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So I finally had the time and money to take the basic rider course. My site was in Norco, California, and the actual range was in the backlot of a church. The class portion of the course was very helpful, but a bit cheesy at times (those videos... ugh). However, I learned alot. The 10 hours of range time were incredibly fun. Considering that I had never been on a motorcycle before, I was initially pretty darn nervous. But after a while, I got used to the feel of the bike, and it was all gravy.

My personal bike was a black 250 Honda Rebel, which I nicknamed Sue. I dont know why I did that, but I did. The first time I got on Sue she scared the crap outta me and I thought I was going to drop her straight onto the asphalt. Straddling 300+ pounds of steel is a lot different then being on a mountain bike, which is the only two-wheeled vehicle that I have for comparison. Finding neutral was a #*%# on Sue, I would always go into 2nd. And, as the coaches warned, the green neutral light is often times a lying sack of crap. Starting the motor up was an exhilarating feeling though. And weaving in and out of cones (even at a miniscule 10 mph) is thrilling. Nothing, and I truly mean nothing, compares to being on a bike; you are truly a part of the scenery, instead of being just a viewer.

The figure-8 was hard as f to do smoothly, but everything else was pretty simple. My coaches rocked and constantly encouraged me; the fellow participants, most of whom had riding experience were likewise friendly and approachable. In short, for beginning motorcyclists, MSF is a must! :banana

Some tips I think might be helpful for the total noob taking their MSF:

1) get some time on a small motorcycle or at least a manual car beforehand. That way, clutch/throttle control and friction point will all be second-nature.
2) don't be scared to increase throttle - my main fault during the the first 5 hours was hesitating to go fast because i though i would slide or something... well gee whiz one of the most important things i ended up learning was that INCREASE IN SPEED INCREASES STABILITY!! Don't corner at 3 mph; you'll fall!! (as some poor sod found out in my class)
3) don't be scared of the bike. its not going to bite you. but respect it. cuz if you dont, then it will bite you. :)

I have my CA DL car licence. Does anyone know if I have to make an appointment to take my written exam to get M1 certification, or is it just walk in? And do I have to retake the driving written test? Or just the specific motorcycle written test?

Thanks y'all, and stay safe! And if you have a Ninja 250 or 500 for sale in SoCal, pm me!
 

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You got that right.
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Congratulations! You might want to check out the California RMV website for answers to your questions.

Finding neutral on those machines is indeed a bitch. Machines in better conditions are not stubborn at all. When I shift into neutral, I always ease out the clutch, because if it was in gear the engine speed would dip. I've never had a false-positive neutral light.

+1 on respecting the bike. If you don't respect the machine, it will bite you.

Always wear gear and ride like your invisible.
 

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Congrats phandl! I just finished my MSF, took my card in and got my license (no test required with MSF card :banana ).

I had a purple Rebel. The throttle was absolute mush and the bike had the same difficulty with neutral. My own bike has never had any trouble with neutral and the light is very accurate.

By the way, the Ninja 250 is a blast! Too bad there isn't a curve on any roads for what seems like hundreds of miles. Gotta love the prairie...
 

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what's up bitches
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in order to get your m1 license in CA.. after you pass the MSF course, you will be mailed a DL389 certificate. Take that to DMV, with a whopping $25, and then you take another written test.. but only like 15 questions. Then, you pass and get an interim license. After that, they'll send you another license with "M-class" at the top as well as "c-class"
 

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Congrats on passing. dijon is dead on about the Ninja 250 being a blast. Get out their and go find yourself a used Ninja 250, Ninja 500, or GS500. Get your gear and hit a parking lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sweet, so no need to take the 50 question drivers test again, just the moto-specific one... its summer and I don't feel like studying anymore :)
 
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