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she3pdog

Total Control BRC

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she3pdog
I took Total Control's new BRC course this weekend. If you're in California, it waives the skills test for you (The MSF course no longer does) if you're over 21. If you're under 21, I believe it is mandatory, but I don't work for the DMV and am not under 21, so I'd double check with someone who knows better. As I understand it, the course will be available outside of California as soon as they get more instructors trained up for it.
 
Some notes before I talk about the class. I already knew how to ride before taking the class. I was taught by a buddy who went through the MSF BRC, ERC, and ARC, and he basically took me through the entire BRC curriculum (minus the classroom portion) before letting me ride my bike on the streets. I had about 1000 miles of experience before taking the class. Also, being an FZ-07 owner, I wasn't allowed to use my own bike because it exceeded the max cc's allowed. They provide bikes though, and I rode on a tiny little 125 Eliminator (talk about torque change!)
 
There are 6 hours of classroom time and 10 hours of riding time over the course (2-3 days depending on how it's scheduled). The classroom takes very little time to discuss the basics of motorcycle operation and mostly goes over strategies for riding in the streets like taking curves correctly, making good judgement calls in various traffic situations, and other random-ish stuff that is important for when you leave the parking lot. The written test was no harder than CA's DMV written test, and it actually uses some of the same questions.
 
The 10 hours of riding time is very hands-on. There were very few demonstrations, but the directions were clear and concise. The few people who had never ridden in our class before got the hang of everything quickly with the instructions. It starts off slowly (and a little boring if you already have a decent grasp of the basics) with finding the friction zone while rocking back and forth, then duck-walking, then finally to riding in a straight line. From there, the course eases into breaking, shifting, and taking curves/turns. Most of the first day was just getting used to a new bike for me.
 
On the second day, things get a little more complicated. Faster curves, quick stops in a straight line and in a curve, swerving, and slow speed maneuvers such as the staggered cone weave, and a 90 degree turn in a lane about 3-4 feet wide. After doing the exercises individually, they combine many of them together and add "traffic" (the other riders) into the mix with lane changes and a mock intersection. 
 
The riding test consisted of over 5 exercises: staggered cone weave, timed swerve, timed and measured quick stop, taking curves, and a 90 degree slow-speed turn. So, no U-turn, figure 8, or anything like that. Overall, it was a good experience. Admittedly, I didn't learn anything new, but the practice and (great) instruction helped me refine my technique.
 
So, if you're in Cali and want to get your license, I recommend this course, especially if you're just learning how to ride. It was beneficial, and the instructors are great (no yelling or getting mad or anything like that). A few words of caution though, even to people who already ride their FZ-07. Be freaking careful when you start riding it or start riding it again after riding those 125/250 cc bikes. It took me a few minutes to get my feet to remember where to go (I used a cruiser during the course) and get used to the clutch and throttle again.
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ch3rryghost
Thanks for that write up. Husband and a couple friends are looking to get their M1 and since learning the company administering the course has changed I've been curious as to what would be different. Personally, I thought the MSF course was a little too easy.

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she3pdog
The riding portion is more in depth according to the instructors, but I still wouldn't classify the course as anything other than easy. It is just a slightly different method to teach people the basic skills needed to operate a motorcycle. That being said, there were only 2 guys in the class that had never ridden before at all, and they both failed the test. I'm going to go ahead and say that it was more because of their unwillingness to listen to the coaching rather than the difficulty of the test. I don't know if that was out of fear or stubbornness or what, but as long as your husband and friends accept the coaching, they'll be fine.

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iamthemarcus
In my opinion I thought the MSF Course was easy. There was about 16-18 people in my class. We got the in class lessons day [HASH]1 and then the next 2 days were I believe 4 or 5 hour sessions(split us up half group in the morning half in the afternoon). Everybody passed without a hitch, although you just gotta be in the right mindset, concentrate, and have fun with it. There was a couple people who haven't even rode before and still did good. They run you through a bunch of different mini-lessons/drills with thorough instructions. It's all about clutch control and looking where you want to go. Then they just give you a test at the end which you go and do everything you learned which is about 6-8 different drills you do and you get that yellow sheet of paper saying you passed! Just remember you are all there to learn how to ride nothing else.
 
