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I agree Steven. Some states have contracted the training out. In some cases the state subsidizes the price. Some states have both state subsidized and non subsidized. The difference being, there is a waiting list for the subsidized course. I always get nervous when safety stuff or fire and police functions are subcontracted out...I think the potential for passing substandard riders is there i.e. buy your endorsement or license.
 

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How comprehensive is Harley's 'Rider's Edge' program?

Though I'm leery of a 'corporation' behind this type of bill, well, will the Rider's Edge instructors be more qualified than our local DMV Folks?

Consider this: In the moderate past, as I was taking my California M1 class license riding test, I casually asked my clipboard-toting 'judge' what type bike he rides...

His reply: "Oh I don't ride one of those things...they're too dangerous."

My immediate thought was "How can you stand there and 'judge' my riding skills [at that time, I had been riding bikes of various displacements for some 15 years] when you have NEVER EVEN BEEN ON A BIKE?"

Again, because of the Corporate interest, my curiosity is aroused...

Maybe will wake the DMV up to some degree...
 

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I sure can't see any problem with this bill.



NOBODY is required to take any sort of motorcycle class in California and nobody needs a motorcycle endorsement to buy a motorcycle.



ANYTHING Harley offers in the way of a class is better than nothing. I would bet they'll offer a pretty decent class.



Anyhow it beats the hell out of what the Big 4 bike shops do... loan the newbie 600cc and liter bike buyers little scooters to use for their rider exams.
 

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I'm no attorney, but it seems to me that HD would have a very large, potentially class action liability if they were found to have improperly licensed riders who were later involved in a statistically higher number of accidents.



Oh, wait, that describes a subset of their recent customer base, not the riders they've trained... ;-)

 

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I tend to beleive any corp or gov'mnt actions are a benifit to me. So I see this as HD making it easier to sell bikes to legal licensed riders. I don't think they would pass anyone (the liability is bad enough), I would hope that the law is written that MSF course would also remove the need to take the skills portion of the test, and if Honzookyamkaw offers a program then they should be accorded the same privledge.

I think that the MSF course does eliminate the skills portion of an endorsement in some states as it stands now. The skills test is a joke usually.
 

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You are wrong. From the California DMV site:




If you are under 21, you must complete a motorcycle rider training course given by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and provide the completion certificate to DMV to be issued your license. You will not be required to take the motorcycle driving test at DMV.






There are two classes of motorcycle licenses, Class M1 and Class M2.



With a Class M1, you can operate any 2-wheel motorcycle and any motorized vehicle in Class M2.

With a Class M2, you can only operate any motorized bicycle or moped or any bicycle with an attached motor

 

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Wonder if Harley's Rider Edge course includes bailing wire hints, or how to construct impromptu oil funnels made from discarded newspaper?



The right and wrong way to tie a bandana?



Which chain goes with what wallet? How not to wave at other riders?



The sneer?



Badda-bing.

 

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I am unsure where this may be going, but from experience ( I attended the MSF course in 1992 and then the Experienced Riders Course in 1994...then after a 4 year period of not riding, decided to take the MSF to refresh my skills before buying a new bike) the new riders course has been seriously DUMBED DOWN from what it was in the past. The program is not now what it was 10 years ago. I doubt that this amendment is aimed at making the program better, just more expensive.
 

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I have experience with the Rider Edge Series of training here in Virginia. It is well worth the time and effort for everyone to attend. Bandana not required. HD offers both the sport bike Buell side and the touring cruiser side of training experience. I think we as riders would welcome anything to take this responsibilty away from the government. I have been licensed in 9 states, taking both the written and riding test. None were even close to real world riding or knowledge level needs. HD - go for it........... I loved both my courses and this was after 35 years of experience, two deer, a CA blonde, a ******* in a stolen car and my brother tried to do me in while on two wheels.
 

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I understand from the AMA that MSF has allowed this contracting out of rider training. Anyway, I'm not particularly impressed by MSF. They used to have an exercise where you locked up the rear wheel and come to a stop in order to demonstrate that you shouldn't lock up the rear wheel and then release the brake, which could result in a high side. What was the point? To not use the rear brake or don't not use it once you've applied it in a panic, as if you could think through all that before you hit the car.



