Msf course instructors

mzrsq

Busaless
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My Aunt (50 ish) has a little 250 honda she's been trying to learn on and basically just riding around the block every now and then.  She had signed up for the local msf course very early this spring and finally got her chance last weekend.  

Her husband also was taking the course with her, he's unendorsed but more as moral suppost.  She was given a 250 very much the same as her own and after all the basic "this is the clutch, walk the bike while slipping the clutch to get the feel, this is the breaks. etc.etc.etc." one of there first techniques was sloloms through a straight line of cones.  She proceeded and handled this task adequately.  From there they staggard the cones left /right to increase the amount of lean/turn that would be necessary to navigate.  She was stuggling with this task and after several failed attemps approached the MSF instructor to ask what she was doing wong.  His answer " If she was struggling with the simple manuever, maybe she wasn't ready."  My aunt suggested maybe quiting, to which he replied, "quit now and it's the long walk across the parking lot, there's no coming back." To which my aunt got of the bike and quit.

Am I mistaken in that it's the purpose of an MSF course and instuctor to actually TEACH a new rider how to ride.  I was very disappointed after hearing this outcome and have convinced her she needs to write a letter.  She's says she may just pay the $300.00 for a course at the local dealer where maybe she can get more 1 on 1 attention.

By the way, they also failed her husband because on the last manuever you had to from a stop, accelerate, shift to second at a cone, apply breaks, downshift back to first and stop the bike inside the box.  He perforemed this task but he failed because the instructor said he was anticipating the stop during the entire manuever......Duhhhhh.  If I know I got to stop somewhere particular I'd be anticipating the stop also, and I've been riding for almost 15 years.

Basically just looking for some input on experience from those who have taken an MSF course, or from those of you that teach them................I think she was wronged !!!
 

Projekt

Registered
Bro,
My MSF experience was comparably disappointing. The instructors were good at the fundamentals but I kept getting the feeling that they were being dekheads when it wasn't necessarry, stuff like yelling and shettalk was part of it. The guys sure knew their stuff though, it just depended on who was hosting the course that weekend.
A letter would sure have a result in my opinion. My whole question is that you heard one side of the story. Also he didn't suggest her quitting, he just discouraged her in his own way about why not to quit. Maybe, there was a little whining on her part and that ended up bugging the guys. Who's to say..If you fail the course though, you can always go back. MSF certification is not a requirement for getting the M endorsement. So she can just practice more and maybe an experienced rider can coach her patiently.
 

MC MUSTANG

Peace Keeper or Ban Hammer-it's up to you; IDMBT#9
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You should ping Ridercoach and/or GunnyBusa - both instructors and both good people. Unfortunately, while they may be able to tell you what the intent of the course is, there will always be those instructors who feel that they are "qualifying you" rather than teaching you...
 

Wag

Evil Demon Busa Rider
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Ditto on contacting Gunnybusa. Good guy and he can probably give you some good direction.

My experience with MSF was very good. They seemed to be there to teach you to ride and they did that effectively with everyone on the course. One of the other students on another course was booted out because we was literally a danger to himself and others. It was a good decision in that case.

Test time, however, was another story. If you didn't get it right, you were screwed at that point. It was pass/fail and no leeway was granted to anyone.

Still, I think MSF is a great way to get going. They should send in the letter. What do they have to lose?

--Wag--

P.S. I hope she doesn't give up entirely. Riding's too fun to allow some moron, or even a legitimate stumble stop her.
 

mzrsq

Busaless
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Thanks for the input guys, as Projekt stated, I wasn't there nor witnessed the events, and I only have one side of the story. What I can say is, my aunt has shown alot of interest in learning, and thoxugh she does admit it scares her, especially leaning, she's wanting to learn, which is what I always thought was the purpose of MSF course. I always thought that beyond teaching proper techniques the class was in general to familiarize NEWBIES with the sport. Like I stated, she wants to learn, admitted to having a problem and was sort-of blown of by the instructor when asking for help or suggestions.

Thanks guys...............The situation just bugs me.
 

Professor

Hayabusa Immortal
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Only hearing one side of the story, so this is based on what we see here. What the instructors said to your aunt was very wrong. They should have been encouraging her, give some tips. If she could not do it at all, a good instructor would have been able to point out some of the things she was doing. If the instructor actually said the words you posted here, your aunt has a valid complaint. That is very unprofessional of the rider coach. There is also a slim possiblility she took some of the words and twisted them because of her disappointment in her own performance. The handbook she was given has a “Student Satisfaction Survey Formâ€￾ in the back. Have her fill it out. Attach a detailed statement about what the instructor said and mail it in. (if she did not get one PM me, I’ll mail you/her one). The MSF has a quality control staff that actually reads each and every one. One with these words would initiate some action on their end. If entirely true, these instructors could have had other poor feedback reports. This will help get the problem corrected, but it is not necessarily a foolproof procedure.


