Oh God, PLEASE go with the MSF!An MSF course would be a good start but how will I know they will do more than throw her on a bike? Some are better than others. So what would you all suggest?
I've been riding since I was five so I felt quite sure in teaching my wife how to handle a Honda VLX many years ago. (The VLX is a great starter bike BTW) We went to a secluded parking lot and I set about teaching her everything I know about riding a motorcycle. I walked her through clutch, brake and throttle. I instructed her on the fine points of turning a bike at low speeds. We spent about thirty minutes going through everything I remembered being shown and had learned about "learning" to ride. I then went about getting on her bike and performing a large oval in first gear and turning it over to her to do the same thing.
It was a beautiful site to see my helmeted and leathered babe launch herself on her VLX into that large oval pattern. Smooth clutch and throttle control followed by gorgeous slow speed turns. Nice and smooth braking coming up beside me to a stop. The grin she had was ear-to-ear. Right up to the point where she forgot to put her right foot down and promptly dropped her bike onto all the shiny bits.
Now yes, she did pick herself up and go on to learn much more that day but the worst thing she learned was that about eight hours later the little pain she had in her elbow had turned into a right arm she couldn't bend. Yes, she had fractured her elbow.
Her sports injury specialist (also a rider) kept her off her bike for the next three months. During that time she registered for the Beginner MSF course.
She went through the course and came out ready to practice the skills she'd learned. Within four months she'd been on a number of dinner rides with our club and had taken many three hundred plus mile trips with me. After one of those trips we got home and she said, "I need more power and better brakes."
The MSF Beginner course is the only way to go, lwatcdr. I would advise letting her go alone. I did. She doesn't need you there as a distraction or an excuse. They are trained at how to teach beginners who don't bounce as well as we did as kids. I crashed so many times as a kid I thought it was part of learning. The problem with teaching like that is that my wife wasn't a preteen when she bounced! Grown-ups break.
Trust the course and your wife. If she's got a rider trapped inside her then the MSF instructors will introduce her.