I failed the riding test....what a TINY circle! [Archive] - Glock Talk

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lilslyk
11-05-2005, 21:03
So, somewhat arrogantly, I went to my riding test Thursday morning expeccting to pass no problem and get my full out license. I had never seen the cone/circle course, let alone tried it.

The examiner gave me one "trial run" at it, and I did put my foot down halfway around the circle once. On the real go, I made it 3/4 around the circle but then had to put the foot down or risk dropping the bike.

Now I have to go and practice and hopefully get good enough at that to pass it on my FZR 600R. I have about 1200 miles of riding experience and had considered myself pretty decent at low-speed maneuvering, but I was humbled that day.

Can't wait to go there and practice (maybe tomorrow afternoon) so that I can get my full blown license...not that it has kept me from riding at night or on the freeways (sometimes both!), but I don't like doing illegal things.

ateamer
11-05-2005, 23:26
Take an MSF class. You will learn proper low-speed maneuvering. Learning on your own, you will learn all kinds of bad, possibly deadly, habits. I was taught to ride by motor officers and took the MSF class after six or seven years of riding experience. Still learned some good stuff. You owe it to yourself to get professional training.

Also, don't fall into the trap of thinking you have plenty of experience. 1200 miles is a two day ride for lots of riders.

Short Cut
11-05-2005, 23:32
Sport bikes, particularly the ones which are used as the basis bike for racing, are the worst for tight manuevering because their limited amount of steering lock, stubby bars and more forward weight bias. Try it on a dual sport, we used to call them enduros, and see how much easier it is.

Rosey
11-06-2005, 01:59
Originally posted by Short Cut
Sport bikes, particularly the ones which are used as the basis bike for racing, are the worst for tight manuevering because their limited amount of steering lock, stubby bars and more forward weight bias. Try it on a dual sport, we used to call them enduros, and see how much easier it is.

;Q for sure

Who posted that video of the Japanese police riding in that cone-course competition? I think they were on police modded CBR1000 Hurricanes, IIRC. Those guys had skills (and practice!)...

Was that you who found that, fnfalman?

Texas T
11-06-2005, 17:59
Originally posted by ateamer
Also, don't fall into the trap of thinking you have plenty of experience. 1200 miles is a two day ride for lots of riders. Or a one day ride for these folks...
http://www.ironbutt.com/about/default.cfm


If you chose to NOT take the MSF class but still want to learn how to control your bike at slow speeds (as well as other training) order this DVD...
http://www.ridelikeapro.com/

I've recommended it several times and never had anyone disagree with me once they saw it.

lilslyk
11-06-2005, 20:46
I absolutely do not think I have "plenty" of experience at riding a bike...however I do feel I am capable of riding one at night or on the freeway as the permit restricts.

I realize 1200 miles is not very many, but I forgot to mention that 80%+ of those are city commuting miles...which in my opinion develops skills a lot quicker than cruising along (or even riding the twisties) because you get a lot of starts/stops and more things happening around you.

I have always intended to take the MSF course, problem is they're always filled up 2+ months in advance and I am not sure hwen I am in or out of town that far ahead.

Thanks for the advice, will definitely take a look at the ridelikeapro website.

shark_za
11-07-2005, 11:11
Use a dual sport for your test, you'll be suprised how easy they are to ride.
Wide bars, comfortable seating position.

fnfalman
11-07-2005, 11:13
Yep,

Ride Like a Pro is a good help, as is the MSF course. Doing the slow maneuverings are the tough parts. Anybody can haul ass on a straightaway.

But don't be discouraged, it's not suppose to be too easy. In Commiefornia, you have to negotiate a decreasing radius circle.

Also, see if you can borrow a small 250 like the Nighthawk or something like that for the test.

Three-Five-Seven
11-07-2005, 15:27
What is the diameter of the circle??

Cryptoboy
11-07-2005, 21:20
Originally posted by Rosey
;Q for sure

Who posted that video of the Japanese police riding in that cone-course competition? I think they were on police modded CBR1000 Hurricanes, IIRC. Those guys had skills (and practice!)...

Was that you who found that, fnfalman?

