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Thread: Anyone ever take the MC training at the BMW Performance Center in SC?

  1. #1
    Registered User satxbiker's Avatar
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    Anyone ever take the MC training at the BMW Performance Center in SC?

    I am excited and nervous because I have signed myself up for the 2 day motorcycle authority class in April at the BMW performance center in South Carolina. I have been riding for over 15 years and feel really comfortable on the road, but those fricken fracken tight turns in a parking lot or any super slow maneuver always make me feel nervous and unstable. I have read a ton of stuff and understand about the friction zone on the clutch, counterbalancing the bike with your body and any number of things. I have just been unable to really implement them on my own bike. I am hoping this class will force me out of my comfort zone of leaning into those curves and make me work on the small/slow stuff. I am riding a RT now and I love the bike but it is a beast in slow conditions. I made sure I picked the 1200GS to try and get as close to a weight match as possible to take the class. I will also play the girl card and blame some of my issues on the lack of upper body strength that some of you guys have. I can say that I can pick the bike up myself from a drop! I have full guards on the bike including the ones for the bag so the fact it does not go down all the way really helps. I have dropped the darn thing 3 times! Once when I came to a full unexpected stop from 2 mph with my front wheel fully turned to the left and the other two times I am going to blame the incredibly tall kickstand for the RT. Am I the only person who feels that bike hardly leans over at all? If you stop on any kind of slope to the right, you run the risk of the bike falling over to the right with the right wind or touch on the handle bar. I am now very very careful about where I put that kickstand down.

    I appreciate any feedback or tips from anyone who has taken any training at either performance center from BMW. Thanks everyone!
    Lynn Lopez - 19 S1000XR
    Keeping two wheels down and waving at everyone!
    SATXBiker
    San Antonio, TX

  2. #2
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Our first serious training was at the racetrack at Laguna Seca, Californina. We were celebrating our 20th Anniversary by daring this Riders Advanced Training School offered by Reg Pridmore, just after the BMW MOA National. I had lots of days to psych myself out watching others taking the class.

    I'll never forget that first sighting lap which Reg Promised would be slow as we rode single file around the track. That was the fastest I'd ever ridden curves in my life! By the end of the day I was voted most improved rider - probably because I was so terrified at the beginning I almost forgot how to breath!

    Early in the classroom Reg looked over the 18 guys and me and asked if anyone was nervous. I shot my hand up and noticed a few guys admitting to that same nervousness.
    Reg dramatically looked over the rest of the assembled riders and said "It's the rest of you I worry about!"

    If you Never dare, you Never improve. You'll have a blast and learn a lot too!

    Voni
    sMiling
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  3. #3
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Hi Lynn

    Look at bottom of page in the Similar Threads section, a few prior threads. You are not alone on low speed handling issues and not a gender issue, just practice practice practice

    Have a few models that need careful parking space selection, and a few that lean way too far, but I know the feeling.
    Steve Henson-Mod Team and SABMWRA Prez

    Be decisive, right or wrong.The road of life is paved with
    flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision~unknown

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voni View Post
    Our first serious training was at the racetrack at Laguna Seca, Californina. We were celebrating our 20th Anniversary by daring this Riders Advanced Training School offered by Reg Pridmore, just after the BMW MOA National. I had lots of days to psych myself out watching others taking the class.

    I'll never forget that first sighting lap which Reg Promised would be slow as we rode single file around the track. That was the fastest I'd ever ridden curves in my life! By the end of the day I was voted most improved rider - probably because I was so terrified at the beginning I almost forgot how to breath!

    Early in the classroom Reg looked over the 18 guys and me and asked if anyone was nervous. I shot my hand up and noticed a few guys admitting to that same nervousness.
    Reg dramatically looked over the rest of the assembled riders and said "It's the rest of you I worry about!"

    If you Never dare, you Never improve. You'll have a blast and learn a lot too!

    Voni
    sMiling
    Took Reg's CLASS course in Virginia in the fall of 2016. Had to laugh as I felt the same way on his "sighting" lap. Best course I ever took.

  5. #5
    Registered User REDC650GT's Avatar
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    Don't forget to apply for a scholarship from the MOA Foundation

    Lynn,

    Congratulations on the training. MOA Foundation will grant you a scholarship for this training see the link below.

    https://www.bmwmoa.org/page/paulb

    Have Fun and enjoy the ride!

    Chris

  6. #6
    Registered User satxbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by REDC650GT View Post
    Lynn,

    Congratulations on the training. MOA Foundation will grant you a scholarship for this training see the link below.

    https://www.bmwmoa.org/page/paulb

    Have Fun and enjoy the ride!

    Chris
    I have applied. Thank you for reminding me.
    Lynn Lopez - 19 S1000XR
    Keeping two wheels down and waving at everyone!
    SATXBiker
    San Antonio, TX

  7. #7
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    Lynn, I have not taken the BMW class but have taken the Ride Like a Pro class. Did it on my GL1800 (900+ lbs of pure terror at low speeds) and was absolutely thrilled with the information given and techniques taught. Mostly HD's and one guy on a R1200RT in our group. Scary at first but as you learn to trust the laws of physics and what you're learning it gets to be great fun. I'm planning on doing such a course again now that we have a RT. Enjoy! Oh, and once you have taken the course as already said, practice, practice, practice and then practice some more.
    Last edited by motorhead1977; 01-20-2019 at 11:19 AM.

