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post #1 of 26 Old Aug 10th, 2009, 6:52 pm Thread Starter
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MSF Beginners class observations

My wife, Peggy, just completed the MSF beginner class in IL. I spent most of the two days of the rider training portion observing.
All in all I thought the instructors did a respectable job. However, I think there may have been too many students for the two instructors (14 I believe) to handle effectively. I observed students disregard what I considered to be key instructions repeatedly without being corrected. When the instructors gave input, it seemed like it was well considered. But they missed a lot. And there were definitely students there that needed more input.
In the end, only one failed the riding test because she dropped the bike in the figure 8 portion. Actually, I thought she probably was more competent than others who passed. But IL required that she be failed for dropping the bike. Seems kind of silly to me.
We live in Iowa and Iowa only allows completion of the course to substitute for the riding test if the course was given in Iowa. I imagine that is because the riding test portion is supposed to duplicate the riding test for each individual state. Still, it seems really ridiculous that successful completion of the course does not automatically qualify one for a license in any state, no matter where the course was given.
I was disturbed that the MSF handbook says, regarding looking through the curve, that this is recommended only sometimes. That seems to me like very bad advice, especially since it did not indicate when those sometimes should be. And after five decades of riding, I can't imagine anytime when it is not advisable to look through the curve, or in general, to look where you want the motorcycle to go.
In general, however, I would recommend this course to any new rider or to anyone that has not taken it.

Greg
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post #2 of 26 Old Aug 10th, 2009, 7:40 pm
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpolakow
My wife, Peggy, just completed the MSF beginner class in IL. I spent most of the two days of the rider training portion observing.
All in all I thought the instructors did a respectable job. However, I think there may have been too many students for the two instructors (14 I believe) to handle effectively. I observed students disregard what I considered to be key instructions repeatedly without being corrected. When the instructors gave input, it seemed like it was well considered. But they missed a lot. And there were definitely students there that needed more input.
In the end, only one failed the riding test because she dropped the bike in the figure 8 portion. Actually, I thought she probably was more competent than others who passed. But IL required that she be failed for dropping the bike. Seems kind of silly to me.
We live in Iowa and Iowa only allows completion of the course to substitute for the riding test if the course was given in Iowa. I imagine that is because the riding test portion is supposed to duplicate the riding test for each individual state. Still, it seems really ridiculous that successful completion of the course does not automatically qualify one for a license in any state, no matter where the course was given.
I was disturbed that the MSF handbook says, regarding looking through the curve, that this is recommended only sometimes. That seems to me like very bad advice, especially since it did not indicate when those sometimes should be. And after five decades of riding, I can't imagine anytime when it is not advisable to look through the curve, or in general, to look where you want the motorcycle to go.
In general, however, I would recommend this course to any new rider or to anyone that has not taken it.
As a MSF Instructor I appreciate your input. Just a couple of comments & or questions: NOTE: These are my opinion and NOT necessarily those of MSF or other instructors. I am NOT trying to start a debate either.


I don't care how many times you coach some people, they just won't listen or do what you ask.

With each exercise we are trying to coach the critical points for that exercise. Due to time constraints, we some times have to make judgement calls on which skill is the "most" critical at that time

For my reference would you please let me know which MSF book she was using and what pages the limited look instructions are on. Every instructor I work with stresses "look where you want to go". If this is our manual I have not seen it. PM me if you prefer to not go public.

