MSF Course ???'s - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-15-2001, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 17
Question

Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this, but I was just wondering if some of you who have taken the course could clear up a few of my questions.

First off, I know how the bike works and all that stuff, I know the shifting, braking, etc. processes, but I've just never actually hopped on a bike and done them.

Will the course be difficult for me seeing that I have no experience whatsoever? And if I do something wrong when shifting or going around a curve or turn will they be leanient about it or look at me like I'm a moron?

Is it a hard course for most people to pass, or is it just all about how much you take away from it? And it says you get your full endorsement/license if you pass the course, but what happens if you don't pass? Do you just walk away or do they take your permit or what?

Also, what happens if you lay down one of their bikes??? LOL

Just wanted to get a little more firsthand info about the course before I take it. It sounds like a great idea, just don't want to go into it and find out about it then.

Thanks in Advance!
jeepincincy is offline  
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-15-2001, 01:31 PM
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 4,528
Exclamation MSF course...

jeepincincy - "Is it a hard course for most people to pass, or is it just all about how much you take away from it? And it says you get your full endorsement/license if you pass the course, but what happens if you don't pass? Do you just walk away or do they take your permit or what? "

The course I'm taking is taught by MSS. In their info package they state the following:
"If you are unable to achieve the objective of the range exercises or need more time to develop specific skills than the course allows, you will be counseled out of the class. There are no refunds if you are counseled out of the class, however MSS offers private remediation for those who choose, and then will place them back into a class free of charge within 30 days of the original class date."

Basically, if you need extra help and aren't able to pass the course on the first try they'll work with you (private lessons) and place you back into a course for another opportunity to complete your certification within 30 days. After the 30 days your S**t out of luck.

Don't worry about laying the bike down...you won't be the first! And as far as worrying about them thinking you're a moron...even professional riders make mistakes! Besides, the instructors are there to help you with your mistakes, if you didn't make any mistakes they'd be out of work.

I'm sure the members of this site will agree with me that the MSF course is the best thing any new rider can do to improve their skills!!! Good luck and RIDE SAFE!

-Irish Rocket

Last edited by slaintedan; 05-15-2001 at 01:37 PM.
slaintedan is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-16-2001, 06:09 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 938
Jeep,

I took the MSF course last year at Great Oaks.

Is it a hard course for most people to pass, or is it just all about how much you take away from it?
I would say it's not a hard course to pass.

And it says you get your full endorsement/license if you pass the course, but what happens if you don't pass? Do you just walk away or do they take your permit or what?

I'm not usre about this one, because I already had my m/c endorsement. I would think that you keep your learners permit until you can retake the class.

Will the course be difficult for me seeing that I have no experience whatsoever? And if I do something wrong when shifting or going around a curve or turn will they be leanient about it or look at me like I'm a moron?
The course is designed for people who have never been on a motorcycle before, so even with your limited experience, you will be a step ahead of some of the other class members. They will not look at you like a moron. The instructors I had were VERY patient. With them, it was all about procedures and repetition.

Also, what happens if you lay down one of their bikes???

I thought I read in the class handbook that crashing was an automatic discharge from the class, but I watched a guy crash not once but twice. They probably would have let him continue, but the second crash broke his leg.

Hope this helps.
RRDon is offline  
 
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-18-2001, 01:05 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 19
I took the MSF after doing ~1200 street Miles on my own. I am a returning rider with quite a few years on dirt, ice racing, etc., so my take on the class reflects my past experience, and may not fit yours.

The class is geared towards folks who've never ridden before. My class was a 2 1/2 day deal; the evening class was a pretty generic meet & greet, and the first day on the range basically covers the rudiments of riding. This included properly mounting/dismounting, finding the friction point of the clutch, brake bias, etc. 95% of the people in my class hadn't been on a bike before, and got a lot out of it. I think one girl dumped her bike 5 times that day.

Day 2 covered so-called 'street strategies', including shifting, lane/space positioning, swerving, stopping on a curve, etc. The afternoon ended with the riding/written tests.

my opinions/observations:

-At 29, I was the youngest rider by at least 5 years. The average age was probably mid-late 30's. All the other riders were harley folks. The class was ~40% women. You think kids have poor judgment? I heard two of the women say "I've never ridden before, and the day after the class is over I'm riding my bike to work because I'll have my license". Whoa, there. I thought middle-aged women would be even more sensible than young guys but there are some SERIOUS problems with that statement. it surprised me to hear folks think that a written permit test and 2 days riding in a parking lot is all it takes to be a licensed rider. Well, they're actually correct for NYS but they're also in for a big surprise once they're out in traffic for the first time at highway speeds. I call this situation a failure on the part of the state license regulation and also the rider. I also think this situation is part of the problem we have with so many M/C accidents every year.

