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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. I am happy to be joining the Motorcycle Forum and look forward to interacting with you all. I'm ready to take some pointers too.

So my story is that I am in summer break for high school (I'm 16), and I will be on the road to being a junior. Both of my parents working (they do visit about once or twice a month) out of state and I am staying with my sister, 24. I usually stay home alone for most of the week since she works full time. I figured if I want a job, I have to get a mode of transportation. To get to the job and have a few trips to friends. My interest in motorcycles started when I was 15 and I saw the Pawn Stars go to the Sturgis rally. It looked insanely fun to ride and enjoy the journey. Ever since, my interest has been rising. So, I registered for the MSF. My friend lives near the facility so I decided I'd stay there for 3 days.

I got in and let me say, riding and operating basic controls was easier than I thought. I stalled a bit, but I recovered in a timely matter. I went past the first two days and passed the written tests. The final day came and we were a little behind. The night before the final day was terrible though because my friend always nags me to stay up during the night and when I did go to sleep, I woke up during the night and couldn't go to sleep for 2 hours, only giving me 5-6 hours of sleep. Also, I live in the desert, all my gear was black, and we were going to be on the range all day for 8 and a half hours. Combine that, and I was tired and hot. I was baking and my helmet heated up so it made me thirsty every 10-15 minutes. My focus was off.

When it came to the third test of that final day, they dismissed me for not following a few instructions and being clumsy. I asked as many questions as I could possibly think of, but I misunderstood some of the directives they gave. I was extremely bummed. I understood why they dismissed me and I knew it was probably for the best, but I've heard stories that people dropped their bikes, were being clumsy with controls, and almost hurt themselves during the course and they passed. That fact made me upset.

I am looking to improve though in anyway possible. I'm going to see if my friend is heading to the desert anytime soon and I plan to hone my skills on the dirt bike. Also, taking suggestions anyway I can. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.

By being clumsy on the final day, I mean:
-not keeping the handlebars straight
-braking in a cumbersome way
-downshifting and braking
-slightly tipping the bike sideways when coming to a stop (less than 10 inches)
 

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Sounds to me like its just a matter of not getting enough sleep the night before.
If you were exhausted, it would have been easy to not follow directions because you wouldnt have your focus.
No worries, take the class again and this time, dont listen to your friends who want you to stay up all night.
If your friends cant respect the fact that getting your licence is important to you and that you need your sleep to be at your best, maybe you need to get some new friends.
 

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I would suggest retaking the class. Everyone has an off day sometimes. Some more seat time on the motorcycle may be just what you need to have everything click into place for you.
 

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Ditto the above. Your friend is somewhat selfish to blow an important event like that for you. Take the course again, but before you do, try to borrow a bike and spend some time riding in a parking lot practicing what you learned the first time. It will click that much better second time thru. Riding in the desert will help some, but it's not the same as blacktop, trust me.
 

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Failing one time does not necessarily mean you are a failure, it just means you need more practice time. When I was your age, the first time I got on a bike, I ended up in a pricker bush...be thankful you didn't have to have your friends plucking thorns out of your butt....

The next time you take the test, don't think of it as a test. You'll get yourself all worked up about it. Just take a deep breath and relax. If you find yourself tensing up, take another one...Remember, you control the bike, the bike does not control you.

In my state, and I'm sure it's the same in most others, dropping the bike is an automatic failure. I've heard of someone coming in for the final pull over, did the entire test, but right before shutting off the bike ,dropped it, and they failed him.

Riding takes practice, it's not something you can learn in three days. Some can pick it up right away, but most take practice. I've been riding for two months now, and I'm still learning different things each time I ride.
 

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Agreed, don't let it throw you, take it again and do your best. I think a little dirt time could be good as well. Remember though, a minor things like not keeping the bars straight when coming to a stop can easily cause you to dump a bike. The instructor was looking out for your long term interest.
Stay with us and practice.
 

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Also; many times it's in the attitude. I took the BRC with my son (just because) but went at it with a fresh attitude. I didn't need the course as I'd had my M license for 30 years already...the only two people to fail were:
1) A lady who dropped the 250 Rebel she was on and lost her nerve. The instructors tried to talk her out of quitting but she walked away halfway thru the second day
2) A guy who had been riding illegally for 45 years and decided to get a license and insurance (WTF???) He failed because he "knew it all already" and wouldn't listen to the instructors. Everyone else passed.
Is it possible you were giving off an aura or your lack of sleep/coordination was showing more than you know? Sometimes we don't realize how transparent we are to others. A little self-examination might help....try to view yourself as your instructor might see you, and what do you see? Would you pass yourself?
Hope this helps some.....:71baldboy:
 

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Dropping the motorcycle during the class is not an automatic fail. Dropping the motorcycle during the exam is an automatic fail.

