MSF Instructor was an MF'er

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Mrs6gun, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    I don't think we're going to win this guy over. He is simultaneously saying the course does not cater to beginners (too advanced) and that it does not go far enough. Certainly it is a compromise but in my experience both the initial learning (starting with where the controls are and how to use them) and the more advanced stuff such as cornering and braking techniques does a pretty damn good job of getting complete newbies to a stage where they can begin their street riding adventures with the necessary basic skills.

    A poor coach could definitely detract from the effectiveness of the curriculum but it isn't THAT hard for a trained RC to deliver adequately and I sincerely doubt that many "bad" coaches have made it to that position. Certainly there is nobody I am aware of in the program I work in. As with many other ventures, a lot of those who fail at learning to ride would rather blame anything or anyone but themselves.
  2. PSYCHO II

    PSYCHO II Crusty Demon

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    What a circular argument.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zYY6Q4nRTS4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Learn to ride before you learn to ride.:rofl Tell me what you're smoking man.:lol3
  3. Advntr

    Advntr Dilbert

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    MSF has become politically correct and warm n fuzzy.
    I will never take another one of their courses.
    Disorganized, lazy and oblivious to reality.
    I got stupid and thought being a "riding coach" would be a good thing till I read the propaganda...

    Please note their group [hug] riding technique puts everyone in danger.
    They want motorcycles [motor vehicles] to be spaced less than 2 seconds apart in a staggered formation. Look it up if you think it's bs. They were promoting it in an article which will be found in the the spring 2012 HD pirate rag [hog] by Becky Tillman, Regional Lead Instructor, Rider's Edge®

    Edge of disaster is more like it...
  4. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    It might be something with your local school. I wouldn't remove someone at the beginning of a course (or ever, really) unless he was a danger to himself or to the other students.
  5. glasswave

    glasswave Been here awhile

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    I have read this thread with some interest, especially the debate as to whether or not msf brc is adequate for "never evers."

    Some good points have been made on both sides, but as far as I can see, the debate points to a hole in the MSF curriculum. Firstly, it seems apparent that many if not most brc students have some (often more than some) moto experience. There are also those who have never even sat on a motorcycle. Some of these master the initial intro skills quickly and can proceed, while others struggle and present a danger if allowed to continue at the cirricular pace.

    OTH, where are these folks that need more nurturing to go? It seems that the msf could use a pre brc course. This could be recommended to the never evers and could be a place to send those that need additional attention on the most basic skills. If someone is "counseled out" they could go to the pre brc course and improve their skills at a slower pace. They could also be offered a new brc course for free after paying for and completeing the pre course. Also, those that are never evers could be recommended to the pre course.
  6. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Good point!:deal

    Unfortunately it literally takes a month of weekends to get certified, there are no other ways in VA, and then you are on the hook for at least one weekend a month for the season, often more. That is a tough call for people with families, or with work commitmitment.

    Jim :brow
  7. TheWorstKind

    TheWorstKind In the Wind

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    Yup, it certainly eats up one's time. Makes you miss tech days at JVB's house :cry.

    I have seen some talking points in this thread that, quite frankly, surprise me: fine folks wishing we were a little more like the Europeans in regards to licensing. Hogwash, I say. I am an immigrant from Germany, and when I moved here, it cost me $4.50 to get my driver's license, whereas as in Germany it would have cost me close to $1500.00. At that point in my life, that was "Unobtainium". Are my German family members and friends better drivers than I am? Probably not. I dare say it is attitude. I understand the difference between privilege and right, and I am quite aware of the responsibility I have as a motorist.

    Let me give an example. A few classes ago, I had a rider lament that gravel in a corner caused him to crash. I, of course, gently disagreed with him. Whose responsibility is it to look through a corner, not only for the path of travel, but also to check for hazards? Whose responsibility is it to ride with "reserve ability" in terrain that is not within one's purview of control? This particular rider was a fair rider. Unfortunately, he crashed because he felt a bit "entitled" for a clean surface. "How dare that gravel be there!?!?" So, the challenge with him, as with most of my students, is to work on their attitude. The physical skills necessary to ride a motorcycle are not that difficult (though I have had students who simply could not), but the mental aspect of our hobby is. Attitude is everything.

    Is the BRC intended to teach how to ride a bike, or is it intended to provide a solid foundation of the basics with an eye on a safety minded attitude? I say it is the second, but conducted at a level that allows a newbie to participate.
  8. HooliKen

    HooliKen Awesome is a flavor

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    I hope that my particular issues did not detract from the fact that I think the MSF BRC is an excellent class for new to the sport riders.

