Ducati Scrambler

The three day course…

Even though I was signed up for the MSF class that weekend, I still spent time second guessing and working to convince myself for a letdown.

I had spent so much time during my life on bicycles of various sorts, I did not expect any problem with balance or steering. No, I convinced myself that changing gears would be a problem. Instead of left and right hands, it was left hand and left foot! On top of that, the back bake was the right foot? And of course, as I told my wife, “I might not enjoy it”.

Looking back, it seemed like I was building up a safety net to back out if needed, but I was also so excited at the same time.

Ducati Scrambler

I even had a motorcycle picked out. In the past, when I kept talking myself out of it, part of that was pricing myself out of a motorcycle that was “within reason”. With the bonus, “within reason” ended up being less than $10,000. At this point, I cannot even remember where I first saw one, but I did: the Ducati Scrambler. Retro styled like many of the Japanese bikes I remember from the 70s, sharp looking, and in a beautiful red. All for $8,999!

So with a motorcycle in my sights and an easy let-down if I needed it, the class began.

I was not the oldest nor the youngest in the class. The types of motorcycles that the students were interested was also all over the place. The first day, a Friday evening, was all classroom work. We went over the basics of operation as well as covering a number of safety topics and acronyms.

The next day started at 7:00 am, and we were introduced to our machines.

Mine was a Suzuki TU250.

Suzuki TU250
The uninspiring and tired looking Suzuki TU250

As soon as the helmet was on and the leg was over the bike, everything just fell into place. The shifting and braking that I assumed would give me trouble was no issue at all. And I had a blast. It was a long day, but between Saturday and Sunday, reviewing the material, and taking the test, I had a perfect score on the written and only one mark-down on the practical (u-turn within a specified area with only “one of” out of bounds or foot down).

I passed the MSF Course!
Paperwork in-hand for an insurance discount and to skip the practical test at the DMV

Monday was going to be difficult: neither the DMV nor any motorcycle dealer is open on Mondays!

4 thoughts on “The three day course…”

  1. Stephanie Srader

    Great story Dan! Glad you stuck with your idea and didn’t talk yourself out of that hobby! That first step is the hardest.

  2. Hey! You’re only as old as you think and feel. 🙂 Love the Bike and so glad you allowed yourself to “go for it”!

  3. Yay for you – gotten through some of the first steps! Congrats! Curious on the brand you chose over others – any thoughts there?

    1. In the past I had often looked at Harley Davison and BMW (sportier models… both get very expensive very quickly). This time I had also looked at the big Japanese brands of Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha, both new and used, as well as some other smaller brands like Moto Guzzi. A lot of it came down to “not too much” (buying new), concern about the reliability (buying used), the visual appeal, and the riding style (e.g. leaning way forward, upright, laid back). Did not know too much about Ducati before buying, but I liked how it looked, the price was pretty good on paper. Stay tuned for the next post though! More is coming…

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