Brother Refuses to Take MSF Course - Page 3 - 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 #21 of 48 Old 03-29-2019, 10:43 PM
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It's generally understood that the male brain doesn't mature until the age of 25. Some folks take even longer especially if they resist any suggestions for self improvement.
The thought of taking the course together is a good one. It's amazing at what you can learn from the beginner course and the advanced course even for an experienced rider.
Time well spent!
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post #22 of 48 Old 03-29-2019, 10:58 PM
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I paid for my son to take the course and I took it along with him. It was a good time and I learned the "correct" way to ride; we had a blast on the little Suzuki's riding around the parking lot.

He was not real interested before we took the course and was talking about getting 1000 cc sport bike; after he spent the weekend riding he felt like he wanted more time to get comfortable before he jump to a big bike. To my surprise he ended up with a 650 CC Yamaha Star Cruiser. He put about 6000 miles on it last year.

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post #23 of 48 Old 03-29-2019, 11:25 PM
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You can't tell anyone to do anything, especially a 20-year-old boy. It only makes matters worse.

You have to create the conditions under which he will choose to take the course.

The best advice already offered is to take the course with him. I'd say go out and purchase the lessons for both of you, but I think he has to pony up himself to make it meaningful. Otherwise, it's coercion.

When I got my licence, all you had to do was show you could operate the controls, start on a little hill, do a figure-eight, and stop at a stop line without falling over. I was shocked how easy it was, having previously worked as a driving instructor. But I was sensible and bought an XS400 as my first street bike.

When my kid turns 16, he will already have learned how to ride proficiently in dirt and on the track. Then he will only have to learn to deal with traffic and the morons out there. I will absolutely take a course with him and pay for it, just as I will for driving a car. (Being a certified instructor, I could do it myself, but I won't because there is a power in having a stranger teaching you.) I don't anticipate any issues with him refusing, but those seeds were sown long ago and that's not the kind of thing you can go back in time and change. He's grown up with a dad and grandfather who live and breathe bikes; your brother has not.

Be prepared to let your brother follow his own path and cross your fingers. You can't motivate other people, you can only redirect the motivation they already have. I'm a teacher and have learned this over and over again over a 20-year career.

The other thing I do with kids who tell me they're going to buy themselves a Gixxer or whatever when they turn sixteen is that I challenge them to a race. In the parking lot. Whoever gets to the other side of the lot in a straight line last, without putting their foot down, wins.

I've actually only had two kids follow through and buy a bike. One crashed his R6 numerous times and graduated to a car. The other died horrifically within a month of buying the bike. They found his sneakers a 100 yards down the road. His mom bought him the bike.
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post #24 of 48 Old 03-30-2019, 12:41 AM
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There is a time in family relationships where you need to put your foot down. This is one.
Tough love buddy. Be a great brother and haul his ass to the course. We ride with proficiency. Not testosterone.
Let us know how it goes.
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post #25 of 48 Old 03-30-2019, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Coach23101 View Post
We ride with proficiency. Not testosterone.
Well said.

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post #26 of 48 Old 03-30-2019, 11:12 AM
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" We ride with proficiency. Not testosterone."

Well you maybe. All the squids that wad their rides give proof to the opposite.
All we can do is offer sage advice and hope for the best. Even at 72 I've been accused of riding with my hair on fire.......
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post #27 of 48 Old 03-30-2019, 12:05 PM
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x10 ....Pay for the class and take the class with him.

If he refuses, maybe you can show him some video of riders that crashed and didn't know the ones that have to blow thru a straw to steer their Little Rascal electric cart. A 20 year old is not scared of dying, but if he has half a brain he will be terrified of living like that for the next 50-ish years.

We had a kid in our town, son of a local with a big family presence. Kid got a go fast bike and one of his uncles happened to see him riding it at warp speed passing in a no passing zone. The Uncle, father and other's had a serious talk with the kid. Two days later he hit a guard rail on Hwy 31 at an estimated speed of 100 mph....Dead. The road there is 4 lanes wide, no median and a rather easy downhill sweeping turn. A few days later I drove by the spot, and there was about 80' or rear tire skid mark before impact, so I know he never even touched his front brake. That's a stupid way to die....... literally with your salvation at the tip of your fingers.

