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Old 05-10-2012, 10:39 AM   #1
SuperGlueRyan OP
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MSF Fail

I took the MSF course with a friend of mine who was a bit nervous about the class. She is a brand new rider and I'm some what new/inexperienced (probably only about 15000 miles in my log book, 7000 of those being in the last 6 months or so). I've spent quite a bit of time practicing low speed maneuvers, so I expected the class to be a breeze (fail #1). And in truth it was... right up to the point where I ate asphalt.

I was on a DR-200 with nice fresh knobies (fail #2), which I was excited about since I really have my eye on something in the DR series 350, Z400, or 650. Being 6'1" and 350 lbs I'm sure that I looked ridiculous. The MSF course is a blast, but after they fixed the carb problem that I had on day 1 some of the day 2 drills started to feel a bit routine and I found myself pushing the envelope on the little, mighty DR bit by bit. When it came to the cornering drill that teaches you to brake to an appropriate entry speed and countersteer through a curve I thought to myself "Oh boy, wouldn't this exercise be much more fun if I just didn't brake when entering the curve and just really gas it on the apex." (fail #3) A few goes at the curve, which is intended for 10-12 mph, I was cooking through the entry at about 15 mph and pushing about 20-25 on the exit. The last of the curves in the drill (for me not the class) I pulled the same, stupid, shenanigans and came off in a low side. The instructor estimated that I was probably doing 23-25 as it came to the apex. I came down pretty good on my knee and twisted my knee and ankle, but I think that I cushioned the fall for the bike. Normally, I'm pretty good about being ATGATT but in this case I wore jeans instead of my TPG Escape pants because I was concerned about the heat (fail #4).

I ended up sitting out the rest of the class not really able to walk and wondering if I tore some kind of tendon in my knee. My friend did pass the class, though! Not really any rash to speak of and didn't even tear my jeans. I ended up deciding to go to the ER later that night to get checked and make sure that nothing was damaged. All appears to be well but they have me following up with the Sports Medicine department next week and I'm hobbling around in the meantime. As soon as I can bend my knee reliabily under its own steam I'll be back out riding. Especially since I have a 6 day riding/camping trip at the end of the month.

I took some pretty basic (also obvious) lessons from this. 1) Don't push a bike that you don't know. 2) Don't be afraid of a little sweat and heat... I'll be sure to wear my gear. 3) Respect the instructions of the Coaches; it's a basic training course not a chance for me to "have some fun", I was on their time and course and pushed it, in doing so, I held up the class and scared the hell out of a couple students. It showed a lack of respect for the Coaches and the purpose of the course. If the Coaches happen to be FF's, I'm sorry for that.

Other than slowing down, I'm not sure that there was much that I could do to have avoided going down and I'm fairly sure that I would have been fine on about any other bike. Any other lessons that this noob should have learned from this?

Feel free to throw rotten fruit/vegetables at me as well.

SuperGlueRyan screwed with this post 05-10-2012 at 11:49 AM
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:07 AM   #2
Jim Moore
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If nothign else, I congratulate you on your honesty. The vast majority of the populace would have found a way to blame the school, or the MSF, or the bike, or the instructors.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:18 AM   #3
Morgan Steele
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"Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment." I'm not sure who said it first but it's an adage I've adopted. Live and learn and I'm glad you're OK.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jim Moore View Post
If nothign else, I congratulate you on your honesty. The vast majority of the populace would have found a way to blame the school, or the MSF, or the bike, or the instructors.
You learned more then if you had passed the class.

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Old 05-10-2012, 11:28 AM   #5
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You get the "balls award" for this post, right on ;) Having the confidence to post this alone has got to be worth something - not all are capable of this type of introspection - you rule!

I lowsided in the MSF too, BTW (as a n00b, mind you - but it was still damned embarrassing) - I blipped it (in straight line), freaked out and grabbed a right handful.

I was also one of the only 2 out of the 20 combined A and B sections that had to retake the test at the end ;)
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:35 AM   #6
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Yes, + 1 for being honest.

I don't wear much gear, so I tend to not push things past a point.
I never push knobbies on the street.
I am always careful with someone elses bike unless its a wreck of a dirt bike.
I never took any motorcycle classes but would tend ot not hot dog there, thats for the dirt with your friends...
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:56 AM   #7
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Just as long as you learn from it. The worst thing that could happen is walking away cocky.... I've seen that.... it never ends well.

