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36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Reposted because the title was too long for the "Active Topics" page.

Ideally we could hear from first-hand experiences but, with enough input, we can all get an idea of pricing, return on investment, scams/overselling, etc. - on the broadest view, just a more accurate and adjusted level of expectation from these operations:

  • Where to find more information?
    - My initial and main research has been this site and this one. Any other sources you recommend?

  • Bike Focus/Bring-Your-Own or Rent?
    - Based on the threads I've followed (could be they have better Social Media game) so far most of the "more professional/organized/thought-out" seem to come from/dedicated to BMW owners (particularly GS1200)
    - The ones that had better presentations (in many different countries) seem to be sponsored/organized by/run by BMW. At the very least they all prominently display the BMW Motorrad name and all/most provided bikes are GS1200's. Here is the BMW site.
    - I have no issue with the BMW GS focus. I believe the basic skills/adjustments to my technique I am looking for are indifferent to either model given their extremely similar weights/power/weight distributions, etc. (with the exception of the DCT models -which I have-).
    - How many of you concur with the similarity or can think of issues (other than the DCT dynamics affecting things like clutch feathering) related to a brand/model focused training course?

  • Lenght/Duration?
    - I've seen anything from day to week-long courses. The few longer ones I've found seem to reserve at least the last day (more often the last two days) for group rides. It's been unclear what kind of training/correction/critique/support there is during those rides.
    - I've been tending towards the longer ones. At least on my case I know that I'll feel 100% confident on the first time I am taught something, just to overthink it in the next 24 hours and start adding a billion "wahat-if" scenarios. A multiple day would give me the option to annoy the instructor and feel a bit more confident in my understanding of the technique taught.

  • Number of people/Size of the "class"?
    - I have no idea. The videos that I've seen usually are taken by one student and the editing and presentation make it look as if it is one-on-one all the time. I know that is unrealistic unless you hire a personal trainer, so the question is what do you think is a good group size in order to achieve a balance between individual/personalized instruction and being put in front of a video monitor then told to go ride?

  • Pricing?
    - I cannot find this one training course I had located in Colorado and my recollection is faulty. It was a week-long (full 7 days I believe) with the last 2 days consisting of guided rides through areas that demanded the skills learned in the course. The price was a bit over U$1k/person and I do not recall what else might have been included (food -anywhere from fresh water to full meals-, lodging -either camping space or something else, mechanical/technical support, insurance. medical/first-aid support, etc.

  • Locations/Time of Year?
    - I am in Arkansas and, based on my travels and thoughts, the best and most common places seem to be starting in Colorado all the way to California (excluding coast), with the latitude running [very] roughly between I-40 and I-80.
    - The most popular dates seem to be between late spring and late fall with a slight drop mid-summer.
    - I presume that these locations offer the most variety of terrain for training, both in their physical characteristics and space available for these businesses to operate. The time of the year makes sense as well as I'd rather not deal with extreme heat or risk disrupting weather events (although rain/mud riding might be a useful, albeit uncomfortable, skill to learn/improve).

  • Expectations?
    - My main issues are due to the weight of the bike. I am in constant stress during slow maneuvers, specially ones that involve turning and have dropped the bike twice -once doing a slow tight turn trying to use my leg as a pivot and the other from slamming the brake at 5 mph and leaning the [loaded] bike too much when the front spring rebounded (I was trying to balance the bike with my feet on the ground instead of just "balancing the bike"). I think that I am basically trying to "control" the bike as if it was a bicycle rather than controlling and trusting its throttle, suspension and other inherent operation characteristics.
    - I cannot tell/trust from watching videos if what I am actually doing afterwards matches the technique I observed and, most significantly, I am insecure as to whether they apply to me given my short stature and other "very, very, very valid and real reasons why this doesn't work for me".
    - What are real expectations one should have regarding the actual practicality of the skills taught, relevant changes to your driving capabilities/confidence, and quality of the service delivered. My cynical self's worst fantasies keeps imagining a scenario where we are all put in front of a video monitor, given photocopied brochures to read, then yelled that we "are doing it wrong - read page 4 again" along with very vague instructions like "you crashed because your foot was in the wrong place".

Thanks all for any input!!
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