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Discussion Starter #1
About to take the MSF but I find their terms of failing it kinda BS. Both the courses here say that if you fail it is like a bus ticket and you gotta pay to come back. I think if you pass the written test you should not have to pay for it again. Why make someone do the whole thing over again when a retest will do the job? I have heard of people being kicked out of some of these courses within an hour and to me that is not right. I have taken other certs that are in a group learning environment and have never seen them kick someone out before. They let you stay until the end then fail you and you can come back for a smaller fee. Now I am not all that worried about failing but who knows things happen and maybe I am sick the day of our something. A school should stand by their students and not just dump them the second they aggravate or slow the class down.

So how common are these schools that have polices in place for cheaper retakes? I know they exist because people have told me they have been able to do a retake instead of come back for the full thing later. Where can I find MSF courses with these polices?
 

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From what I've read here (which is not that extensive of course) MSF classes usually don't fail anybody. Some members here reported that even people passed who dropped their bikes.:confused:

Might differ from state to state though.
 

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My son took the course a couple months ago. I asked the instructor and people do fail once in a while.

I watched a bit of the training as the course was wrapping up...some of those people are not ready for the street, by any means :(
 

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Here in NC, there is no discount. You pay the same regardless as to how many times you take it, retake it, fail it, etc.

You are allowed to drop your bike during the class; but only if you make a mistake and it's kind of a one-off thing (which could happen to anyone really). If it happens often, or they feel you are endangering yourself or others by your lack of coordination and handling the bike, they will remove you from the course. But, if you drop your bike during the exam portion, even once, or a tipover, it's an instant fail.
 

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Does your state offer license testing? Most do or did. I've advised folks to find this out and where the course is, so they can drive by and look at it before having someone ride their bike to the site for them to take the test. Not having a day-time temporary learners permit is a pain in the backside. Most other countries offer that, but the licensing tests are usually harder.

The retake has to be in _your_ state, which is unknown. All that you have told us in the new member area is that you paid US dollars for the bike. Where do you live?

Can you tell that I started riding before my state of birth had motorcycle rider's licenses? I only needed an auto driver's license.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here in NC, there is no discount. You pay the same regardless as to how many times you take it, retake it, fail it, etc.

You are allowed to drop your bike during the class; but only if you make a mistake and it's kind of a one-off thing (which could happen to anyone really). If it happens often, or they feel you are endangering yourself or others by your lack of coordination and handling the bike, they will remove you from the course. But, if you drop your bike during the exam portion, even once, or a tipover, it's an instant fail.
I don't like how inconsistent these courses are and how the instructors are about telling people to leave. I talked to someone who took the MSF course about 4 months back and they said they dropped the bike but they gave extra attention to them. They took them off to the side and helped them while other places you drop the bike once at any time you are asked to leave. There needs to be clear polices in place listed on the website instead of it being left up to if the instructor is having a bad day or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Does your state offer license testing? Most do or did. I've advised folks to find this out and where the course is, so they can drive by and look at it before having someone ride their bike to the site for them to take the test. Not having a day-time temporary learners permit is a pain in the backside. Most other countries offer that, but the licensing tests are usually harder.
Nope.. they have no permit here and you can't even ride a motorcycle until you take the MSF here. I have my bike so I was thinking about riding it without the license because the penalty for riding without a license is you get a ticket that can be dismissed once you take the MSF. I was just going to ride it about 2/3 mile down the road to a parking lot and drive around. Get used to it mostly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My son took the course a couple months ago. I asked the instructor and people do fail once in a while.

I watched a bit of the training as the course was wrapping up...some of those people are not ready for the street, by any means :(
How can you expect anyone to ready for street with 8 hours of training with most of that sitting idle from my understanding. When I took my sailing cert in the same format 2 class days and 1 day sailing 1 test day you aren't ready for the sea at the end of that. Tons of things can kill you out at sea and all you learned was some knots and how the boat turns. The only way to get better is to put time into sailing.
 

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<unwarranted attack>

Alphonse5:

This isn't fair, but, riding a motorcycle in traffic is a risk. Your job is to keep the cagers from hurting or killing you. You must view yourself as small and vulnerable. Right or wrong is irrelevant, staying safe is what counts.

