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

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post #1 of 15 Old 03-16-2015, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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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.

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post #2 of 15 Old 03-16-2015, 10:03 AM
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Here is a fun little pdf from MSF that has parking lot practice diagrams at the end.

http://www.msf-usa.org/downloads/Str...cycle_Tips.pdf

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post #3 of 15 Old 03-16-2015, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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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?

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post #4 of 15 Old 03-17-2015, 12:00 AM
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Here's a few starters
https://www.ridelikeapro.com/wp-cont...cticeGuide.pdf

And a few when you get the hang of things
http://g-homeserver.com/attachments/...e-patterns.pdf

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post #5 of 15 Old 04-03-2015, 08:25 PM
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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.
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-09-2015, 01:19 PM
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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.
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post #7 of 15 Old 04-09-2015, 02:19 PM
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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.

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post #8 of 15 Old 04-17-2015, 02:59 PM
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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...

Thanks...
Chuck

Idaho Motorcycle Safety Instructor - about 20 years...
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-12-2015, 01:12 PM
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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...
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-12-2015, 09:11 PM
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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.
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