Day 2, Part 1 of Motorcycle Safety Course In Pa.

Day 1 of this Motorcycle Safety Course in Pa is complete. Today is split into two parts, and this post will cover the first part. The most fun part. The part where we ride motorcycles!!! Yay!!!!

Our Pa Motorcycle Safety Course Motorcycle Choices.
Our awaiting learner course motorcycles.

Motorcycle Course Checking in Process.
The instructor collected our Pa Driver’s licenses and Pa Motorcycle Learner’s Permits. We filled out some demographics information, and the instructor did some paperwork.

I understood the “hurry up and wait” boredom of these administration steps with a military background. The students stood around and looked over the line of motorcycles the instructor already put out for us.

The remote class was good for us; we all felt we know each other from the forced introductions the instructor made us.  

Soon the instructor told us to pick a bike, and it would be our bike for the course. There were more bikes than riders, so not fighting occurred. The motorcycles were primarily 250cc bikes. I saw a Suzuki TU250x, a well-known ‘beginner’ bike with a long history of followers.

Another rider quickly took the TU250x, so I settled for a Suzuki GZ 250. There was one single Grom, and that Grom was grabbed promptly up. I wasn’t interested in learning on a Grom but wondered how much fun they were. Everyone was happy to pick a motorcycle, and we stood ready. 

After reading, and being told about, the “MSF” courses, I was surprised by something strange. Not a single Honda Rebel Motorcycles. I thought Rebel’s (the 250cc version) were considered the bread and butter of motorcycles for this type, of course. Oh, well, I guess cliche’ was broken today.

The instructor reviewed ‘rules,’ hand signals, and our purpose for today’s’ riding session. Also added were the steps to keep the students and instructor safe from any virus concerns.

The instructor stood away from us and used a megaphone to instruct us even when the motorcycles were off.

It was weird, but we all appreciated the efforts so that this safety course could take place with Pa’s continued lock-down of many state programs.

What We Covered In The Safety Riding Course.

Of Course Motorcycle Rider SAFETY!  

Which involved the instructor’s inspection of our riding safety equipment. Repeat back of some instructions. Constant questions by the instructor about our understanding of rules. 

Real Operation If The Motorcycle.

How to start. Some of us had carburetor motorcycles. How to use a clutch. How to use a WET clutch. How to shift. How to shift into neutral. How to use BOTH brakes. How to use a kickstand.   

And the list went on. I didn’t realize how much involved riding a motorcycle, but it makes sense since you need two hands and two feet to operate. The only thing my feet did riding my mountain bike was pedal.

What We Did Do In the Safety Riding Course

A lot of Slow, I mean Slow, I mean no further than 2nd gear, riding.

Why so slow………?????
This is my understanding of slow-speed training. Motorcycles are very stable at higher speeds. Motorcycles like staying upright and going straight.

A reason why we hear so many stories of motorcycle riders going off the road, on the outside, while the road turns, since the motorcycle wanted to go straight at high speed. So a motorcycle’s speed keeps you and the bike upright.

As you go slower, typical of a new rider, skill is what keeps you upright. So we were there to learn safe riding skills, so the safety course focused on riding slow.

We were forced to learn engine speed control with the throttle, use the friction zone with the clutch, and develop a sense of balance and response to any changes in the motorcycle’s upright position.

My Motorcycle Safety Course Strengths

  1.  Sense of balance from riding bikes all my life. I understood the basics of how the motorcycle would react to turning, braking and accelerating.
  2. Sense of confidence. My confidence was from just viewing the motorcycle as a giant bicycle I didn’t have to pedal. Nice!
  3. Learning to drive, and later owning, manual transmission cars. I could listen to the RPMs. These bikes didn’t have tachometers, and when I had to shift up or down.  

My Motorcycle Safety Course Weaknesses

WET-CLUTCHes! In a car, you don’t ‘ride’ the clutch. You’ll burn out your car’s clutch. So I frequently fell back on my manual transmission car riding experience and failed to control the motorcycle.

I, too often, popped the clutch, it looked like I was trying to pop a wheelie, or I wouldn’t use the clutch at very low speeds causing the bike to shutter.

The instructor continuously focused on trying to break me of these lousy motorcycle habits. I understood the difference between dry-clutches and wet-clutches, but I was having difficulty applying it for some reason.

Motorcycle Safety Course Outcome.

I have immensely increased my safe motorcycle skills on day 1. I went from no motorcycle driving experience to 1 day of motorcycle driving experience!!! I didn’t die, and I didn’t kill anyone. Kind of dark, but this was a serious concern.

I found out about my motorcycle riding weaknesses, yes, still the wet-clutch. I am happy I didn’t stall the motorcycle out too many times, but not happy it appeared I was trying to do wheelies in a motorcycle safety course. I’m sure I’m not the instructor’s favorite student.

So far, very happy I chose to enter the hobby of motorcycles. Even more pleased, I decided to take a motorcycle safety course rather than self-teaching myself. On to Day 1/Part 2 this evening.

Picture of me, as a New Motorcyclist.
Just Me…Newly Licensed.

Hi I’m Tom, A New Motorcycle Rider and Blog Author.

I am a new rider(Pa Learners Permit at the end of 2020, and I received a Pa Motorcycle License in 2021 after passing a Motorcycle Safety Course).

I bought my first motorcycle, a TaoTao TBR7, at the beginning of 2021 and have been doing upgrades on that motorcycle since.

I added to my motorcycle collection by buying a Boom Vader Gen 2 in 2022, and that Grom-Clone motorcycle has been upgraded by me as well.

I continue to ride my Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle as well as my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport bike.

Read more on my About Me page.

Fun Fact: I’ve only been on one group ride.

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