I wish they would of mentioned who will pay for the course. When I took the MSF it was well over a hundred bucks, I think it is over 200 now. It would be nice if they would inact something to deal with all the old farts driving 45' long RV/buses instead.
It's a case of pay now or pay later. I started riding long before any kind of rider training was available. When I finally had a chance to take the MSF Experienced Rider Course, I still learned some new and useful things, and I considered it money well spent.
You can learn a lot of things from the shared wisdom of others that will save you the expense of learning it the hard way.
If taking an MSF course saves you from one crash, it has paid for itself.
No offense, but last time I bought a motorcycle, paid insurance, bought a helmet, bought a jacket, bought a slipon exhaust, bought a squidly undertail/fender eliminator, bought tires, bought an Aerostich, bought a new chrome whatchamajiggy, bought a matching set of his and hers arm chaps, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...
...It cost me more than $200!
Motorcycling is not something that we do to save money. (flame me about gas prices and I will still argue this point until the cows come home)
Consider the cost of training a worthwhile investment and the cost to get in the door. There are plenty of things that people spend more money on that are much more expensive
Florida reimburses the provider of the course a portion of the cost, but most of the cost is born by the rider. I guess it's sort of similar to taking a driver education class from one of the private driver ed companies.
I just looked into taking the MSF in the orlando area. $199 and well worth it. Despite my personal misgivings about excessive legislation This probably will turn the death toll in a slightly more positive direction.
Actually there was one other article posted they haven't posted which was my favrorite It was Triumph's announcement of increase in world wide sales. Last week they announced U.S. sales. The source of the world wide sales increase (younger buyers) proves the GMP right again so that is probably why they won't post it. zawa, longride etc has been complaining again to Gabe...Don't know how many posts by kpaul the GPTB can handle apparently they are complaining again. Yet they Kook bash multiple times, mutiple ways, multiple threads by multiple GPTB members. I promised Gabe to bow out on when Kook bashing starts up.. Life ain't fair for the GMP.
Being an instructor, I believe in education, but MSF courses are designed to teach people to ride good enough to get themselves in trouble. After completing a course you are fully qualified to operated a 250cc bike in a closed parking lot. Training is a constant thing. We had a well known rider with over a million miles attend a class at Willowsprings and at the end of the day he realized he had been making corners wrong his entire life. I have also seen riders too stubborn to listen fail the basic course or leave with serious injuries because they thought they knew everything. I liked Gabes analogy in "Power to Wait", we don't expect a pilot to jump in a plane without training, and if you don't know what you are doing to begin with you can crash a small one just as easy as you can crash a big one. Use your Head, it's the most important part of your bike, or someone will get to see what it looks like on the inside.
Let me point out some things without trying to offend any MSF instructors or the States that are trying to promote safety.
1- Our licensing procedures for motorcyclist are shambles compaired to any nation in the world that doesn't have third world status.
2- As much as we appreciate the fact that we have MSF and their instructors the course layout is out of date and outside of VERY basic technique is a joke in todays riding environment.
3- The States that will try to follow this guideline will in NO way try to fund it. Leaving it up to the individual pay even more money for the already underfunded programs.
4- Unless they open the market to allow private training programs the opportunity to train the back load of the state operated systems it will fail and be disbanded within a decade of the time it starts. Without private sector it's doomed for failure.
And that's just the begining.
I've argued for tiered licensing and will not be drawn into another thread on this. The fact that FL is trying to do something about this is admirable but the only way to make safer riders is to change the way we are educated and trained to ride the bikes.
Our system (country wide) is flawed and needs to be changed in order for us to get safer riders on the road for the future.
BTW- GA has an unfunded MSF situation that makes the state course around $250 and private courses start around $300-$500. If the state of GA doesn't step up and help with partial funding then better, more extensive training will be $500 and up.
I agree with the comment that the MSF basic course gives you the skills to ride a low powered bike around a parking lot, but you have to start somewhere. If it does avoid an accident that is a clear benefit. If there was an incentive for continuing training, that would help, like giving us who do continue training a break on insurance premiums that would help.
As an analogy, it took me almost three years to go from non-pilot to instrument multi rated. Cost a bucket-load of my hard earned cash as well. I consider achieving those ratings as only a license to continue to learn. Riding a motorcycle and piloting an airplane have much in common - ask a pilot who does both about split attention, multitasking, staying ahead of the airplane/motorcycle and situational awareness. All of these pertain to motorcycles as well.
I am in favor of a tiered licensing system in both. We have a tiered system in racing why not for the road? Can we expect dealers who need to move "units" who have an incentive from manufacturers (such as $69 a month and 0% interest) to restrain themselves when a testosterone-fueled kid comes in looking for a liter bike? I think not. However some dealers are good at diverting these kids to a less lethal bike. Manufacturers could help by bringing fun 250/350/400's in for entry level riders, like in Europe. It doesn't have to be a big motor to be big fun. My FZR is no entry level machine. The problem is that it is far too easy to twist the throttle and difficult to learn to ride well. Easy credit + testosterone + aura of invincibility + no skills = bad outcome. We all lose in such a situation. Public image suffers, medical costs go up, insurance goes up and more cries to save us from ourselves, not to mention the grief and pain it causes to riders and their survivors..
Oh, I forgot, it's America, land of the free and home of the stupid and home of the AMA. A really first class bunch of morons that campaigns against rational safety measures. Remember Florida still has no helmet law. Enough outa me.
Motorcycling is not the only place the good ol' USA is behind the rest of the civilized world. Try education, health care, care for the elderly, child care, living wage, vacation policies und so weiter ("and so on" for all you non-German speakers). Haven't you figured it out? The USA is becoming part of the third world. Not to mention NASCAR! (That oughta get some dander up!!)