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In the midst of my excitement of longing for a bike, I made a fatal mistake. The learner's permit conundrum. Although I will take partial blame (because who in their right mind would take full blame for anything?) the MSF course in New York is a bit misleading. As most of us know, the MSF touts that you don't need a learner's permit to take the course and that upon completion you will get a road test waiver. This is all true. On the day of the course, the instructor's kept saying that as soon as you pass, just go down to the DMV, present your card and you'll have your licence. True but misleading. I waited over two months to get a spot to take the course and never a word about suggesting to get your permit during that time. So, I did just that. I marched triumphantly down to the DMV, proudly waving my card like Charlie with a golden ticket to only get, "You lose! Good day, Sir!".
The moral of the story is this: Get your permit as soon as you can. I now have another two month wait to take a 20 question test and it is questionable as to whether or not I can immediately get my full endorsement at the time of testing. I'm trying not to make this a sour grapes post but more as a warning to any new riders out there. I promised myself that I would not get a bike till I had my licence, so my new motorcycle shed lays dormant. Guess I'll just go down to the local cycle shop and breath heavily on the window like a fat kid at a candy store. -TEC
 

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I'm surprised NY allows the class without the permit. In Ohio you cannot even register for the MSF without a valid learners permit. They verify your permit on day 1 of the class and again during the hands on portion. They also require and verify all students have full safety gear; i.e. DOT helmet, eye protection, long sleeves, and foot protection that rises above the ankles. They're very by the book here and it sets a good precedent for new riders.

Have you purchased your bike yet or are you still in the pre-purchase phase? (I have a few, but I still go down and stare like the fat kid. lol)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm surprised NY allows the class without the permit. In Ohio you cannot even register for the MSF without a valid learners permit. They verify your permit on day 1 of the class and again during the hands on portion. They also require and verify all students have full safety gear; i.e. DOT helmet, eye protection, long sleeves, and foot protection that rises above the ankles. They're very by the book here and it sets a good precedent for new riders.

Have you purchased your bike yet or are you still in the pre-purchase phase? (I have a few, but I still go down and stare like the fat kid. lol)
Thanks Ohio, lol, I was surprised too. I even called the local MSF to verify that I didn't need a permit with no indication that I was not going to get it during the course as I've heard other people have. I guess those people were not from NY. I haven't purchased a bike yet and I'm still on the fence between the 300 and the 500. Here, after taxes and all, it's a difference of $2,225 (42% more expensive) between the two (300/ABS=$5,239 vs. 500/ABS=$7,464). At least I have a few months to save up some more clams, as I'd like to just buy it outright and not finance.
 

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I completely agree with buying outright in most cases, but Honda enacted their 0% for a year financing deal again. Not sure how long it goes for but I used it last year to buy my 500 and am considering a CBR650R to go with it. (Just can't decide between MT-07 or CBR, but that's a different story.)

Lots of opinions here on what's the best between the 300 and 500, but my vote would be for the 500. It's an amazing bike and super easy to ride. The only bikes I have owned that I would consider easier to learn on were the CBR500R or the GS500.
 

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Oof, sorry to hear about NY and OH being sticklers on the MSF thing. Here in IL it was literally as easy as they say. $20 for the Friday night and weekend of the course, and $10 at the DMV. I wonder what other states are making it harder on new riders. Could be a good list for people considering it.
 

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Ohio didn't make it hard by any means, but they did take it incredibly serious. 1 person found this out the hard way by showing up without footware that covered the ankle.
 

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I was more referring to the dmv side of things and the permit situation. My MSF instructors were on it as far as safety as well, and rightly so. No permit required though.
 

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Hi TEC,

like you I took the BRC very recently for the first time in May (a birthday present to myself). I spent a month afterwards trying to decide which way to go, what bike to get, should I even get a bike, reviewing all the reasons I’d abstained while raising my kids, who were sort f wondering what was wrong with their pop, such madness, etc. Because of COVID in my state, getting the actual license meant booking an appointment two months out, which also slowed me down. All to say I took my time.

I went with the Rebel 500 ABS and couldn’t be happier. I’m 5’9”, 200 lbs—it fits me easily. I had it delivered and my youngest, who is 18, laughed at me when I asked the delivery guy to ride it to my building: the last thing I wanted was to end up on YouTube. After speaking to a couple cops (I live in a large metropolis) and explaining I had the paperwork indicating license would be processed and also had insurance and tags, the cops said with COVID not to sweat it. I also don’t give advice and am mindful a wreck without a license would have been a huge mess. I also didn’t want to wait, so I began by riding at the church parking lot doing drills and exercises. The transition for me from BRC trainer Suzuki 250 to Rebel 500 was no sweat, and the ABS gave me confidence re non skidding as I practiced emergency breaking. A big parking lot! Lots of zippy practice. Probably not best for breaking in the bike. My theory was the bike is my gift to myself to learn how to ride. To date I’ve only stalled it once. It’s like a great and gentle horse. It’s a Golden Retriever of a bike.

