By BILL FREDERICKI’m one of those people who never really learned to ride a motorcycle. Back in the 1960s, when I bought my first bike, there were no formal riding courses available. I learned from some friends, and by reading motorcycle magazines. Mostly, I learned by just rolling my Yamaha 250 twin out onto the street, taking a deep breath, and taking off.
Of course, it’s a different world now, and there are lots of courses available that teach how to ride the right way. Harley-Davidson offers learn-to-ride courses, which it calls Rider’s Edge. Available courses include the basics for people who have never ridden before, and advanced courses for people who have ridden for years but may want to polish their skills. The Rider’s Edge courses are based on motorcycle training courses developed by the MotorcycleSafety Foundation.
I took an advanced riding course a dozen or so years ago, and I remember being surprised at all the things I didn’t know. That was true this time, too. Some of my skills, notably low-speed maneuvering skills, were really in need of some seriously polishing.
Charles, our instructor and a Jim’s employee, made everything look effortless, but he had me and at least some of my classmates really sweating.
Here is what Rider’s Edge says about the course:
“The course runs 1-2 days and is built on the curriculum of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation® (MSF) Basic RiderCourse 2 Suite. It is taught by devoted MSF and H-D® Certified Instructors.
“The course focuses on improving these skills:
- · Control at low speeds
- · Risk management
- · Limited space maneuvers
- · Cornering judgment
- · Swerving and stopping quickly on straights and in curves
- · Multiple curve maneuvers and surmounting objects
“When you're done, you'll earn an MSF Basic RiderCourse 2 completion card that may qualify you for a discount on motorcycle insurance.”
Give it some thought.