    The methods they teach are an excellent intro to the "Basics" of riding a motorcycle. I never took issue with the techniques being taught.

    I actually think that this class should be mandatory for receiving the motorcycle endorsement on your license for the first time. I think it would serve many people a great service to go actually ride a bike before purchasing one of your own.

    My lovely wife, a TRUE beginner, asked me to teach her to ride. I deferred because I knew that that would probably not be the best idea. She took the BRC, passed, got her class M endorsement, and bought her own bike. It did not take her very long at all to come to the realization that she was not able to accept the risk of riding on the street.

    My issues were strictly a personality conflict between myself and one of the instructors. Some people are just not destined to get along. I showed up for the class portion, on my sportbike, in full gear. The instrutor in question was on a cruiser with the typical jacket and jeans attire. First comment made to me was "A little hot for leathers isn't it?". Which I replied "Better hot than rashed". Snotty look ensued. And this interaction followed it's downward course throughout the weekend.
  9. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

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    I guess I'm confused about people thinking the MSF class isn't for total beginners. When I signed up, my previous experience was a Honda 50 from 30+ years previous. I wasn't even sure I'd like motorcycling. But the MSF course provided bikes (since many in the class didn't own one), helmets and gloves, provided a safe place to learn (parking lot blocked to other traffic), and taught basic skills. Why provide bikes if you aren't gearing it to noobs?

    There was a guy in the class who had ridden quite a bit. I'm thinking he was there to get the DMV waiver, because he apparently wasn't there to learn as he knew it all already. I'm sure he could have passed the DMV test on his own, but he was unwilling to accept anything new. Countersteering was completely crazy to him.

    If it hadn't been for the Basic Rider Course giving a bike to ride, equipment, a place to ride, and good instruction, I wouldn't be riding now 5 years and 25K miles later. Like many others, there simply was no other place to "learn to ride" from scratch. Yes, I think more advanced riders can also get something out of the class if they're willing to sit through the remedial stuff and be willing to learn that some of their techniques may actually be wrong, regardless of how many years they have been doing it.
  10. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    It seems MSF suffers from regional differences in the USA, not to mention the world...

    :dunno
  11. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Squidly Adventurer

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    I've paid for my sons to take it and I went along, showing up on various large touring bikes with the son on back. I actually took the course with the first son to see where I could learn something. It was definitely geared to new, never been in the front seat of a bike folks. Clutch work, steering, coordinated brake work and rider position were stressed and tested. The RC put me on the newest bike in the fleet, a Nighthawk 250. :eek1 Yeah, I scraped pegs and stuff, but also was the lead rider for all the maneuvers. Our RC was demoing them on his HD ElectraGlide to make a point on how easy it really was IF you followed their direction.

    They let me take my GL1800 on the course after class was over and I had a riot walking that big pig in slow course mode. Some of the students that stuck around to BS and socialize got a chance to watch. We had some fun conversations. All in all, I'd recommend it for any n00b rider looking to learn the right way. Just keep your mind open, follow direction and be willing to withstand some abuse if you're unable to comprehend the spoken word. :lol3
  12. TheWorstKind

    TheWorstKind In the Wind

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  13. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    Understand what the MSF is- or what it isn't.

    DISCLAIMER: I am not an Motorcycle Safety Foundation employee, RiderCoach, or otherwise associated with the MSF. My current involvement with motorcycle safety training is through a program that does not use MSF curricula or materials, and in a state where MSF training certificates are not accepted for license waiver. I may be wrong on a number of details, but I doubt I'm far off the mark in general aspects.

    IT IS a not-for-profit organization that produces training curricula and materials to support that. In most states, there is a state coordinator's office that deals with oversight of training providers and trains new RiderCoaches. People from that office might get out to visit a particular training site once or twice a year- and of course, when an RC sees them coming, they toe the line.

    IT IS NOT, for the most part, "your local training provider". The number of people who teach a class and get a paycheck for it that says "MSF" at the top is very, very small. It's possible that even regular MSF employees aren't being paid by MSF if they're teaching a class.

    IT IS NOT an international organization.

    IT IS NOT a governmental organization.

    Saying the MSF is responsible for someone's bad experience is like saying the FBI academy is responsible for an Ohio cop shooting a drunk rider at a traffic stop. Sure, they're both teaching cops (roughly) the same skills, procedures, and laws to be enforced, but the dots, they do not connect.

    Dismissal policy, which is where this thread started, isn't set by MSF. It might be set by the state, but more likely by the local provider. If John RiderCoach doesn't want his trarining fleet beat up, he's going to tell his people to send someone home as soon as they think there's a chance the student will crash. Or after the first, second, etc.

