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Old August 30th, 2010, 05:49 PM   #1
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Passed It!!! (MSF)

Well, I passed my MSF course and all I can say is that I'm glad it's over! Wasn't really that fun to me....could be multiple reasons....

1. My instructor was in a hurry, he had to be somewhere...so what was supposed to be a 5hr. class the first day was shortened to 4hrs.

2. The bike I started with the first day, some girl took mine 1/2 way through the class so I had to learn a different bike 1/2 way through and the clutch was in need of SERIOUS adjusting!

3. Was HOT AS HELL!

4. Sucked at the U-turn...specially on that bike!

That was just the first day of riding....I seriously went home and cried....I thought there was no way I could do it! I was good at all the 2nd gear maneuvers but not the clutch control...(friction zone) exercises.

Next day came and I was terrified....got a different bike than that POS...that was good....instructor wasn't in "such" a hurry....tho we did get done before the scheduled time. But I did pass.

I'm glad cause I honestly felt like I was on a military base boot camp! It was hot and he was relentless on us. But....I made it and that was the important thing.

But honestly did not have fun doing it! Not at all...it was HIGH stress and exhausting.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 06:11 PM   #2
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Congrats on passing. The U-turn stuff isn't that important to master (at least not as much as the other stuff). But I would recommend practicing every now and then.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 06:12 PM   #3
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Congrats..i knew you could do it
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Old August 30th, 2010, 06:13 PM   #4
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Old August 30th, 2010, 06:13 PM   #5
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I'm sorry it wasn't a good experience for you
I guess it all depends on what instructor you get. Mine were super awesome and we had tons of fun with them, which made the whole experience much more enjoyable.

Just focus on the important thing: you passed!

CONGRATS!!
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Old August 30th, 2010, 06:23 PM   #6
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U turns definitely sucked.

My course was fun but we had the Bike Nazis for instructors and everyone barely passed. Only person who failed was because he didnt bother to show up on time for day 2.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 06:29 PM   #7
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good job! if i had to do it again, i would have used my own bike....during practice, instructors said my quick stops were almost perfect, then during the test, i braked fine, went to put my foot down, and my pant leg got caught on the foot peg...my leg was stuck to the bike, and we both went down... thankfully they saw what happened, and i passed...still felt really awesome
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Old August 30th, 2010, 06:36 PM   #8
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Old August 30th, 2010, 06:41 PM   #9
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that's pretty weak the instructor had to be somewhere...
Yea...no shizzz.....I thought so too...


Thanks all! I'm really glad I passed...now I just need to build the nerve to hit the road.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 06:56 PM   #10
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Sorry to hear that, I had a blast at my class! They told us afterwords that it's impossible to fail the skills test short of dropping the bike.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 06:56 PM   #11
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Congrats, Michelle.

I would strongly encourage you to forward this thread to the head MSF office and see if they can do something about the quality of the instructors in your area.

your introduction to motorcycles should be a positive, enjoyable one.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 06:59 PM   #12
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Sorry to hear that, I had a blast at my class! They told us afterwords that it's impossible to fail the skills test short of dropping the bike.


Well, you couldn't miss more than 15pts. or you failed....and you could retake it 1 more time....later. 1 guy in my group had 14pts. so he was borderline.....I know if you drop the bike or did anything dangerous you would fail.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 07:00 PM   #13
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Congrats, Michelle.

I would strongly encourage you to forward this thread to the head MSF office and see if they can do something about the quality of the instructors in your area.

your introduction to motorcycles should be a positive, enjoyable one.
Thanks! Yea...it was nerve wrecking! To say the least.....but, I made it through it and got my license...now I have to just get over the way I felt those couple days and be ready to get back on the bike.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 07:15 PM   #14
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I agree with kkim. But first I would ask if you thought the instructor was good, other than trying to rush that first day. Not saying that this should be an excusable action (after all, you probably paid good money for the course), but it's possible that this instructor just needs to be spoken to rather than replaced.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 07:43 PM   #15
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I agree with kkim. But first I would ask if you thought the instructor was good, other than trying to rush that first day. Not saying that this should be an excusable action (after all, you probably paid good money for the course), but it's possible that this instructor just needs to be spoken to rather than replaced.
Well, all the instructors are friends and co-workers. They all work for the police department and yea...it was a $225 course. I wouldn't say he was "good"....he told us what we had to do....showed us once and then said mount up.....he would tell us if we did something wrong....but wasn't real clear on certain things....I had to ask him right before the test how to really do the u-turn thing....you know friction, throttle, back brake....I didn't quite get it so I rode my bike to him and asked for a better explanation. He was more like a drill sergeant than anything else...which is good....but a lil more detail could have been given....and he didn't need to be in such a hurry to cram everything in when he had 6 new riders out on the course just because he "had to be somewhere".
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Old August 30th, 2010, 07:47 PM   #16
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Old August 30th, 2010, 07:56 PM   #17
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If I remember correctly, isn't there a survey they give you after the course where you mail it in? I remember my instructors saying anything negative gets back to them that same week (they took the surveys seriously).
I'm sorry you had a poor experience but congrats on passing
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Old August 30th, 2010, 08:02 PM   #18
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Old August 30th, 2010, 08:41 PM   #19
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Congrats!! Have fun out there on your new bike!

