Test course/obstacles for practice? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 15 Old 03-16-2015, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
Intrepidse17's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: MA
Posts: 107
Test course/obstacles for practice?

I have a friend who is in the process of buying a bike, he rode years ago on a permit (and then getting a new permit to keep riding rather than getting a license). He hasn't ridden on the street in probably 10 years, but he has been riding dirtbikes the entire time. I mention this history because of course the first bit of advice will be "take the class" and I did suggest that to him and he doesn't want to spend the money and dedicate a full weekend to it since he has been on two wheels for years, just not on the street.

So this leads to the point of this thread, I am sure I have seen diagrams of the various circles and figure 8's from state tests or from the MSF around but I have been unable to find them. He had asked if I remembered any so I could help him set some stuff up in parking lots to practice before he gets on the road and later takes the test. I was hoping someone here might be able to help me find some of these diagrams to help him out.

'02 SV650S
'04 DL1000
Intrepidse17 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 15 Old 03-16-2015, 10:03 AM
utahrider's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Salt Lake
Posts: 204
Here is a fun little pdf from MSF that has parking lot practice diagrams at the end.


Proud V-Strom owner since 2013

2005 Suzuki V-Strom DL650 K5 Red
2008 CB250 Honda Nighthawk (wife's ride)
2006 Yamati 150 Scooter Blue (soon to be sold)
utahrider is offline  
post #3 of 15 Old 03-16-2015, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
Intrepidse17's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: MA
Posts: 107
That's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, thanks! I don't see the figure 8 in there though, I think it was just 4 parking spots 2x2 right?

'02 SV650S
'04 DL1000
Intrepidse17 is offline  
post #4 of 15 Old 03-17-2015, 12:00 AM
trapperdog's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Bay area, ca
Posts: 2,016
Here's a few starters

And a few when you get the hang of things

'09 VEE
'09 ST1300P
'06 ST1300

Last edited by trapperdog; 03-17-2015 at 12:02 AM.
trapperdog is offline  
post #5 of 15 Old 04-03-2015, 08:25 PM
RadRider's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: McMinnville, OR
Posts: 26
The other thing to consider is finding the space where a local MSF or similar course is taught, and using the lines painted there. Our local class is taught in a middle school parking lot, and on weekends when they're not running the class it's empty and available. If you add a few small cones on the marked lines you're all set.
RadRider is offline  
post #6 of 15 Old 04-09-2015, 01:19 PM
CruisnGrrl's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Eastern ontario
Posts: 2,016
I am an instructor for a company that does the safety course. We get riders that have had years of riding and then a break in riding due to what ever reason, we've also had riders that have had years of just getting the permit because our riding season can be a little short. Every one of these riders have mentioned that they learned something from the course and have felt that it was money well spent (courses here tend to run $400-$500). We end up breaking a lot of bad habits with experienced riders.
CruisnGrrl is offline  
post #7 of 15 Old 04-09-2015, 02:19 PM
mcdstrom's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 695
Have him check for an Experienced Rider Course. Only 1 day, not the entire weekend.

While it is great, and necessary, to have the physical skills that cone practice can provide, even more important are the mental skills that come from classroom time.

2009 DL650A Grey
2004 DL650 Blue - sold
Long ago TC-90
mcdstrom is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old 04-17-2015, 02:59 PM
Chzman's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 34
My assumption is this link to the MA riding info is relevant to all riders in MA: Massachusetts RMV - Obtaining a Motorcycle Permit and License

Often the courses will yield an insurance break, but not always. In Idaho, we see a lot of returning riders that do not take a training course, and unfortunately, often they are in the crash statistics here as well. As an Idaho Instructor, I would suggest taking a class to get better, and to dust off those skills again. Dirt and asphalt as completely different traction profiles, and require different skills to ride successfully. Get some thoughts...


Idaho Motorcycle Safety Instructor - about 20 years...
2006 Suzuki DL1000 Vstrom farkles include:
Sargent seat with silver welt, Cortech 12L tank bag, Happy Trails Teton 7.5" saddlebags and rack, SpeedoDRD, Madstad 22" gray Adventure with brackets, RichlandRick sprocket adjustment, mirror extenders, fork brace, Acerbis X-Factor handguards with Heat Demon pads, 12v USB plug wired to Blue Sea fuse box.
1986 Honda XL250R - dirt ride
Chzman is offline  
post #9 of 15 Old 05-12-2015, 01:12 PM
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 5
Get your friend to take the class!!
Split the cost with him if you have to - he will probably repay you later.

Testimony: I rode for several years in college, laid off a couple of decades. When I decided to start riding again, a bike salesman told me to take the course.
I did.
It saved my life. Several times!

Dirt riding has nothing to do with street riding. It's not about riding the bike - it's about THINKING.

He's not as good/smart as he thinks he is...
VFRJohn is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old 05-12-2015, 09:11 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Puget Sound, and Allegheny County (PA)
Posts: 785
Post the challenge is mental

I just put together a reading/purchase list of books on riding proficiency for a nephew who is just getting back on 2 wheels after wrecking his bike, hip and leg late last year. The list is in recommended reading order. Near the end is stuff on controlling the machine. At the top is stuff on staying out of harm's way. He was and will be an urban rider.

The MSF course is only about basic control skills for the neophytes. Most of the course's value is in learning the mental skills involved in avoiding accidents, something for which the experienced dirt rider has little experience.

And of course, the habit set appropriate for street riding differs from what works on dirt.

I suggest telling the guy who wants to skip the course that he can spend the outside practice time having fun and reviewing what he learned inside, if he's so skilled that he has nothing to learn running the patterns.
Trepidator is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome