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A little back ground. I have always had the "M" endorsement on my DL. not for sure why, but just did. i guess just in case. Rode a bike for the first time ever in late July and bought my first bike on August 1, 2012. It was a '12 Fatboy LO. have since traded up to a 2012 SG. Some of the guys that I've rode with say I ride pretty good for a newbie.

all that being said, I would like to take a rider's course. I'm just wondering if I should take the basic course first or just skip on to the advanced course. I'm sure I would learn some stuff from the basic course, but just wondering if I would just be wasting my money on that and will pick up what I need in the advanced course.

What are some of you guy's thoughts here.

thanks, MH
 

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I would take the basic first, might be surprised at what you can pick up. I took the basic course first at my local college after riding for over 10 yrs. I did learn a bit, sharpened some skills, and learned of a bad habit or two.
 

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Pork Jockey
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I would also take the basic. Take Rider's Edge through Harley. From what I understand, it's better than the others. I took it and loved it.
 

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Village Idiot
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Always a good idea to start with the basic course, you might be amazed at what bad habits you may have already developed on your own. This helps in building a good foundation and then you can build from there.
 

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Mississippi Cajun
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Basic first. You might be surprised how many bad habits you may have already developed that you will discover in the course.
 

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Basic. Agree 100% with what others have posted. Pick up good new habits and identify existing bad ones to overcome.
 

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I definitely would take the basic. As said, you'll pick up some things you didn't know you didn't know!

Further, there are some drills and skills test that you don't normally do. I don't know about everywhere, but around here, the basic test is given on provided bikes. Everyone rides little 250s, while the advanced course is for riders to ride their own bike.

If I am going to drop a bike attempting a maneuver that, up until that day, it had never even occurred to me to attempt, I'd rather drop their's. :)

Once you get the idea of it, attempting on a bike twice the weight is more manageable.
 

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I agree with everyone else. Basic first. No such thing as a waste of time or money when it comes to saving your life.....
 

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Wife and I are taking the course at the local Harley dealership next week. I've got about 27 years experience, she has zero.

I'm looking forward to the class.

Paid for my daughter to take one in Iowa last year with zero experience to being able to handle my old 90 ZX-6 quite well.

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I took the MSC last spring after many years of not riding at all. After completing it I bought a really nice 08' Rebel and rode it nearly 3,000 miles during the summer/fall.
The things I learned in the course have proven invaluable. Sold the bike as soon as the weather broke here for just what I gave for it. Put that toward my 07' 883 sportster that I found last week. Man what a sweet ride! Take the course you won't be sorry!!!
 

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Nocturnal Ancestor
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I've thought about it, hate to spend the money cause been riding on the streets for years!!

I remember when wife took motorcycle safety classes, I watch from across the street,she had her permit and had done a lot of riding and rode dirtbikes when she was teenager so she did just fine.

First day was just classes inside and second day was a Saturday and they started in the mourning, one girl crashed so many times they kindly told her she had to stop and two other people a man and a woman didn't pass and had to come back for more classes.

From watching, I'd say a few of them had never operated a bike at all ever!!
These two teachers they had were very good though!! about 30 student and from watching them start riding and how much better they were after about 4 hours in class and 16 hours on the course riding was amazing!!
 

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SwampRat
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Totally enjoyed taking the Basic Course along with my wife although had ridden for years by keeping an open mind , I felt got a few pointers of bad habits I had picked up .. Some much so took the advanced course a few months later .. Money well spent IMHO ..
 

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I took the advanced class last week. I originally started with the basic course, but My riding session got snowed out. While talking with the instructor he told me the advanced course would be all I should need. Here is PA the courses are free to PA residents.

I spent from 9am till 3pm riding. There were 10 riders (2 didn't show up), and 4 instructors. We had an extra that was there in training. You ride on th same course as the basic class where everyone is on a 250. I picked up a few new skills, and found out about few bad habbits. I have to say that if you've been riding for any real length of time not sure the basic course will add anymore info?

With all that said it was cold and windy when I took mine. At least it wasn't raining. I was ready to do by about 1pm. I had enough. My left hand was so cramped from working the clutch I couldn't ride for two days afterward.
 

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Basic for sure, I had been riding for years and learned a lot from the basic course.
 

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THE Yuppie Outlaw
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Riders edge told me to ride for a minimum of one year after taking their basic course before I register for the advanced class.


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My story is the typical.. rode in my youth, abandoned it while raising the fam, started up again a couple of years ago. Though I felt that I had enough experience from my youth and it would be like "riding a bike", I took the Riders Edge course through my local dealer. Smartest thing I could have done.

My thought is that the basics of riding never change and regardless of experience, a rider must be proficient in knowledge and skill on those basics. Take the class.
 

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I agree with all of the above statements. Like Trekker, I came back to riding after too many years away, and thought it best to take a rider course. In WA, the course is subsidized, I believe it cost me $125 but may have been closer to $150. After passing you jump the line at the BMV to get your endorsement, plus a break on Ins, so it was a no brainer for me.

I also picked up the Ride like a Pro disc to study, and would highly recommend it to anyone. Its great information no matter what or where you ride. And as always, practice, practice, practice!
 
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