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Old 05-13-2013, 03:09 PM   #91
slartidbartfast
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Originally Posted by High Country Herb View Post
...My wife missed 11 points, where 21 missed points are allowed. She was disappointed, but chalked it up to nervousness during the test since she did the same exercises just fine earlier in the day.
11 points is not bad and looking at where they were lost may give some indication as to where to initially focus further practice efforts (you do plan to get in some skills practice on a regular basis, right?)

Being pedantic: 20 points is the max allowed. 21 is a fail.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:09 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by slartidbartfast View Post
11 points is not bad and looking at where they were lost may give some indication as to where to initially focus further practice efforts (you do plan to get in some skills practice on a regular basis, right?)

Being pedantic: 20 points is the max allowed. 21 is a fail.
Yes, definitely. She took note of the areas where she had trouble, and wants to head back over to the parking lot to practice. Hard braking was her issue. She felt a little unstable in general, and stopped too quickly when she was supposed to stop on the line. That is better than not stopping fast enough, but she wants to be able to control the rate of decel better. She also said she avoided the rear brake, because the lever was so high that it was a few inches above the peg. I think it may have been bent, and she didn't know it wasn't supposed to be that way. She wants to practice using both in hard stops, as well as using the rear only while doing u-turns.

She really learned a lot in the class, and seems to have a much broader view of what it takes to ride safely. She doesn't necessarily think she is there yet, but at least knows what she would like to work on.

The only criticism she had of the class was the pace of the classroom portion. Had she not read the book ahead of time (they emailed it to us), she doesn't think she would have been able to absorb it that quickly.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:02 PM   #93
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You are right I am probably underestimating the box, for example being proficient at the box probably lends to being good at making >90 degree right turns on the street into a narrow lane
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:54 PM   #94
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The "box" isnt a life saving skill in itself, BUT it does demonstrate basic motorcycle control!! Think about it!! Your using your arms to steer,hands to modulate clutch and throttle, eyes and head turn to look where you want to go along with the rear brake if needed while maintaining your sense of balance!!
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:47 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by AzItLies View Post
Nope.

I agree, given the assessment you cite, no circumstances above and beyond. Sounds like the very unfortunate situations we sometimes see... "pass em no matters what"...

I can't say this happens for sure, I'm not a Sponsor. But sometimes it seems there is the unspoken rule... "pass em, it makes us look good".

I've complained to the State about Sponsors I've worked for... doesn't make me too popular and puts my job in jeopardy. But as a fellow rider... it's my responsibility.

Cheers
I will just take a moment to pipe up here... this appears not to be the philosophy in the case of our RC's/sponsor-- as the Weakest Link/dropped-the-bike-in-the-final-eval kid was allowed to finish the test and passed. And one other rider that I specifically watched make the EXACT same mistakes that I did also passed (outside the lines on both u-turns in the box, foot down twice in the box = 8 pts. Swung wide coming out of the curve and completely missed the final "exit gate" altogether-- I came out of the curve feeling pretty good about it, finished inside the final "exit gate" but swung outside of one set of "green" cones in between that were pretty hard to see and I didn't really realize they were even on the course until I passed them... but that's another story I guess...=15pts-- at least in MY case it equaled =15pts, despite discussion afterward with the RC that I had, in fact, done well in the rest of the graded parts of the excercise.)

When all was said and done and 10 male students were being told "congratulations" and 2 female students were being told that we might be able to retake the 2nd day of the riding course at no extra charge-- It became apparent that all the students were not graded equally.

I can't say I didn't deserve the points (although maxing me out on the points allowed on the curve stings a tad when I only did one part of the excercise wrong-- and yeah, I get that in real life, I'd be over a cliff, so I don't mind that it got graded hard... but if that's the case, then the guy who did the same things I did on the same excercises should have been standing next to me listening to why he failed) but there were two other students who should have been in the "this is why you didn't pass" group.

I was certainly not the strongest rider in the class, but I wasn't the weakest link (dropped the bike boy was, with several stalls on upshifting, general instability, and a near-drop early Sunday morning... I spent the weekend trying to make sure he was neither directly in front of, nor directly behind me on any excercises for fear of a collision) but the only "coaching" I got throughout the course was that my speeds were consistantly too low. My speedometer read 12-15 mph, and the instructions for each excersice said speeds needed to be 12-18 mph. I have no way of knowing how accurate the speedometer on my bike was, but that was the only thing I heard repeatedly in reference to my skills. And one of the RC's had issues with the fact that my pinkie just plain did not reach the brake lever when fully engaged, but I can't do much about that.

