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Monday the 15th, I-66 westbound, blue, bobbed rebel, pulled off at an underpass on 29 when the clouds opened up like a fire brigade training exercise...
 

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I thought I'd share this, motorcycle ridership up in recent years, and at least 3 (maybe 4) of the bikes in this training course are rebel 250's...
 

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page 2 of the article for anyone reading it...
 

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Good article, and reflective of what students get from the course. Folks, if you're reading this and haven't taken the course, even if you've ridden for years, it's time well spent to take the class. I can pretty much tell if someone has taken the class or not by how they ride.
 

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Great read, especially since I just took the class. Which was a blast and so informative. It's amazing how spending 3 days with a small group learning to ride together on how close we all became. We were all in it together helping each other and cheering each other on. We all passed!

I'd bet you wouldn't be surprised to find out that over half the class already had their motorcycles and none were what anyone could consider entry level. The smallest was a 600 going all the way up over 1000.

One young man told me he got a 750 because he was over 6 foot and that that bike would be a beginner bike for him.

I'm happy with my rebel and I seriously doubt I will ever buy up. I look forward to the class I can take my own bike and learn more.
 

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One young man told me he got a 750 because he was over 6 foot and that that bike would be a beginner bike for him.

Ask any basic rider course instructor what maximum displacement they would recommend for a beginner bike. I'll bet very few, if any, would say a 750. It's just too much power for most newbies to handle, especially if it's a sport bike. I have two 750s and a couple of Rebels. I rode the 750s for a year or two and then rediscovered why I like the Rebel so much. The 750s are parked now.
 

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Its much better for a beginner to start out on a lightweight low powered bike like the Rebel. These are very forgiving if you make a mistake, and are not fast enough to get a newbie into trouble before they have time to realize what's happening. I always cringe when we get a class with an 18 year old who has a liter sport bike at home waiting for him to get a licence.
Having said that, the Rebel is physically small for a 6 footer. A dual sport 250 or 450 is physically more suitable for a bigger person, and that type of bike is still a great trainer, and great fun to ride.
Lots of people nowadays start out on bigger bikes, even buying their dream Harley as a first bike. I think these folks miss out on a lot by never having the fun of riding a lightweight bike that they can thrash hard without worries. It's true that its much more fun to ride a slow bike fast than to ride a fast bike slow. People that start out on big fast bikes often take a long time to really get a good feel for riding because they are intimidated by the power and weight. If they are not intimidated by the power and weight, some of them come to grief in an accident because of their lack of respect for the bike.

I rolled my 650 triumph up onto the bike lift to do some work on it today, and marvelled at how light and easy it is to roll around. At 375 pounds and 49 horsepower, it would be considered a beginner bike today, but back in 1968 when it was new, it was a fire breathing "big bike" . It was nearly as fast as anything else you could buy back then reputed to be capable of 120 MPH. (hence the model designation T120R) Mine will never get anywhere close to that speed again.
Modern bikes are much better in every way than the old timers, but the old ones do have their nostalgic charms. Its amazing how much power and speed is available today compared to what was possible 50 years ago. To see beginners start out on one of these machines makes me wonder how I would have done had I not gone through the progression of small bikes that I learned on so long ago.
 

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One young man told me he got a 750 because he was over 6 foot and that that bike would be a beginner bike for him.
Right, because something like a DRZ400 or KLR650 would be quickly outgrown and become a source of constant boredom. ;)
 

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Possibly I don't know much if anything about that. The guy that got it loved it and is going to turn it into a Cafe Bike.
 

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I got my Rebel new in 08. Lot of people were buying bikes at that time because gas prices had gone up dramatically, so there were lots of new bikes, and lots of new riders on the road. I hadn't taken the BRC right away; in fact I think I was a regular on this board for over a year before I did. I did buy a copy of Chapman's "Piloting" early on however. Good read for anyone thinking of riding. When I got to the BRC, most of the people in my class had been riding before starting the course. Some had the idea that it was just a formality they had to yawn their way through so they could ride legally. One young lady actually asked the instructor if he could test her out early because she only planned to ride her new Harley to work and back a few miles a day. He declined. Most were quickly disabused of the idea that they had already learned anything the course was going to cover. The few that had never ridden a mile were intimidated at first, but didn't have to waste the instructor's time unlearning bad habits. I was really impressed by how much we all learned in such a brief course. I still plan to take the advanced course. There are very few times I ride when I don't learn something. BRC never mentioned shadows and retinal reaction to changes in light levels, for example.
 

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I can't remember who the instructors are in here but I have to comment once again after only being on the road two days. Ive ridden over 50 miles and it's been great.

I ride like I am in class. I was so nervous when I brought the rebel around to the driveway. I had to sit down and think hard on what I'd learned.

But once I put my helmet on and went through the steps to start the rebel it all felt familiar and I was pulling out onto the road.

Things that go through my head when I'm riding are...

Near far side to side
Head check
Entry speed coming up on a curve
Shift down to first when coming to a stop
But don't open the clutch
Blind spots
Placement in the lane
Escape route
How to shut down the bike
Always be aware of my surroundings
On and on and on

I made my mistakes, but I knew what they were and worked to correct them. There is no possible way I could have done this without the class.

I'm lucky that my work schedule allows me to practice and ride from job to job.

Anyone new absolutely should take the class, I'm so happy I did. I'm hooked
 

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Duckster is an instructor. Glad you posted the endorsement. I always recommend the class to any rider, but especially those new to riding. The Hurt Report shows it makes you a much safer rider.
 

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Glad to hear its going so well Lisa.
Love the list, I have a pre-ride mantra you might want to add ...


"I'm never in a hurry on 2 wheels, I'll get there when I get there. If I can't adhere to that then I shouldn't be on 2 wheels, take the car instead"
 

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"I'm never in a hurry on 2 wheels, I'll get there when I get there. If I can't adhere to that then I shouldn't be on 2 wheels, take the car instead"

I like that kryton. I just hope you realize the gratitude from your students that I have for my instructors. They were thorough, detailed, patient and on occasion very funny. I really felt their passion for their job. So for all the students who don't get to thank you I will. THANK YOU!!!

🙂 I'm seriously not as dorky as I sound. (OK I am)
 

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"I'm never in a hurry on 2 wheels, I'll get there when I get there. If I can't adhere to that then I shouldn't be on 2 wheels, take the car instead"
...because you can cause a lot more damage that way. :D

Seriously though, one should have the same mindset regardless of how many wheels are underneath them.
 
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I have to agree with Shack on that.. You should never be in so much of a hurry that you take unwise chances whether on a bike or in a car. Having said that, I find its always quicker to go anywhere on a bike just because the bike is more nimble in traffic and can change speeds up or down much quicker than a car.
 

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I find its always quicker to go anywhere on a bike just because the bike is more nimble in traffic and can change speeds up or down much quicker than a car.
My Rebel stops quickly, but my wife's Corolla will out accelerate it at just about any speed! ;)
 
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