10 Things The MSF Motorcycle Course Doesn’t Teach You

We’ve all taken our motorcycle rider training. A weekend spent riding, sunshine, the wind at your face, it’s your first taste of the open road and life on two wheels. The motorcycle course (or motorcycle safety foundation course) takes you from a complete noobie to, for all intents and purposes, a “motorcyclist”, over the span of one weekend. The only problem is that there’s only so much you learning you can fit in one weekend.

Here are the Top 10 Things the MSF Motorcycle Course Doesn’t Teach You.

1) How to park properly beside other bikes
Proper position, alignment, parking in gear on uneven pavement, angling your motorcycle’s front tire, etc.
Suggested reading: How to Park a Motorcycle

2) How to ride on city streets
Some actual real-street practice riding would be a welcome addition, when possible.
Suggested reading: How to Ride in the Rain, How to Ride on Grooved Pavement

3) Route planning
What to look for on the map, planning breaks, gas stations, scouting good roads, etc.
Suggested reading: How to Plan Your Route for a Long Ride

4) Things to plan for your first long ride
Backage, packing, travel essentials, gear, etc.
Suggested reading: What to Bring on a Motorcycle Ride, Cooking on a Motorcycle Trip

5) Rotating your bike on it’s sidestand
Because whether you’re in a tight spot, or just want to look cool, knowing how to spin your motorcycle around on the spot by leaning it on the sidestand is all kinds of cool.

6) Adjusting your suspension
Front suspension, rear suspension, suspension length options, 9 out of 10 new riders don’t know about all this.
Suggested reading: Mono vs. Dual Shock Motorcycle Suspension

7) How to patch a flat tire
Life happens and this is one essential skill no rider should leave home for a long travel without knowing.

8) How to fall off a motorcycle
If you don’t know how to fall, you’ll probably throw your hands out in front of you in some kind of outstretched “I’m-about-to-snap-my-wrists-trying-to-protect-myself-from-a-minor-impact” kind of way or find other ways to seriously hurt yourself.
Suggested reading: How to Fall Off a Motorcycle

9) How to bump start a bike
Another essential skill often overlooked, the reality is that bumpstarting can be enough to keep the good times rolling, as opposed to keeping yourself on the side of the road waiting for a tow.

10) Excuses to tell your significant or insignificant other before you go out motorcycle riding
One of the most important skills of all is finding a way to make riding cool with your loved one, and maybe even talking him or her into coming along for a ride. Master this skill and live a truly happy life.

Adrian S.