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I am an MSF instructor and we "encourage" new riders to not cover their front brake when practicing on the range. Most new riders have a tendency to "when in doubt brake" even when leaning in a turn, and the method we try and instill in them is to slow to an appropriate entry speed *before* the turn, so they can throttle through the turn.

However, once beyond the basics (day 1), we also talk about strategies one can use when riding out on the street. One of these strategies is "to shorten reaction time when approaching a high risk area (i.e. an intersection), one may decide to cover the brakes and shift down for better throttle response".

Since you were taking the class for "experienced" riders, I'm surprised that you had the debate at all, as the same "street strategies" are taught in both classes (basic & experienced).

As for the 2 vs. 4 finger debate, we stress that to survive out on the streets, it's critical that a rider "know" their own bike. If this means that it takes only 1 finger on the front brake to get sufficient stopping power (or all 4 fingers), that's fine.

In the end, there are facts, stats, and methods that I am REQUIRED to relay to students when conducting an MSF course. My riding experience also comes into play when questions or discussions turn to "personal preferences". I try and relay things that have worked for me in the past, as well as those things that are recommended by the MSF and supported by studies and/or statistics. If someone is resistant, I just say, "Try it, it might work better for you and keep you out of an accident someday."

At the end of all of my classes, however, I do stress that any rider (from the newbie to the 30-year veteran) needs to continually practice and learn, and that you can never know it all or be too proficient.

Ride safe.
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