We also had to complete the BRC(Basic RidersCourse) within the 2 weeks we signed up. It's just a online site(Like $15) that teaches you a bit more about riding, which they kind of go over again in the in-class lesson day. We just had to bring our course completion on day 1 to actually do the MSF course
 

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GAZ
Weird. I wonder why the MSF course is so different in each state. Mine consisted of 22 skills, very little classroom, mostly all on the bike skills, and each day was 10 hours long. I also heard that some MSF courses don't do counter-steering drills. Which makes no sense to me. We did them and I still think this is one more enjoyable parts of being on a bike.

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she3pdog
Total Control's course had quite a bit of counter steering in the second day when doing faster curves and swerves and whatnot. I believe there were 21 exercises in all, but many of them covered multiple skills in the same exercise. There were very few demos of the exercises to maximize the time on the bike, but the instructions were very easy to follow, and mistakes on the bike were quickly and tactfully pointed out by the instructors and corrected.

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motomeek
Thanks for the write up!
 
And you're right about the reason why there are less demos. They want to give as much riding time as possible.
I've heard a bit about a few of the differences compared to MSF from a Total Control instructor the other day.
 
But unless the rules have changes in the last 9 years since I've taken my BRC course, the class is not mandatory if you're under 21. The price was $50 cheaper for the class if you did take under the age of 21 though. Most just take the BRC class to 1. Learn and 2. Take the test there instead of at the DMV. Since it's rumored to be "easier."
 
Glad you enjoyed it. If this was too easy but you're still interested in another class to hone up your skills, take the ARC (Advanced Riding Course). It's going to be rolled out once all the BRC classes are out. It's going to be nothing like MSF's ERC (Experienced Riding Course) that it's "replacing."
 
And if you're in SoCal, you could also check out Skillzdays. Jeff who runs it really teaches great throttle control and how to handle slow maneuvers, and then some. 
 
 

Instagram: @meekmade | You don't need to flat foot a bike to ride it.

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she3pdog
Yep, I planned on furthering my rider education with more courses. I believe I'll still be taking MSF's ERC, but I'm not 100% on that. I'm a Marine, and we just switched contracts from MSF to Total Control at the same time CA switched, so it may take some time to get into another course unless I pay for it out of my own pocket.

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rick
Was not aware of this BRC course. But in PA, some portion of paying for that M on the driver's license goes toward making the MSF course free to anyone who wants to take it. .
 
I sorta remember taking my motorcycle test. Did it on a 1965, CB250 Hawk Honda (baby brother to the CB305 SuperHawk) back in 1970. Think I wore a sparkly gold, open face helmet bought at KMart back then. Sheesh, how things have changed.
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catfish
Yep, I planned on furthering my rider education with more courses. I believe I'll still be taking MSF's ERC, but I'm not 100% on that. I'm a Marine, and we just switched contracts from MSF to Total Control at the same time CA switched, so it may take some time to get into another course unless I pay for it out of my own pocket.
Thanks for the write-up for the new TCT class. Glad you liked the course. We just started teaching the new course in the S.F. bay area this past weekend also.
 
Take the TCT Intermediate Rider Course next on your FZ-07 & then the Advanced Rider Course. Then you'll be ready for some track days! Good luck! :-)
 
 
Catfish ... (MSF RiderCoach, TCT Instructor, & proud owner of a new FZ-07!!!)
 
PS: Guess I should go introduce myself ...
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crazycracka501
She3p, how much was the corse?

Make it stop!....Now make it go faster!

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she3pdog
250 if you're over 21, 180 if you're under 21.
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she3pdog
It looks like I'll be taking TCT's Intermediate course next in lieu of MSF's ERC. Much excite.

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catfish
It looks like I'll be taking TCT's Intermediate course next in lieu of MSF's ERC. Much excite.
Excellent! I hope you give us a review of that course also.
 
 
Catfish ...
 
 

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she3pdog
Will do. It should be sometime this month assuming my work schedule doesn't get in the way.

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