The first job of the instructor is to maintain a high level of safety on the range. If an instructor determines that a student does not have enough control over the motorcycle to be safe, they are duty bound to stop that student from riding further.
 

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Dropping the motorcycle during the class is not an automatic fail. Dropping the motorcycle during the exam is an automatic fail.

The first job of the instructor is to maintain a high level of safety on the range. If an instructor determines that a student does not have enough control over the motorcycle to be safe, they are duty bound to stop that student from riding further.
I meant to say during the exam...We had one person in our class that dropped the bike 4 or 5 times during class but not during the exam. I was really surprised that they didn't pull her out of class, because she was easily frustrated and started throwing out the f-bombs. She ended up failing the exam, and in a way, I was thankful, because everyone could tell she needed way more practice than what the course could offer in 3 days.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am determined to pass the second time. My ambition won't roll over and die because of a blunder haha.

And do you guys recommend I get a bike first? Sometimes my school parking lot is clear more towards the day and it is .5-1.5 mi away from where I live. I know that requires riding, but I confident I can make the trip there. The down side is through it does have speed bumps. Any other parking lot would be too far and/or not have a clear space to let me practice. I would think the desert is my only viable option here.
 

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That's a tough question to answer. I went out and brought my bike before taking the course. But I knew that if I decided riding wasn't for me, my hubby would take the bike. If you are going to be riding it on the road at all, you need to get your learners permit, registration and insurance (depending on your state laws). I think most people are going to say pass the course first. Then hone your skills. Do you have any friends that would let you borrow their bikes? If you do decide to buy one, I would suggest a used one (cause crap does happen) and one that you will feel comfortable on and is beginner friendly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have a friend I have known since the 6th grade and I'm about to be a junior. His mom has dirt bikes and a Harley for her and another Harley for her husband. That's going to be a problem, I'm literally asking her. She has a KTM 250 and a Honda 150 (dirt bikes). I'm sure there's no way in hell she'll let me borrow the Harley. Even if I do borrow a dirt bike, there's really no where I can practice.
 

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With the maturity you are showing at 16 after having a less than perfect day testing, I have no doubt that you will pass the test the next time you take it. You are not blaming someone, or anyone for not passing other than the inconsiderate friend that didn't allow you to be fresh for the test.

Just rest up and retest, by the sounds of it, you probably know what's expected of you to pass and now know what they expect from you.
 

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I remember how physically and mentally tired I was by the end of my BRC. In fact all of the students in my class had a discussion about that while we were waiting for the coaches to get the cards/certificates ready to hand out. We also discussed the muscle memory we had learned for the bike each of us rode.

Next time be sure to get plenty of rest the night before. You want to be sharp and able to listen and understand the directions being given to you. Good Luck to you!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just wondering, can I get any of the charts that show the layouts for the tests they have you perform at the MSF? I want to practice all of them and their objectives so I can be as sharp as a knife next time.
 

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I am going to join the club here. Take that course over. Some people have test jitters on any test. If that is you, just relax. Think about it, what is the worst that can happen? You will end up with the license you already have and can still drive a car.
If your concern is that you have not mastered the skills, a repeat will help get you there. Do not judge yourself harshly. Many of us old time riders made many mistakes before we became competent riders but we were lucky since nobody wanted to test our skills or lack of them back when I was learning.
My bet is that next time you will do just fine.
 

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The first time I tried the figure 8, I didn't even come close at all. I almost gave up out of frustration. When I came in the next morning (I was early) the instructor gave me some one on one time. He told me what objects I need to be looking at in order to get it done. It worked. I mastered it within 3 tries. I was estatic. During the test, I did really really good, up until the last second and I accidently twerked the throttle a bit which caused me to go outside the box. Oh well, just lost a few points, no big deal, just told myself no biggie, go onto the next one.
 

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The new test released this year is listed on this site. Not all states have moved to the new range program and test yet. Here in Illinois we use the new classroom material, but still use the previous range exercises and test. It may take a couple years to have the new range course and test being used universally. If a license waiver accepted by your state, it may take some time for the state government to approve the new range exercises and tests.

If you have the 17 range exercise, 4-part test, it's the previous msf program. The new program has 14 range exercises and a 7 part test.

The 4 part test consists of limited space maneuvers (two u-turns, one left and one right), avoiding an obstacle (a swerve), stopping quickly, and a decreasing radius (135-degree) curve. There is nothing in the exam that isn't covered earlier on the range.
 

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Just wondering, can I get any of the charts that show the layouts for the tests they have you perform at the MSF? I want to practice all of them and their objectives so I can be as sharp as a knife next time.
I don't know of anywhere you can get these officially without being an instructor, but a google search might come up with something.
 
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