MSF Insufficiency + Reading material question - KTM Duke 390 Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 10-20-2015, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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MSF Insufficiency + Reading material question

I am super close to pulling the trigger and getting a duke 390, and would be my 1st bike - which is what brought me to this Forum.

New rider, zero previous experience- 38y/o SF Bay Area, California
I took the MSF course - it's good for pointing out defensive state of mind -' it's always your fault'

However, IMHO - the riding skills they teach are laughable. Really, a day in a parking lot maybe 30 yard stretch, never above 2nd gear - and now you are a motorcycle rider? The course left me knowing I didn't know s*** about how to handle a bike (esp at speed), I was more frightened after the course than before.
The CA MSF course was rushed to keep up with time restraints, they teach throttle vs clutch control? They didn't teach guarding your brake, don't even get me started on countersteering - we can't teach you that - but good luck on the road.
I'm cautious by nature, but I also live an a rural section of the Bay Area where I've been stuck in hours of traffic after more than 2 motorcycle fatalities in the last 6 months, and as a medical professional I deal with many patients after injuries.... or Maybe I'm an overly cautious dumb fat old guy.

After the MSF I paid for private lessons from an excellently reviewed instructor in San Francisco - spent the weekend honing low speed maneuvers, and actual street riding with the instructor both as rider and passenger - awesome experience. Hill stops/starts, counter steering, traffic, freeway, everything. It got me comfortable enough that I feel I can safely operate a bike with a foundation to build on where I can focus more active defense and less likely to mishap due to physical unfamiliarity with riding dynamics.

All I can say is that I have learned there is far more to learn than it might appear, and there will continually be more to learn and techniques to hone.

Question: I'm looking at grabbing a copy of 'Flick of the Wrist' - any recommendations re Vol 1 or 2, or both, and or the Soft Science workbook - or similar reading?
Thanks!
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post #2 of 18 Old 10-20-2015, 07:27 AM
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I learned by getting on a 400cc superbike and riding, with cycling being my only prior experience, and on pushbikes the front brake is where the clutch is on a motorcycle. Please be as cautious as you feel necessary though, probably more. Find a parking lot and practice some more. See below for the flick you were looking for.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVWLIfChUwg
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post #3 of 18 Old 10-20-2015, 08:40 AM
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It takes a great deal more skill and judgement to ride a motorcycle safely than to drive a car. Some of this can be acquired through lessons at an early stage, but there is no substitute for experience. Kudos to you for seeking private lessons to get you to the point where you can start adding experience to your resume.

Ride often, ride safe, wear good gear.
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post #4 of 18 Old 10-20-2015, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DocRx View Post
Question: I'm looking at grabbing a copy of 'Flick of the Wrist' - any recommendations re Vol 1 or 2, or both, and or the Soft Science workbook - or similar reading?
Thanks!
Code's books are aimed more at the track rider than street. I do recommend the first book, especially his concept of the five dollar bill. This represents how much attention your brain can apply to riding. When you start out, you spend $4.50 on operating the controls, and only 50 cents on where you are going. Once you become familiar with bike operation (which is possible at low speeds BTW) then you can concentrate on speed, braking points, and lines. When you get to zero conscious effort on operation, the effect (at least to me) is that riding becomes "wishing myself down the road." It's a lot like being a superhero and flying through the air. "Look and just go there."

This is exactly why I ride. It's a form of Nirvana. Y'all Indian riders should know about that.
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Lighter makes it righter!
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-20-2015, 04:01 PM
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Just for the record, a tip that my MSF instructor told me in class saved my life. Don't underestimate the knowledge accrued there.

"If you look at the ____, you hit the ____, if you look where you want to go, you end up there." I fixated on the cliff that I was about to go over, heard that saying in my head, looked back at the road, and managed to gather it back up. I called him that night, ~10 years after class mind you, to thank him.
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post #6 of 18 Old 08-24-2017, 04:03 AM
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MSF has several advanced rider courses (which I haven't taken). The beginner course isn't meant to make you a proficient rider. It's to put you in a better place than when you started before getting a license. No doubt you were better off taking the MSF course than if you had hopped straight onto a bike and started driving on public streets.
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post #7 of 18 Old 08-24-2017, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diploman View Post
It takes a great deal more skill and judgement to ride a motorcycle safely than to drive a car. Some of this can be acquired through lessons at an early stage, but there is no substitute for experience.
.
True words spoken ..

Experience is the key , and that you only get by riding . Keep in mind that the only thing more dangerous than being scared riding your bike is never being scared of anything on a bike .
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post #8 of 18 Old 08-24-2017, 09:25 AM
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I took the MSF course then my 3rd time on a motorcycle was on a new duke so I am and was exactly in your position. The most difficult speeds to control your duke are first to second gear, there's a reason they don't go fast in the course... I spent 10-20mins in a parking lot getting to know the duke before hitting the road because I was very nervous. The 10-20mins included many stalls, but as soon as I was on the road and going over second gear riding a motorcycle became laughable!


You are more prepared than you can imagine!
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post #9 of 18 Old 08-24-2017, 10:27 AM
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David Hough's "Proficient Motorcycling" is very helpful for the street rider.
I read "A Twist of the Wrist". too. It's good for honing your skills, but first, you need to acquire them : )

https://www.amazon.com/Proficient-Mo.../dp/1889540536
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post #10 of 18 Old 08-24-2017, 11:42 AM
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Taking that MSF course is Key to survival. It drastically reduces chances for crashes and fatalities. For that reason alone it's a great idea. Do I think it should be required? No. A person should have the right to be stupid. Clearly, you are one of the smart ones.

That said, get yourself to a parking lot (early morning on the weekend is best) or late afternoon, and practice. Practice. Practice.

Learn what the bike, and you, are capable of.

By the time you get the first 1,000 miles on the ODO, you will be amazed by how much more comfortable you feel.

Regardless, keep your situational awareness at peak when on the road. Rehearse in your mind the principles you learned in the MSF course. Following distance. Lane position. Escape routes. Cover that brake and clutch at ALL intersections. And always expect them to NOT see you.

Congrats on your ride!! Enjoy!
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