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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
:(

Ok. I am a total beginner, never been on a bike before, period! Although I drive a standard shift car, I had no idea how the gears operate on the bike and did not take my new CBR out for practice anywhere.

Last night I scored a 98 on the written test. It was pretty much logic and rather easy, but yes I learned some things.

So this morning is Day 1 on the bikes. There were six of us on the range. Three experienced riders and 3 beginners. Well us three beginners did not make it past today for different reasons.

This was an all Harley group, nice people, but they were currently riding on the streets.

First guy was OK on the bike, he was just slow moving and holding us back a little. Second lady in her 50's dropped the bike by grabbing to much front brake in a turn headed for a curb. She was OK, but they asked her to stop.

Then there was me. I completed eight of the nine skills, but was having trouble on the last one where you have to shift through third gear headed for a turn, then down to second. I kept getting close to the slower person in front of me which lugged the bike in third and I had to keep downshifting back to second to slow the pace and then back to third until I started getting confused so I pulled off the course and said I needed to regroup my thoughts to continue; then went back out and completed the exercise.

Instructor said that shifting to third in a turn is too important a skill for me to have trouble with.

I am kinda bummed, but I learned a lot and it was my first time on a motorcycle and I loved it!

So I gotta rethink this and decide if I should take my CBR out in the parking lot behind my place to practice, or just re-sign up for the MSF. Instructor said I could skip the written class and just retake the range and can probable do it for free.

I am kinda lost because I did not think it would feel kinda geared to those in the class who have previous riding experience.

I promised myself I would not take my CBR out even for practice until after I passed the MSF, but now I am not so sure. Instructor said that he would rather I did not, cause it is better to drop their bikes than my new one. But I never came close to dropping their bike. If you drop their bike you are targeted for failing and there is some paperwork that has to be done, the lady that fell stopped our class for 15 minutes then we were told that we were 1 hour behind so he rushed us to finish on time.

Send me your thoughts, please!:confused:

I'm gonna buy some farkles and a lasagna to celebrate my defeat.
 

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That sucks to hear, but don't be discouraged. Just try again til you pass, you have a lifetime of motorcycling ahead of you. If you can do it again for free, definitely sign up again soon before classes fill up.

I myself recently took the MSF BRC. The class is geared for absolute beginners, and your instructor should have paced the class that way. Perhaps you should find a different location?
 

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The class is geared for absolute beginners, and your instructor should have paced the class that way. Perhaps you should find a different location?
It does sound like it was a bit harsh. Obviously not every single person is going to naturally pick it up right away. When I took my MSF BSC a couple months ago, the only people who didn't finish at all left of their own accord.
 

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I would get out there and ride around a bit, whether it be in a parking lot close to your house or on backroads if you happen to be lucky enough to live in "the sticks". I had almost 800 miles on my bike when I took the MSF BRC and managed to pass the course with a 100 on the written and 23/26 on the driving. The ability to be comfortable with the bike and clutch control make the class a cakewalk. Sounds like the 2 other noobies in the class caused some frustrations for both you and your instructors, and when(not if) you take the class again you should be fine. MSF teaches things that are crucial to becoming a good rider, and down shifting before a turn(a.k.a. engine braking) is something that will make your riding experience much better.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the encouragement. I need to take a few days to decide what I want to do next. They said I just need to do something within 30 days otherwise I would have to do the classroom bookwork again.

Looking back, I just cant believe that that we had basically no practice time in between skills, just kept going from one skill to the next without looking back or making sure everyone actually learned the previous skill. It took me well into the 3rd skill before I had the throttle open enough to stabilize the bike, and well into the 5th skill before I could appreciate it, but by then we were on to more complicated things.

I wish I knew what each of the 9 skill exercises were before I set foot on the range so at least I would have been mentally prepared. I mean really, being mentally prepared to ride is one of the fundamentals they just pounded into us the night before.:D

Well it is actually still hot here in Austin, it was 94 today out on the range, so I am still in no real hurry. I bought all kinds of small things for my CBR so I'll be wrenching on it in the meantime.:eek:

BTW, the I spoke to the owner of the school about my options and he asked what kind of bike I had, and he said that he has been teaching for twenty years and he thinks the new CBR is an excellent motorcycle.
 

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Sounds like technicality bull crap to me (like calif DMV). The instructor is a power freak, may be he is a cop when he isnt flunking people in MSF. No one skill is THAT much more important. As a beginer, you can learn stuff here, but these people are not all the best. some may be, not all.

Remember, and tell them; "You can always judge a teacher by the student."

So you did say the slowpoke in front was causing you problems, you have to allow them to make a bigger gap, and drive at parking lot speed, not street speed.
also next time, since you know what is going on, get in the front of the line so no one is there to jack you up. Then dont worry about who is behind you, they have to ride their own bike.

Enjoy the lasagna.
 

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your class sounds like it's structured completely differently than mine. my first day of riding was learning all of the skills, nothing to fail. then a second day of actual tests on the bikes. people who didn't pass were given a couple of chances until they did well enough. even if you didn't score 100% you still passed the class overall. it does seem harsh but i guess they want to make sure everyone is safe?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
it does seem harsh but i guess they want to make sure everyone is safe?
I cant argue with this, but it would have been nice to be given a little bit of time to learn something before moving on to the next.

We were not allowed to pass other students, so I followed the guy in front of me speed wise. There were times when we bunched up awfully close and the instructor said nothing. I just did not feel safe.

Day one is nine skills lessons, day two is some more then a skills test of a selected group from both days, I guess.

