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Old 01-25-2013, 06:18 AM   #46
Bentebent
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How is 500cc too big to learn on? Here, no one uses anything less than 600cc (ER6N) and the most popular bikes for courses like this are the F650GS (800cc model) and the CB900, works just fine.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:39 AM   #47
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I also don't understand the insistence on the super small bikes to start on. I took the HD class and then picked up my Monster 750 the next weekend. The bikes were no issue for a new rider.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:57 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by klebs01 View Post
I also don't understand the insistence on the super small bikes to start on.
If a student whacks the throttle then freezes up, there's a difference in behavior for a 250 vs a 500 at the 200 foot mark- the 250 is out of steam, the student has a chance to recover. The 500 is still pulling.

Way back when, MSF got insurance companies to agree that 250cc* motorcycles on a 140x240 foot unobstructed parking lot was a reasonably safe bet. They were right- for 20-odd years, there were no fatalities. As far as I know, all of the fatalities have been on the Blast.

*I think it was actually 350cc, but most of that class faded out fairly soon in favor of similar 250cc or 400cc machines...

As with anything motorcycles, Limiting bikes by engine displacement is silly; HP or max torque might be a better measure, but harder to determine.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:02 PM   #49
Bentebent
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Originally Posted by dwoodward View Post
If a student whacks the throttle then freezes up, there's a difference in behavior for a 250 vs a 500 at the 200 foot mark- the 250 is out of steam, the student has a chance to recover. The 500 is still pulling.

Way back when, MSF got insurance companies to agree that 250cc* motorcycles on a 140x240 foot unobstructed parking lot was a reasonably safe bet. They were right- for 20-odd years, there were no fatalities. As far as I know, all of the fatalities have been on the Blast.

*I think it was actually 350cc, but most of that class faded out fairly soon in favor of similar 250cc or 400cc machines...

As with anything motorcycles, Limiting bikes by engine displacement is silly; HP or max torque might be a better measure, but harder to determine.
*MSF Course
*Fatalities

What the fuck!? In a parking lot, don't they have to wear any fucking gear?
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:05 PM   #50
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My wife and I both took the Harley "Rider's Edge" version of the BRC when she learned to ride a couple years back. She's 6-foot tall and we thought a Buell Blast would fit her frame a little better than a 250 Rebel or a GZ250, which is what the other local riding center uses. We were really happy with the experience, EXCEPT when they made us take a tour of the dealership, where we got the hard sell on Harley P&A for 20 minutes, then were ushered over to check out the clothing area where we were left to shop around for another 20. We both thought, Hey, we're paying for this course...don't schmooze us on our dime!
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:07 PM   #51
dwoodward
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Originally Posted by Bentebent View Post
*MSF Course
*Fatalities

What the fuck!? In a parking lot, don't they have to wear any fucking gear?
Hint: The fatalities aren't exactly on the range, at course-approved speeds...
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:34 AM   #52
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Hint: The fatalities aren't exactly on the range, at course-approved speeds...
So it happens when they're practicing riding in actual traffic?
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:29 AM   #53
Jim Moore
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Originally Posted by Bentebent View Post
*MSF Course
*Fatalities

What the fuck!? In a parking lot, don't they have to wear any fucking gear?
Brother, you would not believe some of the stuff you see in that parking lot. It's amazing that more people aren't killed.

Hey, I just noticed you're from Europe. The bike / motorcycle scene is totally different here. The vast majority of students have never been on a scooter. Some have never ridden a bicycle. Some are eighty years old. Some are 100 lbs overweight. Each and every one of these idiots is absolutely convinced that riding a motorcycle is easy, and the class is just a formality.

Also, the school is a business. The owner is going to take money from anyone, then leave it up to the instructors to deal with the fallout. It would actually be amusing if you weren't standing in the hot sun trying to keep a class moving along.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:05 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Bentebent View Post
So it happens when they're practicing riding in actual traffic?
MSF doesn't ride in traffic.

I'm guessing the fatalities are people who lose control and go flying off the range at speed. In my MSF class years ago, we had a girl who froze with the throttle WFO, somehow did a wheelie on a GS125 and looped it off in the brush. Luckily, she came off while the bike was still moving and was uninjured, but had it landed on her it could have been very, very bad.

