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Old 09-25-2012, 04:36 PM   #136
dbuzz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker59 View Post

I'm not saying the MSF BRC or BE BRC are bad things. They simply aren't places for rank beginners to go and learn how to ride motorcycles...
I disagree.

Any basic training course should be able to take a rank beginner (ie never been on a bike before) from no idea to safe beginner level operation of the bike in one day. This is not rocket science but there is a common pattern to how the incremental steps are best introduced to the student. How the MSF syllabus progresses through these basic steps is very much the same as how it is done here ... some petty details aside. It works for almost all prospects.

If rank beginners are feeling overwhelmed then maybe they were sorted into the wrong student bunch by the provider at the booking in stage or perhaps OSB (love that acronym) as another poster in this thread suggested. Being wrongly sorted may not be a problem if the instructor is skilled enough to cope but, like beginning riders, instructors also have a 'Bell Curve' when it comes to aptitude, ability and experience.
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:39 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by dbuzz View Post

Any basic training course should be able to take a rank beginner (ie never been on a bike before) from no idea to safe beginner level operation of the bike in one day.
"should be".

Yes. Should be.
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:49 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by dwoodward View Post
Yes, he does- two or three years worth, before he moved to L.A. Were he to move back to Oregon tomorrow, I'd be pushing him to get back out there again, because he was pretty good at it.
Three.

It was incredibly tiring. And people thought I was doing it for the money.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:14 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by rocker59 View Post
"should be".

Yes. Should be.
Yes ... 'should be' ... but students are not robots... Neither are instructors. A well designed course will achieve the desired outcome for most students who will achieve the competencies and progress to the next stage.

A few students will require a repeat - no biggy ... not everyone learns at the same rate. Occassionally there will be one who requires multiple repeats ... sometimes with different instructors (cos the previous ones refused to continue because of the danger) who then somehow scrapes by and ends up progressing to the road ride and crashing at the first roundabout and breaking their leg. The first instructor advised counselling this one out but egos got involved and others felt they could do a better job

Anyone providing training needs to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em ...
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:22 PM   #140
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Coming from a professional trainer, it is my opinion that anyone who resorts to yelling in a situation where imminent injury or death is not present should NOT be teaching others. It is particularly important to stay calm and resonate confidence when teaching something like riding to a new rider. Any anxiety in the instructor will instantly take a nervous student over the edge.

From what I has seen of SOME MSF instructors, not only do they not have personal riding skills, but they love to think they are better than others, when challenged react very poorly, and lack actual training skills.

That said, there are some who are fairly awesome instructors.

If you are an MSF instructor, look in the mirror and evaluate yourself honestly. Where do you think you fit, the first or the second group?

Jim
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:40 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
Coming from a professional trainer, it is my opinion that anyone who resorts to yelling in a situation where imminent injury or death is not present should NOT be teaching others. It is particularly important to stay calm and resonate confidence when teaching something like riding to a new rider. Any anxiety in the instructor will instantly take a nervous student over the edge.

From what I has seen of SOME MSF instructors, not only do they not have personal riding skills, but they love to think they are better than others, when challenged react very poorly, and lack actual training skills.

That said, there are some who are fairly awesome instructors.

If you are an MSF instructor, look in the mirror and evaluate yourself honestly. Where do you think you fit, the first or the second group?

Jim
I agree about the yelling thing. Once the fight starts there aint much learning going on by either side

The other points you raise could apply to any teaching process. Some people teach kindergarten .. some teach university ... and should never try to fit the others shoes
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:11 PM   #142
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A "talented" MSF Instructor would never yell at a student unless there was a imminent chance of injury. If You don't have patience, You shouldn't be teaching.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:24 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by rocker59 View Post
"Beginners Riding Course" is a misnomer. Should be "Pre-licensing Course".

It's not for actual beginners. And, if a beginner actually draws a class where they are the only true beginner, they will be berated and booted, post haste.

It's just the way it is.

My GF found out the hard way. (who was I to try and stop her?) She had never ridden a motorcycle (10,000 miles as a passenger, though), and showed up to a Biker's Edge BRC as the only beginner in the class. Most of the other "beginners" already owned, and were riding motorcycles.

The curve was set, and my GF was quickly booted after being throughly shitted on by the POS instructor at the local HD shop. No, even after repeated phone calls, she was not given a refund. It was an expensive few hours.

The BRC may have been for beginners at some point in the past, but now it's just a State-sanctioned money-making scheme, not a place for beginners to go and learn how to ride motorcycles. Just a place for riders to get that piece of paper for licensing endorsements and insurance discounts.

As mentioned, a dirt bike and a cow pasture is a good idea before enduring a BRC.
I'm sorry your girlfriend had a terrible experience with the BRC. I can imagine that it would be pretty intimidating to be one of the only beginners in a beginner class.

