The msf will cover all of it, as oreo keeps trying to tell you, which is why you're not really gaining anything. The risk with a lot of people is they will go into the course thinking they already know what the instructor is teaching, end up coming across as ignorant and not wanting to listen, at which point the instructors end up tuning you out and you dont get full value out of the course.Too late! I bought and read all of those books already. My BRC is this weekend. I have two performance cars that use manual transmissions so the clutch friction zone is nothing new. I dont like to jump into something new without knowing some fundamentals in order to get the most out of the experience. It is just that some of the books did not cover the ideas presented in ride like a pro.
This skill is important! It will differentiate you from the duck walking Harley dudes and the squid that has to put his sandals down every time his bike dips below 10mph. Shit, just finishing 'The Box' in front of them would probably have said Harley dude and Squid thinking you're a 1337 stunta...At msf they'll teach you how to do it so you can roll along at a babys crawl without needing to put a foot down, very useful in parking lots and slow traffic.
Well for your U-Turns...like you said it would depend on your bike.If you are a BRAND NEW rider with ZERO riding experience that has NOT taken MSF yet, I do not recommend reading these books prior to the course. The course is DESIGNED for people with ZERO riding experience and more often than not, the people that go into the course with a completely blank slate end up being the ones that get the most out of it.
Regarding the clutch for 12mph maneuvers, that depends entirely on the bike, how it is geared, how it handles low RPM's, how coordinated the rider is, etc. When I'm on the MSF bikes demonstrating the two consecutive U turns in the box, I use SECOND gear and use ZERO clutch and I actually recommend that to the students who are having trouble with it. Reason being: for BEGINNER RIDERS, using the clutch for low speed maneuvers dramatically complicates things. They often don't have that level of coordination yet.
After you've done MSF, check out Riding in the Zone - that's another good one, but again, ALL of these are a step BEYOND the MSF course. I do NOT recommend reading these books before you take the MSF course. It will very likely over complicate things for you and it's quite possible that you'll end up over thinking everything. Most of the literature mentioned in this thread is early-intermediate to advanced riding literature. It's intended for people that already have some riding experience and already have a foundation to work with.
The Box is the hardest part of the riding test. (Written test is a complete joke that a 5 yr old could pass.) My course back in the day (3 years ago) gave people either Honda Rebel 250s or a dual sport (3 of them.) Being 6 foot 6 I was one of the dual sports. I couldn't even imagine sitting on that little cruiser.Today is the last day in my BRC and I felt the pace was kind of uneven if not a bit fast at first. I'm not sure I'm confident to take a bike on the road after we're done. I finished up the first day of riding lessons - exercises 1-10. I don't feel I have enough practice for the tight slow turns, like the u-turns and offset cone weave. I had a lot of fun in the cornering exercise, just WOT in the straights, brake hard before the turn, etc... not too different from NASCAR in Bristol.
But tomorrow is the written exam, exercises 11-17, skill eval, and the MI riding test. I'm not confident I have enough practice in just 1 day to pass the riding tests - how difficult is the actual riding exam? I think I was wasting too much time learning how to balance on a motorcycle when it's stopped. Once I understood where I needed to go and got a better feel of the bike, the controls were intuitive. It's just the actual handling of the bike that has me a bit concerned.
The bikes we used were absolute shit. A Honda CB125T I had made my hips hurt because I felt like a giant riding on a kid's tricycle, and there was no room for my size 12 ACU boots to fit the gearshift or rear brake pedal intuitively.
For those that went through the BRC, what can I expect on the last day? I've got a good feel for the basic controls, but if you put me on a modern motorcycle I'm not sure I could handle one well at low speeds. Any tips on passing the riding test and written test?
PS: I will put Riding in the Zone on my shopping list!
As I said earlier, man. That's what parking lots are for. Plus there are MANY videos on youtube about people explaining all sorts of the basics. Added to that the info from the BRC should still be fresh in your head and short of time I don't see a problem. (Well, weather is one...) But still, it's not overly complex. Practicing by yourself first is usually a no-no because you may inadvertently ingrain things into your head from doing them over and over that are wrong. Now they need erased by a rider coach and you need to be 're-taught'. BRC first at least gives you all of the building blocks even if you are a bit starved for information/criticism now.I passed the BRC and got my MSF card, but I don't have a good grasp on the friction zone - I need to do this more smoothly but I didn't have enough time or constructive feedback to really practice properly. Overall, if I had to do this all over again I'd probably just find a way to practice enough to take and pass the state skills test, get my endorsement, and practice - then take one of these MSF courses to improve. As a beginner to bikes, I found it very frustrating to learn at a comfortable pace in the BRC.