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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So as I have mentioned before, I had a motorcycle 5 years ago, then sold it after about a year of ownership. I took the MSF course and got my motorcycle endorsement prior to purchasing the bike. After I sold it, I thought that I might not ride a motorcycle again, so, like an idiot, I did not pay the $9 to renew my endorsement when I went to renew my license.

Fast forward to today. I bought my 300F back in March, and I decided that I needed to get that endorsement again. So I went back to the DMV and passed the written test, then I made an appointment to take the riding skills test for today.

Well, I failed. I put my foot down twice when doing that sharp u-turn maneuver. It just feels like I wasted a lot of time. I have more chances to pass, but I really shouldn't have failed given how long I have been on a motorcycle. Oh well, I guess I will have to just practice a lot before I go take the test again.
 

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that u-turn deal isn't as easy as you'd think it would be. i don't know how the F is, but the R doesn't have as tight of a turning radius as i hoped it would. when i took the MSF course, every time i tried it during practice i either put my foot down or went outside the lines. on the last attempt for the actual test portion of the course I got it, but just barely, but we were on mid 80's suzuki GZ250's luckily in the course, each skill test has a point system so if you put your foot down there, but do the other things well, you can still get the msf completion card. if I were you I would just take the course again. I had a blast when I did it, and i'm considering taking the msf ridercourse II just to help hone my skills.
 

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Nothing to be embarrassed about ..nothing at all. I have had my Licence since I was 21 and I am now 58 and I bet I would put my foot down too because in the last 5 years I have barely ridden at all...no bike. Don't sweat it..you will be fine...:)
 

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By U-turn I'm assuming you mean the serpentine part where you zig zag thru the cones?
Ya, that part sux! I put my foot down a few times on my 300r, luckily I aced the rest and passed tho. Don't be embarrassed tho, skill/road tests are so nerve racking we all do things that we normally have no problems with.
 

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When I came to Oz in '99 from the UK, I had to retake both my car and bike tests. I found the bike test frankly ludicrous, being conducted entirely within a car park and consisting solely of low-speed riding plus theory. For some reason, the authorities thought the best way to ensure somebody was fit to ride a 150mph GSXF1100 (the last bike I had in the UK before emigrating) was to check they could do a 3mph turn. Eh?

And yes, that part of the test is a nightmare until you master trailing the rear brake.

Having said that, I have to confess that I have more than occasionally put a foot down when executing slow, tight turns. Thank God I have lived to tell the tale....... :-0
 

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Don't be embarrassed. There is opportunity to become more successful and learn more from failures and mistakes, no doubt.

Pick yourself back up, and do what you need in order to recover and take the next step to succeed. We all know you're a winner... Time for YOU to believe and prove it. :)
 
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when i returned to motorcycling after an enforced layoff
i did the beginners or pre-learner course and then license course
and test with my youngest son.. having already purchased my
cbr250r it was a snack, not only thru having ridden road bikes
[4 hondas] over many years, but also from the habit of riding
slowly including to walking pace, as part of smooth traffic
negotiations, filtering etc.. trying to never put a foot down
off its peg unless absolutely necessary, ie, when stopped..

as soon as i got 'black beauty' it was practice time..
around the block, incl a boundabout, over and over..

then to a handy nearby open carpark space empty during the day
[clovelly on the shoreline for aussies] for more slow riding
including, reducing circles, over and over and over..

its amazing how much you can get thru in even 15 mins...
the idea is to think of the practice as just riding round and round,
as if around a carpark or whatever, but eventually to a small circle
slowly, without thought of stopping, or putting a foot down..

if you think of stopping, or putting a foot down, just the thought,
will be to some extent taken by brain as a sort of command
or pre-action preparatory thought.. dont even think of
anything else other than going round around in your circle..

if this sounds manic or excessive, then so be it, but to get the skill
as in any skill, its not enough to think of it or do it a few times..
reliable skills development requires,, ongoing repetition...
this is how reflex responses etc are recognised by brain
ie, by the repetition of them...

brain recognises ongoing repetition as a manifestation of intent..
it knows from the reality that you are serious about the skill
[or whatever it is] and will engage many existing abilities
of mind and existing skills to help, develop the 'new' skill..
take my word for it..