After the afternoon range session during the 1-day "Experienced Rider class" I asked when we were going out into the street to learn street strategies, which is why I took the class in the first place. Well, of course, there is no street riding session. So, basically all they teach you is how to ride in a parking lot around cones.



It takes years and a hell of a lot of practice to ride like Nicky Hayden, to maneuver away from the once in 10 year near collision. Why not use that time to learn to better position yourself and control your momentum in traffic to avoid those sitautions in the first place?



And anyway, there was no rider training class when I started riding. The dealer showed me the controls of the bike and said take this back road instead of the main highway in front of the shop when you leave. And then he disappeared to go count his money.
 

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My rider training class was piloting a decrepit Jawa with no brakes in heavy 1970's Los Angeles traffic.



That'll give you the basics real quick.
 

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Getting a pass on the current MSF course is so easy that it's a bit of a laugh to think that HD could offer something inferior. It's probably not possible. And the little riding test that the State requires for licensing is so ridiculous that anyone could become proficient enough in an hour on a 250 Nighthawk to pass it.



It would seem to me that HD would want people to get good training because well trained riders are more likely to survive and buy more bikes in the future. This is one area where doing the right thing is also a good business practice. It's of no benefit or profit to Harley to send out poorly trained riders.



Oh wait, I forgot that Harley is the devil and that all corporations only want to harm and kill people for profit.



Never mind.
 

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Harley's Rider's Edge program was designed in cooperation with the MSF to meet standard training requirements. It was developed in conjunction with the Buell Blast because Harley's former CEO and current chairman Jeff Bleustein believes we need to renew the motorcycling population, and that requires readily available training and affordable bikes. Whether you agree with the results or not, it was a noble effort, and one that Harley undertook as a long-term investment. They're certainly not making money on the Blast or Rider's Edge.



 

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Ahh so! Then this whole thing IS a devious conspiracy by Harley Davidson.... to sieze market share in the lucrative "U-21 buyers of $22K cruisers" demographic niche by handing out passing grades in their sub-standard rider training!!!!!!



Those bastards. Those rotten sneaky bastards.
 

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To hell with basic rider skills. I don't know if anyone's noticed, but mechanical monsters are being sold to children, out there. I realize that your basic dyed-in-the-wool nitwit probably won't benefit from training. but sending a 19 year old out on a GIXXER without decent training, is criminal. Nobody seems to care that you can take your test on a 250 Rebel, then ride away on a ZX -10R. That's like qualifying as an astronaut, after proving you can build a paper airplane.
 

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Rider training and conflicts of interest

thejimmy asks about the potential conflict of interest in having HD provide riding training. True, but MSF also has a large conflict of interest as well. They are largely funded by the motorcycle industry, and their executive director is also the executive director of the Motorcycle Industry Council (the "voice" of the industry). In fact, if any of you subscribe to Motorcycle Consumer News (which I heartily recommend), you will have seen their series of articles examining the "dumbing down" of the MSF training program in order to get more customers for the MC industry.

Personally, I say make training mandatory, at full expense. When people have to pay, they typically take it more seriously, while if it was subsidized or free, they would tend to discount the value of the training. The type of people I see avoiding training (mid-life crisis sufferers or squids) typically spend more on chrome or tires than the cost of a good training program, but would probably benefit most from training.
 

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Re: H-D snuggling up to MSF in California

The current MSF course (BRC) and Riders Edge are the same program. RE adds things like "this is your dealership, salesperson, shop, parts, accessories, yada" type stuff which adds 2 more evenings to the BRC.

I see a conflict of interest, similar to GM or Ford training drivers so they can have a license. The state should have control over license programs, and contracts to provide training should be bid upon by companies that have no vested interest in motorcycle sales. There should be no direct advertising IMO of any particular brand bike/gear/etc. This turns the program into a sales pitch instead of focusing on the training at hand.

It seems MSF and H-D are working together, subverting state constitutions in an attempt to control all motorcycle training nationwide.

OBTW, a recent nationwide study found Team Oregons' training program superior to all others.
 
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