Sunday, June 12, 2005

Motorcycle Safety Class & More Embroidery

Yesterday and today I took the Motorcycle Safety Course. It was 2 very hot and tiring days!

They have a two courses; a beginners and an experienced riders course. You need to take the beginners if you want the certificate that exempts you from taking the riding part of the TX test and I figured the class might teach me something I did not know, even though I have been riding for over 40 years. It was worth the experience. The classwork emphasized things I already know, but it was good to have them refreshed anyway. The riding part was done at a high school parking lot where they have the course marked out. The school provides 250 cc Honda motorcycles to use, but since I had my scooter there they allowed me to use it instead. This was really what I wanted to do. The controls on the scooter are very different from a motorcycle (no clutch, rear brakes where the clutch should be, and a very different size and shape) and I wanted to really get experience handling it in emergencies. Taking the class on a motorcycle would not help reinforce that.

The beginners class was just that. There were six of us in the class. Two had never been on a motorcycle before, one had ridden one a couple times, and three of us were in our 50's who had just gotten back into riding again. There was a written test after the 4 hours of lecture and videos, which of course I got the only 100 on. Interestingly, one of the girls (17) who had never ridden before got the only other perfect score on the riding test (you know who got the other perfect score) and one of the over 50 guys was absolutely the worst. I am really afraid he might hurt himself if he goes through with his plans to get a bike and ride it on the road.

I think a lot of people, including the instructor, were pretty impressed with what you can do with these Suzuki Burgman scooters. The low center of gravity makes them more stable in slow speed manuevers than motorcycles and high speed manuevers are about the same as a regular motorcycle. The only thing I discovered was that I cannot lay it down as far as a motorcycle in a turn. I actually hit a couple of 2 inch high cones with the fairing as I went around them on some of the cornering manuevers.

It was fun to do, but the high heat (93+) and no shade made it rather miserable.

While I was playing all weekend, Dianna was busy with Mom's blouses. Here is a look.

Mom, you will get to see them in person in just a week or so.


  1. I took the safety class here in CA and I'm glad I did. I didn't learn a lot of new things but it reminded me some of the things I had forgotten like don't try to stop if you're in a turn.

  2. I talked to the instructor about taking the advanced class but he told me not to bother. The class consists of 9 riding exercises that you do on your own bike. The class I took included 8 of the 9 and I already did them on my bike, so I guess I took the beginning and advanced class at the same time!

  3. That's kind of what the advanced class is supposed to be like here too. I can't imagine some of those exercises on my bike though. Mainly the figure 8 in the box would be very hard on a 450 lb bike. It wasn't terribly easy on the 125 in the class.

  4. You are right about the figure 8's being the most difficult exercise. I did not find them to be nearly as tough as some of the people in my class although my scooter weighs 405 lbs. Probably the low center of gravity and hundreds of hours on Cushman Highlanders, Cushman Eagles, Honda Trail 70's and 90's helped a lot. I don't think I would want to do them on your bike either.

  5. I'm sure that's got a much lower CG. I finally saw a Burger 400 at work today. It was parked in the structure I park in. If it's there tomorrow I'll stop and take a closer look. Do you have grip warmers?