Regards

Roy

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post #3 of 26 Old Aug 10th, 2009, 7:50 pm
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpolakow
My wife, Peggy, just completed the MSF beginner class in IL. I spent most of the two days of the rider training portion observing.
All in all I thought the instructors did a respectable job. However, I think there may have been too many students for the two instructors (14 I believe) to handle effectively. I observed students disregard what I considered to be key instructions repeatedly without being corrected. When the instructors gave input, it seemed like it was well considered. But they missed a lot. And there were definitely students there that needed more input.
In the end, only one failed the riding test because she dropped the bike in the figure 8 portion. Actually, I thought she probably was more competent than others who passed. But IL required that she be failed for dropping the bike. Seems kind of silly to me.
We live in Iowa and Iowa only allows completion of the course to substitute for the riding test if the course was given in Iowa. I imagine that is because the riding test portion is supposed to duplicate the riding test for each individual state. Still, it seems really ridiculous that successful completion of the course does not automatically qualify one for a license in any state, no matter where the course was given.
I was disturbed that the MSF handbook says, regarding looking through the curve, that this is recommended only sometimes. That seems to me like very bad advice, especially since it did not indicate when those sometimes should be. And after five decades of riding, I can't imagine anytime when it is not advisable to look through the curve, or in general, to look where you want the motorcycle to go.
In general, however, I would recommend this course to any new rider or to anyone that has not taken it.
Hey Greg, been teaching the MSF Basic course here in Florida for several years, about 10 as I recall. In most areas, and I believe the MSF requirement, requires no more than 12 students in a class with 2 instructors. Even that can be a handful depending on the experience/aptitude of the students. The teaching or learning methodology used in the MSF BRC is Learner Centered Education. The model says students learn best by experiencing difficulties and working out the problem by themselves. By design the Coaching is to be kept to a minimum. I'm not saying I'm in love with the technique, just stating what is being recommended by MSF. The other situation is that on occasion there are individual students that require a lot more care and feeding than average. The problem with that situation is that the whole class gets bogged down while the coaches try to give extra attention to the one that's struggling. There are limits on how much time is available for the typical class. In extreme cases we will council students out and suggest they come back for private lesson in order to resolve their issues. Here on the East Coast most states use the MSF BRC for licensing and, with few exceptions, will accept a completion card even though the class was not taken in their home state. Oh yea, Dropping the motorcycle any time during the Skill Evaluation is cause for failure according to the MSF requirements. The way we handle that situation, if a student is reasonably proficient, is to allow them to come back at their convenience and take a retest. There is no extra charge for that privilege. If on the other hand they are a basket case we recommend that they come back and repeat the riding portion of the course and retake the skill eval as part of that effort. Again we allow them to do this for no charge. Seems fare to me. As far as looking through a curve, I'm not aware of any statements in the MSF work book that suggest anything other than that as part of the process. I think they emphasize slow, LOOK, press and roll as the process to be used and that's the way we teach cornering. Overall, as you suggested, I believe the BRC is a great course and should be taken bu every individual wanting an endorcement. On the other hand, our parting statement to all our students is that the completion card will allow them to obtain their motorcycle endorcement so that they can legally ride their bike to an empty parking lot and continue practicing and refining the basic skills that they learned in the class!

Lynn Keen
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post #4 of 26 Old Aug 10th, 2009, 9:36 pm
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

I have taken the basic course twice in Il and had fun and learned/re-learned something each time. I took it the second time to get the discount re-enstated on my insurance, the first time wifey wanted me to get a license after riding 20 years.

I did not see anything in the book about looking through the turns but it was repeatedly stated by the instructors! I will look when I get home if I can find the books.


I would like to thank those who teach this class, i do not know if you get paid but if so it cant be enough for dealing with some of the people I have seen taking the class.
The instructors I had worked VERY hard with the classes and even put in time on their lunch hours to make sure people passed. I was asked to become an instructor but I do not like dealing with a lot of people. I would have told half of my last class to get the *&^%) out and come back when you get a brain from the wizard!


