Beyond Basic Motorcycle Training | Street Savvy

So, you've passed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course and there's a motorcycle endorsement on your license now. Your riding friends are all begging you to join them and you want to go, but are you really ready? The BRC teaches the fundamentals, which is great for anyone who's never ridden a motorcycle. But it can't prepare you for real-world traffic conditions. Fortunately, the MSF (www.msf-usa.org) has added a new course to its curriculum. As the newest rider here at Motorcyclist, I got a chance to check it out.

The Street RiderCourse offers extensive training beyond the confines of a closed range. It’s being adopted at training sites such as the MSF-owned Discovery Rider Training Center in Long Beach, California. The SRC allows a maximum of three students per RiderCoach, or four students split between two coaches. Such small groups are ideal because they allow a more personalized experience. For someone like me who had never ridden with a group, it was an appropriate introduction.

Instruction begins with a brief classroom session followed by a spin around the parking lot before heading out onto the street. Each student gets a radio equipped with a helmet earpiece. The coach always leads, narrating what’s going on and pointing out potential dangers such as a car backing out of a driveway and telltale signs of children at play such as bicycles strewn across a lawn. The goal is to identify, evaluate and adapt your riding to potential hazards before they become big problems. Recognizing a potential hazard is just as important as knowing how to avoid it.

After a jaunt through a suburban neighborhood, our coach led us to the final portion of our ride: the big, bad 405 freeway. Cue the sweat beading on my forehead. But to my great surprise, riding with a group made me feel more confident, and our coach provided pointers that kept me aware and alert.

The SRC takes an entire day, and though prices vary by region, it typically costs about $250. The MSF recommends this course as a continuation to the BRC, and it’s taught in two parts: the SRC1 course, which is kept local, followed by the SRC2, which adds more challenging roads such as the freeway. Both are vital investments in your future, and are well worth looking into. Overall, I emerged a more confident, proficient rider, with crucial new skills that build on existing ones. I’ll be applying all of them on every one of my future rides.

Before riding, students take part in a classroom session. The RiderCoach plays a short video and distributes a handout that explains what the day will entail.
We were given time to digest the ride by stopping briefly at a parking lot. Here the RiderCoach explains the next route on the agenda, and what we might expect to come across.
During our ride through suburban neighborhoods we encountered various potential hazards, such as that truck full of garden clippings in the background.
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