I am long overdue for my follow-up to Adventures of Our Motorcycling Escapades…The Rest of the Story. I promised a write-up on the Experienced Rider Course (ERC) that we took in May out at Legacy H-D in Midland, TX, so here it is.
Really, to be truthful…I could make this brief and just say “We LOVED it! You gotta do it!” and enough would be said, but since brevity really isn’t my style, I will take the liberty of elaborating.
First, you have to have successfully completed the Basic Rider Course (BRC) to be eligible to take the ERC. You can learn more about the BRC by linking into the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) site here. Regardless of where you take the course, the content is exactly the same because they are all put on by the MSF. The variables are things like price of class, class size, types of motorcycles you ride for training and bells and whistles like whether they feed you for lunch or you are on your own.
The BRC is a 2-day class and a combination of classroom studies and range riding. You ride motorcycles furnished by the location hosting the class and you must pass a written test as well as a riding skills test. Upon successful completion of both, you are given a certificate that you can take to the DMV to get a motorcycle endorsement on your license. The certificate only waives the riding portion of the test, NOT the written portion. You must still pass the written test (20 questions) to receive your endorsement. I think that sure beats the heck out of trying to take a nerve-wracking riding test in front of a DPS officer, plus you have to have someone in a car accompany you so the officer can ride with them! Yuk!
Once you have the BRC under your belt, you are then eligible to take the ERC. You take this course on your own motorcycle, whatever that may be. The course is one-day and there is no classroom activity–it’s all range work. The range riding is the funnest part of both courses and they don’t just do wimpy stuff. They really test your motorcycles skills. Even in the BRC, you get to learn to do nerve-wracking stuff like stopping quickly after a swerve or coming out of a turn, making tight u-turns, doing cone weaves, etc. It’s sort-of like an obstacle course on a motorcycle. You definitely get your money’s worth!
And speaking from experience, when Ronn first took the BRC after he bought a motorcycle, I didn’t think I needed to take it because I thought “I already know how to ride a motorcycle. I don’t need that!” But, with his persistence, I took it and was humbled by how much I really didn’t know and how much I was doing wrong! I have since talked to people that have been riding 10+ years, took the course and were just as humbled. In the case of motorcycling, what you don’t know really can hurt you!
It’s funny because now we can tell who has riding skills and who doesn’t when we are out and about. Things we never paid attention to before and used to do as ignorant riders, we now notice. And we particularly notice other riders that have training because it is such a graceful style of riding to watch, it really grabs your attention.
And who would have ever “thunk” it that, as a result, I would be chomping at the bit to voluntarily take an Experienced Rider Course??? Certainly, not me! So if that tells you anything, go check it out! You can look for the course nearest you here.