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post #5 of 26 Old Aug 10th, 2009, 9:37 pm Thread Starter
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn_Keen
Hey Greg, been teaching the MSF Basic course here in Florida for several years, about 10 as I recall. In most areas, and I believe the MSF requirement, requires no more than 12 students in a class with 2 instructors. Even that can be a handful depending on the experience/aptitude of the students. The teaching or learning methodology used in the MSF BRC is Learner Centered Education. The model says students learn best by experiencing difficulties and working out the problem by themselves. By design the Coaching is to be kept to a minimum. I'm not saying I'm in love with the technique, just stating what is being recommended by MSF. The other situation is that on occasion there are individual students that require a lot more care and feeding than average. The problem with that situation is that the whole class gets bogged down while the coaches try to give extra attention to the one that's struggling. There are limits on how much time is available for the typical class. In extreme cases we will council students out and suggest they come back for private lesson in order to resolve their issues. Here on the East Coast most states use the MSF BRC for licensing and, with few exceptions, will accept a completion card even though the class was not taken in their home state. Oh yea, Dropping the motorcycle any time during the Skill Evaluation is cause for failure according to the MSF requirements. The way we handle that situation, if a student is reasonably proficient, is to allow them to come back at their convenience and take a retest. There is no extra charge for that privilege. If on the other hand they are a basket case we recommend that they come back and repeat the riding portion of the course and retake the skill eval as part of that effort. Again we allow them to do this for no charge. Seems fare to me. As far as looking through a curve, I'm not aware of any statements in the MSF work book that suggest anything other than that as part of the process. I think they emphasize slow, LOOK, press and roll as the process to be used and that's the way we teach cornering. Overall, as you suggested, I believe the BRC is a great course and should be taken bu every individual wanting an endorcement. On the other hand, our parting statement to all our students is that the completion card will allow them to obtain their motorcycle endorcement so that they can legally ride their bike to an empty parking lot and continue practicing and refining the basic skills that they learned in the class!
Lynn, I agree with much of what you say. And I think there were in fact only 12 students in the class not 14.
I know there are some who fail to "get it." But I think when they fail to grasp and practice basic concepts they should not pass the course. As for the instruction in the manual about only sometimes looking into a curve, I'll get my wife's manual and quote the page number so all can see for themselves.
Thanks for your response.

Greg
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post #6 of 26 Old Aug 10th, 2009, 9:51 pm Thread Starter
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

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Originally Posted by bigbear
For my reference would you please let me know which MSF book she was using and what pages the limited look instructions are on. Every instructor I work with stresses "look where you want to go". If this is our manual I have not seen it. PM me if you prefer to not go public.

Regards

Roy
It's on page 21 fo the Basic Rider Course Rider Handbook version 7.1. Read the part after the word Look:
It says, "search through the entire turn and keep your eyes moving. Evaluate the entire turn as soon as possible -- surface characteristics, sharpness of the turn, and overall traffic conditions -- so you have time to make decisions about speed and position. Sometimes turning your head in the direction of the turn helps in keeping a good visual picture."

So, here's my question, it only helps sometimes, when doesn't it help?

Greg
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post #7 of 26 Old Aug 10th, 2009, 10:18 pm
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

I'm a retired controls engineer (Mechanical).

I can look all over and that doesn't make the bike turn. That's simply not how a two wheeled vehicle is steered. I have a big disagreement with the MSF emphasis on this rather than a more detailed presentation on countersteer, and what these rolling boobytraps means to someone being crowded by say a guard rail.

Also, the MSF course I took never talked about starting on a hill with a heavy bike using all four appendages. The instructors said it was too complicated. My daughter dropped her Honda about 3 times on the first errand in a non flat area with stp signs. I could not introduce the concept of using the bike controls to hold things at a stop sign, rather than flat foot your feet on the ground - "but Dad, that not what they said to do!"

I gave up. The MSF course needs help.
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post #8 of 26 Old Aug 11th, 2009, 6:40 am
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Quote:
I'm a retired controls engineer (Mechanical).

I can look all over and that doesn't make the bike turn. That's simply not how a two wheeled vehicle is steered. I have a big disagreement with the MSF emphasis on this rather than a more detailed presentation on countersteer, and what these rolling boobytraps means to someone being crowded by say a guard rail.

Also, the MSF course I took never talked about starting on a hill with a heavy bike using all four appendages. The instructors said it was too complicated. My daughter dropped her Honda about 3 times on the first errand in a non flat area with stp signs. I could not introduce the concept of using the bike controls to hold things at a stop sign, rather than flat foot your feet on the ground - "but Dad, that not what they said to do!"

I gave up. The MSF course needs help.
No where in the MSF, BRC curriculum is it stated that turning your head and looking through curves is a substitute for counter-steering. Although there is not a single exercise where the stated learning objective is "turn your head and look through the corner" that deficiency among novice riders is more than likely corrected most often during all of the training. Where as a number of exercises are dedicated to having the students learn the importance of counter-sterring and understanding the feedback the motorcycle is providing when counter-steering. As an engineer I am sure you have a detailed understanding of gyroscopic precession, camber thrust, and the centrifugal forces at play when turning a two wheeled vehicle. On occasion a student will ask for and is given a more detailed explanation of counter-steering above the "Press right or left to go right or left." However I think you need to consider, this is the Basic Riders Course. For a novice rider the 5 hours in the classroom and 10 hours on the range is already akin to drinking from a fire hose. I consider it a success if my students, at the end of the class have good understanding and can demonstrate basic clutch and throttle control, have the ability to stop quickly and safely, exercise good low speed balance and negotiate curves using the Slow, Look, Press and Roll technique. Although successful completion of the BRC will get you an "M" endorsement, as stated by others, if you are a new rider all passing means is your qualified to ride a small motorcycle in an empty parking lot. The BRC does not and is/was never intended to produce street ready riders.