At no point in the course did I feel that the RC's were unfairly picking out any of the students. The RC's were super nice, respectful, professional, and competent. They didn't yell, they weren't snarky, they weren't condescending. They were easy going and in no way created stress on the range. And, until I watched two fellow students pass, one who was on par with my own performance, and one who had obviously broken one of only 2 "unbreakable" rules, while the only two females in the class were told that maybe we'll be able to come back without having to pay for the class again, it never occurred to me to even suspect that gender might be a factor in whether or not "Instructor discretion" might be used against us-- or for others.

Gender lines may just be coincidental (I hope)-- neither the other woman nor I were the biggest fish in the pond-- but neither of us were the smallest either.

I think Hesaid mentioned that he's still piecing together his full and final thoughts on the course, and he'll probably start a new thread dedicated to that. But suffice it say-- my personal experience left me disappointed in myself and willing to take full responsibility for my results. Until I weighed them against the other factors and compared my overall performance with my classmates, which leaves me wondering what it was that my RC's saw in my overall performance that would have caused them to fail me while passing another student of similar overall performance? And why didn't I recieve input on the first day that would have indicated that my overall performance was sub-par?

But the fact that the kid who dropped the bike passed the test was a deal breaker for my personal respect for the program in general.

(BTW: Hesaid did casually inquire of one of the RC's on our way out of the gate about why the guy passed even when he dropped the bike. The RC's response, verbatim, was, "Well there's some instructor discretion involved."

I didn't start off bitter... but I'm working on it.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:23 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
I will just take a moment to pipe up here... this appears not to be the philosophy in the case of our RC's/sponsor-- as the Weakest Link/dropped-the-bike-in-the-final-eval kid was allowed to finish the test and passed. And one other rider that I specifically watched make the EXACT same mistakes that I did also passed (outside the lines on both u-turns in the box, foot down twice in the box = 8 pts. Swung wide coming out of the curve and completely missed the final "exit gate" altogether-- I came out of the curve feeling pretty good about it, finished inside the final "exit gate" but swung outside of one set of "green" cones in between that were pretty hard to see and I didn't really realize they were even on the course until I passed them... but that's another story I guess...=15pts-- at least in MY case it equaled =15pts, despite discussion afterward with the RC that I had, in fact, done well in the rest of the graded parts of the excercise.)

When all was said and done and 10 male students were being told "congratulations" and 2 female students were being told that we might be able to retake the 2nd day of the riding course at no extra charge-- It became apparent that all the students were not graded equally.
...
Hopefully there was a good reason for allowing a weak rider who dropped their bike in the eval to pass anyway - doesn't seem like it but then I wasn't there.

There are many more things evaluated on the cornering than just staying in the lines. The maximum of 15 points is pretty easy to reach on that exercise if you make any number of technical errors. Not using both brakes to slow as you approached the corner would be one of them for example.

I understand why you might be bitter - but honestly, if you get an extra free day of practice, and assuming you are not missing out on a great trip because you don't have your endorsement yet, I wouldn't worry about it. Just concentrate on building your skills and getting as much from the coaching as possible. I would also suggest you don't get hung up on the points and try to do what you were doing (hopefully doing well and were coached to do during the similar exercises.

Try to select a different bike next time. Much as the training provider may try to keep every single one working peerfectly, there's usually some foible with every bike - a bit more or less travel on the brake or clutch control, perhaps a stiffer throttle or smoother carburation, etc. Also as long as you are not limited by very short legs for example, and if there are different types of bikes available, they can handle and respond to the controls quite differently. Not only will you gain broader experience but you might find a different bike easier to operate.

As noted by others, bring lots of water and some snacks. Wear light colors as you will be amazed how much difference it makes to not be heat stressed on a sunny day.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:11 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
I will just take a moment to pipe up here... this appears not to be the philosophy in the case of our RC's/sponsor-- as the Weakest Link/dropped-the-bike-in-the-final-eval kid was allowed to finish the test and passed. And one other rider that I specifically watched make the EXACT same mistakes that I did also passed (outside the lines on both u-turns in the

<>

(BTW: Hesaid did casually inquire of one of the RC's on our way out of the gate about why the guy passed even when he dropped the bike. The RC's response, verbatim, was, "Well there's some instructor discretion involved."

I didn't start off bitter... but I'm working on it.
Well hopefully you don't end up bitter about it Shesaid, that would certainly be counterproductive.

Where the scoring is concerned, it's important to be aware that 'going over a line' means on the other side of it. If a tire is just on top of the line, that's not crossing it.

