Flux Capacitor wrote:
Oh, I absolutely plan to keep practicing. I have a couple friends who have volunteered to let me put around on their bikes to keep developing my skills. I just didn't want to get on their bike at all before I had at least taken this course. As for getting my own bike, even the "cheap" bikes are a little out of my price range right now in terms of paying cash so I'll need to save up for even a super-super-cheap bike at this point. It's not a matter of saving for something fancy, it's a matter of not having any extra income right now for anything over a couple hundred bucks.
I'm a little confused about why you took the MSF course now, then, and were looking at $5k+ bikes, if you can't come up with a grand for a starter bike. If you don't even have a spare couple hundred bucks, how are you going to afford a good helmet, jacket, gloves, boots, rain gear, insurance, maintenance, etc? It's not a super-expensive hobby, but it's not free by any means. Insurance alone should be at least a couple hundred bucks, especially if you don't have prior experience.
If you're clearly not ready to get a bike, I'd have waited to take the class until you were closer, i think. Now your skill are going to degrade quite a bit before you can get out there and reinforce them.
And unless you've got a friend that has a beat-up starter bike, I'd be pretty hesitant to borrow people's bikes to practice. Not worried about 65 mph wrecks on the highway, but dropping it in a parking lot and scratching the crap out of it, denting the tank, etc. Stuff that's not a big deal on a starter bike, but kinda ruins a Harley that someone spent $10-30k on...
My friend does indeed have a starter bike that I'll be practicing on. He's got his own Honda that he rides but still has an old 250 that he keeps around as a backup.
I should explain the money issue: when I signed up for the class, I had a good amount set aside for a bike...around $2500. Once I was already signed up, though, we had another need for the money and I'm down to just under $1k in savings total. Sure, I could use that on a super cheap bike but I'd rather have that money untouched in savings should something else come up.
As for gear, I already have boots, jacket and gloves. I'll be using my MSF discount for a helmet soon. My dad rides and has a ton of extra gear, too (I wore his extra helmet during the class) and with y birthday coming up, you can guess what's on the list.
I think at the rae I'm saving up and with some freelance design jobs coming up in the next few months I'll be good to go again with the $$$ in about a month or two.