The techniques for moving from a stop on a hill is covered during the BRC. In fact two methods to accomplish that skill are demonstrated during one of the training videos. Granted a lot of time is not dedicated to it but again the purpose of the course is to give students the ability to practice on their own in a safe environment.


Quote:
only one failed the riding test because she dropped the bike in the figure 8 portion. Actually, I thought she probably was more competent than others who passed. But IL required that she be failed for dropping the bike. Seems kind of silly to me.

The end of course riding evaluation is similar to the Alt-Most riding exam administered by most states DMV's About the only difference is the required satisfactory demonstration of the correct cornering technique as stated above. In no states that I am aware of are you permitted to drop your motorcycle when taking a riding test for a license to operate on the street. Seems kind of silly to me if you were.

I teach a lot of BRC's and have my own issues with parts of the curriculum, the only thing I ask, is if your going to criticize or critique the BRC then do it within the context of the intended purpose of the course. That being, providing new riders the BASIC skills of motorcycle operation.

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post #9 of 26 Old Aug 11th, 2009, 7:25 am
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpolakow
It's on page 21 fo the Basic Rider Course Rider Handbook version 7.1. Read the part after the word Look:
It says, "search through the entire turn and keep your eyes moving. Evaluate the entire turn as soon as possible -- surface characteristics, sharpness of the turn, and overall traffic conditions -- so you have time to make decisions about speed and position. Sometimes turning your head in the direction of the turn helps in keeping a good visual picture."

So, here's my question, it only helps sometimes, when doesn't it help?
Greg,
thanks for posting this. Have taught countless classes and have never "looked" at that statement that close.

I ma not sure what MSF's intent was on that statement.


Roy

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post #10 of 26 Old Aug 11th, 2009, 7:58 am
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

In order to receive a certificate from MSF it is based on completion of the final demonstration of handling by the students.

I have had students that listened to everything with great concentration, followed all instructions and fail the final demo. I also have had students that struggled through every step and in the final passed with 100% completion. As an instructor, if you pass the final demo you get the certificate, if you fail the final demo, you do not get the certificate!

I usually encourage most failures to re attend another class, and some I encourage to get a car!!! As some cannot seem to comprehend or are completely overwhelmed with operating a MC!

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post #11 of 26 Old Aug 11th, 2009, 8:56 am
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpolakow
It's on page 21 fo the Basic Rider Course Rider Handbook version 7.1. Read the part after the word Look:
It says, "search through the entire turn and keep your eyes moving. Evaluate the entire turn as soon as possible -- surface characteristics, sharpness of the turn, and overall traffic conditions -- so you have time to make decisions about speed and position. Sometimes turning your head in the direction of the turn helps in keeping a good visual picture."

So, here's my question, it only helps sometimes, when doesn't it help?
Greg,
My guess is that the word "SOMETIMES" was an error that the Editor missed. I checked a current copy of the Basic Rider Course Manual, Edition 7.1, Fifth Printing: January 2009 and that word is not there. The last sentence reads "Turning your head in the direction of the turn and keeping your eyes level with the horizon help you maintain a good visual picture". Also checked an earlier edition that I have, 6.0, and it's very similar to the above. You need to tell the school that your wife went to that they need to update their student handouts!

As far as starting out on a hill, using the same edition referenced above, on page 36 there is a section dedicated to riding and starting out on hills. Among other things it says; "Special skill is required to start out on a hill. A good technique is to apply a brake to prevent the motorcycle from rolling backward while you move the clutch to the friction zone. Often the rear brake is used, but if you need to keep both feet down for balance, you could use the front brake while easing out the clutch into the friction zone until you can release the brake and apply some throttle. ............" Because we live down here in Flat Land, I go so far as to tell my students where they can find a good hill to practice on and highly recommend that they do so!

