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Re: MSF Advanced Rider Course

I took the ERC about 6 months after I got my endorsement. While it was useful, I wouldn't exactly call it advanced. Some of the same things annoyed me, like the requirement that we use 4 fingers on the front brake and not cover it (how are you supposed to blip the throttle for a smooth downshift while braking with 4 fingers?)

After 6 years of riding, I took Lee Parks' Advanced Rider Clinic. While this course is also at low speeds, around cones in a parking lot, it teaches skills and tactics that, while you may already know, you likely don't apply correctly unless you've been to many a track day.

At that course, I completely erased any remnant of a chicken strip and could have dragged my knee had I stuck it out a little farther. I felt completely in control the entire time, and my cornering on the street is now much faster (when I want it to be), though also much more controlled and better thought out.

This course is much more expensive than the MSF course, but in my opinion, you get what you pay for. The ERC is a great intro to riding, but is not an advanced street riding course.
 

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Re: MSF Advanced Rider Course

Absolutely not! Having never been to a track day (hoping to sometime soon...) I can't speak from experience and don't want to pretend that I know anything about it. However, I would imagine that the skills learned would be complimentary but not the same. Lee Parks' course covers a very specific set of skills geared toward improving street riding - namely cornering. They go through the "correct" way (as they see it) to set up, enter, ride through, exit/transition a corner. It involved retraining the way I transitioned to/from the brake and throttle, body position, head/eye position, and bar inputs. They also discuss lane positioning strategy (line) for both safety and performance reasons, psychology, and physiology. His book actually does a good job of explaining the drills and the presentations given. They also taught a method of making a U-turn in an incredibly small space (easily within one parking space on ANY bike). While this may seem like a useless skill, it certainly is not if you've ever tried to turn around on a single lane road, in a parking lot, etc. - not to mention how impressive it looks at the local bike hang out to flip your bike around without putting your feet down when everyone else is pushing through a multi-point turn.

Because of the close proximity and student-instructor ratio, they really make sure that you do the drills correctly. That instant feedback helped me learn quickly. It also gave me a lot to think about whenever I ride, and I find myself catching errors in my technique now that I wouldn't have before. It is certainly less intimidating than taking your bike to a track, and I probably learned more in that one day than I would have learned in a single track day. But if I went to a few so that I started to get comfortable at the track, then it might be different.

Just to be clear - I have no affiliation with the program except as a very satisfied customer.
 
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