Sorry you had a bad course experience. It's def high stress because everyone in the group is obviously learning at different paces and the instructor has to accommodate everyone so I understand how ****** that can be. BUT, the good news is you did pass and now you can go and learn at your own pace the things you REALLY want and need to learn! It's all a learning all the time on a motorcycle...but you got this. You go girl!
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Old August 30th, 2010, 08:56 PM   #20
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Congrats!! Have fun out there on your new bike!

Sorry you had a bad course experience. It's def high stress because everyone in the group is obviously learning at different paces and the instructor has to accommodate everyone so I understand how ****** that can be. BUT, the good news is you did pass and now you can go and learn at your own pace the things you REALLY want and need to learn! It's all a learning all the time on a motorcycle...but you got this. You go girl!
Thanks!! Yea...I'm just more nervous to hit the road now...then I was before....does anyone have any advice for road travel? Like I don't want to go to a parking lot and zip around....I want to go on the road.....
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Old August 30th, 2010, 09:10 PM   #21
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baby steps.

do no more than you are comfortable doing at the moment. don't fool yourself... a deserted parking lot is an excellent venue to become familiar with the bike.

once you start getting into the groove, you can work yourself up to longer rides. you need to work on building your skills and becoming comfortable with your bike at your own pace.

have fun, ride safe.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 05:11 AM   #22
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Thanks!! Yea...I'm just more nervous to hit the road now...then I was before....does anyone have any advice for road travel? Like I don't want to go to a parking lot and zip around....I want to go on the road.....

YAY Michelle! Congrats! Read Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough. One of the BEST books for people just starting out and deals mainly with everyday street riding skills.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 06:27 AM   #23
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YAY Michelle! Congrats! Read Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough. One of the BEST books for people just starting out and deals mainly with everyday street riding skills.
Alright, I'll look into that. Thanks!
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Old August 31st, 2010, 09:03 AM   #24
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Practice, practice and practice. But if you are looking for at least some road time, take a route that you are familiar with and ride at really off times when there won't be too much traffic to worry about. I'm sure others can chime in about it too, but you want to make sure controls are almost second nature to you so you don't have to worry about it when on the street. A parking lot is a good place to become comfortable with shifting, braking and just getting to know the bike.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 09:20 AM   #25
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congrats Michelle!!!! I knew you could do it.

Its unfortunate you didn't enjoy the experiance though. They have you fill out a survey, so you might want to mention your experiance in the survey. Its very important that all new riders have a good experiance. take it easy though...take your time so you don't drop it like i did. if you have any residential streets around your house that don't have a lot of traffic, use them to practice. Parking lots are great, but you need the real road with its inpurities to really learn...in my opinion. A parking lot has smooth ground, where as an actual road has bumps and pot holes and slow moving cars. so it helps a lot.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 09:31 AM   #26
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Congrats. The main point is that you passed. I had two good instructors. Signed up for the morning class anticipating the afternoon heat of July a couple of months ago. One guy dropped the bike at the skills test and was out. Everyone felt bad for him. I am so glad I passed. Now I can ride whenever I want to. We lived in East Lansing years ago.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 07:01 PM   #27
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Yea....I'm glad I passed and I agree that parking lots are NOTHING like roads....I have been in a parking lot....I need to get on the road and practice. Even if I just drive to the parking lot. lol
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Old August 31st, 2010, 08:30 PM   #28
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I was more than pissed when I came home after her 2nd day. Meesh was very upset and when I heard the instructer cut the class early I was soooo close to call them the next morning but didnt want any retalation towards her. But Im calling them tomorrow and sending the servey asap.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 08:40 PM   #29
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But Im calling them tomorrow and sending the servey asap.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 05:00 AM   #30
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Even if I just drive to the parking lot. lol
That was my first ever road ride! :-) lol!
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Old September 1st, 2010, 09:22 AM   #31
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Congrats, now the addiction to ride will just keep getting stronger and stronger the more comfortable you become in the saddle.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 09:29 AM   #32
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I didn't particularly enjoy my MSF class either. I mean, it was ok, but everything seemed very rushed. I also thought the exercises emphasized low-speed parking lot type maneuvers too much. I guess that's partially due to the limitations of teaching in a parking-lot type environment. Someone actually did fail our class, because she didn't maintain the minimum speed in the exercises.
Just look at it as a good way to get some of the basics, but now your learning really begins. Don't rush yourself and you'll be fine.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 10:14 AM   #33
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if interested, they have an advanced course where you can actually take your own bike, they teach you more things at higher speeds and even take you out to the freeway, i'm planning on doing this. My precious bf doesn't have the patience to really teach me every detail.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 10:28 AM   #34
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Congratulations!