I think my biggest problem with the program and licensing requirement is that, at least down here in Florida, a student can take and pass the class on an automatic (scooter) that's greater than 50cc and obtain the same license as someone who takes the class on a shifting bike. Even one who takes the class on a shifting bike ranging from 125 to 250 cc receives a license that allows them to go home and drive a 180 hp rice rocket or a Boss Hoss! Maybe it's time for graduated licensing similiar to what Europ has.

Lynn Keen
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MSF #28271 Retired
'99 Canyon Red RETIRED AT 93,000 MI
'05 GRAPHITE METALLIC retired at 87,000 MI
'01 R1150 GS- totaled
'02 R1150 GS sold
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post #12 of 26 Old Aug 11th, 2009, 4:19 pm
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpolakow
It's on page 21 fo the Basic Rider Course Rider Handbook version 7.1. Read the part after the word Look:
It says, "search through the entire turn and keep your eyes moving. Evaluate the entire turn as soon as possible -- surface characteristics, sharpness of the turn, and overall traffic conditions -- so you have time to make decisions about speed and position. Sometimes turning your head in the direction of the turn helps in keeping a good visual picture."

So, here's my question, it only helps sometimes, when doesn't it help?
Perhaps on a crowded street with multiple lanes of traffic moving at different speeds. Keeping one's head on a swivel for slower traffic and lane changes could be more important than looking through the curve.
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post #13 of 26 Old Aug 11th, 2009, 5:00 pm
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

I took the BRC ~6 years ago after 35 years of riding & previous letter writing to MN DOT to improve the M/C endorsement skills test. Countersteer was hardly addressed. I decided I couldn't teach to this curriculum.

My comments though are based on more recent discussions with new riders that have taken the BRC test. "What do you do when crowded by a guard rail etc..." They all say "look the other way etc", but when pressed on what they should do (lean is another typical response that is worse) or understanding countersteer, they "didn't really understand that part" or it was glossed over in the course.

Countersteer was first described by the Wright brothers. It can be demonstrated by riding a bike thru a mud puddle, turning, and then analyzing the wheel tracks. Countersteer is something you learned as a kid riding a bicycle & then stored in the far reaches of your brain. This worked for the non-lethal environment of a bicycle.

Unfortunately, if I hold a big enough gun (i. e. a lethal threat) to your head, you won't be able to immediately recall the proper response, as it is the opposite from what is intuitive. It is this paradox that needs to be addressed.

The start-on-a-hill thing may have been a local aberration.
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post #14 of 26 Old Aug 12th, 2009, 2:48 am
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

This is a 'very' good post......IMHO

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post #15 of 26 Old Aug 12th, 2009, 4:05 am
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Please Excuse Me.
It's very late, & I"ve switched from Michelob Golden to JACK (at home)
Anywho..... There's basically two laws to observe while riding. The law of gravity, & the law of centrifugal force. Too disrespect either one will maim or kill you. And yes there are others, but you know where I'm coming from...well...maybe/sorta.
Several minutes later (still drinking Jack) .....
I recently watched 'Ride Like A Pro 5" video. Pretty well nails what I've learned in 50 years of riding, & then some. I've required my two sons to watch it.
Whether 'up hill', or 'down hiil', or 'flat', coming to a slow stop with the left foot sticking out towards the ground, & the right foot on the back brake pedal is essential. Plus, coming in at a gear in what may be a bad situation, ready to jack your ass out of a bad situation is always a plus. YMMV

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post #16 of 26 Old Aug 12th, 2009, 4:52 am
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Quote:
What do you do when crowded by a guard rail etc
Niel;
What answer were you looking for when asking this question? I am not sure how this question as it is stated without any other context relates to knowledge of counter-steering? If you just ask me that question with out any other caveats, I would say move away from it, or change lane position.

I agree the MC endorsement test needs improvement, both the Alt-Most and the BRC riding evaluation IMO is not indicitive of having the necessary skills to ride a motorcycle on the street.