Interestingly, the time I took the class AND the time my wife took the class, a guy that rode to the class on a bike and failed the class and rode home.... on a bike.

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Old 05-10-2012, 12:14 PM   #8
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Thanks for the responses! I should clairfy that I have previously passed the BRC, so failing to do so this time really wasn't a big deal (other than the circumstances.) I really did learn a whole lot more from the class than I was expecting as it has made me re-examine how I ride in general. I think that it's time to slow it down a bit and give my poor old Beemer a break.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:14 PM   #9
urbanXJ
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For $15 to $20 you can get a pair of these.

They take 5 seconds to put on, and save the **** out of some knees

Bet you wish you had some on.

PS, sounds like your ready for a track day!!!!!!

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Old 05-10-2012, 12:21 PM   #10
SuperGlueRyan OP
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Originally Posted by urbanXJ View Post
For $15 to $20 you can get a pair of these.

They take 5 seconds to put on, and save the **** out of some knees

Bet you wish you had some on.

PS, sounds like your ready for a track day!!!!!!
Haha, I wouldn't mind having worn those! I really should have just worn my Escape pants, I blew a good chuck of cash on gear to try to avoid injuries like this. I also wish that I could find some taller riding boots that would fit my fat calves. Yeah, I think that I should add that... 4) Gear in the garage doesn't help a rider on the road.

I really want to do a track day, honestly! Cornering and the technicalities of it have become one of the most interesting/fun things since I've started riding. I consider myself a decent rider, other than the number of above stated fails. I've really learned that I need to take time to evaluate situations a bit more and respect the limitations of myself and the machine.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:27 PM   #11
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Good on ya for posting that! Funny - I had nearly the same experience in my MSF class. The first day we had to put up with those rotten little 250 Rebels. I'm 6'3" so I looked like an idiot on the thing.

Well the second day rolled around and I spotted the instructors taking the wraps off a brand new Yamaha WR 250 . Needless to say I hopped right on over there and got dibs. What fun! The instructors noted my delight and casually mentioned that if the front wheel came off the ground I would be immediately sent packing . Oh well...

The last maneuver on the test was to ride a specific course and come to a stop. (They would be watching for proper use of front and rear brake.) Then you would accelerate into a right-hand "J" turn and out between two cones.

I got a bit frisky with the throttle on the last bit, and the "J" turn became a supermoto-style drift. Fortunately I stayed with it and got past the panicked instructor and the cones. It could have easily gone south with those new knobbies, as you well know.

When I got the MSF certificate, the class got to hear about what you should not be doing on a WR 250 on the street.

Hope your knee feels better!
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:35 PM   #12
SuperGlueRyan OP
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Oh, the rebels are the worst! I had to ride one for the first day of the MSF when I took it before and I couldn't turn for anything since my knees sat right between the handle bars and the tank. The Coaches kept yelling at me to turn the bars more so I started taking my feet off of the pegs so that I could and then they kept yelling at me to keep my feet on the pegs. I imagine that is how basic training might feel like, there's no good option but there is always someone to yell at you for what you chose.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:39 PM   #13
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When i took my MSF course, there were a few of the students that tried to push the bike and failed. I was on a rebel 250 with BAD tires. I pushed it to almost the point of no return. I pretty much drifted in the curve exercises.

Take it again and have fun. I loved taking mine. I would take it again just for fun if i had money to burn.

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Old 05-10-2012, 01:47 PM   #14
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!

Could of been worse :) My buddy told me how he actually broke an ex 250 at the MSF course when he took it. He is a somewhat arrogant guy and pleaded with the instructors to let him ride the course on the ninja 250. They caved in, which they shouldn't of, and let him do it. On the first day of the two day course he dropped the bike doing the turn test(look where you want to go and counter steer part). Cracked the oil sight glass on the engine and wrecked it. Hes not sure how he cracked it... but his friend who took him with it thinks it was a big rock he landed on just wrong.

Pretty sure MSF folk would prefer you have a mild injury over a broken bike.
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:12 PM   #15
eatpasta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanXJ View Post
For $15 to $20 you can get a pair of these.

They take 5 seconds to put on, and save the **** out of some knees
I never, ever, EVER go in the dirt without a set of these on. I can say, without question, I wouldnt be walking today had I not been wearing these.

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MX stuff isn't my cup of tea, but falling down the side of a mountain is
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