even tho slow riding seems or may seem unrealistic compared to
say, screaming around a closed course at high speeds etc,
in the real world of traffic, intersections, corners, etc
slow riding with skill precision and control
is fundamental to all other road skills...

watch motogp riders for example.. while highly skilled
in all racing etc, to wonderful levels, these riders can also
ride slowly, standing on the pegs, slow wheelstanding,
other slow no hands riding etc..

very slow riding, to almost stopped, including while turning etc,
requires good coordinated control of throttle, clutch and [rear] brake..
this level of skill is nothing to sneeze at.. and is fundamental..

i or others could go on all day about break thru skills development etc,
but there is really only one way to achieve it,, buy deciding to do it,
then, actually starting to ride slowly, in dedicated practice sessions..

anyone with average skills etc, can succeed in developing slow riding
abilities [sufficient to pass basic testing] in only a few days of
repeated serious slow riding practice... a week say, every day..

same goes for the basic brake in the box braking test..
simply chalk out your box and start line, then go over it
again and again.. before long you will be confidently
taking off strongly and braking with precision
right in the center of your box..

in my test having seen some of the woeful and woosy attempts
of some course participants [couple failed this simple test]
i was determined to get it right.. took off strongly, timed it
and stopped in the box, with a slight tyre sqeal as a fullstop..
terse instructor looked around with 'good, carl'..
[first time he uttered those words]

point being that even when rusty you can easily hone your skills
simply by repeating them over and over again somewhere safe..
it is, as simple as that..

there is no 'yes, but...'
if you or someone cant reach a confident level
of u-turning or whatever within a few days
of serious practice [not just a few attempts etc]
then all it means is you havnt reached you repetition
range.. there is and will be a range of repetition where
the skill will fall into place and become, easy...

the coordination and brain responses required to open a fridge
door, pull out a compartment, select an item, open it, eat or
drink it, and toss the rubbish in the bin etc, even tho its seems
simple and easy [and is] is on a similar level as slow riding,
or braking, or other skills...

the only difference is that you have done one skill thousands of times
until it becomes reflexive and automatic, only needing the thought
to begin the reflex skill, whereas in the clumsy or difficult attempts
there has not been the required repetition level..

if you cant manage slow riding or braking etc, after say two weeks
of daily practice sessions for as often as is possible, then perhaps
the single track vehicle is not for you..

saw a 'motorcycle' the other day with two front wheels close together..
he steered in and leaned it around the corner he and a two wheel bike
passed together.. that could be an option for those genuinely
unable to develop basic single track riding skills...

remember, with intention and persistence, every small error,
will become part of, development of the skill..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After I finished, I determined that one of my issues was that I should have shifted my weight more to the opposite side to counter-balance on those slow speed u-turns.

I did the cone weave fine, but I felt like I was going through it a little too fast, which leads me to the question: Which is better, dragging the rear brake a little to slow down, or feathering the clutch so as to not gain as much speed through the turns?
 

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Hi George. Could I offer some advice here? As long as you negotiated the cones in the slalom then fine don't get too bogged down as to whether it was too fast or too slow. You did it great! Now one of the biggest stumbling blocks that riders have is the vision element of riding.There are others such as lack of clutch control, balance especially if they have an inner ear infection of ruptured ear drum.
I think that Sishoshin was eluding to it lets break it down.
Firstly look to where you want to go! Don't focus on the cones or any limiting areas.
Practice clutch control! Start in straight lines firstly by decelerating from a speed that you feel Ok with then bring it down to as slow as you feel comfortable with.
Then try it from a standing start and travel along say with some one walking along side, then they could vary their pace and you should try to keep level with them.
Once you are comfortable with this add in some obstacles, like a slalom and a figure of 8.

Remember keep your head up and look where you want to go, move your eyes not your head as proportionately it is the heaviest part of the body.
Move you body weight if you feel comfortable in doing so. I would normally do this in very tight turns with the bike at a severe angle.
If you take the drive away (clutch control) you will fall. If you apply drive the bike will pick up and you have saved the fall.
Sorry this seems long winded but it would be better to demonstrate then have to describe. Utar is a great place but its a bit of a ride on my Cbr.
Hope it all works out for you.:nerd:
 

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I can understand this feeling. I bet I'll feel the same way come a week or so from now when I pick up my bike. My license automatically renewed my M1. I took the MSF course and passed back in 2010, purchased a brand new motorcycle. Sold it after a year.

