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Discussion Starter #1
Day 1 of the MSF completed today, lucked out with a group of instructors and classmates who are just great. Everyone working together to make it go well for everyone else, how it should be, no show offs or people bragging about bikes, etc.

But, out of the 10 students, there was one I was worried about. She was very nice, but I thought she might struggle, I tried to encourage her but she was really nervous. Wound up behind me on the 2nd stage, which is just starting and stopping at cones 20 feet from each other. She dumped the clutch, grabbed too much throttle, and her and her VStar 250 whizzed by my left leg. Instead of pulling the clutch or hitting kill switch, she panicked again and gave it more gas. Fortunately she lost control and spilled the bike, coming to a stop a foot from the wooden fence. Also fortunate she wasn't hurt, but was very embarrassed and quit the course.

I tell this story not to make fun, but instead to tell you what was going through my mind. A. If she quit bc shes afraid to ride then that's ok and no shame at all IMO. B. If she quit bc embarrassed then if anything like this happens to any of you other new riders out there, remember most others in the class want nothing more than to see you get back on the bike and pass the course. These poor sacrificial 250's have scrapes and dents all over, they're dropped more often than a David Letterman watermelon.

So friends, if you have a spill on day one, hell even if you clip me, know that I and many others like me are still rooting for you to saddle back up and overcome it.

Further, if I see you out on the road and you you have a spill, I'll be the first to help you pick up your bike and give you an encouraging word. I think there are more like me than there are "the others" who will make fun.

That's all :)
 

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When my son took his course, he said a guy accidentally gave it too much gas, lost control, and grabbed a hand full of front brake and went down. He said the guy got up, grabbed his stuff, and left. He said nobody was laughing or making fun, they all felt bad for him. But I’m sure that he was embarrassed and that may have ruined riding for that guy.
 

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We are our own worst critics. Placing way to much pressure on ourselves to succeed in everything. We should teach that in risk taking. You are going to fail occasionally in life. That's okay. Get up and brush yourself off and continue on. Super10wally, you sound like an upstanding individual. We need more people in this world that think like you. That will extend a hand or a encouraging word to either fellow biker or fellow human being. Cheers!
 

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When i took my MSF course 7 years ago i dropped my little Honda Rebel 125 pretty much right off the bat. When the final test came i could barely pass anything. My instructor told me not to get anything bigger than a 250. Ended up getting a scooter, which is what i needed for urban commuting anyway. From there i went on to tour the Himalayas in northern India and the entire continent of South America.

Point is, a weekend is really not enough time to learn how to ride a motorcycle.
 

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Seeing people give up is disappointing but given the potential ramifications safety wise I’d rather see someone not force it. An issue on a closed course is one thing. An issue on the street could be deadly. Sometimes people just aren’t cut out for it and that’s ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh yeah, certainly agree and no shame in her quitting if she doesnt think she can be safe or will ever feel confident enough be safe. I was talking more about people who have one setback and quit bc they're embarrassed. She struggled mightily with the clutch, but there are automatic trans. wind in your hair options like can-am and slingshots that give you that, so maybe she'll settle there.
 

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Successful people will fail many times. They pick themselves up, learn from their mistakes, and move on. I'm one of those people. I've made a few mistakes in my life. ;) The lesson here is that they need to spend a little more time in the parking lot before moving on to the street. Granted, we all can't be good at everything but you have to try. I'm not trying to be hard.
 
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When i took my MSF course 7 years ago i dropped my little Honda Rebel 125 pretty much right off the bat. When the final test came i could barely pass anything. My instructor told me not to get anything bigger than a 250. Ended up getting a scooter, which is what i needed for urban commuting anyway.

Point is, a weekend is really not enough time to learn how to ride a motorcycle.
I hate thinking about the MSF course being the first time someone is introduced to a bike for exactly the reasons you described. I think everyone should have some experience on dirt bikes (or similar) and have basic fundamentals, clutch, brakes and throttle familiarized prior to attending the course, crashing in a grass or dirt field is much more preferable than pavement.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, for sure, there are a couple of 16yo's who have dirt bike experience and it really shows. I would think that if you're someone who is thinking of taking the MSF that you probably know some people with bikes, and surely someone with an 80 cc dirt bike or something you can hop on and get familiar with. If you know someone who doesn't have this access, and they're within driving distance of Indianapolis, they can stop on by because I've got an 8hp Kymco K-Pipe 125 and 2 acres I'll let them on :)
It was actually the "gateway drug" that led to the Versys :) My son got a dirt bike, I got the K-pipe to tool around the yard with him and on our 45 mph empty county roads....you can tell where that went!
 

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My 1st bike was a 125cc 2 stroke street bike. I rode it off road a lot. I learned balance and control doing that. I think everyone could benefit from learning to first drive a bike or car on dirt or grass working up to speed. I raced my first car on dirt roads. Lots of fun.
 
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There was no MSF class when I started riding. There was no "proficient motorcycling" by David Hough to warn me of the hazards unique to motorcycles. There was just me, the bike and the spills because of grease in a parking lot, leaves over a layer of mud in the state park, sugar sand in the corner, wet road, soft sand on the beach, etc.

I do recall one time going around a burger king parking lot and the next thing I know I am sitting on my butt with my bike spinning around on the engine guard. People started coming out of the restaurant to see if I was OK, but I was so embarrassed that I yanked that bike up off the pavement, and flew out of there before anyone could say a word. LOL!

Yep, that would suck wrecking an MSF bike. My nephew had the advantage of being able to ride my little 250 dual sport around my field before taking the MSF class. He did manage to crash into my horse fence getting going, but I'm sure he was thinking, "better here than in front of the class".
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah for sure! I passed the test today, only missed 1 point bc I didnt get my head around fully to the exit of the turn. It also rained the entire time today, which I actually liked bc of the practice it gave me.
 

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I hate thinking about the MSF course being the first time someone is introduced to a bike for exactly the reasons you described. I think everyone should have some experience on dirt bikes (or similar) and have basic fundamentals, clutch, brakes and throttle familiarized prior to attending the course, crashing in a grass or dirt field is much more preferable than pavement.
I took the MSF class a week or 2 after graduating high school. At the time I drove a manual transmission car and had ridden a friends auto quad a few times, but 0 experience on a bike.
The day before the class I was at a friend's house who had a YZF 450. He told me to take it for a spin. To this day, I have still never experienced torque like that bike had. I was lugging it around in the paved parking lot in 2nd or 3rd, and gave it to much gas. Stood it straight up and rode a several hundred yard wheelie across the lot into a field with my legs flapping off the sides. I brought it down, hit the kill switch and gently placedd it down on the ground. Walked back to my buddy and told him to go get his bike as it terrified me.

That weekend I took the class and came 1 point away from a perfect score because I lifted my foot off the peg in the figure 8's, but didn't put it down.

The "experienced" riders in the class struggled more then the total newbs. I had no preferred bad habits that had to be broken like they did.
 
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When i came back to riding after decade+ hiatus i took MSF as a refresher. And also because of the insurance discount i was able to get here in Canuckistan. There was a lady, early 50 who was struggling, similar as to what OP mentioned. Day one, parking lot, we are doing exercise where we are leaning into a curve, "exploring" what happens to a bike when you play with your throttle. She grabs full throttle, bike straightens up, she shoots out, hits the curb, picture perfect high-side! 911 gets called, she's not returning the next day. Few weeks later i stop by the same MSF class to check on my buddy taking his lesson and surprise, she is back on bike, whipping around the parking lot like a pro. Gave her a bear hug!
 
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