The GF failed the MSF basic course

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Carlo Muro, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. daveinva

    daveinva Been here awhile

    Oct 6, 2011
    Washington, D.C.

    These are wise, WISE words.

    If I had a dime for every time I read somebody write-- usually here at ADV-- that failing the BRC means you'll never get the hang of it, you're a danger to yourself and small children, you don't belong on a public road-- I'd have enough money to buy every bike I've ever wanted. :1drink

    The MSF isn't hard, but it's not easy, either. Not for a new rider who may not have ever been on a bike before that weekend, who is worried about screwing up and/or hurting themselves (or others). We're all like Rossi now, but that first time on a bike is still scary as hell for 99.9% of us, and skill and confidence only come with practice and achievement. And accidents and mistakes and unavoidable goofs DO happen, even to the most experienced riders-- why the surprise (and worse, scorn) when they happen to complete novices?

    Everyone learns at their own pace, and the a$$holes who insist that if you don't have it down in 10 hours of parking lot riding are ignorant of those among us who need *12* hours for everything to just click.

    If she wants to take it again, take it again.
  2. echo15

    echo15 Been here awhile

    Dec 17, 2007
    My girlfriend took an all women class. There were over 17 drops/crashes and one case of an impromptu wheelie gone horribly wrong (anyone who thinks a Buell Blast can't get the front up is wrong); there was one broken bone and another injury serious enough to have an ambulance called.
    Anyway, my girlfriend did not pass the first time (and one woman who had over 5 drops did!!!), but the second time around she passed with ease and is doing very well now.
  3. bumbeen

    bumbeen Banned

    Feb 12, 2013
    Holy crap haha. I posted in the other BRC thread but I suppose this is more appropriate. I was planning on having my girlfriend take the course, but I think I'm just going to teach her myself. I think I remember the BRC well enough to teach her everything and I have a little booklet that has all the range exercises.

    Over 17 drops, that is just crazy hahaha. When I took it we had 12, no drops and everyone passed, two women. Well one woman with some experience and the other a military gal.
  4. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

    Dec 1, 2005
    Pacific NorthWet, Napa Valley North
    This. OK, she knows, in theory, how a manual transmission works. That doesn't always translate to doing the same on a bike, with completely different appendages, and some differences in usage. (In a car, it's always been "get off the clutch ASAP", in a BRC, there are exercises where controlled slipping of the clutch is expected.)

    We (warning, rebel state thinking here) look at students as having mental whiteboards. When you first teach them something, they write it really big; as time goes on, they re-write it smaller, making room for something else. You can't give them too much at once- the whiteboard gets full. You can't give them too much in a day- they get tired of "writing".

    Twelve hours at once is too much "writing"; most students are done before half of that. They've stopped "writing" and are just "remembering" what they learn- it'll never make it to the whiteboard for longer term retention.

    I don't know what state the OP is in, but the way most states are set up, the state coordinator would be the office to talk to- and IMO, they just need to know, because that was BS... and it may not have been an isolated incident.
  5. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

    Dec 1, 2005
    Pacific NorthWet, Napa Valley North
    Yeah, no potential for extra stress on your relationship there.

    Well, that's OK then- have at 'er!

    It's not just that you may, or may not, remember what they were coaching you. RiderCoaches will (should) know how to coach people with different learning styles. They'll also know what to coach that you may not have needed coaching on, and to what standard of skill someone should be coached. And, of course, not being you, the g/f is less likely to have the additional stress because it's you doing the coaching.

    Shit happens. I haven't seen that, but I can easily envision a perfect storm of students, instructors, weather, and other mitigating factors that could get there.
  6. AzItLies

    AzItLies Been here awhile

    Mar 9, 2013
    concur 100%. That's a great explanation about why the MSF wants range time limited to 5hrs per day. Many many of these people are just overwhelmed... trying to do both day ranges in 1 day is simply idiotic.

    also agree, it may NOT be an isolated incident. The MSF has employees that actually visit sites (unannounced) to "spy" on Sponsors that have been reported for violations.

    It's sad, but it's not too hard to come upon a Sponsor that isn't following the curriculum. For some Sponsors, it's about the money, not about the passion, unfortunately.

    My bet would be that it went something like this:

    "Look class, there's no way we'll be able to ride Sunday because of the weather. So we have a choice, we can reschedule, but we don't know how long that will take... could be months"

    "Or we could just do all of the class tomorrow? It's not that bad! Waddya say?"

    Basically, the class is being coerced, they don't have any idea what they're agreeing to. It never should have happened. Sounds like a Sponsor just being greedy imho.

  7. SkiFastBadly

    SkiFastBadly A beer? Yes, please

    Mar 28, 2007
    Woodinville, WA

    When I was 16 after my auto test the tester said "I could pass you bus I'm not going to...because when you changed lanes you used the mirrors instead of looking over your shoulder. " Naturally I was livid. That guy probably saved my life and I wish I could thank him today.
  8. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

    Dec 10, 2006
    My wife felt very rushed in her basic msf course. After another student in the class lost control and nearly hit her, she lost her nerve and walked out.
    The next season I bought her a small dirtbike and took her to some dirt areas to play/practice. She went back the next year and just the test (no course) and passed with 100%.
  9. Carlo Muro

    Carlo Muro SupercĂ zzola

    May 2, 2008
    Thanks for all the positive feedback.

    She called the contact person and gets a full refund.

    Meanwhile we'll be doing some work on our own. We plan to start in a grass field on my dirtbike (which might be a bit large but she should be ok). She plans to retest in the autumn (notice i didn't use that nasty 4 letter F word which could have bad connotations :lol3).
  10. bscman

    bscman Been here awhile

    Jun 10, 2012
    Sedro Woolley, WA
    Big +1 for this idea.

    This is exactly what I'm doing with my lil lady...with a crf230f.
    We started out in the back yard learning how to clutch, and practicing looking ahead and not at the controls. Then doing circles and figure 8's...then doing them with a big head turn to look where you want to go.

    After just a few sessions she was weaving through a slalom of cones placed 6 feet apart...either standing, or second gear.

    I feel getting these bare bones essentials down is paramount...and doing it in a safe, closed environment to learn at your own pace takes a LOT of stress out of beginning riding. Especially if you can do it with a small, lightweight motorcycle!
  11. PT Rider

    PT Rider Been here awhile

    Aug 29, 2009
    NW Washington State
    Yes, 12 hours is way too much. It is mentally, physically, totally exhausting.

    If you get the chance, work with her on three things, very slow straight line riding while slipping the clutch (friction zone), very slow and tight circles and esses while slipping the clutch, and two wheel braking to short stops. Of course work up to these...bigger circles, slow big circles, slow smaller circles, slow really small circles, etc.
  12. racergirl479

    racergirl479 Flying Merkel

    Jul 23, 2009
    Murfreesboro Tn
    Regardless if she failed or not, going through the course will make her a much better rider when she is with you. :norton

    Plus she can always go back and just retake the riding test if she passed the written for like half the price... at least thats what they do in my program.

  13. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Been here awhile

    Aug 31, 2012
    Phuket, Thailand
    No shame on you for not taking the course. Don't get in some kind of a guilt trip about that.

    Getting basic proficiency on a farm field, or similar, is the way most people I know started out. I had been riding off road for more than four years before I did the test to get my motorcycle licence.

    It at all possible, give her the same opportunity to take her time to learn at her own pace. As a tertiary level teacher, I don't actually "teach" very much. It is more about facilitating learning than teaching as such.