The attitudes that you have expressed suggest that you might have difficulty viewing yourself as small and vulnerable. I am worried that possibly motorcycle riding is not a good fit for you.

</unwarranted attack>
 

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Discussion Starter #10
<unwarranted attack>

Alphonse5:

This isn't fair, but, riding a motorcycle in traffic is a risk. Your job is to keep the cagers from hurting or killing you. You must view yourself as small and vulnerable. Right or wrong is irrelevant, staying safe is what counts.

The attitudes that you have expressed suggest that you might have difficulty viewing yourself as small and vulnerable. I am worried that possibly motorcycle riding is not a good fit for you.

</unwarranted attack>
The only way to know if something is not a good fit for you is to do it. I barley passed my sailing cert but I still love it and am glad I have the chance to keep improving my skills. So if I don't like the motorcycle I will sell it but not until I have decided I don't like it.
 

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After reading your posts here, it sounds like you've got yourself pretty well convinced that there is a good chance you won't pass the MSF course.

Consider doing some self-study before you take the course, so that you'll have a better understanding of the basic concepts of motorcycle riding. A good book to read is Proficient Motorcycling by David L. Hough.

Also, there is some good info to be had right here in this forum: http://www.cbr250.net/forum/proficient-motorcycling-riding-tips-techniques/
 

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I always like to point to this video:


It is by no means a replacement for the class but it can give you already some insight ahead of it. There is one thing though you should not do and that is using the front brake only. You get the best stopping power with both brakes applied.

What I don't understand about the MSF concept is are they actually there to teach you or just to test you? Because I was under the impression that they were supposed to teach. If that is so how can they send people home who crash? What's the point? Shouldn't they rather show the person how it's done instead?

A lot of people are complaining about the costs of the German license system (I paid 1.400€ for mine IIRC) but at least you are a somewhat competent rider after 14-15 hours of 1 on 1 training on the roads with an instructor and not a threat to yourself and others (unless you are one of those indestructible youths who have to go WOT all the time on their super sports...that usually ends in disaster...training or not...) .
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Oh I agree with you and think it is silly they send people home that are having a hard time but the variable for this decision is all over the place. Some of the FAQs say if you are having a hard time keeping up they can send you home. Some places send you home the second you drop the bike others do not. In other words, if you are slowing the class down and need too much attention good bye. I have read stories of people being sent home for taking too long to learn the clutch, not a problem for me, but I really don't think that is right. You have a person who paid to learn something and is not a danger to anyone stalling out in the parking lot on a 250 so don't be greedy and send them home. Oh and you say show you how it is done? NONE of the instructors are on bikes and they pretty much describe how to do it. This may vary from school to school so I can't say it is like that everywhere.

Also you have to think it is a 10 hour class split between 8-10 people. How much time are you really getting out of that hours..

I honestly rather pay for per hour for private instructions and get quality instead of something split between so many people. Sadly they do not really offer that and the only way to get that is to buy out the entire class which to me is not a fair price. Why, well there is no reason you should have to buy out 6 hours of classroom time. That is something fine you can just take in a class at a group rate or study up and taken a written test without it.

So yeah your quality of instruction over there is much higher than ours. I have done certs like these before in groups and they are really rushed and you don't get the best instructions. You know what they do for sailing certs at laser schools is everyone sails out in their own boat and they sit in a boat with a loud speaker and tell you do certain things. You don't get that 1 on 1 telling you what you are doing wrong and how you can improve. They pretty much just making sure you are able to not hit other boats and can dock. That is about it.
 

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How can you expect anyone to ready for street with 8 hours of training with most of that sitting idle from my understanding.
Yeah, I agree. However, in my son's class half the people were on bigger bikes and had never completed their actual motorcycle license test sequence. Some were not riding legally any longer. I think you are supposed to have everything wrapped up within 12 months of the permit being issued.

(The MSF course is not mandatory in my state. If you successfully complete the course, a motorcycle licensed is then issued within a week or so. It's pretty easy.)
 