When my wife and I were taking the Basic MSF course, they had and advanced/expert level course on the other range. Those riders had to bring their own bikes, and they were doing the test as well. Watching those guys on their full size Goldwings and Harley touring bikes was about the most impressive thing I'd seen (up to that point!) I was worried that I couldn't do the figure 8 with the little Honda Rebel that they had me on! :)

VWglocker
11-08-2005, 16:37
i failed the first time too. on my dads PC800, which is a good sized bike. the problem with our testing area was the turn around after the cones. there was just no room. i never saw anybody make it.

soooo, i took the MSF course and i'm glad i did. i'm a better rider for it and it made my mom happy.

also, if you take the course (at least in NC, you don't have to pass the cone test at the DMV)

Neller0414
11-09-2005, 16:36
i passed easily the first time on a sv650 from the local dealer. they let me "demo" it. it was a great bike for the test, but dont know how much better it would be than the fizzer you got. now that you know what to do, just practice for a few hours and u will be good to go.

Texas T
11-09-2005, 20:25
Originally posted by Rosey
Who posted that video of the Japanese police riding in that cone-course competition? I think they were on police modded CBR1000 Hurricanes, IIRC. Those guys had skills (and practice!)... Here ya go. These guys are incredible. I'd have dropped my bike half a dozen times before I made it through the course.

http://2st.dip.jp/bikemovie/src/up5837.wmv

CajunBass
11-10-2005, 11:27
I just took my Virginia motorcycle skills test. Part of that was to make a U turn inside two lines, 20 feet apart. I didn't have much trouble doing that in the parking lot where I practiced it after about 100 times of not doing it. When I went to DMV, though the test area had a slight downhill slope. To do the U turn, you have to uphill, then make the turn. The uphill slope kills your speed faster than you expect it. Then when you go into the turn, the slope of the hill forces you to lean more outside than you're used to.

On the S turn part of the test, you have the opposite problem. You're going downhill for that part of the test, so you're going faster than you have practiced at.

After I passed, I said something to the tester about not expecting the slope to make that much difference. She said almost nobody does those two parts perfectly the first time. I didn't either, but did well enough on the other parts to pass.

Oh. one other thing. There was a brick wall on three sides of the test area too. Not a lot of runnoff area if you were to make a mistake. That brick wall looked mighty intimidating.

hapuna
11-10-2005, 14:10
We had a box where we had to do a figure 8. I thought that was the hardest! It was a small box.;P Oh yeah and it was raining like hell.

Rosey
11-10-2005, 22:46
Originally posted by Texas T
Here ya go. These guys are incredible. I'd have dropped my bike half a dozen times before I made it through the course.

http://2st.dip.jp/bikemovie/src/up5837.wmv

Yeah! That's the one. Neat...

F14Scott
11-11-2005, 22:19
What was your technique? For slow speed maneuvering, you'll have much better luck if you set intermediate throttle, slip the clutch at a constant rate, and modulate your speed with rear brake.

Short Cut
11-11-2005, 22:48
Originally posted by F14Scott
What was your technique? For slow speed maneuvering, you'll have much better luck if you set intermediate throttle, slip the clutch at a constant rate, and modulate your speed with rear brake.

Great point Scott about the rear brake. It really helps to hold a tight line in a corner. I learned that riding dirtbikes and it translates well to slow speed street bike stuff too. That's why I hate bikes that have linked brakes where the back brake activates the front brakes too.

F14Scott
11-12-2005, 09:22
Originally posted by Short Cut
Great point Scott about the rear brake. It really helps to hold a tight line in a corner. I learned that riding dirtbikes and it translates well to slow speed street bike stuff too. That's why I hate bikes that have linked brakes where the back brake activates the front brakes too.

I ride a '99 VFR with LBS (linked brakes) and it doesn't seem to matter, low-speed (or high-speed, for that matter). I've not noticed any negative characteristics with the LBS (except perhaps added weight and complexity), only positive handling effects for street riding and spourt touring, but I'm admitedly not a 10/10ths rider.

In my opinion, it's not the front/rear bias of the braking that makes using the rear brake steadier while low speed, it's the fact that you're using a pedal that is faster responding, is more linear, and had only a single variable.

When you use idle/light throttle and feather the clutch, you're constantly advancing and retarding throttle, slipping the clutch in and out, and even sometimes adding/releasing brake. That's three controls to modulate.