-Everybody passed. This included the girl who dumped her bike 5 times one day, and twice more the next day. In a way it is best that you pull stuff like that in a learning enviroment than on the streets I guess. You only fail if you dump the bike during the TEST. If you fail the test, you can re-take it again (once) for free.

-The riding test was quite simple. I am a little surprised that it did not cover things such as stopping in a curve, where it seems like many accidents are likely to occur but instead focused on low-speed bike control.

-The written test was simple, too. It was a good 'food for thought' test.

-I got 100% on both tests, but then again I should have. Like I said, I am a returning rider. Serveral others got 100% on the riding test. Nobody else got 100/100 like me. That is a little surprising and scary as well because the written test focused quite a bit on street strategy and the riding test on parking lot skills.

-The difference in riding ability between the both days for most riders was both inspiring and dramatic. It was quite a thing to see someone who struggled the first day take off and ride so smoothly the next. There were a couple of 'naturals' in the class, including an older woman who took to that bike like a duck to water. She was dragging pegs with the best of 'em on only her second day riding! The instructors were excellent, and clearly boosted the students' confidences and abilities at the same time.

-A lot of folks expressed their fears about riding in traffic once the class was over. They all seemed to realize that they'd never gotten the bikes over 20 mph or had to do real-world merges/intersections, etc. Luckily many planned to work their way into real-world riding slowly. Nobody who'd planned to ride to work the next day said they still were going to. One actually admitted that riding a motorcycle was a lot harder than she'd been led to believe. Good for her. I don't think I'll be seeing her name in the news any time soon.

-I learned a couple of good things myself, and could feel the difference in my riding ability right away. That made it worth it for me.

Bottom line? I think the MSF beginning RiderCourse is a useful tool for new riders. It does provide a good environment to learn and is not very intimidating for those who are easily spooked. I think the testing is a bit lax and that there are things that should be reinforced for safe street riding that were not covered in enough depth. IMHO this is not the be-all, end-all of learning and shouldn't be considered as 'all you need' to be a good rider. It IS a good place to get exposed to many good riding techniques in a short period of time, however. The rest is up to you (I own a copy of the MSF's 'Guide to Motorcycling Excellence', a separate book from the class materials and available from Amazon.com et al., and highly recommend reading this book in addition to taking the course).

If you have the means to take the course, I say it is worth it. Just consider that course as a tiny part of your learning experience. You'll be learning as long as you are riding; how long you wind up riding is up to you and your judgments/abilities/skills.

-Metal
metal_on_metal is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-18-2001, 06:25 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 265
Talking MSF???'s

I took the course here in Maryland last year. A good mixture of ages, male and female. One female kept dropping her bike while walking it across the parking lot. I had some experience, had my license for about 13 years, when I took the course. If you failed the written, they would let you study and then come back next week and retake it. If you failed the riding test, you could come back and retake it the following week. I think two females did not pass the riding test. The riding gear should have been a clue on one of the females, boots with 3 inch heels, aren't really good driving/rider boots, stylish but not practical. Even now when I ride up to the college, where the class is held, I see people coming in who did not pass one part or the other and are there to retake the test. I love riding up on the yellow cbr600 F4 and seeing the heads turn while I take my helmet off. I know it is distracting for the students, I remember others doing this while I was taking the class, not necessairly females on yellow bikes coming in but anyone who was out enjoying their bikes on a weekend. The class was 4 days, Thursday evening, Friday evening, then the class was split in two, either morning on Saturday and then afternoon on Sunday, or vise versa. I paid $50 to take the class but this year it is $100.00 for the class. The class was well worth the 50 bucks. Taking the course gave me confidence and a better understanding of being able to handle the bike. I highly recommend taking the class, reinforcement never hurts! Here in Maryland, you had to sign up for the class early on by calling the phone number. I called in January and was placed in a class for June. It books quickly, a secret though show up on say Thursday night and see if all that signed up for the class shows up. If they do not, you can be an alternate.

Good luck, ride safe and have fun
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