Also, in a few states you can bring your own bike to the MSF class. Since we have no size/power restrictions for new riders here, I can see that going poorly. We were not allowed to in Colorado, and I'm almost positive you can't in California either.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:28 PM   #55
Reverend12
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I have seen some incredible things while teaching MSF classes... like someone earlier posted the danger is from the people who sign up and think riding a motorcycle is easy and that the course is just a formality...
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:48 AM   #56
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My wife took the course from a Harley dealer because they did a womens only class which appealed to her.
They did use the Buell Blast bikes which are slow, scooter slow and the seats are about 24 inches off the ground so they're pretty easy for just about anyone to ride.

I think the programs around here are pretty much the same as any MSF course from what I've heard. They did take them to the dealer and let them sit on stuff which was pretty funny. They sat my wife a on Dyna Wide Glide and said it looks perfect LOL.
Needless to say the course was fine other than the sales job at the end or whenever they did that. I own a HD and think that's a pretty tacky way to try and convince someone they need a bike that big.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:05 PM   #57
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Regarding fatalities in rider training: I'm sure that MSF has guidelines for how big and open the parking lots for rider training must be, but others may not have those same rules, or be lax in enforcing them.

That is, if you get out of control on a riding course, you're only safe as long as you don't hit anything: a railing on the edge of the parking lot, a tree just outside the parking lot, a concrete barrier or lamppost or fence, etc., etc.

My course way back when was in an open Ikea parking lot the size of Nebraska. Safe as anything, right? Yeah, except that if you went too far too fast in one direction, you'd still end up jumping out into traffic. VERY unlikely to do on a dinky 250 cc bike-- you'd have to really be committed to that Darwin Award-- but a more powerful bike riding under Murphy's Law... eh, why risk it?

Again, it's all about the Lowest Common Denominator. When I read threads like this I routinely feel that many riders default to the old reliable, "Hey, I was so good at riding on day one, I could have learned in a Gixxer!" Well, congrats: YOU could have learned on a Gixxer. Not everyone is as cool as you. In designing a course for the LCD, there's absolutely no harm in teaching people on a 250 (or less), as long as the usual disclaimers are applied upon graduation-- "Congratulations, you now are trained to ride a 250 cc motorcycle in circles around a parking lot!" IME, every course I've taken or seen features that disclaimer from a good riding coach, i.e. nobody expects the BRC to give a new rider everything he or she needs.

But ya gotta start somewhere.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:17 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by daveinva View Post
"Congratulations, you now are trained to ride a 250 cc motorcycle in circles around a parking lot!"
I don't hear it often but I have heard it a couple times...

I cringe when I hear a Rider Coach talk down to his/her class with that statement. I think it is totally unprofessional and does nothing for the students except to demoralize them. They need encouragement, not sarcasm. Those coaches should get a highly negative review on the MSF questionnaires at the end of the class.
There are many better, professional ways to tell someone they still need more skills practice then what they just got before venturing out onto busy roadways.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:25 AM   #59
daveinva
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I don't hear it often but I have heard it a couple times...

I cringe when I hear a Rider Coach talk down to his/her class with that statement. I think it is totally unprofessional and does nothing for the students except to demoralize them. They need encouragement, not sarcasm. Those coaches should get a highly negative review on the MSF questionnaires at the end of the class.
There are many better, professional ways to tell someone they still need more skills practice then what they just got before venturing out onto busy roadways.
Eh. The few times I've heard it I've never heard it as mean-spirited, it was always followed by a recommendation / admonition to be careful, pursue further PLP, etc., etc.

Must not take a lot to demoralize adults around your parts.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:07 AM   #60
bwalsh
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Eh. The few times I've heard it I've never heard it as mean-spirited, it was always followed by a recommendation / admonition to be careful, pursue further PLP, etc., etc.

Must not take a lot to demoralize adults around your parts.
Maybe demoralize was too harsh a word but I think you know what I mean.

I just think it's a stupid thing to say to someone who just paid $150 +++ for that coach to teach them how to ride.
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