MSF Experienced Rider Course

Marilee and I spent last Saturday afternoon at the local Experienced Rider Course (ERC). It was good and bad… Practicing rapid stops and tight low speed maneuvers = Good! Having to go backwards to 4 fingers on the brake Bad… Very Bad! The ST4s’ Bremos are marvelous sensitive beasts, hard braking with 1 finger can cause over braking, trying to do a quick stop (versus a panic stop) with 4 fingers on zero practice time is very scary… at least I now know what losing the front end feels like. Fortunately I didn’t dump the bike. Exactly ½ the class dropped their bike at some point though the day. I think everyone learned something valuable and got their $75 worth but it could have been much better.

A couple of observations:

  • The basic course should be required period. The one rider that had fairly serious get off had never taken a MSF course and made a very basic error.
  • ERC courses don’t get enough attention form the MSF or the instructors – the basic course dominates ever since CA started pushing new riders that direction (a very good thing)
  • Riders should be encouraged to take the ERC about 1 year after the basic course and then a follow up in year 2/3.

The US at least needs something more advanced than the ERC. Lane position in moderate speed corners, trail braking into the the corner and much more line planning in linked curves need to be taught along with advanced traffic avoidance skills. There needs to be something in between the ERC and track school.


It happened…

Marilee dropped the new bike!  Thankfully she wasn’t seriously injured.  We had just stopped at the yacht club to see if Art and Nancy were still in town, they’d alaready headed home.  On the way back home Marilee locked the front brakes up on a left turn from a stop light (we guess the acceleration surprised her).  SHe must have let them go a little late and high-sided onto the street and slid into the curbing with the bike on top of her leg.  Her ankle is sprained and she’s brusied from her shoulder down to the chest.  Thankfully is was a low speed accident so no major injuries. 

She’s anxoius to heal,  get the bike back in shape (some new body panels) and find out what happened.  Me? I’m concerned that we need to make sure a bad habit doesn’t get formed.  I’m pushing for some one on one drill time with a experienced MSF instructor.  I think it’s a bit early in her development as a motorcyclist for the Experienced Rider Course but maybe not…

Baby’s leaking Oil… I thought that was a bygone era!

I had a good scare Sunday night. I took the fairings off the St4s to install an airhorn (the horn on the bike is anemic at best) and found oil all over the lower sections and coating the oil cooler. I figured the cooler has sprung a leak. closer inspection revealed the rocker cover (just above the oil cooler) wasn’t tightened very well (probably at the 12K serivce). That seems to explain the hot oil smell from the Fort Bragg run with the Sightseers last month.

Motorcyclist Protective Hen

Those of you on the St2 list know by now Gary Egan (Hobatz), riding god, king of the iron butt and general kindly curmudgeon of all things motorcycling has suffered a nasty crash as a result of a mundane error plus equipment failure… He left his sidestand down on the multistrada and turned left. The interlock on the sidestand was clearly not working at the time.
Marilee’s new (to her) Multistrada (Spiny Norman, see and has been lowered 1.5″ and so the sidestand protudes enough to make it a very scary proposition to leave it down. I’ve got protective hen syndrome every morning making sure the sidestand has been retracted.
It’s been a bad year for motorcyclists – I just want us to stay out of the trend.