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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!
I am currently taking the MSF course in PA and I'm really impressed with the quality of both of our instructors, Bob and Tom.
In one Sunday afternoon I've gone to zero time on a
motorcycle, to swerving, cornering, shifting and performing emergency stops.
Quite a bit to take in in 5 hours, but everything is going well, except my low speed tight corner turns, well, and turning in and out of tightly spaced cones.
My guess is both tasks use the same skill.
The cones aren't on the test at days end this coming Sunday, but the tight low speed turn is.
Any tips that could help me get this down?
I'm using a Kawasaki Eliminator 125 that the MSF provides.
Thanks!
I really appreciate any replies :)
Joie
 

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I've taken the test both in AZ and then in PA and I enjoyed the PA training better. The guys teaching we're just better in communicating lessons and techniques.

The low speed turns, I'm guessing you mean the figure 8 in the marked off box, will come with practice. Unless you completely dump the bike during the test you will probably pass.
 

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It's hard to learn this stuff by reading a forum - but that's why you're taking the MSF course. Anyway, a couple things to remember: Always look through the turn, to where you want to end up. Do not look at the thing you're trying to avoid (cone, curb, car, etc.) If you need to turn tighter, push the bar harder and keep looking through the turn. Do not chop the throttle mid corner; try and keep a steady amount of throttle through the course of the turn. If you get in trouble and feel like you're going to fall into the turn, just open up the throttle a very small amount and keep looking where you want to go.

The main thing is practice, and keep up with training - one MSF course is a good start, but the more, different classes you take the better.

Good luck!
 

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Don't look down!

Also- for that particular exercise, with that torque-monster bike, keep your engine rpm up, and use the clutch to moderate your speed

Oh, and as my riding buddy, presently nicknamed "Tripod" would tell you, "If you drop the bike, let the damn thing drop!" Don't try to muscle it back up - you can't, and you'll probably hurt yourself trying.

It's not that hard, and you'll get it soon enough. Don't get frustrated.

Good luck!
 

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Looking through the turn is the best advice someone can give; look even farther through the turn than you think you should. It seems intuitive to look in front of you or at the tire, but do not do that, it will cause you to turn wide.

The other thing to do is to slide you butt to th opposite side of the bike and put a little more weight on the pegs than you normally would - lean a bit on the inside peg more than the outside peg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone for your ideas!
It's not a figure 8 in the box, we haven't done that yet.
Just a very simple sharp turn, using an "L" shaped line on the ground and three small cones, set at an angle to make a lane. They are maybe 2 ft from the lines.
When I turn the handlebars at such a slow speed,(walking speed), it seems like the bike wants to tip over, the steering feels boggy, makes me nervous, and I look down knowing I'm going to run over the line. LOL
And I do just that.
Looking up to where I want to go, which I have no problem doing at higher speeds,and having more throttle than I did, sounds like it might fix the issue.
I'll try it Sunday and report back :)

Thanks again!
Joie
 

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Looking where you want to go, and NOT where you DON'T is something even experienced riders have trouble with now and again.

Don't think that passing this course is the "End" - rather, think of it as "The Beginning" - of an ongoing riding education.

Never stop practicing, never stop learning.

Even then, sometimes "it gets you": Larry Grodsky was one of the best street riders in the World - Died due to a Deerstrike, and you KNOW if anybody was looking-out for those hooved woodrats, it was him.
 

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I was just thinking (and being honest with myself) that I still screw this up sometimes. Had a couple panic! situations this summer when I really needed to look thru, but instead had a brain fart and stared straight at side of road/semi-truck/oil spill/tree branch. Takes a conscious effort to practice this skill
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks once again for all your replies. Just thought I'd let you know that I did indeed pass the MSF course yesterday with only a few points "earned", That was for going slightly over the line during the figure 8 in the box portion of the test, but, I didn't put a foot down and it ended up being my best "box" of the whole course :)
Everything else I nailed!
Now I just have to get a bike of my own..

Joie
 

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Feathering the clutch while making sure you're not leaning into the turn, but counter-balancing the lean the bike (as it turns in while you lean upright) and you can put around in a figure eight all day. It still think it's weird MSF doesn't teach people to use their rear brake for low speed maneuvers... it's the best way to keep control.
 

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Feathering the clutch while making sure you're not leaning into the turn, but counter-balancing the lean the bike (as it turns in while you lean upright) and you can put around in a figure eight all day. It still think it's weird MSF doesn't teach people to use their rear brake for low speed maneuvers... it's the best way to keep control.
Let's try this again with some proof-reading first:

Feathering the clutch while making sure you're not leaning into the turn with your body, but instead counter-balancing the lean of the bike -- as it turns in, you lean upright -- and you can putt around in a figure eight all day. Standard dirt maneuver, but it really allows you to corner slowly if you can find the balance between your body's weight and bike tilt.

It still think it's weird MSF doesn't teach people to use their rear brake for low speed maneuvers... it's the best way to keep control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Actually, it was mentioned in my course that using a combination of clutch and or rear brake would be helpful.
We didn't practice the figure 8 long enough for me personally to get used to using either during that maneuver. I always felt jammed up on the U turn to the right and it messed with my head, LOL.
Thanks for the pointer though :)

Joie
 
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