Also, as Slart mentioned, numerous things are evaluated in the corner, one of the big no no's is to decelerate in the corner, what we want to be doing is slowing to the 'proper entry speed' for that corner, prior to being in it, then having a steady throttle or slightly rolling on as we go around.

Crossing a line, not slowing with both brakes (prior to the corner) or going too slow also get factored in.

Yer not alone. No one likes not passing. But, let's assume things were done fairly, if so, I'd much prefer to not pass and come back and get some additional training versus going out on the road and finding out the hard way I didn't have the skills I needed.

Hang in there, enjoy it! We wouldn't be doing this stuff if it wasn't fun!

Cheers
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:11 AM   #98
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Choices of bikes were crazy limited. Mine-- a silver Kawasaki Eliminator with a whopping 125cc displacement-- actually seemed like one of the best of the bunch. As far as I could tell, the controls all worked, shifting and braking were smooth and responsive. I had nary an a complaint with it beyond it being a heavy sombitch considering how small it was, and the discovery of just how hard it really is to shift your full weight to the pegs while riding over obstacles-- which I did several times without issue.

I'll probably never know the answers to all the questions that I am left with at the end of the course. I do know it fell short of the hype that I was fed from several sources prior to taking it-- even had I passed.

I understand that the curve is "graded" on several points. They were each spelled out prior to the excercise. I had to make sure I approached the beginning of the curve at a speed between 12 and 18 miles per hour in 2nd gear, I had to slow prior to beginning the curve using both brakes, I could not have my hand on the clutch, I could not look down at the lines/cones, I could not cross the lines, I had to demonstrate proper "press and roll" technique, and I had to accelerate out of the curve.

Upon learning my results, I was shown that I earned the entire 15 points on the excercise. I was specifically told that this was because I crossed the line "essentially" and it was explained that this excercise is graded hard because in real life, a situation like this would like mean there's a cliff on the side.

I totally agree and understand that and wasn't in disagreement with the scoring... However: I did discuss with the RC my overall execution of the excercise and expressed that I'd been feeling pretty good about it because I had made sure that I hit the right speeds, I had made sure I used both brakes at the correct entry point, I had kept my head up, and I had accelerated out of the curve-- he agreed that I had demonstrated those points satisfactorily. My points were attributed soley to swinging wide on the exit.

(shrug) My complaint/whining/concern isn't my failing, it's the seemingly arbitrary grading.

BTW: Great job on the fjords, man!
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:24 AM   #99
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Choices of bikes were crazy limited. Mine-- a silver Kawasaki Eliminator with a whopping 125cc displacement-- actually seemed like one of the best of the bunch. As far as I could tell, the controls all worked, shifting and braking were smooth and responsive. I had nary an a complaint with it beyond it being a heavy sombitch considering how small it was, and the discovery of just how hard it really is to shift your full weight to the pegs while riding over obstacles-- which I did several times without issue.

I'll probably never know the answers to all the questions that I am left with at the end of the course. I do know it fell short of the hype that I was fed from several sources prior to taking it-- even had I passed.

I understand that the curve is "graded" on several points. They were each spelled out prior to the excercise. I had to make sure I approached the beginning of the curve at a speed between 12 and 18 miles per hour in 2nd gear, I had to slow prior to beginning the curve using both brakes, I could not have my hand on the clutch, I could not look down at the lines/cones, I could not cross the lines, I had to demonstrate proper "press and roll" technique, and I had to accelerate out of the curve.

Upon learning my results, I was shown that I earned the entire 15 points on the excercise. I was specifically told that this was because I crossed the line "essentially" and it was explained that this excercise is graded hard because in real life, a situation like this would like mean there's a cliff on the side.

I totally agree and understand that and wasn't in disagreement with the scoring... However: I did discuss with the RC my overall execution of the excercise and expressed that I'd been feeling pretty good about it because I had made sure that I hit the right speeds, I had made sure I used both brakes at the correct entry point, I had kept my head up, and I had accelerated out of the curve-- he agreed that I had demonstrated those points satisfactorily. My points were attributed soley to swinging wide on the exit.

(shrug) My complaint/whining/concern isn't my failing, it's the seemingly arbitrary grading.

BTW: Great job on the fjords, man!
If that's the case, he's mistaken. There is a deduction of 10 pts for crossing a boundary in that Exercise. No More.

In addition there would be 5 pts for either of: Not using both brakes to slow / Looking down at the cones or lines / Decelerates in the curve.

Also points are deducted for speed being too slow.

Max pts is 15, but one has to make the mistakes to get that 15, it's not (suppose to be) arbitrary.

