I can vouche for that!
Being a somewhat intelligent person, I signed up for the MSF prorgram before buying a bike... I know, it sounds weird right... There were so many people in the class signed up for the beginner instruction program and they already went out, bought, and rode home, their brand new 05/06 model 600cc's!
I was a little in shock, but then again, this is Miami, and well... intelligence is few and far between. Anyway, the guys had never ridden any form of bike, they just knew their friends were cool for owning one, and thus wanted one themselves.
Most of the basic riding stuff is slow speed maneuvering and accident avoidance. The information is invaluable as everyone stated, and I recommend the program to everyone. The program ran me about $250, and I had to go out and buy some gloves and boots, but hey, I would have needed them anyway.
I passed with flying colours (though the tight slow figure eights were difficult). Now I just want to rent some cruisers to go on some tours, and get a little more skill and riding hours under my belt, before I go out and buy one for myself.
Even my pops is psyched about taking a ride.
Great post, and I definitely suggest new riders sign up for the course.
Also, the Advanced rider program requires you to bring your own bike, as well as have at least 5,000 miles under your belt. There is also private instruction available from these same instructors. Very useful stuff!
Have a good one everybody.