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Thread: Advice needed: Beginner or Refresher?

  1. #1
    Biker Andriat's Avatar
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    Default Advice needed: Beginner or Refresher?

    Hi all,

    So I last rode in 2012, and I wasn't a pro neither.
    I am looking at getting back on two wheels so would like to undergo some type of formal training before I get on the roads. Question is; should I go for the complete beginners course or rather the refresher one?

    Looking at either BMW or Synergy, so not sure which level to go for though.
    What's the difference between the two and what would you recommend?

    Any advice would be appreciated...
    "A man is wise when he knows that he knows not"

  2. #2
    Hooligan Biker Harvs's Avatar
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    I'm a complete beginner, so I couldn't recommend one or the other, but I did do the BMW novice (beginner) course a week or so back, this course is mainly for absolute newcomers to bikes i reckon.

    This is a rundown of what I did in the course, might help your decision on whether or not to do the Novice course.

    Practical: correct seating and positioning (foot, feet, and legs), looking where you wanna go, bike controls, clutch control, basic braking, did a bit of slow and fast slalom between cones, also rode around the outer ring/edge of Zwartkops.

    Theoretical: Riding gear, bit of road positioning (ie. where should you be in the road so as to have a buffer and be seen by others).

  3. #3
    Hooligan Biker

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    Welcome

    From what I understand the refresher course was designed for just your situation. Been off the bike for a while or just want a quick training session.

    The novice or beginner takes you from the "I can ride a bicycle stage" to the refresher course as Harvs says above. When I did it , day 2 of the beginner was the refresher course.

    The beginner they usually supply the motorcycle as it is aimed at the complete novice. The refresher you usually have to bring your own bike or rent one for the day. That could give an indication of which one you are looking for.

    Then again doing a beginner course may just make you bored for a bit at the start, but listen up that is the most important usually.

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    Biker Andriat's Avatar
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    Thanks.
    I think I will just start afresh with the beginners course, then maybe later after getting the bike go for advanced.
    Doesn't hurt to relearn some stuff and possibly unlearn bad habits
    "A man is wise when he knows that he knows not"

  5. #5
    Nuon Fangirl

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    Both BMW and Synergy are good schools to use.

    When you started in 2012, did you do a beginner course then?
    How confident are you about riding?

    If you can confidently get on the bike and ride it a few km's without falling off, I would suggest a intermediate type course for you.

  6. #6
    Biker Andriat's Avatar
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    No I didn't do a beginner course initially, was one of those self-taught/self-trained riders. Had read a lot of material and would practice by myself. I was using the bike for my daily commute to and from work (about 25km round trip) for over a year until it got stolen.

    I'm sure I can ride around with ease, just need to rebuild confidence wrt taking corners, I'm guessing that's where the intermediate would come into play...
    "A man is wise when he knows that he knows not"

  7. #7
    "Master Yoda". Banditman's Avatar
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    Tricky one to answer.

    While many beginner's courses will possibly be a bit basic for you, you'd probably find that - as a self-taught rider - there's still quite a bit that you don't know which is covered under beginner's training. At the same time, a good many refresher courses cover almost the same ground but take into account your past experience. In other words, the instructor doesn't have to spend time on teaching you how to pull away without falling over. Going back to a beginner's course, this means that you'd possibly spend time sitting around waiting for complete rookies to get up to the same level before your own learning can begin.

    A good instructor / school should have the flexibility to meet your needs on a refresher course. I'd call around a few reputable schools first and ask the same set of questions. You'll then have a much better idea of where to go.
    Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.


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