Skip the interstate on the way home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManiZ View Post
I ride a large metric cruiser and have about 5 years of riding experience. I don't get to ride as often as I'd like and have clocked just under 20,000 miles so far in varying conditions including heavy rain. At least 70% of my riding is in the canyons of Colorado; the other 30% is the travel to/from them and some rides out in the country.

I took MSF's BRC just before starting to ride in early 2010 and bought a small Suzuki cruiser thereafter. Upgraded to a big Yamaha (my current bike) a year later and it took me a while to adjust to it; at least 8 months. During that time, my riding style was evolving as well and I was learning the basics of picking the right line (I prefer late apex) and selecting the correct corner entry speed (usually around the speed limit for me). I never even thought about body positioning until just a year ago.

I don't really have the aforementioned Holy Trinity dialed in 100% yet (line, entry speed, body position) but body positioning is my weakest area. and my slow speed handling could use a lot of improvement as well. I have read Hough's books (albeit going through them more thoroughly now) and watched ToTW2 but struggle to implement their teachings when out for a ride.

I need to take a really good intermediate/advanced class. 5 years is too long to go without one anyway.

I feel a track-based class would prepare me the best for the type of riding I do. The one I would love is the cruiser/street class at Tony's Track Days, but I can't travel to Connecticut for it; simply don't have the time. I can't find anything in the Denver area that's remotely similar. I found a Minnesota-based school that's hosting a class at a local track here in Denver this summer but they never responded to my email with questions on what they will cover.

I am now looking at Lee Parks' Total Control ARC I and II. I also see that MSF has Advanced RiderCourse though I'm sure it's more basic than Parks' ARC I.

What do you recommend I do? Take MSF ARC next month followed by Parks' ARC II a few months later (or perhaps even next year)? It would be the more economical option than doing Parks' ARC I and II.

Anything else that's out there unbeknownst to me that you guys think I should look into?
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:41 AM   #8
CopaMundial
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I had a blast at Total Control I class. Just reading the book (prior to attending) helped some, but having feedback from the coaches made a big difference.

Everyone in the class improved regardless of their starting level.
I think I got the most out of it because I was the only one who went there knowing I would low-side before the end of the day. Helped that I was on a 250 dual sport with plenty of scratches on it already so I was comfortable intending to find the edge. I was doing that tight figure 8 exercise in third gear before I found it.
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:14 PM   #9
ZiaThunder
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Besides the Total Control class, you have another option: A Sunset Riders clinic with Nick Ienatcsh.

They started doing these classes last year, I went up to help Nick and Ray. I thought it was a great class to take after a BRC.

https://www.motorcycletrainingacademy.com/ssc.php
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Old 04-07-2015, 02:55 PM   #10
ManiZ OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZiaThunder View Post
Besides the Total Control class, you have another option: A Sunset Riders clinic with Nick Ienatcsh.

They started doing these classes last year, I went up to help Nick and Ray. I thought it was a great class to take after a BRC.

https://www.motorcycletrainingacademy.com/ssc.php
OH SHIT!!! Thank you for posting that one. They had advertised on Craigslist back in late Fall and I emailed them to enroll but they said it was being cancelled due to snow in the forecast and they will advertise again in the Spring. I have been checking CL weekly for the past 2 months (most recently, yesterday afternoon) but never saw them again, and I didn't know the name of the class to try and find it myself. THANKS AGAIN!

All, thank you for your input thus far. I know experience is a good teacher but bad habits, once cultivated but never pointed out, are the kind of experience I am trying to avoid. Want to get my technique addressed so I can build on it.

I will be taking the above-mentioned rider clinic in May and possibly Total Control ARC I in September (thanks for the feedback on that).

I am excited!
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Old 04-07-2015, 03:15 PM   #11
ManiZ OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Head View Post
Walt Fulton's Street Masters
https://www.facebook.com/walt.fulton.3

And you get to ride to California.
Skip the interstate on the way home.
This looks really good; plus they train in Nevada as well (half as long a ride from me!). Thank you for sharing. I will keep them in mind for a class in the next year or two. I don't want to sit untrained for 5 years as I have done thus far.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:16 PM   #12
eatpasta
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if you ever make it out to SoCal, a buddy of mine does a supermoto school for $200 a day, including the bike!! Just show up with your gear and you're off.
I've taken both the supermoto class as well as the sport bike fundamentals class a couple times and every time I go out, I learn a ton.

Best $200 you'll ever spend!

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Old 04-07-2015, 06:30 PM   #13
Roland44
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Originally Posted by eatpasta View Post
Best $200 you'll ever spend!
I couldn't agree more!
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:34 PM   #14
hardwaregrrl
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Total Control 1&2 was a pretty good class, the ARC by MSF is a pretty fun class as well. Less classroom than Total Control and isn't totally focused on cornering....one exercise consists of threshold braking mid apex. It's pretty fun and not a waste of money. If you want low speed tight stuff, the UBB by MSF is a modified police course and pretty challenging. I've taken a few track classes (California Superbike) and it has indeed improved my cornering ability ten-fold.

Experience is certainly a good thing to have, but knowing what you're doing and being taught the correct way is worth gold. I learned a lot of things the hard way, and it is not the preferred option.

If you can, join a Gymkhana class if you have one near you. It'll keep you on your toes!
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:36 PM   #15
Steveize
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http://http://www.motomark1.com/
Mark is a great instructor and offers everything you could ever hope for. take a vacation in summer to the mountains here, and his Overland class..very professional and humble rider. Wealth of knowledge and credentials beyond belief.
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