When you set intermediate throttle and clutch, that's it, you forget about them. Now, all further speed adjustments are handled by the rear brake pedal. Holding the brake pedal halfway down, you can quickly "add power" by releasing it or "remove power" by depressing it further.

I've not ridden on dirt, so I can't speak to your comment, but I suspect you may be talking about sliding the rear in a tight corner. That would be difficult with LBS.

fnfalman
11-12-2005, 16:29
I don't like fully integrated braking system where either the hand lever or the foot lever would activate both brakes. I prefer the way BMW sets up the partially integrated brakin system where the hand lever will activate the front and rear brakes and the foot lever only activate the rear.

But that's pretty much subjective because lots of people prefer non-linked brakes.

Eyespy
11-13-2005, 19:29
Originally posted by ateamer
Take an MSF class. You will learn proper low-speed maneuvering.

The MSF BRC is incredibly inadequate for learning proper low-speed maneuvering. The politics and financial motivations have watered down the curriculem severely.

Jtemple
11-13-2005, 23:11
You aren't the only one that failed that test the first time through. I did. My second time taking it, I had practiced on my own, making about 500 runs through the course. I could do it with my eyes closed by the time I re-took the test.

On my first try, I was the only one there. My second time, there were 3 other riders there. I was the only one that passed. One guy had been riding for 20 years and failed it. I guess he had been riding all this time without a license.

I was riding a SV650. What worked for me was to just coast in 1st gear through the tight spots, then give it some throttle in the easier areas, to make up time. I can ride in circles and slalom, turning into the stops all day long while coasting in 1st gear.

fnfalman
11-14-2005, 09:52
Originally posted by Eyespy
The MSF BRC is incredibly inadequate for learning proper low-speed maneuvering. The politics and financial motivations have watered down the curriculem severely.

They can only teach you so much in a 15-hours course. And it sure beats trying to learn on your own. The MSF instructors said that we now know enough to be dangerous. Just like everything else. There's the basic course and then there's the advanced courses. The BRC was and is a good introduction into motorcycling. From what I understand, about ten or more years ago, it was more rigorous than today and it's too bad that the course gets watered down, but better than Uncle Joe trying to show you how to ride.

bac1023
11-16-2005, 10:40
The test wasn't easy for me, but I managed to pass. I used a heavy Suzuki RF900R. Its not an easy bike to pass the test on.

Skyhook
11-16-2005, 10:52
Anyone else put weight on the pegs to help in those slow-speed maneuverings??

fnfalman
11-16-2005, 10:59
For that slow of a speed, I just use the handlebar and body counterbalancing. For cornering at fast speeds, I do weigh the pegs. I don't know if weighing the pegs would help with slow speed maneuvering. I'll give it a whirl and see.

Jtemple
11-16-2005, 19:56
You mean shifting body weight to the pegs instead of the seat? I don't believe that would change your center of gravity.

Skyhook
11-17-2005, 06:05
Originally posted by Jtemple
You mean shifting body weight to the pegs instead of the seat? I don't believe that would change your center of gravity.

Think of the pegs as part of a lever passing 90 deg. through the longitudinal axis of the bike.. any weight shifted to those will apply some force to whatever side the weight is shifted.

DunedinDragon
11-17-2005, 06:05
Originally posted by F14Scott
What was your technique? For slow speed maneuvering, you'll have much better luck if you set intermediate throttle, slip the clutch at a constant rate, and modulate your speed with rear brake.

...And there you have Motorman's video in a nutshell.

Bottom line, here's what you do.

1. TURN YOUR HEAD and look toward a fixed point in the center of the circle or at your exit point in a turn.

2. Hold your friction point so you have forward momentum.

3. Feather your rear brake to control forward momentum. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FRONT BRAKE!!!

4. Don't be afraid to lean your bike. Even if your pegs scrape you'll be fine.

Go onto a normal small street in your neighborhood and practice making a turn without putting your foot down. DO NOT look at the curb or you will hit the curb. Your bike will go whereever you are looking.

It is absolutely well worth your time to get Motorman's video. You need to see what he's doing to "get" it. Typically the MSF guys don't like Motorman too much because he's not teaching the "MSF way" of doing it. He's teaching the way they are taught in motor officer school which is FAR more effective.