Cheers

AzItLies screwed with this post 05-14-2013 at 12:35 AM Reason: clarification
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:47 AM   #100
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So basically the MSF is the sham I always suspected it was?
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:08 AM   #101
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So basically the MSF is the sham I always suspected it was?
Let's suppose what you just read on the internet is absolutely factual and true, and let's suppose that hearing one side of a story is the optimal way to collect information. Equating the actions of one person with an entire organization... well, never mind. You're probably right.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:43 AM   #102
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So basically the MSF is the sham I always suspected it was?
So one bad instance condemns the whole organization? Got it. That's like saying all motorcyclists are idiots because one does something stupid...

Sounds to me like the rider coach in question needs a refresher course of his own. Allowing a student to continue, much less pass, after dropping the bike is blatantly ignoring MSF rules and grounds for loosing his certification. I can't believe he told the class about automatically failing if dropping the bike...then passes someone who did. What an idiot!
Also sounds like he doesn't like women, which is entirely possible.

Those are the type of coaches that need weeding out of the program.

If you feel the course was unfairly coached/graded you can contact a MSF State coordinator and make a complaint...which is my take from the description given.

http://msf-usa.org/index_new.cfm?spl...e=Contact%20Us
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:05 AM   #103
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Shesaid, your story raises several red flags with me as a ridercoach. First, you failed the test. Quite frankly, it's easy. Second, you thought the 125 Eliminator was heavy. It's not. It's a small, light motorcycle. It's a great training bike. Third, you gooned up the box. That shows a lack of basic motorcycle control skills. Fourth, the RCs spent a lot of time telling you to speed up. That shows nervousness and a distinct lack of confidence. These are things I see every weekend. They are easy to to spot once you've been doing it for ahwile. The bottom line is that it takes longer for the concepts to "click" for some people. It hasn't clicked for you yet.

Worst, you spent time comparing yourself to the other people in the class, and wondering if you were being discriminated against due to your gender. None of that helps. It's your fault you failed. Not the notorcycle. Not the other people in the class. Not the imagined gender bias of the RCs.

Why am I being a dick? Simple. You're not ready to ride on the street and you need to disabuse yourself of any notions along those lines. Based on your story I do not recommend you come back only to take the test. At the very least I recommend you take the second day again, and you definitely benefit from taking the entire course again. It seems like a lot of money, but it's nothing compared to throwing a motorcycle into a guardrail. I have found that people who take the time to start over generally do really well the second time around. They leave with a lot of confidence and an hugely-enhanced skill set. Please consider it.

I'm willing to bet every other RC in this thread is thinking the same thing. They're nicer than me, so they may couch it differently. The RCs at your class were thinking the same thing. They were trying to be as polite as possible because they're running a business and you're a customer.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:18 AM   #104
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So basically the MSF is the sham I always suspected it was?
Give me time, I'm working on a write up with some pros and cons. I'm not sure if I'd say sham, but in all honesty, I can't give it the glowing recommendation(s) that everyone was spouting before hand. I think I mentioned before, the honesty and integrity of the course was thrown into doubt when the guy who dropped the bike, mere moments after being told dropping the bike was a sure fail, passed. Now I can't be sure who/what to trust. The coaches said they were happy with my performance, but now seeing what their word is worth, how can I know if I was actually doing good? Did I really score well on my eval, or was it just coaches "discretion" that allowed me to pass?

MV
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:22 AM   #105
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My speedometer read 12-15 mph, and the instructions for each excersice said speeds needed to be 12-18 mph. I have no way of knowing how accurate the speedometer on my bike was, but that was the only thing I heard repeatedly in reference to my skills. And one of the RC's had issues with the fact that my pinkie just plain did not reach the brake lever when fully engaged, but I can't do much about that.




But the fact that the kid who dropped the bike passed the test was a deal breaker for my personal respect for the program in general.

(BTW: Hesaid did casually inquire of one of the RC's on our way out of the gate about why the guy passed even when he dropped the bike. The RC's response, verbatim, was, "Well there's some instructor discretion involved."

I didn't start off bitter... but I'm working on it.
In my class i did there was a girl that was using the class to learn to ride and obviously struggled alot during the class and did drop her bike once. Her biggest issue was with speed and constantly was going to slow which in turn made the bike less stabil and i talked with her about how the speed helps but in the end she just wasn't comfortable enough to pick up the extra speed.

We were told at the begining of the test that you can fail a station and still pass but dropping the bike and you fail, which no one did but i don't think everyone passed and honestly the girl i doubt because she failed the figure 8 and had points on a few other stations. I definetly would call someone to have your course looked at if they allow someone to drop a bike and pass because the only exception i think is if the bike had a mechanical failure that caused the drop.
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