I did have a different experience. I took the BRC this summer, offered through a community college, with zero riding experience. About 70% of my class were outright newbs too or had a dirt bike as a kid and were starting to ride again in their 30s/40s. No one started out perfectly, but by the time we had to take the riding test, no one messed up enough to fail. In fact, with the exception of two people, everyone was riding pretty well consistently. I think one's experience in the course really depends on the instructors and the location. In a state/city where riding is popular, maybe you'll get more experienced people taking the class. I'm fortunate that that wasn't the case for me - starting out was a little nerve wracking but it helped knowing that I wasn't the only one going through the learning process. And our instructors seemed to understand that we were all learning and gave us a lot of encouragement. But yeah, it sounds like the course varies all over, but I wouldn't dismiss it completely, at least from my own experience.
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Blixa screwed with this post 09-25-2012 at 06:29 PM
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:35 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by Reverend12 View Post
A "talented" MSF Instructor would never yell at a student unless there was a imminent chance of injury. If You don't have patience, You shouldn't be teaching.
A raised voice does not necessarily equal impatience. I am somewhat hearing impaired so low talkers annoy the heck out of me especially if there is a lot of ambient noise. I would be asking "please speak up" which may lead to someone else thinking they were being yelled at
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:38 PM   #145
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I teach an average of 16 MSF BRCs during a year. Been doing it since 1996 (yes, I'm from the RSS days). Every single one of them is conducted at a beginner's level, so I vehemently disagree that the BRC is no longer a beginner's course. I have had as many as eleven newbies, or as few as two. Usually less than half the class are newbies, nevertheless, I run it as if all are beginners. I try to challenge the more experienced riders with sometimes a little more speed, go a little deeper into the corner prior to braking, do the off-set weaves in 2nd gear, etc. The less experienced riders I continuously remind that technique is more important than speed. That technique, by the way, includes using four fingers for braking. If an experienced rider continuously uses two, well, so be it. I myself sometimes use two, sometimes ride with the front brake lever covered , or even brake while leaned over . As I have stated earlier, most of the instructors I work with are fine folks, but I have witnessed conflicts. I have had conflicts myself, as it is impossible to make everybody happy all the time. I enjoy conducting the vast majority of my classes, but sometimes there is that one student who makes for a bad day. I am sure it works vice versa, as well.

By far the most common difficulty I encounter is petite females operating the hand controls. This is followed by folks who are very nervous, despite my best efforts. Usually these folks struggle with shifting and stopping quickly. Another sub-group are the ham-fisted folks - they cannot gently crack the throttle or progressively get harder on the front brakes. The folks that cannot pay attention, and there are quite a few, are easily handled by letting them be followers vice exercise leaders .

Anyways, the point of all this...I believe that the MSF BRC is, indeed, for beginners, that it is worthwhile even for experienced riders, and that the majority of coaches and students really try to do a fine job.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:58 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by TheWorstKind View Post
nevertheless, I run it as if all are beginners. I try to challenge the more experienced riders with sometimes a little more speed, go a little deeper into the corner prior to braking, do the off-set weaves in 2nd gear, etc.
"I know you know how to ride, but I want you to set a good example for the beginners in the class".

Quote:
If an experienced rider continuously uses two, well, so be it. I myself sometimes use two, sometimes ride with the front brake lever covered , or even brake while leaned over .
You've been reported.

Quote:
By far the most common difficulty I encounter is petite females operating the hand controls. This is followed by folks who are very nervous, despite my best efforts. Usually these folks struggle with shifting and stopping quickly. Another sub-group are the ham-fisted folks - they cannot gently crack the throttle or progressively get harder on the front brakes.
This often seems/seemed to be the large dudes. You know, over 6 feet, over 240lbs. Some bikes are less forgiving (thinking of the TW200 clutch).
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:18 PM   #147
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Mrsgun, for sure there are assholes everywhere, some attempting to teach MSF courses. I was lucky when I took it, my instructors were great.

Try again, the dirt bike suggestions I agree with and to make your online time even more productive (than venting here) towards safe MC riding I'll suggest looking for you tube videos made by one of the posters in this thread, Capt Crash. I found them very informative, and pretty funny too.

best of luck, me
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:21 PM   #148
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One thing that I saw was a lack of flexibility in the instruction. The instructors had to read from a script. No matter how good a script is, it won't fit every situation. That's where I think the curriculum fails.

I am in charge of education at a company that trains people to use dangerous items before they use them (I'm being intentionally vague here). The classes are mandatory before you use the equipment, but they are generally short, and teach basic usage and safety. Like motorcycling, people aren't taking our classes because they have to, but because they want to do something new. I have to trust the instructors to *lightly* modify the curriculum, on the spot, in order to be the most effective teacher possible. MSF doesn't seem to allow that (at least from my experience).

And for the guy who was helping the other students, dragging pegs and not following instructions on braking, I would have removed him from my class and backed up any instructor who threw him out. As an educator, if there was somebody in my class "helping" other students, I would ask them to stop if it was more than just an occasional tip. It's all about respect - if a guy doesn't respect the noobs in the class by shutting up, not showboating and wasting the time of the instructor, then leave.

I could have given all sorts of tips in class. I could have demonstrated my superior skills (which isn't hard to do with a parking lot full of people who don't know how to use a clutch). I didn't - I shut my mouth, listened to the instructor and thanks him for his input. He was saving me a trip to the DMV, but his real purpose was to teach the noobs. Respect it.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:03 PM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollyr View Post
Teaching is an art and some people aren't artists.

^^^ +1 billion

I am a teacher (not MSF or anything - I teach at a university), and it warms my heart to hear someone say that
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:19 PM   #150
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I get a kick out of the thought that there are 'expert' riders out there who think that an MSF course is a cool place to show off.
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