    Refund policy likewise. If mrs6gun called the MSF main office and demanded a refund for her class, there is not a thing they can do. Odds are good that the RCs she dealt with are nothing more to MSF than a certification number, expiration date, and name. The paycheck those RCs got came from the HD dealereship where she took the class.

    So yeah, there's a lot of different shit going on that everyone wants to blame on MSF, but really lies closer to the students than most people want to understand.

    Note that this is how things were set up with the MSF's help in many states, by design, to minimize how much a state had to invest to get training off the ground.

    In very few states, and onlly recently, the MSF oversees training (runs the coordinator's office and/or has a primary contract with the state to manage training).

    In a few other states, there is a single, state-wide organization. While this approach (IMHO) gives better customer service and consistency, it's then villified by people because it's a monopoly. Can't win for trying.

    Then there's Oregon and Idaho, but we don't talk about them.
  14. Human Ills

    Human Ills Useful Idiom

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    You put emphasis on the "after the decision" has been made as a way to buttress your position, but it really doesn't do that. Who rides BEFORE they've decided to ride? Nobody.
  15. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    See, this is a different spin on your original post.

    Personally, if I had an instructor say "a little hot for leathers" to a student within my earshot, they'd be having an uncomfortable discussion about their future as an instructor with the program's training manager first thing Monday morning. Sooner, if I thought I could get someone to cover their assignment.

    That's not saying I'm not going to point out you could have tried doing what she was asking you to do.
  16. Human Ills

    Human Ills Useful Idiom

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    Please not the "get a dirtbike and learn to ride in the dirt" theme again. Dirt is NOT as readily accessible as street. A person has to have a place to legally ride in the dirt, a vehicle which can transport a dirt bike and the strength to load and unload the bike.

    It sounds to me that the need is there for a Pre-BRC, one which doesn't provide students with either a waiver for the road test or a break on insurance.
  17. CaptnSlo

    CaptnSlo Derelicte

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    My local community college - the one that offers the BRC - does have a "Jumpstart" course for people with no riding experience. I don't know if it's an MSF class or just offered by the college. It's as you described. I didn't take it b/c every rider I know took the BRC to get started on a bike and the BRC worked for me as well. But if anyone in the DC area is interested: http://www.nvcc.edu/wdce/alexandria/specialized/jumpstart.htm
  18. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    Quite possibly based on MSF's principles and teaching style- but unless it's brand new (may be, they're making changes), not MSF.

    IMHO, done RIGHT, there's no reason a BRC can't be the first exposure to motorcycles.
  19. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    ... and therefore one with little incentive for most people to take.

    Most true first-time riders do just as well as everyone else in a BRC course. Of the ones who struggle, I would suggest that in most cases, their newbie status is irrelevant - they are ill prepared or unsuited in ways that are not directly related to their prior lack of experience - although it is obviously difficult to have gained experience if you are unable to balance a motorcycle or control a clutch, etc. SOME of those who have difficulty with the basics go on to do well in the rest of the course once they have crossed that early hurdle. Others continue to "underperform" throughout the course.

    If we DID provide an optional pre-BRC beginner course, I sincerely doubt that most of the small minority who really need it would think so beforehand and would not sign up for it anyway. In my experience, almost all of those who fail the course but return for another attempt, do much better the second time. Unfortunately the curriculum does not allow us to simply spend twice as much time with them at the first go-around (although we will substantially extend the early exercises if required - but it is sometimes still not enough).

    In my opinion newbies would usually be best prepared by spending lots of time riding a bicycle before they come to the BRC class. Few of those who need to, do. Cycling should be more accessible and safer than doing laps in a cow pasture on a small dirt bike.

    On a related note, in the US, bicycles typically have the rear brake operated by the right hand, the opposite of most other countries and opposite of a motorcycle. It may be a small benefit to someone learning to ride if they have a bicycle set up with a right-hand front brake.
  20. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    Looks interesting. The description emphasizes that the course is for BRC preparation or remedial training and that Ridercoaches are certified by MSF but does NOT state that this is an MSF course. It is my understanding that training providers and coaches are strongly discouraged from doing or saying anything that may imply MSF somehow backs or approves anything to do with motorcycle safety that has not been formally recognized my MSF. As I would assume the exercises are the same as or very similar to those in the first few BRC exercises, and the course appears to take place at the same place as BRCs are provided, there may be some sort of "approval" from MSF but I am pretty sure it is not a formal MSF course.

    In my area, I doubt there would be enough interest to fill more than a handful of such courses in a year, even if they were offered, making it a non-viable proposition. We often have to cancel our infrequently scheduled (and very well-priced) ERC courses due to lack of students.