Anticipation of the cones during a quick stop can result in failing the one skill evaluation task. You get one retry. However there were three exercises prior to the test in which the instructors should have been working on the anticipation. Also something is wrong with the info from the husband, there is not one skills evaluation that can fail you by itself. (unless the motorcycle is dropped or the rider performs an intentional unsafe act) So there is more to it than what is coming out here. I have no doubt that if you have been riding 15 years, that you would not anticipate the start cones in my class. I see it a lot but only in the exercises. When it comes to evaluations, I only have seen it about 12 times in ~50 classes. I have never had a student do it both times. This is not actually the last evaluation, but circumstances might have warranted a switch in order. It is usually the third of four.

The instructors are human. I’ve taught with good ones and bad ones. I try to learn from the good ones and teach the bad ones. In some cases, I have worked to get rid a bad one.

Paying your money to take a class in no guarantee you are passing the class. But the instructor should be encouraging and professional at all times. I have to send a student home about 1 class in 3 or 4. I hate it, but I have to keep safety in mind. I also (although a secondary concern) have to worry about time. If you go over on each exercise to help a struggling student, you are going to wear out both that student and the rest of the class. Fatigue is very damaging to the learning environment and creates real safety issues. More importantly the student must get a grasp of each skill before they go on. Each exercise builds and reinforces skills learned in previous exercises.


I’m sorry they had a bad experience. While the system is not perfect, it is a very valuable way of teaching both new and experienced riders life saving skills.
 

BlueHaya

I'm outta here!!!!
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My course with A + Riders was excellent. The course instructors were very helpful. We had about 6 guys and 1 girl. The woman actually dropped her bike on the straight line feel the clutch excercise. She almost hit another bike. She was embarassed but came back to do better on the test portion than some of the people who already had bikes.

Your experince may just be a bad apple and the instructor should be reprimanded.
 

rtvegas

Registered
It's dissapointing to hear of negative experiences while taking the MSF course...Although I was already endorsed, I still decided to take the local MSF course in Las Vegas and have been a strong proponenet of this class ever since.
 

rc51ny

Donating Member
Registered
My experience has been very good--both the beginner and the advanced course. Instructors were very helpful and would even go "above & beyond" offereing additional suggestions to those of us who master the drills easily. In fact, I'm so impressed, I've applied to be an instructor myself.
 

HRJR

Donating Member
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My MSF experience was very positive (took the course as moral support for my son who was taking it). The instructors helped everyone. They were especially helpful and encouraging to the very novice riders. Find out who the instructors were who discouraged her and sign up for another section of the course with different instructors.

It's really unfortunate that your aunt had the experience she had. Keep her interested in learning.
 

Over_Easy

GEO-STABILIZATION EXPERT
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Registered
Been riding since I was 12 (100, 250, 600), but after the 600 got totalled by a friend in 96' I had a 9 year layoff from the street (still rode dirtbikes on occassion). Thought about taking an MSF course before the Busa, but friends who know how I ride said it was a waste of time and money for ME.

Tell you what though, I took the FL skills test on the Busa for my motorcycle endorsement and the cones were not easy...maybe 6 feet apart. I hit a few but with the fairings not the wheels she said. Other than that, it's a joke.

My feelings, from what I know, is that if you have troubles with the MSF course on a 250 bike you have no business on the street in everyday traffic.
 

mzrsq

Busaless
Donating Member
Registered
Only hearing one side of the story, so this is based on what we see here. What the instructors said to your aunt was very wrong. They should have been encouraging her, give some tips. If she could not do it at all, a good instructor would have been able to point out some of the things she was doing.  If the instructor actually said the words you posted here, your aunt has a valid complaint. That is very unprofessional of the rider coach. There is also a slim possiblility she took some of the words and twisted them because of her disappointment in her own performance.  The handbook she was given has a “Student Satisfaction Survey Formâ€￾ in the back. Have her fill it out. Attach a detailed statement about what the instructor said and mail it in. (if she did not get one PM me, I’ll mail you/her one). The MSF has a quality control staff that actually reads each and every one. One with these words would initiate some action on their end. If entirely true, these instructors could have had other poor feedback reports. This will help get the problem corrected, but it is not necessarily a foolproof procedure.


Anticipation of the cones during a quick stop can result in failing the one skill evaluation task. You get one retry. However there were three exercises prior to the test in which the instructors should have been working on the anticipation.  Also something is wrong with the info from the husband, there is not one skills evaluation that can fail you by itself. (unless the motorcycle is dropped or the rider performs an intentional unsafe act)  So there is more to it than what is coming out here.   I have no doubt that if you have been riding 15 years, that you would not anticipate the start cones in my class. I see it a lot but only in the exercises. When it comes to evaluations, I only have seen it about 12 times in ~50 classes. I have never had a student do it both times. This is not actually the last evaluation, but circumstances might have warranted a switch in order. It is usually the third of four.

The instructors are human. I’ve taught with good ones and bad ones. I try to learn from the good ones and teach the bad ones. In some cases, I have worked to get rid a bad one.