I remember one trip I took up to N. Carolina and was riding with a bunch of other Harley riders. We went down a wrong road, and the roads in the backwoods of NC are not very wide. I was the first in line to pull a u-turn and when I came out a couple of the females riding on the back of the other bikes were hitting their better halve's on the shoulder and pointing out what I did. I guess they were tired of either falling over in u-turns like that or having their hubby's grunt and moan about their weight when they had to do a three point turn.

Ride Like A Pro (http://www.ridelikeapro.com)

Clydeglide
11-17-2005, 20:32
Originally posted by DunedinDragon
...And there you have Motorman's video in a nutshell.

Bottom line, here's what you do.

1. TURN YOUR HEAD and look toward a fixed point in the center of the circle or at your exit point in a turn.

Ride Like A Pro (http://www.ridelikeapro.com)

This can be the most important piece of info you ever recieve. I was at a "Bikefest" a few weeks ago. The Motorman was there putting on a demonstration (and selling cd's). My wife and I watched him and she told me I should consider getting her one of his vid's for Chrsitmas as a stocking stuffer.;f

The next sentence after the one I highlighted above was, "You go where you look. If you look at the curb, you will hit the curb." These words were almost verbatim of what my first MSF instructor said some 13 years ago. Only the MSF guy more succinctly said, "You go where you look, if you look down, you go down." Words I live by today.

BTW, my MSF instructor was a former racer and added that statement to his personal book of instruction. If it was mentioned in last 2 MSF courses I took, I missed it.

Oops, better order that vid...........Holidays coming ya' know.

:cool:

epsylum
11-17-2005, 20:49
Originally posted by Clydeglide
This can be the most important piece of info you ever recieve. I was at a "Bikefest" a few weeks ago. The Motorman was there putting on a demonstration (and selling cd's). My wife and I watched him and she told me I should consider getting her one of his vid's for Chrsitmas as a stocking stuffer.;f

The next sentence after the one I highlighted above was, "You go where you look. If you look at the curb, you will hit the curb." These words were almost verbatim of what my first MSF instructor said some 13 years ago. Only the MSF guy more succinctly said, "You go where you look, if you look down, you go down." Words I live by today.

BTW, my MSF instructor was a former racer and added that statement to his personal book of instruction. If it was mentioned in last 2 MSF courses I took, I missed it.

Oops, better order that vid...........Holidays coming ya' know.

:cool:

looking through the corner is essential. It really helps out a lot.

I love those pics of professional racers (Hayden, any of them, Edwards, Rossi, etc, they all do it) leaned so far over thier elbows are almost touching and you see thier head cranked over looking almost 90 degrees over and thier eyes are actually looking up to see the corner exit, like some fighter pilot executing a 7 G turn. Now THAT'S looking through the corner.

Jtemple
11-17-2005, 21:21
Yeah, I picked stuff like that up mountain biking. It's a different world, but it helps a little. You can take a hard corner looking through it like that and hardly notice it's there.

Eyespy
11-27-2005, 02:07
Originally posted by fnfalman
They can only teach you so much in a 15-hours course. And it sure beats trying to learn on your own. The MSF instructors said that we now know enough to be dangerous. Just like everything else. There's the basic course and then there's the advanced courses. The BRC was and is a good introduction into motorcycling. From what I understand, about ten or more years ago, it was more rigorous than today and it's too bad that the course gets watered down, but better than Uncle Joe trying to show you how to ride.

I hear what you are saying. I offered my insight within the specific context of the reply I was quoting. My perspective is as a track instructor for The Motorcycle Training Center, which provides Advanced Rider Training, and was, up until very recently, THE So Cal MSF training facility, but unscrupulous politics put an abrupt end to that relationship. You can read more about the dirty political side of the MSF in MSN magazine.

