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Old 09-24-2012, 04:38 AM   #94
Thrifty not cheap
ddavidv's Avatar
Joined: May 2009
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Oddometer: 1,245
Interesting discussion in-between the name calling. I think there are two sides to this story, and it's unfortunate we'll never know what the other side was thinking. This year I began instructing with this organization: We teach high school teens skills that hopefully keep them from killing themselves in the first few years of driving. I really enjoy it, and it's taught me quite a bit about instructing people with wildly varying skill sets. I'll allow that teaching the parents would probably be vastly different. My favorite students are typically the girls (and no, not because I'm a perv). They are usually there because their folks made them come. They aren't there to show off like the boys. Most of them develop a sharp focus and determination to master the skill that is just amazing to watch. I've told a few of the quiet ones after the drills they are ready for car commercial stunts because they are that good. OTOH, I've had some boys that I cringe the thought of having to share the road with. Most listen but some don't. One poor soul, a minority with a single mom parent probably would not pass his DOT driving test without some serious one-on-one instruction, and I told his Mom he needed more training (the only parent I felt I had to do that with). Mom was teaching him, but she was so nervous she drove him bat-shit paranoid, hence his terrible driving. I can't fix that in a 20 minute accident avoidance session.

Before I became a sports car road racer, I had to go through a lot of instruction. One of the things the chief instructor always said was that some people will be coded OSB: Other Sports Beckon. Meaning, not everyone is capable of passing. Tough pill to swallow for the participant, and a difficult discussion to have as an instructor.

My MSF experience was a good one for the most part. About 4 people (definitely new Sportster owners) quit after the first classroom session because they thought it was 'stupid'. Good riddance. The rest of us went through the course and everyone passed. A couple struggled, and they got a little extra help. I did very well (lots of dirt experience in my youth) and didn't need much attention, though I did learn several things. One instructor was horribly vanilla; dull, didn't give much feedback and wasn't particularly good at explaining something that he couldn't read from the manual. Not a bad guy, just not a great instructor. The other guy was vastly better; a natural born teacher and knew how to encourage people even when they were doing poorly.

The MSF course itself is VERY basic at it's beginning, and most people should have no trouble getting through it. If they can't handle the clutch or walking the bike, well...OSB. However, you don't bring someone to tears bitching and yelling about their ineptitude. A good instructor knows how to handle that. Each class and each instructor will be different. I wouldn't dismiss the entire MSF course based on one questionable instructor.
'08 Triumph Bonneville T100, '04 Suzuki DL650 'Strom
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