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Last edited by Motor7; 03-30-2019 at 12:14 PM.
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post #28 of 48 Old 03-30-2019, 12:43 PM
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In addition to the excellent suggestions already made: Without being too obvious about it, tell your brother that if he plans to rely on luck rather than skill to live, it would be good to agree ahead of time to be an organ donor. That way, when his luck totally runs out, his family might take solace in the fact some part(s) of him will live on.
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post #29 of 48 Old 03-30-2019, 12:47 PM
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Still can't convince him and he thinks he knows all there is? Go to a parking lot and have him do 2 complete circles to the left AND to the right right within 2 parking spaces. Also have him complete a right turn from a stop within 8ft lines. IF he can do that without dropping the bike OR putting his feet down he might be ok to learn on the road.

Make a FUN game of it (you're brothers after all) with an ultimate bet of the "loser" taking the class. Have an impartial observer (wife/girlfriend/ect) count crossed lines and feet down and tally up the points. (Per the MSF skills test: 1 foot down is 3 pts, 2nd foot down is 5 pts, 3rd foot down is DQ'd) Only stuff you need is a couple pieces of chalk, a tape measure and 6 water bottles (optional) to mark out the exercises.

As a MSF RiderCoach and (former) training provider, I would recommend taking the class with him in any event. Everyone can learn something from the class, no matter how long you claim to have ridden. The training bikes a light and forgiving and IF you make a mistake, there is plenty of run off to recover. The chances of getting hurt are slim...its a closed off piece of pavement, not a street where vehicles can hit you...unless a WFO front brake grab happens. Learning on a light training bike will also develop the feel for using BOTH brakes to slow down/stop and riding the Peanut exercise is FUN(!) on training bikes while enabling students to get comfortable leaning past 2 degrees to turn at speed.

Our school had a "I didn't learn nothing" class refund 7 years, I never refunded money for not learning something.

Also, look into the advanced courses (Basic Bike Bonding and Ultimate Bike Bonding) where you ride your own bike in the class. Sharp turns, slow squiggly lines, and tons o' fun!

Finally, grab the Keith Code videos too and make him watch them too. While dated, they still contain a bunch of useful information on street performance riding, though it is above the beginner level.

...just remember: Anyone can ride fast in a straight line, it takes real skill to ride slow squiggly lines!
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post #30 of 48 Old 03-30-2019, 01:32 PM
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Some of these suggestions definitely show that not too many of us remember how it felt to be 20 years old and invincible.

When I was 21 I was in the police academy. I smoked at that time. Every day, we ran five miles. And like clockwork, my PT/fight instructors would dog me daily about smoking, to the point that one of them used to show me photos of diseased lungs and tell me how I was going to die a horrible death. And not a bit of it made a difference to me. I was 21, I was in great shape, I was still running a seven minute mile, and the fact that my instructors kept on my ass about smoking on a regular basis was a huge reason why I wouldn't quit, even though at the time I was probably down to about 5 cigarettes a day (that's all I had time for). All the horror stories about cancer, all the yelling, had the exact opposite effect on me than was intended, because I was a 21 year old hardhead, just like a LOT of 21 year old men. I don't know the OP or his brother, so I don't know what sort of relationship they have, but I know that if I was my 21 year old self and an older brother started getting in my face demanding that I do something, and showing me videos of motorcycle accidents, and putting his foot down and trying to drag me to someplace I didn't want to go, and wouldn't respect the fact that I'd already said "no" pretty clearly, we would eventually come to blows.

He's a 21 year old man, in site of what our current culture says. Maybe to most of us who are on the other side of 50, 21 is still a kid, but for the purposes of "fightin', screwin' or dyin'", he's a man. Treat him like one. Put your "older wiser brother" hat away for a little bit, sit down with him, man to man, and be honest with him. Tell him you've seen him ride, and he's not ready to ride on the roads yet based on your experience. Tell him you're concerned for him, because it's dangerous out there, even when you do have skills, and that he's in even more danger because he's not good enough yet. If he goes down that "well, you didn't take the course" road, then tell him you wish you had, and that you'll take it with him. And if he won't listen, then leave it be, unless you want to damage the relationship you have with your brother. Or worse yet, drive him to do something out if spite that he might not have done otherwise. Even when you're way over 21, being nagged about something repeatedly still isn't a good tactic. How many of you, when you hit fifty, started getting the "colonoscopy" speech from every family member/medical professional/concerned friend whose Dad died of colorectal cancer? And how many of you, even though you knew that colorectal cancer was the second deadliest cancer and kills about 270,000 people in the US a year (because people would quote those stats to you endlessly), would still keep putting off the colonoscopy? And would start rolling your eyes and making roto-rooter jokes every time someone brought it up?
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