The dealership where I bought my CBR recommended this school, one sales guy said everyone in the MSF drops the bike the first day. My bike had the side of the gas tank crushed and the side panels missing with wiring hanging out. With the exception of the the one crash, none of us were even close to dropping the bikes ( I was right behind the crash and saw it all, it was a true beginner mistake, I'm glad she did not hurt herself physically but she was upset with herself because she knew exactly what she did wrong.) I will have to notify the dealership to tell others that dropping the bike on day one will net you a removal.

I figured that no one was leaving on Day 1 unless they chose to, or something bad happened. I figured Day 2 would be tougher, and maybe all of us would not pass the riding test, but it would have been nice to make it that far.

At this point I am not sure if I should choose another school or not. My instructor told the school owner that he would split the cost of 2 hours for private lessons between me and the lady who fell to $60 each to review anything we wanted and then we can retake the riding days.

I'm not sure if I want to spend money on private lessons from this guy or not.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your bad MSF experience. When I took the MSF course myself about 2 months ago we went through 18 exercises and one comprehensive test at the end, not 9 exercises/tests. Also, the instructors would set up the course and exercises in such a way that one could never come too close to the previous rider in case he/she would go too slow or bust it.

I think that failing you is complete crap! I would not get discouraged and I would most certainly practice on the CBR, just make sure you are being safe and you do NOT ride beyond your skill level.
 

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^yeah we had to take turns or were spread out far enough so there wouldn't be the chance of people running into each other. there was one girl in my class who got scared and gave it full throttle and fell off. imagine if she had been directly behind someone
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Can you experienced riders comment on how people are riding on the street before taking the MSF? How is this legal? One guy rode his new Harley to the classroom part last night.

Now I kinda feel like I made a mistake by not practicing with my CBR before the class, I have a huge open parking lot right behind my apartment and I would not have to get on a busy road to get there.
 

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:(

.

Instructor said that shifting to third in a turn is too important a skill for me to have trouble with.
It's been more than 10 years since I did the course and it was in California.
Was this shifting to third in a turn or shifting down right before the turn? I try to avoid shifting in turns at all; I might shift when I hit the apex and accelerate out of it.
 

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Can you experienced riders comment on how people are riding on the street before taking the MSF? How is this legal? One guy rode his new Harley to the classroom part last night.

Now I kinda feel like I made a mistake by not practicing with my CBR before the class, I have a huge open parking lot right behind my apartment and I would not have to get on a busy road to get there.
Is the completion of the MSF course a requirement to get the endorsement in your state? In Mississippi it isn't required to go to an MSF course. All you need to ride legally in public roads is a license plate, an endorsement, and insurance, so the people who take the MSF course do it simply because they want to.

Edit: I forgot that you can get a permit after passing the written test at the DMV which allows you to ride on public roads as long as you're grouped with someone over 21 who has an endorsement (not on the same bike as you, they just need to follow on a bike or car)
 

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What a bummer. In my opinion it sounds rather harsh that after successful completetion of all skills with only struggling with one, that a student would be tossed from the course. You paid for a whole course, therefore you should have been allowed to finish it. If an instructor feels a student may require more practice and instruction time this should be encouraged after completetion of the course. I think you have an excellent attitude.:D Get back on that bike and ride
 

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Judged while teaching

That is not a good class. Getting your money back might be more hassle than it is worth so at this point you should just make sure they let you back in for free since classes are over priced to begin with. Once you get your passing certificate I would speak out against it to warn others to look elsewhere. My daughter just completed her class last month and it was very positive. She loved it. Class should be very fun. They do it in three sessions. Friday night from 6PM to 10PM is book learning and a written test which I'm sure everyone passes unless they have a learning disability. All day Saturday is riding, riding and more riding with no grades or getting thrown out unless you are really some kind of trouble maker that is just there to disrupt class. No curbs either. Just a big abandoned parking lot with lines painted on it and some cones. Sunday is more riding to get in some final lessons and then a riding test as prescribed by the state. One 16 year old girl who had never even driven a car was clearly not ready so they failed her. All the other 13 riders passed. A good course should have passing percentages in the high 90's. It's their job to TEACH you how to ride. If you know another licensed rider. I recommend having them ride your bike to an abandoned parking lot in your area so you can practice starting and stopping and shifting. Then go back and get your certificate for FREE. Then tell everyone to avoid that particular school.
 

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you should be able to go into the msf not even knowing what a motorcycle is, and get through it. at least you understand the principles of driving a manual. there were some in my class who never drove a stick. my instructors were also very nurturing and patient. the class you took doesn't sound right
 

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Sounds like a pretty crappy course. Since when is shifting into 3rd in a turn critical to riding a motorcycle safely? We barely even shifted into 3rd during my MSF course.
 

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Can you take the class at another location? It has been a number of years since I took the course, but I actually went to the location on a day they were teaching before I signed up to check it out and meet the instructors. My class was a great experience and my instructors were great. Only one person failed out of 12 and they were very nice, encouraging the lady that failed and recommending she come back and retake the class. In California after taking the written test and passing you are giving a motorcycle permit, so you can practice but are not allowed to ride at night. I recommend a big empty parking lot, like an office building on the weekends. If you have an experienced rider friend bring them along to help offer pointers (especially if they have taken the MSF course)
 

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Sorry about that. Can't you just go to your DMV and take the riding test? You may have failed at the MSF class but you might just pass the riding test at the DMV. I enrolled at an MSF class basic rider's course 3 years ago and I remember a guy in my class who failed. The following week, he went to the DMV, took the riding test and he passed!
 

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I'm sorry, but it sounds like you took something other than the traditional Motorcycle Safety Foundation course.

I base that upon my wife taking the Basic course as a refresher 6 years ago and my having taken the Experienced Rider course twice as a check to see if I had developed any bad habits {yes, several} since starting to ride over 50 years ago.
 
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