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[long response for novice, still only scratching
the surface of rider trainging/attitude etc]

'ive heard that' and 'people say' etc, is not
a sound basis for decisionmaking..
thinking and talking about, failing, regardless
of any context its wrapped in, is still
entertaining the idea of failing, to your brain..

motivating or even hypnotising people to believe
they can or will do this or that activity is real,
in the sense of positive potential results..
this is before you swing a leg over a motorcycle..

so perhaps wipe these ideas of failing etc
from your mind and attention at this point
in your potential motorcycling career..
later,, after, successfully completing this
of any training or practice or testing
for real motorcycle riding, then perhaps,
let yourself go and into the fairness or
otherwise of course design etc..

for me there were no riding courses..
[sydney aust 50yrs ago] you did a short test
on road rules etc, got a learners permit,
then went out and taught yourself
how to manage and ride your motorcycle..
then it was once around the police station carpark
and bobs your uncle.. pay your pound and off you go..

at a govt licensing retesting i went thru with my son
it was basically to weed out people who should not be
on a motorcycle in traffic or public roads..
if you cant hold the bike up on level ground
in basic stop starting, or ride off a simply oval course
in second gear five times [as one lady did for no reason]
or comprehend basic use of horn, sidestand, clutch etc,
then you are already not qualified to manage a motorcycle..

riding a motorcycle, to state the glaringly obvious,
is a whole of body and mind physical and mental skill,
which must begin with at least basic competence..
this is not about fairness etc, but about putting people
on the public roads on motorcycles..

there is a certain basic level of attention and attitude
being tested in these basic courses, aside from sidestands etc,
part of which would include requirements for retesting
including paying again, which from your posts here
already has your attention,, which would tend to
discourage those who see these things as some sort of
social event, to practice being who/whatever they think
they are [such as attention seekers and so on]..

ok, to your reality,, forget about failing..
it hasnt happened so let it go..

go into this opportunity,, with an open mind
and positive even happy attitude and intention..

think of the instructors as people who can help you,
in what must be a very trying occupation..
help them and help yourself by your attitude
including paying full attention to everything
[thats, everything] you experience or are shown
in your riding intro course, or any other
instruction you get from other riders
or your own specific practicing..

before going out onto the roads, you can and should
imo practice just moving the motorcycle around
from the side and in the saddle, engine off..
forward and back, round and round etc..
as if parking it in limited space or suchlike..

even mounting throwing one leg over seat
is a skill in itself, similar to a karate round kick
or other physical skill.. think of and do it that way..
repeating over and over.. repetition being the key..

then when competent at those basic skills,
start moving forward, clutch in, stop,, repeat..
over and over.. until your hands get tired..
[part of hand conditioning for riding]

dont just do these things once or twice,
but give it half an hour, at least,
for each session even on one basic
riding skill practice..

you want to create or start building
reflex responses.. this is another key..
even a tame monkey can be taught
to sit on a moving motorcycle..
which is not, riding skill..

then when starting and stopping become
natural and easy, which is an inevitable
consequence of, repetition,, ride around
your block, over and over and over..
then turn around and ride around it
the other way.. many times..
no hurry.. take your time..
take it all in..

they ride to that quiet traffic free area
and repeat your up and down sequences,
then start around the area in a large square
with corners rounded off to an oval..

first and second gear for starters..
over and over.. then the other way..

after a while it will all become natural
[thru repetition, the more the better]
and your mind may then entertain
ideas about how your are shifting gears,
controlling clutch, braking, throttling, etc..

this will lead naturally to smaller circling,
which will lead to large figure 8's
then smaller figure 8's..

treat and see these skills as real skills,
not just for passing some basic test
but essential for real riding skills,
developing balance, coordination
and easy 'low flying' on your
motorcycle...

learn the questions of any test
off by heart.. they will be online..
know them like your friends name..

doing this, and these things, will
switch on various potential contacts
with your center of gravity and so on,
and will alert brain to the fact that
this is something serious, to be taken
seriously - but to be enjoyed -
and it all becomes easy, fun,
and a good part of living
this short life..
 
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