I spent so many hours at a nearby mall parking lot. I got to know couple security guards there. One of them was a rider(he told me he had a gixxer600) and was giving me encouragement lol.

I remember I was soooooo nervous to cross one and only intersection to get there. I still go there occasionally when I feel I need to get back to the basics. I feel so comfortable being there lol
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Old September 1st, 2010, 10:29 AM   #35
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if interested, they have an advanced course where you can actually take your own bike, they teach you more things at higher speeds and even take you out to the freeway, i'm planning on doing this. My precious bf doesn't have the patience to really teach me every detail.
maybe in your area, but my advanced course was held in an unused section of an airstrip and there were no speeds higher than 35mph... and very little of it, at that.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 10:30 AM   #36
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I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but at least you did it and you have learned some things from it. Keep practicing and stay safe.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 10:55 AM   #37
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thats too bad, i had a terrible experience with my MSF class too. the instructor was kinda a low talker, we couldn't hear him at all, especially over the motorcycles. he would tell us to do something, and all of us students would just look at each other and shrug, then we would just guess what we think he wanted us to do. the times i could hear him, he made a lot of snyde/awkward jokes about new riders and noob mistakes. and we never really knew whether to laugh or whether he made a mean comment, b/c we either didn't hear the whole joke, or couldn't tell if it was joke from his facial expression/body language. a few times he would come over to me and try to tell me how to fix some of my mistakes, but i just couldn't hear him, so i would just nod and try several different things, until i figured out how to do a figure 8 in a box, for example. it was really frustrating and just an awful experience overall.

i did talk to him after the class, and he turned out to be a really nice guy and gave me a lot of more advanced pointers and his experiences on the road etc. we ended up talking for over an hour, so turns out he wasn't as grumpy, 'i know better than you' pompous jerk we had thought. he was very helpful and knowledgable outside the 'class' enviorment, but just an terrible 'in class' instructor.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 12:57 PM   #38
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if interested, they have an advanced course where you can actually take your own bike, they teach you more things at higher speeds and even take you out to the freeway, i'm planning on doing this. My precious bf doesn't have the patience to really teach me every detail.
I didn't know they'd take you to the highway! I'm interested in taking it as well.. not right now though, still too many things to learn that I would consider "basic"
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Old September 1st, 2010, 04:34 PM   #39
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ya i'm in the same boat as you Rosie...I did a search to see which classes offer the advanced course and it seems the only ones are in Chula vista and Camp Pendleton. grrrr....too far for me
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Old September 1st, 2010, 05:32 PM   #40
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I didn't particularly enjoy my MSF class either. I mean, it was ok, but everything seemed very rushed. I also thought the exercises emphasized low-speed parking lot type maneuvers too much. I guess that's partially due to the limitations of teaching in a parking-lot type environment. Someone actually did fail our class, because she didn't maintain the minimum speed in the exercises.
Just look at it as a good way to get some of the basics, but now your learning really begins. Don't rush yourself and you'll be fine.
I started riding over 25 years ago, but went many years without riding. I took the course as a "refresher" (and as a comfort to my wife). Our instructor was very good, but with experience, the class seemed to move very slow for me. But in the end, I did think it was well worth the time and effort. As for the low speed stuff, it is this kind of stuff which helps you to really understand the bike. While the U-Turn seems to be the hardest part for most people, you learn to look where you want to go and not where you are going. This is something that applies at higher speeds as well.

When I first learned to ride, it was a friend showing me how to use the clutch, and how to shift. Then I was off on my own, and learned the rest on the street. Nobody ever told me to not brake in corners. I sort of learned that the hard way (not by crashing though). I wish I had taken this class 25 years ago.
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