While your comments are mostly true, they unfortunately are not as true now as they used to be. For further info on MTC advanced rider training, see:

http://www.motorcycletrainingcenter.com/

wolfy692005
11-28-2005, 16:31
2 things, 1st some posted " we used to call them enduros" when de we stop? man i feel old...
2nd.. the cycle test was the 2nd hardest driving test i took. class A cdl being the hardest, but the cycle test ( i was on a 81 yamaha 650 special) she had 4 lines on the ground, line 1, line 2 5-7 feet from line 1, line 3 was app. 30 feet from line 1, then line 4 5-7 feet from line 3, i was to speed up tp 30mph by line 2 ( yep in 5-7 feet) maintain it from line 2 to line 3 then stop on, not in front of or behind line 4. it was a timed deal.. she gave me one trial and there was no friggin way, i told her, she said do what you have to, it must be done, i figured ok i flunked this one any way, she said go, i dropped the clutch, let it slide out sideways about halfway through the course crabbed the clutch and stopped on line 4, she said perfact time!!!!!!!, i thought i was going to flunk for sure, she said nope, you kept control of the bike at all times and i (she) told me to do what i needed to to get it done and you did... WOW... i like her... the slow stuff was easy for me..

freakshow10mm
11-29-2005, 16:38
I took the MSF course, as I had never ridden a cycle before. Also MI waives the road test with passage of the MSF course. The box figure-8 was hard for me at first. We were on small Yamaha Exciter 125s. I stood up on the pegs and leaned opposite the turn and pushed the bike away from me in the direction of the turn. It started out ride to the end and turn left come back to the right. Turn left, lean the bike to the left, lean your body to the right. I had the bike at about a 30* on the turns. I was scared I was going to dump it and fail, but I put my trust in the bike and passed with flying colors.

Eyespy
11-30-2005, 01:43
Originally posted by wolfy692005
2 things, 1st some posted " we used to call them enduros" when de we stop? man i feel old...
2nd.. the cycle test was the 2nd hardest driving test i took. class A cdl being the hardest, but the cycle test ( i was on a 81 yamaha 650 special) she had 4 lines on the ground, line 1, line 2 5-7 feet from line 1, line 3 was app. 30 feet from line 1, then line 4 5-7 feet from line 3, i was to speed up tp 30mph by line 2 ( yep in 5-7 feet) maintain it from line 2 to line 3 then stop on, not in front of or behind line 4. it was a timed deal.. she gave me one trial and there was no friggin way, i told her, she said do what you have to, it must be done, i figured ok i flunked this one any way, she said go, i dropped the clutch, let it slide out sideways about halfway through the course crabbed the clutch and stopped on line 4, she said perfact time!!!!!!!, i thought i was going to flunk for sure, she said nope, you kept control of the bike at all times and i (she) told me to do what i needed to to get it done and you did... WOW... i like her... the slow stuff was easy for me..

I'm sorry, but your 81 650 was not and is not capable of accelerating from a standstill to 30 mph in 5-7 feet. Is that what you were saying you did, or did I completely misunderstand. My apologies if I did.

klmmicro
11-30-2005, 11:19
0-30 in 7 feet? Glad my state does not require that! Even my heavily modified Nighthawk would not have been able to pull that off. I know my XR650 would not do it either...though I am sure I could flip it upside down in that distance.

Here in CA, they do have something similar, but it is not based on speed. There are three lines about 15 feet apart. They have you start from line one and then shift up to 3rd before you reach the middle line. Then you have to downshift to first before you reach line 3. I was able to manage the 1-3-1 before I reached the second line, but I was cheating. I took the test on an XL200 trail bike...

wolfy692005
12-01-2005, 18:07
Originally posted by Eyespy
I'm sorry, but your 81 650 was not and is not capable of accelerating from a standstill to 30 mph in 5-7 feet. Is that what you were saying you did, or did I completely misunderstand. My apologies if I did.
nope didint say it did, but it is what she wanted me to do...... no you see why i was so surprised and tried to explain to her that it was not going to happen.
LOL

wrenrj1
12-01-2005, 19:46
I took my test in Sept. on my 81' KZ 550. As for the turning circle, if you were over 500 cc's your circle was a bit bigger. I went to a parking lot and practiced tight turns etc. prior to the test. There were about 11 riders in my testing class. I was surprised at the failure rate of the racers and success of the big Hog riders who had to go thru the same course.

quinch
12-07-2005, 01:09
Tilt the bike, NOT your body. Shift your butt.

That's low-speed in a nutshell.