All this practice meant that when my license finally came through I was raring to go! It’s been a gas. My city is very hot, and the COVID has closed bars and reduced traffic, so I’ve been riding evenings and have put several hundred miles on it and this week will do the 600 mile maintenance. My theory, not unlike that of cowboys, is to move cows quickly by going slow. It was a slow and methodical and pretty perfect process. I also am reading all the right instruction books.

My instructor said to me often: Don’t make your first turn your best turn. I now apply that idea to everything! My first bike isn’t my last or best bike unless I want it to be. Now my kids have Watch for Motorcycle stickers on their vehicles and laptops and my eldest will be taking the course this fall, and we are planing a trip, for post COVID which will be our first trip and not our best trip.

I was all over the place shopping: Harley Sportster? Vulcan? Triumph Bonnie? A Craigslist 250? Maybe a used Shadow? A Royal Enfield 650? I always kept coming back to the Rebel 500. Wet weight 400; low relative costs to admission (in case I was making a mistake); incredible balance; ABS; and it also just looks cool—

The seat as most here attest is awful, and the bike has also been incredibly easy and forgiving to learn on. I’m very fortunate in that I’m able to dedicate myself pretty seriously to this avocation. Even if I decide to move into a larger bike, likely, I’m antsy to make longer journeys and visits to the mountains, I also imagine not ever letting go of the Rebel: it’s just too perfect for me for learning to ride and city cruising and jaunts, and now my grown kids have their eyes on it! And stickers, did I mention, on their laptops?!

The Rebel 500 will be perfect for my kids to learn on too.There is so much helpful insight on this forum. Whichever way you go, 300 or 500, well, as they say in New Mexico, It grows as it goes. And vice versa—

For the cause!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi TEC,

like you I took the BRC very recently for the first time in May (a birthday present to myself). I spent a month afterwards trying to decide which way to go, what bike to get, should I even get a bike, reviewing all the reasons I’d abstained while raising my kids, who were sort f wondering what was wrong with their pop, such madness, etc. Because of COVID in my state, getting the actual license meant booking an appointment two months out, which also slowed me down. All to say I took my time.

I went with the Rebel 500 ABS and couldn’t be happier. I’m 5’9”, 200 lbs—it fits me easily. I had it delivered and my youngest, who is 18, laughed at me when I asked the delivery guy to ride it to my building: the last thing I wanted was to end up on YouTube. After speaking to a couple cops (I live in a large metropolis) and explaining I had the paperwork indicating license would be processed and also had insurance and tags, the cops said with COVID not to sweat it. I also don’t give advice and am mindful a wreck without a license would have been a huge mess. I also didn’t want to wait, so I began by riding at the church parking lot doing drills and exercises. The transition for me from BRC trainer Suzuki 250 to Rebel 500 was no sweat, and the ABS gave me confidence re non skidding as I practiced emergency breaking. A big parking lot! Lots of zippy practice. Probably not best for breaking in the bike. My theory was the bike is my gift to myself to learn how to ride. To date I’ve only stalled it once. It’s like a great and gentle horse. It’s a Golden Retriever of a bike.

All this practice meant that when my license finally came through I was raring to go! It’s been a gas. My city is very hot, and the COVID has closed bars and reduced traffic, so I’ve been riding evenings and have put several hundred miles on it and this week will do the 600 mile maintenance. My theory, not unlike that of cowboys, is to move cows quickly by going slow. It was a slow and methodical and pretty perfect process. I also am reading all the right instruction books.

My instructor said to me often: Don’t make your first turn your best turn. I now apply that idea to everything! My first bike isn’t my last or best bike unless I want it to be. Now my kids have Watch for Motorcycle stickers on their vehicles and laptops and my eldest will be taking the course this fall, and we are planing a trip, for post COVID which will be our first trip and not our best trip.

I was all over the place shopping: Harley Sportster? Vulcan? Triumph Bonnie? A Craigslist 250? Maybe a used Shadow? A Royal Enfield 650? I always kept coming back to the Rebel 500. Wet weight 400; low relative costs to admission (in case I was making a mistake); incredible balance; ABS; and it also just looks cool—

The seat as most here attest is awful, and the bike has also been incredibly easy and forgiving to learn on. I’m very fortunate in that I’m able to dedicate myself pretty seriously to this avocation. Even if I decide to move into a larger bike, likely, I’m antsy to make longer journeys and visits to the mountains, I also imagine not ever letting go of the Rebel: it’s just too perfect for me for learning to ride and city cruising and jaunts, and now my grown kids have their eyes on it! And stickers, did I mention, on their laptops?!