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post #17 of 26 Old Aug 12th, 2009, 5:03 am
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpolakow
....I was disturbed that the MSF handbook says, regarding looking through the curve, that this is recommended only sometimes. That seems to me like very bad advice, especially since it did not indicate when those sometimes should be. And after five decades of riding, I can't imagine anytime when it is not advisable to look through the curve, or in general, to look where you want the motorcycle to go.....
+1 Greg....Better to see the light at the end of the tunnel.....even if you discover it's a freight train!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #18 of 26 Old Aug 12th, 2009, 7:08 am Thread Starter
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn_Keen
Greg,
My guess is that the word "SOMETIMES" was an error that the Editor missed. I checked a current copy of the Basic Rider Course Manual, Edition 7.1, Fifth Printing: January 2009 and that word is not there. The last sentence reads "Turning your head in the direction of the turn and keeping your eyes level with the horizon help you maintain a good visual picture". Also checked an earlier edition that I have, 6.0, and it's very similar to the above. You need to tell the school that your wife went to that they need to update their student handouts!

As far as starting out on a hill, using the same edition referenced above, on page 36 there is a section dedicated to riding and starting out on hills. Among other things it says; "Special skill is required to start out on a hill. A good technique is to apply a brake to prevent the motorcycle from rolling backward while you move the clutch to the friction zone. Often the rear brake is used, but if you need to keep both feet down for balance, you could use the front brake while easing out the clutch into the friction zone until you can release the brake and apply some throttle. ............" Because we live down here in Flat Land, I go so far as to tell my students where they can find a good hill to practice on and highly recommend that they do so!

I think my biggest problem with the program and licensing requirement is that, at least down here in Florida, a student can take and pass the class on an automatic (scooter) that's greater than 50cc and obtain the same license as someone who takes the class on a shifting bike. Even one who takes the class on a shifting bike ranging from 125 to 250 cc receives a license that allows them to go home and drive a 180 hp rice rocket or a Boss Hoss! Maybe it's time for graduated licensing similiar to what Europ has.
Thanks, Lynn. Good to know it was an editor's oversight. That happens.
As for taking the BRC on a scooter, in IL you must take it on one of their bikes. You can't even use your own. And they are all true motorcycles.

Greg
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post #19 of 26 Old Aug 12th, 2009, 8:25 am
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Years ago, Ruth had something similar happen. She dropped the bike in one of the final exercises. Because of the drop, her score fell below the accepted pass score. It wasn't the drop alone that caused her to fail.

In talking it over with the head instructor, it was determined that Ruth and the instructor that was conducting the test had a "failure to communicate". Since the score had already been given, the only option (not sure if this was MSF policy or the school's policy) was to re-do the class. The MSF lead instructor was very accommodating and scheduled her into the next week's class.

The following week, with a different instructor, she passed the riding test with a perfect score. Even scoring higher than the two Dallas Police Motor Officers who attended the class to evaluate it as a training tool for new recruits prior to having them in the DPD's motor training program.

Over the 15+ years Ruth and I have been riding together, I've always maintained that she's a better rider than I. Part of that, I believe, comes from her MSF experience. Have her take the class again.


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post #20 of 26 Old Aug 12th, 2009, 12:37 pm Thread Starter
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Here are my overall thoughts about the course as I observed it. It is not my intention to cast aspersions against MSF which I think is a fine organization, nor against the instructors, who did a creditable job. These are just things I would have emphasized more if I had been teaching the class. These are things I have been emphasizing to my wife.
1. Never take any curve for granted or let up on a curve because you feel you have it made. If you take your attention, your focus away from any curve or any manuever it can bite you in the ass.
2. Always, always look into a curve. Get used to, practice, work at looking where you want to go. This will at the very least help you avoid the deadly sin of target fixation.
3. Practice braking everytime you ride. It is a skill that requires practice even if your bike has abs. It requires constant practice so if you ever have to make a real emergency stop your response will be automatic, immediate and as effective as the bike will allow.
4. Motorcycling is an art and a skill. To be good and stay that way you need to be constantly practicing the fundamentals: cornering, braking, swerving, slow manuevers, When do you do that? Everytime you ride.
5. There is very little if anything you ever do on a motorcycle that does not require your full attention, your full focus.