I decided last year I'd get back into riding again. I purchased a full automatic scooter to start off with, but have not worked a motorcycle clutch in almost 5 years. I guarantee I'm gonna feel embarrassed my first ride. I bet I kill it a couple times. lol the full automatic helped me get back into the groove of things, but the biggest mental challenge to riding is slow speeds and working the clutch.
 

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Awesome video post!..Crony ;)
 

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Thanks, Jerry "the Motorman" Palladino is a retired motor officer and runs a riding school here in Florida.

He has a lot of videos with riding tips on you tube, and sells videos on his website.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, I returned to take the test over the weekend and passed.

I think it was arrogant of me to go in the first time and think I could easily pass without sufficient practice or a plan. This time I had lots of practice, and I went into it with a plan to use the rear brake and some feathering of the clutch to make those maneuvers. Thanks for the tips, everyone.
 

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Ok, I returned to take the test over the weekend and passed.

I think it was arrogant of me to go in the first time and think I could easily pass without sufficient practice or a plan. This time I had lots of practice, and I went into it with a plan to use the rear brake and some feathering of the clutch to make those maneuvers. Thanks for the tips, everyone.

No mate don't beat yourself up over it, Perhaps a little over confident, nothing more.
Its funny but a lot of folk resent the fact that they have not passed a driving test of some sort but I think it can be a force for good as the experience is all the sweeter when you get the result you want.:cool:
Ride on Brother
 

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I can understand this feeling. I bet I'll feel the same way come a week or so from now when I pick up my bike. My license automatically renewed my M1. I took the MSF course and passed back in 2010, purchased a brand new motorcycle. Sold it after a year.

I decided last year I'd get back into riding again. I purchased a full automatic scooter to start off with, but have not worked a motorcycle clutch in almost 5 years. I guarantee I'm gonna feel embarrassed my first ride. I bet I kill it a couple times. lol the full automatic helped me get back into the groove of things, but the biggest mental challenge to riding is slow speeds and working the clutch.
Shouldn't be too hard, depending on how much time you put into it.

I bought the CB300F just last month coming off a Honda PCX 150. Killed the engine a few times, sometimes at a green light. Went more smoothly after a week. Now, at a month after the purchase, I have about 1200 miles on the odometer. Started to try hanging out during turns, but I found that largely unnecessary simply because the roads aren't that twisty and the speed limit is pretty tame.
 

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Shouldn't be too hard, depending on how much time you put into it.

I bought the CB300F just last month coming off a Honda PCX 150. Killed the engine a few times, sometimes at a green light. Went more smoothly after a week. Now, at a month after the purchase, I have about 1200 miles on the odometer. Started to try hanging out during turns, but I found that largely unnecessary simply because the roads aren't that twisty and the speed limit is pretty tame.
I think I was just overthinking at the beginning. Because since my purchase, I've picked right up where I left off using the clutch. 300 miles in already & it's been smooth!
 

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Awesome George! Congrats on passing!!! :)
 

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look were you want to go, in the case of the U-turn your head should be **** 90* so your chin is over your shoulder and your eyes is looking behind you where you want to go, this is how you start it. Cover your rear brake too and lightly use if if you need stablized while on the throttle. Throttle should be light and constant, feather the clutch and keep it in the friction zone. As you go thru the U and start to straighten out give it more gas ease off the clutch and rear brake. At no time do you apply front brake, if so the bike will fall over. The whole time you should always be looking where you want to go. If you feel the bike falling over give it a little more gas or ease off the clutch some more, more speed/acceleration keeps you upright.

Theory it is simple but takes lots of practice to master...which reminds me I need to practice this. Haven't practice on the 300 yet. Being a smaller motor less torque and gyroscopic force it is actually harder to do slow maneuvers then a larger bike. Smaller makes tighter radius but larger stays upright easier.
 

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I barely passed my MSF course, been practicing with my bike and I'm surprised at how few figure 8s in boxes I haven't had to do. :D That stuff was very valuable though to get down the basics of maneuvering, but what trips me up on the real road is stuff like learning a manual transmission.
 
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