The Rebel 500 will be perfect for my kids to learn on too.There is so much helpful insight on this forum. Whichever way you go, 300 or 500, well, as they say in New Mexico, It grows as it goes. And vice versa—

For the cause!
Thanks Stamper. Sounds like we live parallel lives! Thanks for sharing your insights with me. -TEC
 

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Hmmm.. I'm surprised the way NY has it setup. I'm in MD and just took the MSF class. As part of the class, to get the MVA waiver, we have to take the MD DOT written and riding test. The nice thing is that MSF teachs to the test and administer the tests... The bad thing is that they teach to the test ( I wish they would have taught things like how to park on a hill and some other things). The worst is that because the actual test is MD DOT, passing the actual course doesn't mean you get the waiver.. Half my class failed. Then there's the COVID thing.. I went online to schedule my appointment to get the M endorsement added to my license... The 1st available time slot was in October! WTH? I gotta wait till October for something that in the past, I could have just waited in line for? Sheesh... I don't know about other States, but MD Government needs to start opening up more..
 

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Hmmm.. I'm surprised the way NY has it setup. I'm in MD and just took the MSF class. As part of the class, to get the MVA waiver, we have to take the MD DOT written and riding test. The nice thing is that MSF teachs to the test and administer the tests... The bad thing is that they teach to the test ( I wish they would have taught things like how to park on a hill and some other things). The worst is that because the actual test is MD DOT, passing the actual course doesn't mean you get the waiver.. Half my class failed. Then there's the COVID thing.. I went online to schedule my appointment to get the M endorsement added to my license... The 1st available time slot was in October! WTH? I gotta wait till October for something that in the past, I could have just waited in line for? Sheesh... I don't know about other States, but MD Government needs to start opening up more..
Contrary to belief, misery (at least mine) does not like company. My date is in October too. Utterly frustrating for people who just want to ride and get the stress of the world off their shoulders for just a few moments. Thanks for the comment. Now let's hope there are motorcycles available for purchase when we're ready (Honda shut down for three months which accounts for the lack of 2020's out there). Keep the faith, brother! -TEC
 

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I now have another two month wait to take a 20 question test and it is questionable as to whether or not I can immediately get my full endorsement at the time of testing.
In order to get the license you need the waiver card and the permit. Once you pass the test, you can get the license the same day because you will have the permit as soon as you pass and you obviously have the waiver. Try not to sweat it too much. I had to wait 6 week from passing the MSF until I got to the DMV for the license. It's worth the wait.
 

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Until recently, here in Thailand (the land of over 24000 road deaths annually), the only requirement for my license was to take a very simple vision test and sit through an hourlong video showing repeated fatal accidents (snuff movie) - mostly motorbikes with 3 or 4 people (a family) astride a small scooter.
Complete lunacy, but now I have my license and am lucky enough to be in an area which is not so insane.
Stay safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Until recently, here in Thailand (the land of over 24000 road deaths annually), the only requirement for my license was to take a very simple vision test and sit through an hourlong video showing repeated fatal accidents (snuff movie) - mostly motorbikes with 3 or 4 people (a family) astride a small scooter.
Complete lunacy, but now I have my license and am lucky enough to be in an area which is not so insane.
Stay safe.
 

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Hi Tec! Hope you are doing well. Whenever I check for updates on this thread I am immediately reminded of a classic Claire Hamill track. Now, because of your thread title I am singing along to:

🎶 I’ve got the MSF Blues🎶 instead of the correct lyrics 🎶I‘ve got the baseball blues🎶 😹

Hope you enjoy it as it as much as you will enjoy your bike when you get it!

Note she was only 17 when she composed and sang this song. Get the New Orleans sound that slowly makes its way in.

Keep Safe - Enjoy Life

😸

 

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Hi Tec! Hope you are doing well. Whenever I check for updates on this thread I am immediately reminded of a classic Claire Hamill track. Now, because of your thread title I am singing along to:

🎶 I’ve got the MSF Blues🎶 instead of the correct lyrics 🎶I‘ve got the baseball blues🎶 😹

Hope you enjoy it as it as much as you will enjoy your bike when you get it!

Note she was only 17 when she composed and sang this song. Get the New Orleans sound that slowly makes its way in.

Keep Safe - Enjoy Life

😸

Great stuff! Right up my alley (maybe even Pirate's Alley);)
 

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Thats interesting that they have it set up so different state by state. In California you can enroll in a MSTP course all day at $350 with or without a permit. Once you get the certificate, it waives the DMV skills exam for a 12 month period. Once you pass the written test at DMV, you will be issued your license because you will have met the requirements for the license. I bought my bike in July and actually didnt learn how to ride it until the following month.
 

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Yes! Same thing happened to me here in California. With the addition of having to deal with DMV closures due to Covid-19. They also forgot to take my waiver after successfully passing the written test (my fault as well but I was not familiar with the motorcycle license process) which caused me more delays. It was a headache but totally worth it at the end. 🤓
 
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