Greg
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post #21 of 26 Old Aug 12th, 2009, 1:02 pm
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axiom2000
Niel;
What answer were you looking for when asking this question? I am not sure how this question as it is stated without any other context relates to knowledge of counter-steering? If you just ask me that question with out any other caveats, I would say move away from it, or change lane position.
It is a little bit of a trick question. I look for a positive recognition of the paradox (that you have to turn towards the guardrail to get away from it). If they initially respond with turn away from it, I'd ask - And how do you do that? If they say press on the opposite handle bar (which of course is technically right) I push a little further and say something like "you mean you twist the handlebars towards the guardrail? If they hesitate with their answer and can't explain it, I'd consider that another example.

I'm looking for a solid understanding of the steer algorithm. I don't often get it.
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post #22 of 26 Old Aug 13th, 2009, 8:48 am
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by niel_petersen
It is a little bit of a trick question. I look for a positive recognition of the paradox (that you have to turn towards the guardrail to get away from it). If they initially respond with turn away from it, I'd ask - And how do you do that? If they say press on the opposite handle bar (which of course is technically right) I push a little further and say something like "you mean you twist the handlebars towards the guardrail? If they hesitate with their answer and can't explain it, I'd consider that another example.

I'm looking for a solid understanding of the steer algorithm. I don't often get it.
As you know, counter steering is a fairly complex physical effect. Since for a Basic Rider Course things have to kept pretty simple, when I explain Counter Steering to my classes I ask the students if they ever pushed a wheelbarrow and of course the answer is usually 100% yes. I then ask them how they make a wheelbarrow turn and someone always says, "I tip it in the direction that I want it to go". Then I explain that a motorcycle is a single track vehicle just like a wheelbarrow and it too needs to lean in the direction of the turn. And of course the way that you make it lean is simply by pressing on the hand grip in the direction of the turn and tighter turns and higher speeds require more lean and that's accomplished with more pressure. Pretty basic and simplistic but something they all pretty much can relate to and it seems to satisfy their questions.

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post #23 of 26 Old Aug 13th, 2009, 2:50 pm
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Lynn - You might consider adding a little to your pitch by supporting an inverted broomstick on your fingertip & look at what you have to do to make it tip in a certain direction. The motion of your fingertip correlates to the lateral inputs from the front tire patch.

Then point out the paradox - that you end up twisting the handlebars towards the "guardrail" just to get away from it. And - what does that mean will happen if you deliberately just twist the handlebars away from the guard rail?

The same goes for simply trying to turn away from an impending collision with a tree.

Yeah - it ain't pretty.............! The students got by with ignoring this paradox as youth on a bicycle, but now we are all running in that lethal environment.
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post #24 of 26 Old Aug 13th, 2009, 10:25 pm
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by niel_petersen
Lynn - You might consider adding a little to your pitch by supporting an inverted broomstick on your fingertip & look at what you have to do to make it tip in a certain direction. The motion of your fingertip correlates to the lateral inputs from the front tire patch.

Then point out the paradox - that you end up twisting the handlebars towards the "guardrail" just to get away from it. And - what does that mean will happen if you deliberately just twist the handlebars away from the guard rail?

The same goes for simply trying to turn away from an impending collision with a tree.

Yeah - it ain't pretty.............! The students got by with ignoring this paradox as youth on a bicycle, but now we are all running in that lethal environment.
The old inverted broomstick-handlebar-guardrail debate is much like that tree in the forrest debate--when noone is around......

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #25 of 26 Old Aug 14th, 2009, 7:01 pm
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

I have done this in a couple of motor schools. Take a bicycle wheel. Have someone hold it with their hands and using their arms as the forks. Have someone turn the wheel really fast. Then attempt to turn the wheel. It goes into a lean. Pretty cool, and clicked for me. That was 12 years ago.

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post #26 of 26 Old Aug 14th, 2009, 9:12 pm
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Re: MSF Beginners class observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorman587
I have done this in a couple of motor schools. Take a bicycle wheel. Have someone hold it with their hands and using their arms as the forks. Have someone turn the wheel really fast. Then attempt to turn the wheel. It goes into a lean. Pretty cool, and clicked for me. That was 12 years ago.
If you hold it on one side only, it will lean AND turn in a circle. My dad used to demonstrate this in his physics classes.

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