Paying your money to take a class in no guarantee you are passing the class. But the instructor should be encouraging and professional at all times. I have to send a student home about 1 class in 3 or 4. I hate it, but I have to keep safety in mind. I also (although a secondary concern) have to worry about time. If you go over on each exercise to help a struggling student, you are going to wear out both that student and the rest of the class. Fatigue is very damaging to the learning environment and creates real safety issues. More importantly the student must get a grasp of each skill before they go on. Each exercise builds and reinforces skills learned in previous exercises.


I’m sorry they had a bad experience. While the system is not perfect, it is a very valuable way of teaching both new and experienced riders life saving skills.
Professor,

I value your input and information and I will once again state, I was not there to see or evaluate any instrcution myself and may very well have recieved a loped-sided story to benefit her own inadequacy. But to the best of my understanding she asked for assistance and was basically blown-off and in my own words, "told she wasn't good enough to be there", when I believe she should have been offered advise or assistance. Now in the end, maybe she still would have failed and at the present time lacked the ability to perform the necessary manuevers, but in the end it almost appears to me the instructor encouraged her to quite instead of offering helpful information.

As for her husbands situation, from him to her to me to you, I'm sure order of events are mixed, but was clearly stated anticipation of stops being the cause of failure. He is going to retake the test.

I know what I concider anticipation, but what exactly as an instructor are you looking for or at. I just know if I know I have to stop squarely in a box to pass a test, in my head I would be anticipating the events necessary to stop in said controlled box.

I've never taken, or witnessed an MSF course, passed and got my endorsement when at the time the local National Guard administered the test in my area. I had had my temps for about 3 months and passed the riding test on the first attemp with only small dedeuctions for placing my foot on the ground on 2 seperate occasions.
smile.gif


Again, I thank you for your input. I means alot more coming from the mouth(fingers) of an actual instructor.
 

Projekt

Registered
Oh yeah, at the panic stop qualification test I inadvertantly did a stoppie on the enduros we trained on. I am top heavy and hit the brakes pretty hard. I didn't know the rear came up until it hit the ground again.
 

Professor

Hayabusa Immortal
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Professor,

I value your input and information and I will once again state, I was not there to see or evaluate any instrcution myself and may very well have recieved a loped-sided story to benefit her own inadequacy.  But to the best of my understanding she asked for assistance and was basically blown-off and in my own words, "told she wasn't good enough to be there", when I believe she should have been offered advise or assistance.  Now in the end, maybe she still would have failed and at the present time lacked the ability to perform the necessary manuevers, but in the end it almost appears to me the instructor encouraged her to quite instead of offering helpful information.

As for her husbands situation, from him to her to me to you, I'm sure order of events are mixed, but was clearly stated anticipation of stops being the cause of failure.  He is going to retake the test.

I know what I concider anticipation, but what exactly as an instructor are you looking for or at.  I just know if I know I have to stop squarely in a box to pass a test, in my head I would be anticipating the events necessary to stop in said controlled box.  

I've never taken, or witnessed an MSF course, passed and got my endorsement when at the time the local National Guard administered the test in my area.  I had had my temps for about 3 months and passed the riding test on the first attemp with only small dedeuctions for placing my foot on the ground on 2 seperate occasions.
smile.gif


Again, I thank you for your input.  I means alot more coming from the mouth(fingers) of an actual instructor.
Failing in the end is one thing. It is not the instructor’s job to “predict†who is going to fail in the end and “cut them from the heard†early so he doesn’t have to mess with them. However it is his job to make sure the exercises are conducted in as safe as manner as possible. He also has to make sure the students are completing the objectives of the exercise. Generally when the time comes to send a student home early, I encourage students not to go further for their own good. In most cases they are very aware they are not performing as well as all the other students and have had some extra one on one time. It is fairly common for me to work with a student for 10-15 minutes extra during lunch on the first day. It usually helps. Sometime they surprise me and come back the next day, refreshed and riding much better. Riding is not for everyone. Some actually pass that I think should fail, but I have to abide by the rules and standards and I’m not willing to second guess those standards.
Bottom line is I want to make it an enjoyable experience for them. Though the failure rate is fairly small, you would be surprised to look at the critique sheets from those that have failed. They generally have very good things to say about their experience even though they failed in the end.

As far as the quick stop exercise, there really isn’t a box. There is a straight run to as set of cones. As soon as the front tire gets to the cones the rider stops in a short a distance as possible. After the cones there should only be small lines indicating the distance they stop in. They do not know where they should be stopping, only that they are to stop in the shortest distance they safely can. We figure the distance after the stop based on the speed (time) they were going. There are multiple things we look for, brake application before the cue cones is one of them. While it is a big hit to fail it because of this, it is not enough points to fail the course. I won’t go in the specifics on the scoring. In my opinion, the curriculum is basing this penalty points on the riders comfort to ride all the way to the cones before applying the brakes as well as following instructions. They should have had plenty of practice on removing the “anticipation†from the stop and practiced it in the last exercise prior to testing.
 
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