  8. #8
    MOA Life Member t2moyer's Avatar
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    MOA members receive a 15% discount from the BMW PC. If you havenít finalized your payments for the class, be sure and ask for the discount.

    Their instructors are great. If you are feeling nervous about the class, you might consider renting their bike. They donít care if you put them on the ground or drop them. Thatís why they rent the bikes.

    We also have a member, Cassie Maier, who is an instructor at the PC. Cassie hadnít really ridden a GS or a tall bike (she rode a K75S before she started there) and they taught her all the proper technique to be able to ride with confidence and instruct! You should be in great hands.
    Ted Moyer
    '12 DL650, '06 R1200RT, '78 R100RS Motosport, '72 XL250, '83 RZ350, '94 KLX650, '80 GS850G

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=satxbiker;1153066]I am excited and nervous because I have signed myself up for the 2 day motorcycle authority class in April at the BMW performance center in South Carolina.

    Lynn, after you take this course, would you mind sharing your experience here on the forum? I too am interested in the training offered by BMW. You never get too old to learn. Thanks..Gail
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

  10. #10
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    I don't see this training listed on BMWPC's website. Is it open to non-cops, or is it a 'secret menu item?'
    2012 R1200GS
    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad
    http://www.thethingaboutcars.com/

  11. #11
    Registered User stooie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by satxbiker View Post
    but those fricken fracken tight turns in a parking lot or any super slow maneuver always make me feel nervous and unstable.
    Lynn:

    I guess my first response is, "Welcome to the human race!" Most of us who focus on street riding do very little parking lot stuff and thus don't improve our skills at it.

    Secondly, good for you for tackling it head-on. If more of us did that we'd be a more skilled biker population.

    Alas; I don't think the "girl card" will get you too far with the instructors. Low speed maneuvering is about 99% technique and 1% strength. Admittedly, if you have the build and conditioning of an NFL lineman, your strength can go some distance to cover technique errors. For most of us though, it's about the skills. And of course, once one practices doing it the right way for a little while, normal breathing returns and nervousness decreases allowing one to perform just that much better.

    One suggestion you might consider. The MSF has a Rider Skills Practice course that's a half-day range (= big parking lot) course which focuses on low speed skills. A nice thing about it is that one may use their relatively small, light-weight bikes. It makes it easier to focus on technique and if you should dump it; it's not your lovely RT. They don't run these courses in the winter months here in the northern climes, but I wouldn't be surprised if they might be available in San Antonio.

    Good luck with it! We'd love to hear feedback from you when you return from this course. And remember the most important thing: have fun!
    Last edited by stooie; 01-15-2019 at 07:36 PM.
    Bob Stewart
    Salem, OR

    2018 RT

  12. #12
    Registered User mlytle's Avatar
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    the MSF ARC class does a lot of low speed training. i have taken that twice and it helps.

    as was said...PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. you can't expect to be good at something unless you do it regularly.

    there is a parking lot near me that MSF uses and has all the ARC exercises painted on it. i spend at least 30min a month getting dizzy riding the exercises over and over. huge help.

    you don't need an MSF parking lot though. any empty parking lot has parking space lines. pick some and practice turning. make it a part of your monthly riding routine.
    Marshall
    92 K75s, 94 K75s, 96 K1100RS (caretaker), 09 K1300s

  13. #13
    Registered User crna59's Avatar
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    I am a MSF instructor as well as a H-D Riding Academy Instructor and S/TEP 3-wheel instructor. I, like you, panicked every time I had to do a U-turn on a 650lb. tall bike. I could do it really well on the 250-300lb training bikes we had. I then took a Law Enforcement Riding course. The one I went to was a 40hr. course where you took a 700lb. police motorcycle around pylons. The mantra of the course was Look/Lock/Lean. Needless to say I dropped the bikes many times, but at the end of the course, I was able to take the 700lb. bike and do figure-8's in a 16' box. Of course they had training for faster maneuvers, like panic braking at 50mph and swerving around 6 pylons at 40mph. But the slow speed training I received was the best course I have ever taken. I take what I learned from that course and use some of the techniques in my MSF and Harley course. I've decided to go back once a year to brush up on my techniques.

    Ride Like a Cop

    See if you can find one in your area....
    Bruce A. Brown #212072
    MSF 2-wheel Instructor
    H-D Riding Academy Instructor
    S/TEP 3-wheel Instructor

  14. #14
    There's a tiny female instructor that does the 2 day off road course that proves size has nothing to do with it, but skill and confidence does. I'm sure she likely has a harder time picking up a bike than I do but she drops it less.

    All about confidence and practice. You are training your brain more than anything. Nobody really feels completely comfortable dropping a bike. Don't over think or under think it. I'd rent their bike, don't feel bad about dropping a rental they provide. They've likely been dropped before.

    After 12 years of being a paratrooper I still don't particularly care for heights. It was about overcoming the "fear."

    I'd bet you're going to do far better than you think you will which will greatly improved your confidence later on.

  15. #15
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    Maybe it's just me, but I think that the Paralever front ends on BMW flat twins are a bit awkward at tight, low speed turns. When I back my bikes out of the shed and turn them around to head for the driveway, I always make sure that the R1200 only has to make a 45% turn. With the telescopically forks bikes I feel more comfortable making these tight turns at a steeper angle.
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

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